Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Oh hello again. I'm just here to tell you that I'm moving right now. First my office, then myself. Posting really isn't going to happen for a little while, but I'm still cooking and still shunning waste, so never fear! The no trash blog is coming back soon.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Hello potatoes!

Here are a few quick things you can do with potatoes which don't involve waste, or more than a few minutes of your time and attention. I'm in love with potatoes, so I make these things often. They're so easy that I feel stupid for posting them.

No waste baked potatoes

Take a potato, poke some holes in it with a fork, rub some olive oil into it, throw it in the oven directly on the rack and bake at 400 for about 30 minutes. Viola. Potato. Who says you need aluminum foil to bake a potato?

(Charles, you can even do this in a toaster oven. It will take a bit longer.)

Potato chips

Take a potato, slice it into chips (very, very thin, if you can), place slices on a baking sheet, brush slices with oil, sprinkle on some salt, bake at 350 until crispy and amazing. Goodbye bagged potato chips. Hello saving money and resources!

Mashed purple potatoes

Take several purple potatoes, quarter them, boil them until soft, transfer to a bowl, add a bit of rice milk, salt, pepper, olive oil, a tiny dab of coconut cream (trust me. Dooo it), minced garlic and then mash. Mash some more. Mash a little bit more....... now STOP! ACK! YOU'VE OVER-MASHED IT!!!! No I'm kidding, it's ready, just eat. Side note: Isn't it super cool how the boiling water turns blue??!

French fries (but baked)

Take a few potatoes, slice into wedges, put into glass bake tray, coat the bottom with a thin layer of olive oil, add salt and pepper and garlic, bake at 350 until done. No need to flip. Seriously. You'll need ketchup and mustard for these. Spicy ketchup...mmm.

Monday, May 23, 2011


After several unsuccessful attempts to find fiddleheads I was getting ready to call up a few friends and ask them where they find theirs. Then one morning I was taking my compost out to the woods behind my house and nearly stepped right on a patch of fiddleheads! I gathered some up and tossed them in the fridge before heading to work.

I rode my bike that morning and as I coasted down the office driveway I peeked into the garden and what did I see? FIDDLEHEADS! The whole garden at my office is overrun. I gathered a bunch of them and had a wonderful fiddlehead stir fry dinner. I even left one on a co-workers desk as a present.

There is some mixed information out there about fiddleheads and how safe they are. Some websites and books will tell you that you need to cook them before they are safe. There doesn't seem to be much evidence of that. What is more probable is that the people who got sick had eaten a different variety of fern than the ostrich fiddlehead. Having compared the two kinds side by side, it's really quite easy to tell the difference between the different varieties and I'm not worried about eating the wrong kind. The key thing is that edible fiddleheads are smooth and shiny and have a very deep groove along the inside of the stems. When they are uncurled, they stick straight up and don't lay close to the ground.

I like to throw my fiddleheads into my stir fry and cook them just a little. They add a great, clean crunch and some healthy, early greens to dinner. Bon appetit!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Macaroni Salad

As it gets warmer I always start to crave macaroni salad. Delicious, cold macaroni on a warm day is a good indication that winter really is over and the next 6 months are going to be lovely. I almost never make it though because it means buying a jar of vegan mayo and I don't really use it for anything but macaroni and potato salads, which means it would just go bad. Buying a jar is out of the question anyway because of the no trash thing, so I did a quick google search for homemade vegan mayo and came up the modified concoction below.

I forgot to take a picture of my food, so here's a random one from the internet. Don't worry, it's vegan too.

Half a block of tofu
2 T water
2 T olive oil
½ t apple cider vinegar
pinch of salt
½ t sugar or other sweetener (I used agave syrup)

Put all of this into a blender and blend until smooth. You may want to add things a little at a time and taste as you go. The wonderful thing about making your own mayo is that you can make it as strong as you want. You can go sour or sweet. You can use veggie oil instead of olive oil for a more neutral taste.

I combined this with some pasta, chopped onion, sugar, mustard, salt, pepper, celery and PRESTO, macaroni salad for my spring celebration.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Meh. Sorry.

