Archive for October, 2008

Vegan Dumpster Sushi

Only the veggies for this sushi were dumpstered. I didn’t have sushi rice, or want to spend money on it, so I used brown rice. It was the first time I ever used brown rice for sushi and it worked out really well. And it’s better for you. I just added about a 1/4 cup more water than usual to cook it and that helped make it sticky enough.

You’ll need:

  • 3 c cooked brown or sushi rice (short grain)
  • 3 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • veggies of your choice; I used:
  • zucchini
  • squash
  • cucumber
  • avocado
  • tempura batter
  • nori (roasted seaweed)
  • sushi mat (or get creative w/tinfoil, parchment paper, etc.)

Thinly slice the veggies and prepare the rice. Let it cool down to room temperature. Mix the vinegar and sugar together. You’re supposed to warm it up so the sugar dissolves more quickly, but I’m usually too impatient to do that. You can just let it dissolve in the vinegar while you wait for the rice to cool. Stir the vinegar mixture into the rice when cooled.

Batter and fry the veggies (except cucumber and avocado, of course). Somehow I didn’t get pictures of this step, but you can check out the link above for my post on making veggie tempura. Places the nori on the mat and spread rice onto a little less than one half of the sheet. Keep a bowl full of water next to you so you can keep your hands wet while you spread. It will keep the rice from sticking to you.

Layer the veggies, tuck them in, and start rolling.

Put a little water on the last bit of the nori to help it stick and form the roll.

Slice the roll. Use a damp towel to clean the knife after every cut, makes it a lot easier and cleaner.

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A Mountain of Eggplant

We dumpstered so many eggplants the other night! I had to leave some behind!

All-in-all a pretty good dive. Especially for only one dumpster.

  • 5 eggplants
  • 2 onions
  • 9 tomatoes
  • 3 avocados (ate two of them as soon as I washed everything up)
  • 4 potatoes
  • 3 portobello mushrooms
  • 5 small cucumbers (perfect for pickling!)
  • 3 button mushrooms
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 1 nectarine
  • 2 mangoes
  • 1 bunch of bananas
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • box of romaine lettuce
  • box of baby spinach
  • bag of 3 romaine hearts
  • bag of salad mix
  • 2 bags of shallots
  • expired salsa
  • expired dill veggie dip (not vegan)

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Vegan Dumpster Leek, Tomato, & Lentil Soup

I wanted to make some leek and potato soup but the dumpster did not bless me with potatoes so I had to do a little research. I found this recipe on vegweb.com, one of my favorite vegan recipe sites ever. Back in the day it was pretty simple, but now they have thousands of recipes and lots of tasty looking user-submitted photos. Sometimes I go there just to look at all the food photos.

  • 2 cups lentils
  • 1/2 head of cabbage (or lettuce in this case), roughly chopped
  • 3-4 leeks
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • carrots
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2 tsp basil
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • salt & pepper
  • olive or vegetable oil
  • water or broth

Boil the water or broth and add the lentils, cabbage/lettuce, a little salt, and some leek tops (you’ll take those out later). Reduce heat, cover, and simmer while you chop more veggies.

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Slice the leeks in half lengthwise then chop them up.

Chop up the carrots and onions. I used about 1/3 of a bag of baby carrots and a few pearl onions that I dumpstered.

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Saute the veggies in a couple Tbsp oil and add a pinch of salt and pepper.

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Add the sauteed veggies and tomatoes to the lentils. You can also remove the leek tops now. Add the basil, oregano, and more salt & pepper to taste. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes.

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Leeky Dumpster

Last week we dumpstered a bunch of leeks and tomatoes. And one little summertime nectarine.

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Vegan Dumpster Hot & Sour Soup

I dumpstered a TON of mushrooms. Shitake, button, and portabello! I had a bag of dried tiger lily buds I bought a long time ago at Saigon Market so I decided to make some hot and sour soup. You can make this without the buds and fungus, of course, but I really like the flavor and texture they lend. Ideally I would have added some sliced firm silken tofu but I didn’t have any.

  • A bunch of mushrooms, whatever you dumpster
  • 10 tiger lily buds
  • handful of black fungus
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • hot water
  • 4 cups vegetable broth or salted water

First, remove stems and slice up your mushrooms. My button and portobello mushrooms were pre-sliced by a machine before being wrapped in Styrofoam and plastic. So wasteful. Well, at least I saved it from being a complete waste.

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Put the dried fungus and buds in a bowl and cover with hot water.

You’re supposed to use cornstarch, but I didn’t have any so I attempted to use flour instead. Uhm, it didn’t really work so well. The cornstarch helps thicken up the soup, but it doesn’t affect the flavor so it’s not really a big deal if you just leave it out. I whisked the flour with some warm soy sauce and vinegar.

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Bring the broth or water to a boil and add the mushrooms, fungus, and tiger lily buds. Reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes.

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Add the soy sauce mixture and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat and add pepper, oil, and tofu if you have it.

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Yummy soup! Thanks dumpster!

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