August 22, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Danielle, Week 36



I need a vegetarian meatball recipe that has awesome flavor and texture of traditional meatballs. If anyone has suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it.

Location:, North Carolina, United States

Name: Danielle

Week: 36

Personal Info:

See my week 1 post :)

Danielle’s personal blog:

Total items: 16

Total weight:

Items: Recyclable
3 yogurt cups (#5)

Items: Nonrecyclable
2 windows (from spaghetti)
1 plastic wrap (from Parmesan)
2 produce tags
2 milk cap + ring (glass bottled milk)
1 meatless meatball package

5 wrist bands from waterpark (they look like paper, but they don’t tear… assuming they are plastic)

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
Spaghetti: I haven’t bought spaghetti since last September. I actually had a half a box in my pantry since last fall… so when my daughter asked for spaghetti & meatballs… I decided to by a box so that I could use up what I had. Obviously, I can make spaghetti :)

Meatballs: They make spaghetti complete. These weren’t amazing so I wouldn’t buy them again… but I have been on the hunt for a plastic-free yummy (in taste & texture) veg. meatball recipe.

Parmesan: I need to buy a big chunk without plastic, grate it and freeze it for these unexpected times when I need it that way I’m not stuck with plastic.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
I’d give up meatballs. Though I know I can find an alternative! :)

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?

Waterpark: Can’t go without the wristbands. It’s (at most) a once a year thing, so I’m ok with it.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
I’m still doing one meal a week that I “allow” myself to use plastic. This week spaghetti and meatballs was that meal.

I also let my kids pick out one snack a week that can come in plastic. Though, I should mention that some weeks they don’t pick anything that comes in plastic. This week it was individual yogurt cups. I can’t complain that’s what they asked for their “special snack.”

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
Besides the milk and lettuce, I won’t be using any of the items in the photo.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?

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9 Comments on "Plastic Challenge: Danielle, Week 36"

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Oh, okay. Just because egg is a great binder… it holds everything together. But definitely not vegan.

Beth- They definitely don’t have to be vegan!! They can have loads of cheese and eggs! ;)

Becca- Thanks for the compliment!! I really appreciate your help… I’ll give them a try again sometime. :)

Oh, hmm. I didn’t change anything in the recipe, and they held together pretty well. The vital wheat gluten seems to bind the mashed up beans and other ingredients. I usually bake them, rather than frying them. I flip them after some time (according to the directions). The first time I did it, they crumbled a bit when I flipped them. Now, I just turn them with a fork gently. It might be worth a try. They are a staple meal in our household. I hope they work for you!

By the way – I love your blog!

Danielle, do they have to be vegan or can you use eggs?

Hey Becca! Thanks for the suggestion! I actually do have Veganomicon and have made the bean balls before… taste is super yummy…but I have never been able to get them to hold together very well…. usually they end up kind of mushed in the sauce (a beany Bolognese sauce ;) ) … do you have a tip for keeping them together??

The tastiest veggie meatball recipe comes from Veganomicon (a must have cookbook if you prepare a lot of vegetarian meals!). Here is a a link to the recipe:

OMG!! Melissa… thank you SO much!! I’m stoked! I eat cheese… in fact, I have a half a wheel of cheddar (shredded) in my freezer!! …AND I bought eggplant at the farmers market… so it’s looking like I have everything to make that recipe!! Will make it in the next couple of days!!! :)

Sounds yummy. Though I wonder if it would be ok cheese free.

I’ll post the meatball recipe request on Facebook and see if we get any responses.