Posts tagged mushrooms

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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Veggie Dumpster Tempura


Let’s say you dumpster a ton of vegetables. Let’s say you can’t eat them before they start to make your house smell like the dumpster you pulled them out of. Well, kid, I’ve got the perfect solution, and I am offering it to you completely free of charge. Just like the veggies you dumpstered!

We happened to find a couple bags of fancy schmancy pre-sliced carrots, three boxes of mushrooms, a green pepper, and an onion – all of which are perfect for making veggie tempura.

I had some tempura batter mix that my mom gave me, but it’s super easy to whip up your own all-purpose batter.


  • 1 cup flour
  • water, broth, beer, or soymilk (add a dash of vinegar to make ‘buttermilk’)
  • 1 tsp salt

Just mix together flour and salt then slowly add liquid until you reach a pancake-like consistency. Double or triple recipe as needed. You can also add a few splashes of hot sauce if you like. Batter your sliced veggies and deep fry.

But, wait, I said I could tell you how to solve your ‘too many veggies’ dilemma. Now you just have a ‘too much tempura’ problem. That doesn’t really solve anything.


This is where your freezer becomes your best friend. But you can’t just throw a bunch of steaming hot tempura in a bag and freeze it. Then you’ll just have a big tempura ice cube on your hands. First you have to let the tempura cool a little (while you’re stuffing your face) and spread them out on a plate or cookie sheet. Put them in the freezer for about an hour. This way they’ll be partially frozen when you wrap them up and won’t stick to each other.


Problem solved! Now whenever you want fatty fried food you can just pop these in the oven for a few minutes and reminisce about the night you dumpstered the veggies you’re now eating.

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Only the mushrooms in this lasagne were dumpstered, but I thought I would include the recipe here anyway because it’s really freaking good. It also doesn’t call for store-bought vegan cheese. That stuff is expensive and I’m way too cheap to ever buy it – especially when I know I can make a versatile ‘cheese’ sauce without it.


  • 1 lb. lasagne noodles
  • any red sauce you like
  • my ‘cheese’ sauce
  • mushrooms (or fake meat of your choice)

You’ll want to have everything ready before you cook the noodles so you can use them right away when they’re done. First make the ‘cheese’ sauce.


  • 1 cup soymilk
  • 1/2 block tofu (any kind will work)
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 Tbsp yellow mustard
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder (or a couple cloves)
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp salt (or vegesal)
  • 1 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil

Combine all but the last two ingredients in a blender and blend it up. Add the nutritional yeast and blend. While blending, slowly drizzle in the oil. If the sauce isn’t thick enough add more yeast little by little until it’s the right consistency (slightly more runny than pancake batter).

Wash and slice up your mushrooms (or prepare your fake meat).

Boil the noodles and don’t fuck them up! Lasagne noodles are such a bitch sometimes. I overcooked them with my first batch. They all fell apart and I ended up piecing together a damn lasagne puzzle for a good half hour or so. Lame. The second batch I undercooked in an attempt to avoid another jigsaw disaster. They weren’t too chewy in the end, but they could have been a little more tender. Oh, and make sure you put plenty of vegetable oil (don’t waste good olive oil) in the pot. And use a huge pot so there’s lots of room for the noodles and they don’t stick together. That’s a whole other lasagne hell you do not want to visit. Eight to ten minutes should be good but be sure to stir often and check the noodles to make sure they’re not getting too soft.

Put it together: first cover the bottom of the pan with some oil then a layer of sauce. Top that with noodles, more sauce, mushrooms, drizzle on some ‘cheese’ sauce, repeat. On the final layer drizzle some olive oil over the top. Mmmm, fatty.Cover with foil. Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Take the foil off for the last 5-10 minutes of baking.

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Winter Hash

winter hashVegan Dumpster Winter Hash


  • baby red potatoes
  • squash
  • celery
  • rehydrated shiitake mushrooms
  • kale and/or chard
  • s&p
  • garlic powder

Chop potatoes, squash, celery, and mushrooms. Saute in oil or margarine until potatoes are slightly browned. Add kale/chard and cover. Simmer on medium-low heat until potatoes are tender. Season to taste with s&p and garlic, or saute fresh minced garlic with the vegetables. I didn’t have any fresh garlic at the time.Sage would be a good herb to season with.

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