Low waste & plant-based potstickers & stir fry

Low waste vegan potstickers & stir fried veggies with noodles

We were thinking of getting takeout after a long & busy day of holiday gatherings.  Beatrice wanted dumplings or potstickers.  

It dawned on me that we’ve made them before & it would be so much more low waste to make our own instead of getting a bunch of take out.  So we did!  

We stopped by the store for a few veggies to add to the potstickers, plus the wrappers & a box of noodles (in paper).  The wrappers & tofu were the only plastic packaged items so it was a pretty low waste meal.  Everything else was loose produce or foods from bulk bins – even the sesame oil! And soy sauce!  Check out Staff of Life in Santa Cruz for those options.

You could also make your own wrappers with flour & water.  GF flour (like brown rice) works too!


It definitely took longer but I put a good episode of top chef on & got to work.  And Beatrice helped me too.

Here’s what we did:

Clean-out-the-fridge potstickers & stir fry


Make the potsticker filling:


These tasty little dumplings are an EXCELLENT way to clean out some leftovers.  Half an onion? Leftover TVP bits? Kale? Mustard greens? One quarter of a head of cabbage?  Use it up!  The key is to chop or shred things to a small enough size that they’ll fit nicely in your wrappers.

  1. We shredded carrots & cabbage & then sauteed them on medium heat in a little sesame oil to soften them a bit.  We also seasoned them with a little soy sauce.
  2. We added tvp bits to the sauté pan that were leftovers.  These are super easy to make: cook in water until soft, then drain & season as you like.  These were seasoned with a little liquid smoke, salt & pepper, and soy sauce (or tamari).
  3. And we added some pickled onions to the mix after we finished cooking the other veggies & tvp.  These were more leftovers and are so easy to make.  I like the recipe I used in this post for quick pickled onions. 

Fill the potsticker wrappers

  1. We placed about a heaping tablespoon of the filling in the center of each wrapper.
  2. We dipped our fingertips in a small bowl of water & wet the outer edge of each wrapper.
  3. Then we closed up the wrappers and pinched the edges together to make them stick.  Beatrice showed me a lovely folding technique – we folded about ¼” of the edge over onto itself & then gently pressed to keep the fold in place. You can also just press them together.

Cook the potstickers

  1. We got a large saute pan nice & hot & then added sesame oil & the potstickers to the pan – as many as fit without squishing them together.
  2. Once they got a bit of color on one side, we added a little bit of water (a couple tablespoons) to the pan & covered it with a lid to let them steam for a few minutes – until the wrappers were translucent & cooked all the way.
  3. Then we removed the lid & cooked a little longer until the water evaporated & the potstickers were a little crispy on the bottom once again.
  4. Next we carefully took them out of the pan & put them on a serving platter.


Make the potsticker dipping sauce

  1. You can do whatever you want here but we stirred together a little soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and sesame oil to taste.  Everyone at the table got a little bowl of dipping sauce.

Make the stir fried veggies & noodles


**This is another great chance to clean out your produce drawer before shopping. Use whatever veggies you have on hand. 


  1. We used very thin spaghetti & cooked it in lightly salted water according to the box.
  2. We cut the broccoli, tofu, onions & eggplant in bite sized pieces & cubes of about 1” square.
  3. We soaked the cubed eggplant in water while we worked on the other ingredients.
  4. I first stir fried the broccoli & onions & set those aside.
  5. Then I drained the eggplant & patted it dry with a hand towel.  Then I tossed the eggplant in a little cornstarch. I sauteed the eggplant on high heat until it was soft & had some nice color.  Then I added it to the broccoli & onion mixture.
  6. Finally we put the noodles into a large serving platter & topped it with the veggies.  Delish!

I forgot to get a photo of the stir fry!  Doh!  But here’s another photo of the yummy potstickers :).

This meal is a great low waste vegan dinner option.  And it’s a great chance to avoid food waste by using up whatever produce is in your fridge.

What’s your favorite clean-out-the-fridge recipe?  Leave a comment below & let me know!  I always love hearing from you.



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