A to Z: Dr. Plastic Picker’s Less Plastic More Plants Cookbook for Kids! – Dr. Plastic Picker

Category: A to Z: Dr. Plastic Picker’s Less Plastic More Plants Cookbook for Kids!

It was so good!

October 6, 2023

by Dr. Plastic Picker

Good morning Dear Readers! My body feels right again. It’s 5:27am and I’m back onto a semi-normal sleeping schedule and I put my phone away last night and wasn’t re-watching my reels on Instagram endlessly. It was so fun though! I think all of us were essentially making our own music videos of our lives. But I had to get my taxes in on time, and it was a rude awakening how inefficient it is to gather your tax paperwork and listen to Instagram reels at the same time. It reminded me that being able to focus my brain is really important. But I was so happy on the Instagram reels honestly. LOL.

But my tax paperwork is all gathered, and Mr. Plastic Picker and I are happy with our savings rate and our general trajectory of our financial lives. Our savings rate dipped but still over the 40% range because we chose to love the earth with some decisions we have been making. But going over the tax paperwork, there is quite a bit of fluff still that we can cut out of our lives. We have in general made very smart financial decisions and life decisions, and many of those decisions now have to do with ensuring a livable planet for all of us. But we’ve tried as much as we can to make contingency plans, and those include investing in property up in Oregon. I’m realizing how much it costs us yearly and it is a chunk of change, but honestly in the grand scheme of the price of timber, the happiness to our family, the value of the land going up, and water rights and salmon and all that – it’s 100% worth it. I only took AP Micro-Macro Economics in high school, but I am also the daughter of an accountant. In the end money and economics, is what you think something is worth. And for me, the 197.5 acres up in Oregon with the forest that we are able to preserve and prevent logging, the farm house , and the mountain and the peace we have found there – it has been well worth it. It keeps me motivated to keep on working, and reminds me why I’m an environmentalist and a climate and health advocate.

Why did I come onto the blog this morning? Oh yes! I wanted to remember the Lentil soup that happened a few days ago. I honestly don’t think the lentil soup can ever be replicated. There are still leftovers that I’ll have at the airport today because we are flying up to UC Berkeley for homecoming and to see our son. (I doubt Prof Adam Aron is reading this, but if he is – yes I know I am flying and the carbon is spewing but it’s systems change and I need to see my son!). But the lentil soup was so wonderful. It was honestly free, because I had to use up the lentils we had bought months ago. The tomatoes were from the leftover cherry tomatoes that were not quite good to eat, and I stewed during the crazy end of summer harvesting time. It’s on Instagram reels if you want to check it out. The rosemary was from the garden, and from a sprig that I propagated from a friend’s plant. The sweet potato and onion were honestly all the veggies we had in the house that day. Next time I’ll put carrots in. The spices were what I could approximate from the recipe. I used chilli powder, probably too much garlic powder and some oregono/basil. And I didn’t have vegetable broth, so just put in hot water and a bit of extra salt. I threw in some quinoa because we had some we again needed to use up. And the result, it was really delicious! Mr. Plastic Picker and my daughter, they thought so too.

So the finances are done for Tax Year 2022. The new inspiring lentil soup adventure was unexpected and will be on the rotation again. And Oregon properties? Worth it, because unfortunately I do think that my children will need to migrate north. And the same kdrama in our lives? Worth it. Buried at the end of this post? I look at the single picture I have of a certain boy, and I smile because for some reason I think I know him. And I really do think he is going to be my son-in-law. It’s uncanny the feeling. But that is not my narrative, but I always smile for some reason when I look at that picture. Just one picture amongst thousands of pictures I have of my daughter and 6 shots of my lentil soup from a few nights ago!

