vegan dreams – Dr. Plastic Picker

Tag: vegan dreams

I made it. It was good. It was baked with lots of vegetables.

April 21, 2021

by drplasticpicker

This was really good. If I plan on cooking it again and it has a lot of vegetables and is baked, then I know I’m on to something. Cooking should be simple. Dr. DP our Pediatric GI specialist had shared a Spinach Mushroom Risotto Recipe on @kpkidsgoodfoodgoodearth and it is so simple and good. We’ve made it now at least four times. When you have a recipe like that, you know you are on to something good.

Last night, I kind of stumbled onto my own versian of a traditional South Asian dish which was really good for us. I had heard about “Vegan Buffalo Wings” and had tried two failed attempts. I think the entire name threw me off as I was expecting something that actually tasted like buffalo wings. I think these kind of dishes can indeed be a side-dish and in place of a meat, but I’d rather call it Baked Besan Coated Cruciferous Vegetables. We ended up dipping it in a balsamic vinegar creamy mayo type sauce which was really good.

Besan is chickpea flour. It’s gluten free. I am not gluten free, but for some people it seems to be a catchy thing these days even if one does not have any gluten-intolerance. Some people who are gluten free need to be gluten free. A large minority just want to feel special or they have borderline eating disorders. Oh, did I just say that??? LOL. It’s my blog and remember I’m a bit tired and sleep deprived from trying to save the earth a lot yesterday. But this is what many doctors think when you tell them you are gluten free and you don’t have celiac disease.

Anyway, Besan is an interesting flour that I’ve just started playing around with. It’s a staple of South Asian cuisine. This is a really good general article about besan flour Me being “into” besan, is like someone who has just discovered tofu. For me tofu is just a normal ingredient like onions. I’m sure if anyone reading this is South Asian, than the entire plant based world being into besan is probably hilarious. But it’s an interesting new flour to me and make these vegetables taste really good. Plus its better for the environment and my wallet to eat cruciferous vegetables coated in besan than a chicken. Indeed after reading some Ecosia searched articles, coating vegetables in besan flour has been done for centuries in India and Pakistan.

Here is how Dr. Plastic Picker newbie Besan user did it. It was really good and my kids ate a lot of broccoli last night.


Mix together dry ingredients 1 cup of besan, some garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, some ground pepper, paprika, Italian seasoning, panko breadcrumbs about 1 cup. (get the gist, you are just seasoning it the way you want). Clean and cut broccoli florets, I used two broccolli heads and saved the stems for another meal. Soak broccoli florets in plant-based milk (1 cup) , and then however you like coat them with the mixed dry ingredients. I actually liked it when the dry ingredients became almost like a paste and I spread it on the broccoli. Bake on a baking sheet with silicon, probably greased with a cooking spray lightly. Bake 15 minutes, and then turn 5 minutes. That is it. Lots of deliciousness last night.

I bought besan flour at sprouts. I think you can get it at South Asian grocers. But Sprouts has it and it’s very affordable.

Easy and got to use a pretty bowl from my mom.

March 29, 2021

by drplasticpicker

Sometimes saving the earth and eating plant-based should be easy! Soy-milk yogurt was easy. Home-made pizza dough – easy. Instapot oatmeal – easy. Homemade granola – easy! Vegan bacon with rice paper which we tried this weekend, too many salt. Many “failures” this weekend trying to green our life (ask me about henna hair dye LOL), but soy-milk ricotta cheese???? EASY!!!


Easy Peasy Split Pea Soup: It really was free!

March 22, 2021

by drplasticpicker

I have been a Girl Scout Leader for seven years now. Seven years! The early years when the girls were young was actually really hard. I’m a pediatrician and not a teacher. They were really rambunctious and I felt like we were just giving them snacks all the time. Now they are 7th graders, and it’s easier. One of our troop members emailed us asking about doing a service project for homeless/shelterless people. In a very age appropriate way, she wanted to buy things for them that she thinks they need to ease their lives. And I felt like I’m finally the troop leader I need to be. Because indeed each of those girls are future leaders, and will help the world. Sometimes in the midst of planning badges and making time for meeting with other parents, I forget that. But this email reminded me, that Girl Scouts has always been a leadership program and about teaching them service. I was never good at crafts and sometimes did a haphazard job teaching them things. But I’m a leader and I’ve lived a life of service. I responded to this particular troop member’s email and it was very meaningful to me.


