The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

Category Archives: Recipes

December 27, 2011

Mark P’s Plastic-free Homemade Tomato Ketchup

Making my own ketchup has been on my “To Do” list since my last bottle ran out over a year ago.  (Clearly, ketchup is not much of a priority in the Terry-Stoler household.) Still, it’s a good condiment to have on hand, and I planned to consult with bloggers Danielle or RobJ who had already started making their own. What I didn’t realize was that just across the San Francisco Bay, my good friend Mark Peters had been making his own ketchup for ages, along with homemade mayo, homemade bread — sans bread machine — and much more. Sometimes I’m so quick to jump online for information I forget about the real life flesh and blood friends who are part of my life. SORRY GUYS! One of my New Years Resolutions is to spend more quality face time with the people I love. And this weekend, I started with Mark.

Yesterday afternoon, I went over to Mark’s house with a bag of tomatoes, an onion, and a willingness to learn. He’d… Read the rest

February 8, 2011

My Favorite Plastic-free Cold Remedies

Hacking cough, running nose, body aches and chills… these are just a few of the souvenirs I brought home from my trip to Florida last week. Fun times. So, anyway, I thought I would recap some of my favorite plastic-free cold remedies.

Vegetarian hot & sour soup in stainless steel tiffin

When I have a cold, my favorite treat is Chinese hot and sour soup. Living plastic-free, though, means that I can’t just pick up the phone and order it to be delivered. Lucky for me, Michael is usually on hand and willing to run down the street with our stainless steel tiffin and fill it up for me. We’ve never had any hassle from either Chinese restaurant in our neighborhood — Great Wall or Becky’s Chinese — when we bring our own container, although the staff at Becky’s once tried to put the tiffin in a plastic bag. It’s got a handle. It doesn’t need any bag!

Spicy virgin bloody mary

The alcohol is unnecessary. I … Read the rest

January 24, 2011

Quick and (almost) Plastic-Free Broth / Soup Base Tip

Homemade stock, broth, soup base (whatever you call that watery stuff that is the basis for so many recipes) is delicious and certainly healthy. But it takes time to make, and apparently I’m not the only one who often doesn’t have the time to make soup stock from scratch. I discovered several others like me this weekend while posting a whole slew of Show Your Plastic Trash Challenge tallies. A handful of people ended up with plastic-lined cans or plastic-coated tetrapaks of chicken or other broth in their weekly plastic waste collections. And after leaving the same advice three times in a row, I thought I ought to post it here.

My favorite store-bought broth is called Better Than Bouillon.

Better Than Bouillon is a concentrated paste that comes in a little glass jar with a metal lid. Of course, there is a plastic coating inside the lid (as there is inside all metal lids), and as I recall, there may have been a clear plastic security seal around… Read the rest

October 6, 2010

Dry Summer Produce to Keep Through Winter Plastic-Free

I often get questions about how to store summer produce in the freezer without zip lock bags. People who are trying to eat locally or who have big gardens want to be able to enjoy summer and fall fruits and vegetables through the winter without plastic. I personally use glass mason jars and airtight stainless steel containers in the freezer. But Jean Nick, who writes the Nickel Pincher column (“eco-advice — that’s ‘eco’ for eco-logical and eco-nomical”) every Thursday on has a different idea, which she offered to share with Fake Plastic Fish readers.

The following is a guest post from Jean. At the end of this post are photos of my own attempt this weekend to take some of her advice, with interesting results.

Drying Produce

Drying food is the oldest, simplest, and greenest way to preserve the extra bounty from your garden or your local farmers’ market. And if you make your own it can also-be plastic-free… Read the rest

July 7, 2010

Walnut Mushroom Lentil Veggie Burgers that would have been vegan if I hadn’t added cheese at the last minute

This past weekend, I brought homemade veggie burgers to my friends Red and Jen’s house for the 4th of July. While everyone else was downing hamburgers, I was putting my veggie burgers on the grill and praying that they would hold together. The result was mixed. They tasted great but were kind of mushy. I was going for something like the walnut mushroom burgers from Amanda’s in Berkeley, but I don’t think I hit it. Here’s the recipe and plastic-free ingredients I used based on the lentil walnut burger recipe I found at Maybe I should reduce the amount of lentils next time. What do you think?


