Stir-fries are a great way to use up extra produce because they’re easy and fast. In this case, peppers, onion, and broccoli with leftover sweet potatoes. A little sesame oil and tamari, some brown rice and sesame seeds, and it made for a quick meal.
So the dust has settled, and our vegan Thanksgiving/holiday/whatever-you-want-to-call it meal leftovers are (almost) gone. We had TONS of awesome food that wasn’t scavenged, but here’s what I managed to make using some goods that would have gone to waste otherwise:
Not everything in this photo was dumpstered… but it WAS all delicious!
It’s not a holiday meal without a traditional sage stuffing. The base of this stuffing is actually dumpstered hamburger buns! No one was able to tell. I toasted the buns, then added them to a boiling pot of broth (that I had cooked the seitan for the roast in) along with some chopped green onions and celery (both from the dumpster) and black pepper, rosemary, and sage. Half of it was just served by itself, the other half was used to stuff the roast (which I forgot to get a photo of… oops!)
Another holiday staple… green bean casserole. I had dumpstered a can of green beans a couple weeks ago and saved it just to make this. The night before our dinner I also dumpstered a TON of mushrooms. I probably could have made both the mushroom soup and mushroom gravy out of them, but I had already bought both. I did supplement the canned soup/gravy with fresh sauteed mushrooms though, and it was excellent! I did this casserole in layers — canned green beans on the bottom, some fresh green beans on top of that, then a whole layer of portobella mushrooms, then fried onions on top. There was definitely a noticeable difference between the canned and fresh green beans, but… well… green beans aren’t an everyday find!
…and of course, mashed potatoes. Seeing as we still have tons and tons of mashed potato flakes, I made a lot of these. We had also dumpstered some red potatoes the other day that I added in so the potato flakes didn’t taste so “fake” and some green onions (mostly because I had lots of them from the dumpster to use up!). I made the mashed potatoes with homemade rice milk as well to make them good and creamy instead of pasty.
Caramel apple pie. I had a tub of leftover caramel from making caramel apples for Halloween and five dumpstered apples (three small sour green ones, and two big red sweeter ones). I made a pie crust (okay, I don’t know how to make pie crust so I used a sugar cookie recipe… but it worked?) and filled it with caramel and apples and baked the whole thing. It came out pretty damn awesome, but the caramel turned to liquid in the oven and stayed that way. In hindsight, it probably would have been better if I had sauteed the apples, cooked the pie crust and then added all the ingredients together separately. Oh well… I still liked it!
Raw cheesecake: (okay, only the blueberries for the topping were scavenged here) but the recipe is from here and it’s basically the greatest cheesecake recipe ever.
There were a few other scavenged things here and there in the meal… roasted peppers and onion in the roasted vegetables that went along with the roast, and some sundried tomatoes that I put in the roast seitan for texture/flavor. But those were the main dumpstered items on the table.
As for the non-dumpstered items… all I can say is that I have some awesome friends who also make some awesome food! It was quite a spread! I think I ate my weight in tamales, cupcakes, sweet potatoes, lemon cream pie, pumpkin pie, and whatever else there was that was awesome and I have forgotten about in my food coma.
I think it’s safe to say we annihilated this holiday!
…you can expect lots of No-Thanks-Given DIY and dumpstered gluttony photos in the next day or so!
Just a quick breakfast this morning — all dumpstered except for a leaf of kale!
The toast is whole wheat with homemade hot pepper jam, and the smoothie is diced pineapple, two tangerines, a banana, and a kale leaf. Quick, easy, and healthy way to start the day.
So, I found four ripe avocados last night (along with tons of bread, bananas, broccoli, apples, and a pomegranate).
Prior to going to the dumpster, I was at the grocery picking up ice cream and happened to see the boxed pudding mixes. I knew a couple of the flavors of the generic store brand were vegan, and figured I’d pick one up to make some banana-butterscotch pudding with by just blending the mix with a couple frozen bananas. Well, first off they had a cheesecake flavor. So I had to try that since it’s vegan. THEN I found these avocados.
I’ve made raw avocado pudding/ice cream recipes before and love it. The texture is creamy and perfect. So, all I did was throw the avocados and the pudding mix (one packet was perfect for two avocados) in the blender and the result was AMAZING. I will be doing this a LOT.
I think I’m going to try to add some coconut oil or possibly cashews to thicken the texture and use as a cheesecake filling. For now, I’m just going to eat lots of it. Topped with some granola it’s pretty amazing too!
I can’t wait to see what other flavors are vegan!
I had soup for lunch. I eat a lot of soup when it gets cold. This was a creamy sweet potato soup… three sweet potatoes, two cups rice milk, five stalks of celery, a whole yellow onion, and a cup of green onions. I blended half the yellow onion and the celery with the rice milk to make the broth. This could have really been spiced just about any way, but it went with green curry paste and a little cayenne pepper and topped it with some homemade croutons. Croutons are a GREAT way to use up stale bread that you find!
Then dessert… Frozen bananas and fresh tangerines topped with granola. I’ll probably be having this again for dinner!
Total throw-a-bunch-of-things-together meal.
I took some of the produce I’ve gotten in the last few days (onions, peppers, zucchini) and fried them in a pan.
I added some amaranth I cooked in the rice cooker, and some leftover field roast from biscuits and gravy I made a few days ago.
Rolled it all up in some cabbage greens, baked it, and topped it with some cayenne pepper. Not bad for a quick thrown-together meal!