That’s me ! Dr. Plastic Picker. Wearing my mommy heart on my sleeve. I’m open and honest, and I have nothing to hide. But fossil fuel companies????!!! I see you! A bunch of text messages were sent to me by friends, and fossil fuel companies have infiltrated the very core of academia through board positions and “funding” research. In California, in particular Stanford and the UC system. Wow. That’s a fight that some of my very brave friends are fighting. I joined in with them during the recent protest that brought exposure to this fact, and includes other demands that these academics and students have of the UC system. They are so brave and as a friend and the climate and health voice, I was there too.

Wow. This one was game changer!

November 5, 2022

by Dr. Plastic Picker

It’s true the best things in life are simple. And this biscuit recipe was so simple and easy. We had run out of yeast at our house. So I couldn’t make pizza dough. My home-made pizza dough is honestly really good these days. We ran out of pasta. We ran out of bread. We ran out tortillas. We weren’t in the mood for rice. We had 4 chicken sausages we wanted to eat, and needed to use the asparagus up – but needed some kind of carb/bread on the side. I had looked up a few biscuit recipes and had taken a screenshot of this one. I’ve made biscuits in the past. I’ve definitely made the boxed biscuits from Bisquick, Red Lobster and the Pillsbury refrigerated ones in the past. I used to think I loved biscuits, and remember when pregnant with our oldest walking 2 miles in the snow in Cambridge to KFC to get some of their biscuits.

But now, I have found MY BISCUIT RECIPE. It’s so simple and easy, and it’s going to be staple in our house. I just made us that much healthier, because these biscuits are really good and much healthier than the store bought and definitely better than KFC. It just really pulled dinner together, and it’s honestly going to be a great food waste recipe. I’ve realized that if you carb is healthy and homemade (like my pizza dough), I can use the bits and pieces from the fridge to create a healthy and fun meal. So here is the biscuit recipe that is now my go to!


2 cups flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup oil

2/3 cup milk


  1. Sift flour and baking powder. Mix dry ingredients.
  2. Put in oil in measuring cup and add milk (can use plant-based), Do not stir.
  3. Add to dry ingredients.
  4. Mix lightly to moisten ingredients and knead one or two times to form a ball.
  5. Roll out on a flat, clean surface, until about 1/2 inch thick.
  6. Cut into 2″ biscuits (used a cookie cutter for fun!)
  7. Bake on an ungreased pan at 475F for 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned.

And that my friends is it! This recipe works for us because we always have oil, and I can sub in plant-based milk. And we paired it with the left-overs in our fridge to have this wonderful dinner. We saved money and it’s healthier. I heated up a biscuit right now with almond butter and had it with my matcha green tea soy latte. We definitely save in plastic as it’s homemade and no packaging. All the prepared biscuit mixes have palm oil in it, so this definitely helps the orangatangs.

dinner last night.

And with dinner last night, although we had the chicken sausage, my daughter sauteed it with canned pinto beans and added some more spice. So that cut the carbon footprint of our “protein/meat.” And the sauteed asparagus was really good.

So we are happy with our new best biscuits ever recipe! Sometimes the best things in life are simple, and this recipe is simple and matches our palate. I’m looking forward to using all our various cookie cutter shapes to make different biscuit shapes!

From a friend of a friend’s website.

September 4, 2022

by Dr. Plastic Picker

I’m sitting in the kitchen on labor day weekend and there is a heatwave in San Diego. It was >101 degrees in Mission Valley yesterday, as we were stuck in traffic trying to get past the 15 and 8 intersection. The new Snapdragon Stadium is up, and there was an Arizona versus SDSU football game. Young people were walking in the >100 heat on edgeways trying to get to the stadium and not pay for parking. The stadium is also bordered on the east by an asphalt parking lot. I know eventually there are some plans for green space, but from our CMAX Energi Hybrid that at some points was relatively fuel efficient for it’s day – it looked like literally a hot mess.

