Entrees, Recipes, Sides/Appetizers

Dollar Store Meals

As a part of Go Vegan, Go Broke we thought we’d try to make some recipes from ingredients you can buy at the dollar store. It is a sad reality that a lot of people do their grocery shopping at the dollar store, whether it be because of money or location, but it is in fact true. That is why we want to ensure that even if you have to buy groceries from the dollar store, that you are still able to make delicious recipes that will fill you up and satisfy you.

We put our thinking hats on this week and spent way to much time at the dollar store in order to bring you the best most creative recipes we know how. We have to say that both of us were very surprised at the recipes we were able to make using the minimal ingredients that we could find at our chosen stores. For the purpose of this challenge Devin created recipes using ingredients found at Dollar Tree and Katherine created her recipe using ingredients from Dollarama.

For the purpose of this challenge we allowed for a simple “pantry” box of ingredients that we were allowed to use free of charge. These ingredients included oil, one spice (we both used hot chili powder), salt, pepper and water of course. These are ingredients we assumed most would already have in their houses and would not need to buy specifically for one recipe.

Kat channeled her inner Italian (except not really because they are probably all screaming at the way she made her recipe) for this week. Using just seven ingredients, Katherine was able to make delicious Air-Fried Tomato Arancini. Using just eight ingredients, Devin was able to make a mouth-watering Taco Bowl. We know, you’re shocked that this was all made with dollar store ingredients, but it was.

These vegan Air-Fried Tomato Arancini are probably making every Italian cry, but we humbly think they are very delicious! Katherine tried to think as creativity as possible and use as little ingredients as possible. At the dollar store, you kind of have to. By using canned coconut milk to bind, she didn’t have to find a non-dairy milk and flour from the dollar store, which would have brought the price up. These are the perfect combination of savoury and sweet and would make the most perfect appetizers for any party.

Devin went out of her comfort zone and put on a chef’s hat for this episode. Without any guidance from Katherine, Devin was able to make one hell of a delicious dish! The perfect combination of taco-y goodness in the wonderful portal of a bowl. A simple recipe makes this the perfect meal planned lunch or weekday dinner!

Katherine’s Air-Fried Tomato Arancini

Serves: about 15 balls


  • 1 tbsp oil, plus 1 tsp for air fryer
  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 cups water, plus additional depending on rice
  • 1 can tomato soup
  • 1 tbsp hot chili powder (optional)
  • 2 cups melba toast crackers
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning


  1. Add 1 tbsp of oil to a medium pot for about 1 minute. Add your rice and pan fry for about 2 minutes.
  2. Add your water, can of tomato soup and chili powder if you are adding it to your pot and mix until all incorporated. Bring to a boil, then drop temperature to low and simmer for about 30 minutes. Be sure to stir about every 5 minutes to ensure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pot. Once all the water has been absorbed, you may need to add more water depending on your rice, give it a quick taste and add another 1/2 cup of water if uncooked. You are looking for a creamy risotto consistency.
  3. Spread your tomato risotto on a lined baking sheet until completely cooled.
  4. To a food processor add your crackers and Italian seasoning and process until a bread crumb consistency.
  5. Add your coconut milk to a bowl and your bread crumbs to another bowl.
  6. Once your rice is completely cooled, roll into about 15 even balls (or whatever size you want). Then coat in the coconut milk and then in bread crumbs. Add to your air fryer. If you are using an Acti-Fry be sure to removed the turning paddle.
  7. Add 1 tsp of oil to your air fryer and cook your balls until crispy. This will take anywhere between 20-30 minutes depending on your air fryer. Be sure to check in every 10 minutes, and flip and rotate your balls in order for an even cook.
  8. Dip in some coconut milk and enjoy!!

Devin’s Taco Bowl

Serves: about 3


  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 can sliced potatoes
  • 1 pkg taco seasoning, divded
  • 2 tsp oil, divided
  • 1 can red kidney beans
  • 1 can corn
  • 1/4 cup salsa, plus more for topping
  • pickled jalapenos, for topping


  1. Cook your rice according to the instructions on the package.
  2. While your rice cooks, drain and rinse your potatoes. Once rinsed, pat your potatoes dry with a paper towel or cloth and add to a mixing bowl. Add about 1/2 your taco seasoning into the bowl and mix well with potatoes. Add a sprinkle of salt if you would like. Add to your air fryer along with 1 tsp of oil and cook for about 20-25 minutes. You can also probably bake these at 350F for about 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  3. Once your rice is cooked you can add it to a pan along with 1 tsp of oil, along with your rinsed kidney beans and rinsed corn. Cook this until heated through.
  4. Add the rest of your taco seasoning to your rice along with your salsa and mix.
  5. Serve by add your rice to a bowl, topping with potatoes, pickled jalapenos and some salsa.