1 cup red lentils (from Whole Foods bulk bin in my own container)

2 cups water (tap, of course)

1 tbsp olive oil (bought in bulk in own container from The Pasta Shop in Oakland)

1 cup finely chopped onion (loose, no plastic bag)

4 cloves garlic, minced (loose, no plastic bag)

1 tsp ground cumin (from Whole Foods bulk … Read the rest

June 14, 2010

Homemade “Power Bars” and “Wheat Thins” Without Plastic

You guys, I made Wheat Thins and fake Lara Bars this weekend! I actually baked without making a huge disaster. Not even a small disaster. And I cleaned up the kitchen too.

When I decided to live plastic-free, I had to give up energy bars, crackers, and most processed snack foods. Other plastic-free bloggers have found themselves with the same dilemma: how to munch without the plastic, as well as the additives that come in those crunchy snacks.

Well, my blogger friend Katie from Kitchen Stewardship has published a whole e-Book called Healthy Snacks to Go. (If you purchase via links on this site, My Plastic-Free Life earns a small commission!) Katie sent me a copy to review, and what I love about this book is that most of the snack ideas can be made plastic-free.

Katie’s recipes are very, very easy to understand even for someone like me who is phobic about baking after an early pita bread fiasco left me covered in flour with nothing to show for my efforts… Read the rest

June 12, 2010

Homemade Chocolate Soda

It’s 90°F here in Oakland. The kitties are lolling around and so are we. Time to break out the soda maker and have ourselves a little treat. And by “ourselves,” I mean me.   Kitties don’t get to have chocolate (tough life) and Michael wasn’t particularly interested.  Freak.


1) Carbonated water (via Soda Club soda maker) 2) Homemade chocolate syrup (recipe posted on My Plastic-free Life) 3) Ice (from stainless steel ice cube tray) 4) Glass drinking straw (via Glass Dharma)

Mix it all up and suck. Awesome, vegan, and plastic-free.… Read the rest

September 7, 2009

Happy Labor Day Pesto and Potatoes

It’s Labor Day, and I’m trying to take a break from thinking about plastic. Because you know what? Once you have your systems in place, it’s easy to eat great food without worrying about plastic waste. For example, what I’m eating right now…

It’s a snack, for sure, inspired by my favorite pizza in the whole world, Potesto from Pizza Rustica in my neighborhood. But unlike Potesto pizza, my little snack today is 100% vegan.

I’ll tell you the ingredients but not the amounts because I just tossed everything into the food processor and kept adding and tasting and adding and tasting until it seemed right to me.

1 very big bunch of fresh basil (from the farmers market)


Several handfuls of roasted almonds (also from the farmers market. I used almonds because I don’t like the taste of pine nuts, although I can’t really explain why. I don’t like hazel nuts either, for a similar unexplainable… Read the rest
February 9, 2009

Almost Vegan Crockpot Lasagne (Deliciously plastic-free)

I’ve been having fun with my new-to-me crockpot. Thanks to everyone who suggested recipes. One of the perks of having a blog is all the free advice from readers. My first easy project was froghair’s black bean chili. Confidence boosted, I tried vegan lasagne a few days later. Here are the ingredients:

Thanks to my friends Jen and Red for the Rainbow Grocery gift certificate they gave me for Christmas. Most of the ingredients came from bulk bins at that amazing store. Thanks also to JessTrev who told me about Bionaturae tomato paste that comes in a glass jar rather than BPA-lined can and who also told me I could put regular dry lasagne noodles (not necessary to buy the quick kind) into the crockpot if I used enough liquid.

This recipe is mostly a product of my own imagination. We love it. I hope the inspiration keeps coming!

Ingredients: *Dry lasagne noodles (from Rainbow bulk bin, brought home in my own cloth bag)

Sauce layer: *1 glass jar BionaturaeRead the rest