I had just last week been on a series of marathon interviews for the local news on extreme heat. Our HMO media person had reached out as I’m known in our organization to be “on call for the earth” and for these impactful opportunities – I certainly am. But after saying on the news multiple times hydrate, rest, get in the shade, and enact the climate action plan – I was watching our citizens walk over asphalt to get to a stadium and then to hit in the hot sun. Most of them were young and fit, but I did not see any reusable water bottles? Do you know if they are even allowed in the stadium? As a pediatrician, I just imagined San Diegan after San Diegan suffering heat exhaustion and maybe a few with heat stroke. I imagined the colleagues manning the health tent, and how frustrating it would be. But at some point, I’m able to disconnect and realize they are on – and I’m off. I did my duty and was on the news four times. I did my duty and was part of the grassroots movement to help pass $54 billion in California legislation that invests this sizable amount to helping bend the arc toward a sustainable future.

And now I’m in my house in the early morning with my daughter. She’s making us breakfast and adding an extra mushy banana to the pancake mix. In the relativeness of our imaginary place in the world, I know we are incredibly fortunate. We have air conditioning. We have solar panels. We have a garden that will survive the heat wave because I saved our extra bathwater and have been giving the plants a bit extra. But being a bit more fortunate in a world that still needs saving, means a need to do a little more. But I’m resting this weekend, and spending a gloriously slow weekend with my teen children.

Since finishing my Assistant Boss term a year early (I opted to leave at year 5 versus year 6) effective end of May, it’s been a gloriously long summer with my children. I missed so much when they were younger. Preschool costume parades, school award assemblies and the one time my daughter did ice skating camp and the end of camp performance – I remember crying in my office I was so frustrating that I couldn’t take that Friday afternoon off. Now looking back I would have told my younger self, just call in sick that day. If it was that important to you. I had not done that in fifteen years, and I 100% know it’s a common thing that is done. One day in 15 years, is not bad. Anyone who tells you otherwise is not human, or at least a dishonest one.

Hmmm, why did I start blogging? Oh yes. Just reminding myself and the readership to eat plants. Eat more plants. That is one of the easiest ways to heal yourself and heal the earth. The crazy thing is the world has made it so difficult for us to have the time to grow the plants, gather the plants, buy the plants and have time to cook the plants. The evil-doers of the world would rather take the plants, over process them, and wrap plastic in the them – and effectively make them cancer-causing agents and pollute the ocean with more plastic.

So I am sitting here in the morning and thinking of the beautiful banana that my daughter is adding to the pancake mix. I guess bananas have dopamine in them. Who knows what the mechanism is for the dopamine from the bananas effect on your health, or whether that dopamine is absorbed in the gut? We all do 100% know that eating more plants elevates your mood and gives us better health.

Grateful thoughts to the avocados we finished this last week, as our daughter made home-made guacamole to share. Grateful thoughts to the last of the tomatoes that we added to the stir frys an the pastas this week, and those tomatoes were from our garden. Grateful thoughts to the three large pumpkins we have in the back garden waiting for grandmother to come home from New York to decide when it’s time to take down the vines. Grateful to the Aerobin 400 composter that powers our garden, and helps us avert methane from landfill at the same time.

I’m one of the happiest pediatricians I know these days, and I think it’s simply because I’m eating more plants. I think my favorite dinosaur has got to be a brontosaurus! Yes it is, because they eat plants as well!

Kids’ breakfast this morning.

March 1, 2022

by Dr. Plastic Picker

It really helps me to blog every morning. My mind and imagination kind of just wanders in the morning. I actually got a full night of sleep after I finished by last new-favorite K-drama. Oh My Venus – is soooo cute. Male lead, super cute and super hot. I’ve started doing some arm- weights inspired by the show. Anyway, after a good night of sleep and getting up a bit on time to blog – I get to just explore things. I started one blogpost which was good, but decided to just trash it. And then I sent some climate-emails. Then I started making breakfast for the kids, and inspired by some side salad given to us by the HMO machinery, I made a leftover vegetables vegan omelette with besan (chickpea flour). It turned out really well.

