Vanessa Marsot of Ellora Wellness issued a challenge for people to make a vegan meal for under $5 in order to prove how inexpensive whole food plant-based eating is. She made a meal for 2 people (which ended up serving 3, with 2 servings) for $4.70. All organic, gluten-free ingredients from Grocery Outlet. Of course, you can always make pasta and tomato sauce for even less, but she decided to buy some fresh ingredients that were readily available and full of nutrients, to prove how inexpensive whole food plant-based eating is. She started not knowing what she would make when in the store but purchased gluten-free black bean pasta (viewers can always buy even less expensive pasta if they don’t need to get gluten-free), a can of coconut milk, mushrooms, onions, broccoli, and a can of red beans. She then set out to use these ingredients in a way that provided hearty and tasty meals.
Vanessa Marsot is a Yale graduate, and an actress, model, yoga and pole dance instructor, personal trainer, and licensed psychotherapist whose mission is to stop animal suffering. Vanessa founded Ellora Wellness, a vegan organic wellness center and one-stop-shop of creative, cruelty-free living recently opened in Altadena, California offering vegan, organic, ecological, non-toxic, and sustainable foods, products, and services. Ellora has dance, yoga, and fitness classes, healing arts, Sunday brunches, a boutique of clothes, jewelry, and decorative arts, and a grocery store of no plastic, zero-waste bulk products. These are the 4 pillars of health as she sees them—what you put in and on your body, the need for movement and creative expression, and the need for healing assistance every now and then. All of her services, including life coaching, are now available online. Her philosophy with Ellora is that if she can offer goods and services that look as good, feel as good, taste as good, and are as affordable as the cruelty-filled versions, then people would have no reason not to pick them.
Under 5 Bucks Pasta
- 1 package gluten-free black bean pasta or other pasta of choice
- 1 can of coconut milk
- can of red beans
- Start preparing pasta
- In the meantime, lightly steam broccoli in the microwave, and then puree it in a blender with 1/2 the can of beans.
- Saute the onion with a bit of the coconut milk. When the onion is becoming translucent, add the mushrooms. Keep adding a bit of coconut milk if the vegetables start sticking.
- Toss the pureed mixture in with the sautéd vegetables to warm it all up.
- Drain the pasta, and toss with the vegetable mixture.
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Donna Dennison is an UnchainedTV writer, graphic designer, video editor, and IG contributor. Donna is also a creative in the film industry.