The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

February 6, 2008

Weekly Recipes: Lentil Loaf & Turnip Mashed Potatoes

I tell ya, vegan-hood is not far away. We made this lentil loaf over the weekend and served it to a couple of friends. Let’s just say, there weren’t any leftovers. The only animal products were one egg in the lentil loaf and a bit of butter in the potatoes, which could probably have been omitted. You’ll see why.

Recipe 1: Red Lentil Loaf
(Based on this recipe.)

  • 1 cup dried red lentils (Purchased from bulk bin at Rainbow Grocery w/ my own bag. Zero packaging.)
  • 1 cup rolled oats (Purchased from bulk bin at Rainbow Grocery w/ my own bag. Zero packaging.)
  • 1 whole egg (Carboard egg carton. Usually I can return these to the guy at the farmer’s market when he’s there.)
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (Purchased from bulk bin at Berkeley Bowl w/ my own bag. Zero packaging. The original recipe calls for brown rice, but we were out and the quinoa worked out fine.)
  • 1 cup grated carrots (Purchased naked. No bag.)
  • 1/2 an onion, diced (Purchased naked. No bag.)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (Purchased naked. No bag.)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (Glass bottle with metal cap.)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (Metal can with plastic cap.)
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage (Plastic container of dried sage that I already had. When this is used up, will buy dried sage in bulk and refill container.)
  • salt and pepper, to taste (Cardboard box of salt. Bulk pepper corns from Whole Foods bulk jars.)

Cook lentils. (3 cups water to 1 cup dried red lentils. Stove top, 15 to 20 minutes.) Preheat oven to 350°F. Oil a loaf pan and sprinkle sides and bottom with a tbsp of oats. Sautee onion and garlic in olive oil. Whisk egg replacer and water until light and foamy. In a large bowl, combine the egg replacer and lentils with the remaining ingredients. Press mixture into loaf pan and bake for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand 5 to 10 minutes before slicing. Served with tomato garlic pasta sauce from a jar because I didn’t have time to make a homemade sauce.

Plastic: None that will go in my weekly tally. Plastic for a future tally includes the plastic cap on the soy sauce and the plastic sage container. A final bit of plastic is inside the metal cap and lid of the olive oil bottle and the pasta sauce jar.

Recipe 2: Turnip Mashed Potatoes
(Inspired by a dish our friend Kari brought to Thanksgiving this year, but thrown together without a recipe.)

  • 1 large russet potato (Purchased naked. No bag.)
  • 3 medium turnips (Purchased naked. No bag.)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (Glass bottle with metal cap.)
  • 1 tablespoon butter (cardboard box and wax paper wrapper.)
  • Leftover wasabi from my sushi birthday dinner (but you could just use regular horseradish) (Cardboard take-out container with plastic lid.)
  • salt and pepper, to taste (Cardboard box of salt. Bulk pepper corns from Whole Foods bulk jars.)

Coat turnips with olive oil and bake in oven until tender. At the same time, boil the potato on the stove or in the microwave. When both are done, mash them together. Add butter, wasabi, salt and pepper.

The turnips will add a little bit of crunch if they’re not done all the way. You can decide if you want that or not. The butter wasn’t necessary. This dish was my solution for what to do with leftover wasabi. A few nights later, Michael used the leftover pickled ginger in a stir fry.

Plastic: The plastic lid from the wasabi container already included in last week’s tally. A final bit of plastic is inside the metal cap of the olive oil bottle and whatever shiny stuff coats the outside of the butter box. Not sure if the waxed paper is actually waxed or coated with plastic. Will have to find out.

Rainbow Grocery sells bulk olive oil. You bring your own container and fill it yourself. I’m going to do that when this bottle runs out. I might be able to buy soy sauce that way too, but not sure about that. Plastic-free butter? I don’t think it’s possible, even if you make your own. Plastic-free tomato sauce? This is on my list of things to learn to make. For now, though, I’m collecting the glass jars to use for food storage despite the plastic lining the metal lids.

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I made your lentil loaf tonight, with green instead of red lentils, since that’s what I had on hand. It came out pretty tasty. Thanks for the recipe!

Juli in NYC


We’re really lucky that our local grassfed dairy sells 1 pound blocks of butter wrapped only in a paper wrapper.

It’s expensive as heck, too, which has cut down our butter consumption quite a bit.


Way to be famous “Little Betty”! Everybody check out Beth’s picture on this CNet Article:

har mar

SO proud of you!

and hungry now too.

and cracking up that your cats leave you comments.


We sorry we knock over ur plant thsmorning.

We not do again k?

terrible person

Wait, “we” made lentil loaf and turnips? Take credit where credit is due — YOU made them from concept to cleanup.

The leftover ginger from the sushi on January 6 gave a nice flavor to the stir-fried bok choy the other night. Adventures in food conservation!

BTW, it’s good that you gave Kari credit for inspiring the turnips. Not for “turnips cooking”. OK, no one is going to understand this, but I had to mention it.


Another good use for leftover sushi condiments: take the soy sauce, wasabi, pickled ginger, lemon wedge, or whatever else they gave you and use it as a marinade. I let chicken breasts marinate in that mixture overnight, and they were great. My husband loved it, although he did give me that “you’re completely insane” look when I told him what I’d done. You could use tofu as the protein for a vegetarian meal.


Totally cheap, easy vegan egg replacer:
1 Tbsp of oil
1 Tbsp water and
1 Tbsp soy flour or instant soymilk powder (available in bulk)
This replaces 1 egg and has the same binding power.
Soymilk replaces cow milk straight as well.


Beth-you can use a soy egg replacer too and it comes in a box like a cake mix. I have used it many times.

Are the pototoes spicy with the horseradish? Can you omit it? You should start a meme on getting people to try your recipes. Just tag some people. It would be fun to see what people’s families thought.

I like the mashed potatoes with the turnips because there is no way my kids would eat turnips unless I hid them. I am going to try this recipe.


Jessica at Bwlchyrhyd

Tomato sauce is the EASIEST thing in the world to make. The key is to wait until there are gluts of tomatoes in the summer and buy damaged tomatoes from the farmers’ market cheaply at the end of the day. Then make it in quantity and freeze — you will wonder why on earth you ever spent money buying it…


I understand that you can use silken tofu to replace eggs, since all that the eggs are really doing in this recipe is providing the glue that holds the loaf together. So if you really do decide to go vegan… :-)

Beth Terry

MaumauluUkaKane, just trying to figure out how to pronounce your name is tying me up in knots. Where’s the punctuation?

Brussel sprouts, yes. Love them even though I know it’s kinda weird. Kidney, tripe, haggis… no freakin’ way! And I don’t eat Spam, either.



Wow! Turnips. Will you go completely retro & put together brussel sprouts, kidney pie, tripe stew & haggis?