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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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


Yummy soup! Thanks dumpster!


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Vegan Dumpster Aloo Gobi

After dumpstering a ton of cauliflower, potatoes, and tomatoes, I decided to make some Aloo Gobi.

I used:

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (seems like a lot, but this recipe makes a ton of food)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 tsp hot sauce (like Sriracha)
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 2-3 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3-4 tomatoes (or 2 cans), diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp garam masala (I made my own)
  • salt

First heat the oil and saute the onions and cumin.

Saute onions until translucent.

Add the turmeric and 1 tsp salt.

Add hot sauce and tomatoes.

Add garlic, potatoes, and cauliflower. Stir well, cover, and allow to simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes are cooked.

I didn’t have garam masala so I made a janky version using 1/4 tsp of each of the following:

  • curry powder
  • cumin
  • black pepper
  • cinnamon

Add the garam masala and stir well. You can eat immediately or let it sit for a while to really soak up the spices.

If you have it, serve with some fresh chopped cilantro on top.

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Vegan Dumpster Radish Kimchi

I am horrible at keeping up with posting. Someday I will be a disciplined blogger. Of course, judging by the large gaps between my “Coming Soon!” post and when I actually write the post, that day may be a long time coming. I never said I was perfect.

Anyway, once upon a time I briefly dated a Korean girl. By briefly I mean one month and during this month I had a constant supply of her mom’s homemade radish kimchi in my fridge. It was a really good month. Then I screwed up and I’m pretty sure she still hates me and I definitely still miss that kimchi.

Cabbage kimchi is … good. But, radish kimchi is the shit. The texture of the daikon, crisp yet a little soft; lots of heat yet cold; the red pepper and the green onions. Pretty much perfect.

After a Food Not Bombs cooking night I had a ton of daikon and Jerusalem artichokes on my hands. I had to make kimchi even though I knew I didn’t have all the right stuff. Whatever, I had to make kimchi.

You’re supposed to use:

  • daikon
  • garlic
  • ginger
  • fish sauce (use soy sauce or mushroom sauce)
  • sugar
  • red pepper powder
  • green onions
  • salt

This is what I had:

  • daikon
  • garlic
  • Jerusalem artichokes
  • soy sauce
  • sugar
  • paprika and red pepper flakes
  • arugula (which I picked out of a bag of dumpstered salad mix)
  • salt

I cubed the daikon, covered with salt, and let it set while prepared the other ingredients. Jerusalem artichokes may look a lot like ginger, but there are no flavor similarities. I minced it like ginger anyway and used a lot since I had a ton and they have such a mild flavor.

I rinsed the daikon and mixed everything together in a bowl. Korean red pepper powder is NOT the same thing as red pepper flakes (like you put on pizza). Red pepper flakes come from cayenne peppers which means they’re pretty hot. I used the paprika, which is quite mild, and added a little bit of red pepper flakes to add some heat.


I covered it with an inverted plate and plastic wrap and let it sit unrefrigerated for 24 hours to ferment. Then I put it in small containers and put them in the fridge. It didn’t even compare to REAL kimchi, but it was good enough considering what I was working with.

Here’s one of the recipes (with nice photos) that I referenced when making my janky kimchi.


Dumpster Kimchi

And that’s the story of how I made the world’s jankiest radish kimchi.

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Dumpster Tip: Bagels

When freezing a surplus of dumpstered bagels slice them almost completely in half before you wrap them. This way you can just take them out of the freezer, pull the two pieces apart, and pop them in the toaster!

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