If there's one thing readers should know about me, it's that I never post as often as I say I will. Never fear, I have some posts written and more are coming soon.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Recipe: Veggie stir fry with coconut rice

As with all cooking, I encourage people to adjust things to taste. This is a concoction that I really enjoy, but you can just as easily skip the wild rice and go with all brown (though you'd be a fool). I used a lot more hot sauce than I indicated below and more mustard and chile, but not everyone likes spicy food like I do. But so help me, if you defile this recipe with a green bell pepper... I will find you in your home and rip that freaking pepper out of your hand. And then compost it.

For the rice:
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 1/4 cup water
1/4 cup wild rice (soaked overnight if you have time)
1/2 cup short grain brown rice (soaked overnight if you have time)

For the stir fry:
1 Small yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic- minced
1 Yellow or red bell pepper, chopped
A big bunch of swiss chard, chopped (probably about 6 cups, once chopped)
2 medium carrots, chopped
A little olive oil for frying
1/2 t Chile powder
1/2 t favorite hot sauce
1/2 t mustard powder
1/2 t ginger powder
Salt to taste
Sesame oil to taste
A touch of maple syrup (optional)

For rice:
Put water and coconut milk into a saucepan and add wild rice. Cover. Bring to boil, and simmer for 5 minutes, then add brown rice and continue simmering until done. Don't stir! When rice is done, remove from heat, but allow it to sit covered in the pot for about 10 minutes to steam. Fluff with a fork to bring wild rice to the top.

For the stir fry:
Heat olive oil on medium heat in large frying pan with spices and hot sauce. When it's hot enough, add the onions and some salt. Cook until soft then add garlic, bell pepper, chard and carrots. The chard will cook down, so don't worry if the pan overflows and you can't add it all at once. Adjust salt and continue to stir fry until chard is cooked down and veggies are extra-tasty. If the chard is a little more bitter than you'd like, add a touch of maple syrup (don't go overboard). Remove from heat and add a little sesame oil.

Serve veggies over rice. Oranges make a great dessert after this yum-fest.

Serves: 2

Monday, May 2, 2011


On Easter Sunday, with no other plans to speak of, I decided to go for a hike and try and locate some fiddleheads, a much adored spring treat. I took my field guide to edible plants book with me, just in case I saw something else that might be snack-worthy. I'm 100% new to this in every way, so I really didn't expect to find anything. I walked over to Benson's hole and proceeded upstream. I imagine a lot of the area is private property, but I didn't encounter any fences or signs, so I just went along my merry way.

As expected, I found nothing. May have been a bit early for fiddleheads anyway. I'll be trying again as much as possible over the next few days. Fiddleheads should be popping up at any time. Wild asparagus too. I decided to proceed to town and forage the fridge at the non-profit office. I found half a bottle of champagne from a celebration we had had the week prior. Still fizzy, I took it home.

This made me think that maybe dumpster diving counts as no-trash food. It's already in the trash, at least I'd be putting some of it to good use and reducing some of the trash, without adding to it. It's a thought. Though the idea of creeping around the Price Chopper dumpsters at night really isn't at all appealing. If only we had a Trader Joe's. I've been told they have the best dumpster food. I tip my hat to Food Not Bombs on this one.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

So it begins

The last round of trash this month. Yikes. I'm looking forward to giving up Woodchuck; I spend way too much of my money on it. I've been thinking of giving up most of my alcohol drinking anyway because of my money situation. It's just empty calories anyway. Sorry folks, gonna go drown my sorrows in a cup of tea.

I am going to miss Liz Lovely though. Best freaking vegan cookies ever, and my favorite gluten free brand as well. Still, not buying junk food for a year (home made potato chips, anyone?) will be healthy for me and my budget.

To top this all off, the idea of making paper out of my receipts and produce stickers was offered to me and I love it! I just need to find a few supplies and I can start grinding all that crap up into my own brand of paper. Who has a few pieces of scrap wood and screen for me?

April 20: Liz Lovely cookie wrappings
April 21: Eggplant sticker
April 22: Napkin, empty woodchuck bottle
April 23: Potato chip bag, avocado sticker
April 24: None
April 25: empty woodchuck bottle
April 26: Paper bagel wrapper, empty woodchuck bottle
April 27: Napkin, wax paper, empty woodchuck bottle, straw and straw wrapper
April 28: A bit of parchment paper
April 29: None
April 30: Foil wrapper