“Sustainable cooking for less than €1” – Does the vegetarian cookbook deliver on its promise?

Delicious, sustainable and healthy cooking for a maximum of one euro per portion – this is what Hanna Olvenmark promises in her book “Sustainable cooking under €1”. We have looked at it.

Cheap is unhealthy – Hanna Olvenmark wants to challenge this cliché. She does this by introducing recipes that are said to cost less than one euro per serving. She has been publishing recipes online for a long time that cost a maximum of 10 Swedish kroner. This corresponds to about one euro.

The tips are roughly divided into the following areas: packing, shopping list, lunchbox, travel provisions, eating out, and author’s goal. There are recipe ideas in the main course, lunch box, breakfast and snack categories, as well as in “30 euro weeks”.

She has compiled some of her old recipes, added with additional new ones, in her book “Sustainable cooking for less than €1”. We checked the book with their recommendations and checked the price promise.

Main data:

  • Title: Sustainable cooking for less than €1
  • Original title: Portionen under tian
  • Author: Hanna Olvenmark
  • ISBN: 9783517100326
  • Extent: 154 pages
  • Images: 80 color photos
  • Price: hardcover €18.00, e-book €14.99
  • BUY: In local bookstores or online, for example at ** Book 7, Thalia or Amazon

Sustainable cooking under €1: A book full of tips

Saving money is an important topic in "Sustainable cooking under €1".
Saving money is an important theme in “Sustainable Cooking under €1”.
(Photo: CC0 / Pixabay / stevepb)

The book gives a personal insight into cheap and healthy cooking through numerous large format photos of the dishes and the author. For example, realistic illustrations show a somewhat chaotic kitchen while preparing a recipe.

In addition to the photographs, the book constantly encourages you to get creative and adapt the recipes to your liking. Among many practical tips is one clear focus on financial savings opportunities specifying the specific amounts you can save through individual measures.

In the first part of the book, the author introduces herself and explains how she managed to develop cheap recipes: Her goal was to save for a special trip – and she succeeded. She lists examples of how this was possible. Surprisingly, she takes on relatively high initial expenses, such as eating out five times a week during her lunch break. Of course, this makes it easier to save compared to an initially frugal lifestyle. So don’t be discouraged if you don’t reach your savings goal as quickly as they did.

Basics: Before cooking

If the fridge is too full, it can lead to food waste;  And this in turn is expensive.
If the fridge is too full, it can lead to food waste; And this in turn is expensive.
(Photo: CC0 / Pixabay / Pexels)

In addition to financial savings, Hanna Olvenmark is also avoiding food waste important. In her book, she gives you specific tips on how to freeze or process food just before it expires. best before date, and proper storage. She recommends lowering the refrigerator temperature for a longer shelf life; This, of course, consumes more electricity. Other tips in the book don’t require higher energy consumption: for example, keeping an eye on your supplies is a sensible approach in any case.

You will find explanations in the book on how to find a good one shopping list write for a week. At the end of the book there are also ready-made sample meal plans with a shopping list – but only for one dish a day. So you can take this as a base and expand on it.

Several times in the book you will find the hint that it is more economical to use one lunch box take it with you instead of buying something on the go. The advantage of this: You know exactly what you are eating and pay less for lunch than in a canteen, for example. However, since the preparation also takes some time, it is worth pre-cooking a few portions for the following days.

Ingredients for sustainable cooking under €1

Legumes are much cheaper dried than pre-cooked.
Legumes are much cheaper dried than pre-cooked.
(Photo: CC0 / Pixabay / ulleo)

Although the author emphasizes that food quality mind you, but it doesn’t explicitly mention organic food – probably because it tends to cost a bit more. We recommend not skimping when choosing between organic and conventional, because Organic is worth it. Especially stamps with stricter requirements than that EU organic sealfor example organic soil or natural soilreliably identify products organic farming there. With an organic purchase you protect the environment, climate and animals.

regionality plays a role in recipes, the author does not only use e.g chickpeas, but also as local yellow peas for falafel. In addition, recipes often contain instructions on how to substitute ingredients if they are not in season.

A particularly important role is played in the book legumes. If you buy them dry instead of a can or jar, they are significantly cheaper. There is also a sample calculation for chickpeas; The result: dried chickpeas are about 40 cents cheaper per serving. Unfortunately, the calculation does not include the costs for water and energy, which are not insignificant given the cooking time of an hour. But even if you pay attention to them, you can still save a little. Above all, make sure you always use a cap save energy while cooking.

Recipe from “Sustainable cooking under €1”

Many of the recipes use very few ingredients.
Many of the recipes use very few ingredients.
(Photo: Utopia / Eva Seipel)

Most of the recipes are vegan, but in any case vegetarian. With the vegetarian ones, which are precisely defined as lacto-, ovo- and ovo-lacto-vegetarian are listed, you’ll always find tips on how to easily convert them into a vegan version. Additionally, all recipes must be climate neutral according to the WWF climate calculator.

They make up the bulk of the book Recipes of main dishes out. The ingredients are usually given for four servings. The information is not always accurate and you need experience to know, for example, how much “pasta for four servings” is. Some key facts about the recipes:

  • The required time has been granted.
  • Each recipe has a short personal note, for example if it is the author’s favorite dish.
  • The amount of effort required for recipes varies; the author estimates that the most complicated ones will take an hour to prepare.
  • The work steps are explained clearly and easily.
  • The selection of recipes includes familiar ones like one-pot pasta, creative ones like “green pea pancakes with wheat rice and lemon yogurt” and vegan versions of classics like spaghetti bolognese.
  • There are no specific costs for individual courtsthere is only the general promise that they should be less than one euro.

The main dishes are followed by recipes that are particularly suitable for the lunch box. These are, for example, many curries, lasagna or quiche. There is also a section for breakfast, snacks and small plates such as salads, bars, rolls, spreads, porridge and smoothies.

Price promise checked: Really under €1?

The Asian wok noodles were very tasty, but unfortunately more expensive than €1.
The Asian wok noodles were very tasty, but unfortunately more expensive than €1.
(Photo: Utopia / Eva Seipel)

When you browse for the first time, you might find it hard to believe that all these delicious and varied dishes are meant to cost less than one euro per serving. We feel the same way, which is why we checked the price promise on two recipes.

1. Breakfast recipe: oatmeal with peanut butter

The first recipe consists of just oatmeal, water or a plant-based drink, a banana, peanut butter, and spices. All the ingredients are easily found in the supermarket and the preparation is quick and easy. It is also a very cheap recipe. Even with organic ingredients, the serving cost only about 83 cents in our test. The book definitely lives up to its promise. The designated portion size also fills you up nicely, so it didn’t skimp on quantity.

2. Lunch: Asian Wok Noodles

The Asian Wok Noodles recipe tested for lunch was a little more involved, but not difficult to make. It contains a relatively large number of ingredients and even if some of them cost only a few cents per serving, it still adds up. In the test with food from exclusively organic agriculture at 1.46 euros, so almost 50 percent above the promised price. Of course it’s still a very cheap dish, but unfortunately not as cheap as advertised. Researching prices for conventional foods, i.e. not in organic quality, leads to around 1.10 euros per portion. Less, but still above the price promise. In addition, the portion size in this case of 60 grams of pasta may be too small for many people, so you can expect slightly higher costs. In addition, energy costs for preparation are not included in any case.


“Sustainable cooking under €1” is attractively designed and offers healthy and delicious inspiration. The recipes are a successful mix of popular and creative original recipes from the author. Depending on where and how you shop, and how well you can follow other storage and preparation tips, these recipes can hit the sub-$1 price target.

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