All I did was cut up the left over vegetables, added some eggplant and a small carrot. I heated everything in a bit of canola oil in the frying pan. Then seasoned with a bit of onion powder. Besan flour is chickpea flour, and you have to mix it with water to the consistency desired. After the vegetables which is a food-waste project are cooked to desired texture, I just pour the besan flour mix into the pan and cook. It cooks like egg. The only caveat is that you have to make sure it cook it all, since uncooked besan flour has a odd flavor. The key I’ve found is to really mix it before you pour it in to make the “vegan omellette.” I added some truffle powder as well.

My daughter had it this morning already and she really loved it. She has discriminatory taste. Anyway, I started wandering as I always do – how much money did I save? i searched “vegan omellette san diego” which led by to Breakfast Republic website.

OMG the vegan omelet is $20!!! I just made my kids a $20-30 breakfast and averted methane! This place is actually pretty good. But because I’ve been wandering mentally around, I’ve realized that they have a huge push for reaching sustainability. I’m going to have our premed intern Hakim reach out to them and see if they can’t try to feed us for the AAP Youth Arts Exhibit. It’s great advertising for them since we definitely are bringing in their demographic.

That’s it! I’m looking for free food for our exhibit. Because I’m trying to save the earth by being FISE (financially independent to save the earth), and this whole thing is fun because I try to be financially savy about the whole thing.

Will let you know if they respond!

Left over veggies and some eggplant and carrots from the fridge.
Passion fruit! Keep your own passion!

September 20, 2021

by drplasticpicker

I’m feeling selfish today. I am fundamentally a giving person but I’m a bit tired right now. Some of it was this wonderful weekend, and as an introvert – it took me emotionally most of the weekend to recover from the coastal clean up. I can’t explain it. I love organizing it and it is the right thing to do. I was energized from it, but also drained. I want to create these experiences for friends as this is a way to activate more physicians and it pushes me out of my comfort zone. But honesetly, it was emotionally draining and I can only do these a few times a year. Yesterday morning I walked by myself along the beach and gathered three bags of trash. That actually refreshed me. Even after I literally stepped in doo doo. But that is an entire saga that is detailed on Instagram.

Anyhow. My sister-in-law has a very productive passion fruit vine, and my mother-in-law as well has a beginning vine. I did not realize how wondrous passion fruit is! My mom showed me how to put the passion fruit innards in a blender, and yesterday I made the kids passion fruit and grape fruit juice with a bit of honey. It was wondrous!!!

Let me look up the nutritional content of passion fruit. [PAUSE] It continues to be wondrous!!! And here is some information I found on the internet. So wondrous!!! We’ll be eating all the passion fruit from our vine, thank you very much!

From Healthline https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/passion-fruit#nutrition

Passion fruit is a good source of nutrients, especially fiver, vitamin C, and provitamin A.

A single purple passion fruit contains:

  • Calories: 17
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Vitamin C: 9% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Vitamin A: 8% of the DV
  • Iron: 2% of the DV
  • Potassium: 2% of the DV

Though this may not seem like much, keep in mind that these are the values for a single, small fruit that has only 17 calories. Calorie for calorie, it’s a good source of fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin A.

It’s also rich in beneficial plant compounds, including carotenoids and polyphenols.

No squirrel! You will not get my passion fruit!!! I know a lot of people at work like you. Too big from scavenging off other people’s creativity and ideas. The other mamamls will come back as will the shorebirds after we rewild this world!
New habit, matcha green tea.

September 14, 2021

by drplasticpicker

I had struggled with trying to find the most sustainable coffee. I used the drink the instant packets that come from the Korean market that had the sugar and creamer in it already. I usually needed to add more creamer and more sugar. Honestly coffee was a liquid caffeinated cookie for me. Then there was buying coffee for clinic, and did I buy the carry-away coffee carafes for the clinic, versus the different kinds of coffee makers that have so much disposable waste involved? Little plastic containers for creamers. Sugar packets and different sugar substitutes and then the different wooden versus plastic stirrers. When I pick up trash on the beach, there is an inordinate amount of coffee trash. Think of how much time and effort the world spends on drinking coffee, and it’s because we are all medicating ourselves from a life that is too rushed.