So much plant-based goodness packed into this, I can’t even start.

March 21, 2021

by drplasticpicker

I am still flaberghasted that this is all happening. About three years ago I had done weight watchers for a hot second, and I realized that something about my body with that food system was broken. Losing the weight was easy, but the joy out of eating and cooking was gone. I’m not even sure why I was doing weight watchers, since I was a normal BMI. I had gained a few normal middle aged pounds over the years, and I think Mr. Plastic Picker had been diagnosed as prediabetic or borderline. I saw others in my life trying it or doing keto, and I jumped along. This led to a weird period where I suddenly let an app that I paid $19.99 a month tell me what to eat. It was horrible. I had never dieted in my life before, and my brain was going through that keto-brain thing – and I knew this was not the answer. I stopped.

And then other things happened and I was unhappy at work for various reasons. Actually I was completely burned out due to colliding circumstances, and the world seemed broken and I was broken. And then I went to the beach and felt better picking up litter, and gosh darn it a lot of that litter was food waste. It seemed to all make sense. I decided to help save the earth from climate change, and so much of climate change has to do with the food we eat. I became an environmentalist and many environmentalist are vegans or vegetarians or plant-based, and they are so nice. And mostly non-judgmental. This allowed me space to try to combine living a less-plastic life with eating more plant-based, and then it happened. I’m eating really really good food, mostly whole and home-made, plant-based, exploring cooking, saving money, and it’s really good for our bodies. Our entire family is healthier. And with each meal we are saving the planet. Mind-blowing, I know. Who knew, saving the earth could be so delicious??!!!


$1 when made at home versus $3.50-$10 store bought

February 15, 2021

by drplasticpicker

Yes, this happened yesterday. I made chocolate hummus spread and also a jar of homemade peanut butter. I had texted one of our other pediatricians yesterday calling her off from weekend after hours clinic, and she texted me a picture of the special breakfast she was making for her family which including waffles with this delicious spread. I was intrigued. Hers was store bought which runs around $3.50 to $10 per container. My primary motivation is to reduce our plastic packaging and palm oil and most store-bought things contain both. It’s been fun to try to make more things at home, and it’s been so delicious. What I didn’t realize that after breakfast with this chocolate goodness topped on a banana, I would feel so full for most of the day.


The beginning.

July 21, 2020

by drplasticpicker

When I first met my environmental mentor Dr. Bruce Bekkar, we met at True Foods in Fashion Valley. I met him with Dr. Dave Niesen who is a young ED physician and in charge of wildfire responses. It was the retired ob-gyn climate activisit founding member of Surfrider, the young blond ED physician wildfire expert, and me – middle aged litter picking pediatrician and self proclaimed Dr. Plastic Picker. It was at a vegan restaurant and at that point I was not #tryingvegan. We met in one of those surreal moments ala Matrix, where Bruce Bekkar looked at us younger physicians. Bruce had given ground rounds 10 years ago at our HMO on climate change, and the profound lack of interest among the physicians was profound. And now here we were, two younger physicians from complete opposite ends of the healthcare organization had separately found him. He looked at us across the table and said, “I’ve been waiting for you two for 10 years.” And this is when this group of concerned climate activists was formed to try to move health care organizations within our region to a more sustainable model. But one of the most powerful memories I had during this vegan meal at this vegan restaurant with these two already vegan physicians, was how non-judmental their veganism was. They recommended a certain tofu broth dish. I was intrigued. I ate it, and mostly it was the conversation that I came for. We were planning, and dreaming and discussing the climate. But I left with a normal sized restaurant bill, a sense of wellness and I felt light but also full – if that makes sense.