So rather than finding out which creamer was most sustainable or which coffee beans were rainforest certified and fair trade, I just kind of figured out my life and am trying to live a more sustainable life. And then my body did not need coffee anymore. It was a month that was a bit difficult truly weaning my body. I remember again it was because I was binge watching Dawsons Creek that helped me get off coffee. And now I drink a matcha green tea latte in the morning. I put just a bit of sugar in it, and can use any kind of creamer (right now I’m using soy milk) and I make no waste with my healthier kind of caffeine in the morning. My mood is more even as well.

I don’t think the world is going to stop drinking coffee, but I did. It was the right thing for me. There is so much tea in our house and clinic, that I’m saving a lot of money as well. It’s astronomic how much coffee costs and how much waste it generates. But in my little corner of the world, I’ve stopped drinking coffee. If you drink coffee, that is OK. I’m composting those coffee grounds for you and the earth. I was able to get the coffee grounds from the HMO coffee shop yesterday and they are going into our Aerobin 400 composter!

Got it! It was a good day!
The spices I had all along that I needed last night.

September 6, 2021

by drplasticpicker

Wow. Dinner was a complete and utter and delightful and healthy surprise. We had gone out to dinner on Saturday and had felt very, for the lack of a better word, heavy. We had gone to a nice family style high-end American-fare restaurant and we all had sandwhiches and various burgers and salad. The first bites were good, but afterwards all my daughter could mention was how much butter and oil there was on everything.

When our family moved toward a more plant-based diet and especially when I stopped drinking coffee with all that cream and sugar, my palate fundamentally changed. Without all the processed sugar that comes in pre-packaged foods, real food made at home and in general life became more real and flavorful and sweet.


Wow. That was easy and VEGAN!


  1. can of diced tomatos with water
  2. one more can of water
  3. one zuchinni chopped
  4. left over carrots chopped
  5. 1/4 cup of lentils
  6. 1/2 cup of beans mixed soaked over night
  7. generous spoonful of better than boillon
  8. sprinkle in a grain 1/4 of a cup (quinoa or couscous)
  9. put in a 1/2 tablespoon of whatever seasoning you like
  10. bean function on instapot 20 minutes

Serve with leftover bread or crackers, or whatever you want.

All I have to say is there are a lot of good stuff in this light on the beans “chilli.” A keeper for my house. I’m definitely doing this every week! I made this recipe all by myself!!!!

It was really good.

September 1, 2021

by drplasticpicker

Yesterday was a really big climate win day. I put it on Instagram @drplasticpicker and my personal facebook page. County Board of Supervisors voted to pass 3-2 for the county to join San Diego Community Power. This gives our region a shot at meeting 2035 GHG goals. This was big. Very big. I was only one of two health care voices that came. Anyone can sign up to speak. But Dr. Bruce Bekkar and I were the two health care voices that spoke up as part of the Public Health Advisory Council of Climate Actions Campaign. All the other doctors were working. But for me, I use my educational leave time and OFF time to do climate work.


New recipe for the residents.

August 25, 2021

by drplasticpicker

I have the HMO Family Practice Residents this morning. I helped start this rotation with my old mentor almost a decade ago. Now I just give one lecture on Pediatric Obesity and mentor one morning. I used to think it was a burden, but now I really enjoy my one day. I make muffins for the three residents and I take them on a field trip to visit a former resident who works upstairs. He is a friend. I have a bag of our family’s garden produce with tomatoes, eggplants and peppers to give him. Today I did vary it up a bit. I usually make the HMO residents banana walnut muffins but this morning I was up at 430am and wanted to use up the semi-mushy apples. So I made almost vegan apple cinnamon muffins. I also cooked down most of the apples for my own kids for breakfast/lunch. My teen daughter is needing more fiber, if you know what I mean.