Vegan Spinach Pie, or How to Turn Your Urine Into an Ideal Hydroponic Solution for Plants!




In the spring of 2006 I sent my urine to a floriculture lab and learned that it contained all the nutrients necessary for plant growth but not in the ideal concentrations. So I put myself on a vegan diet that would transform my urine into an ideal liquid nutrient solution for plants. I ate lots of nuts and seeds, tofu, spinach, and other leafy greens and built a mobile urine recycling system outfitted with a urinal, urine processor and sterilizer, foam bed, kitchen, and hydroponic napa cabbage garden. I urinated, grew napa cabbages hydroponically with my urine, made kimchi from the napa cabbage, and served the kimchi to the public.

Vegan Spinach Pie was one of my favorite dishes from the diet. It has lots of calcium, protein (nitrogen), magnesium, potassium, and phosphate.

Step 1: Gather Ingredients

1 onion, medium diced
2 1/2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 Tbs olive oil (not extra virgin)
1 1/2 lb. Spinach, chopped into 1/2" pieces (or two-16 oz. packages frozen spinach)
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp pepper, black or white
1 block tofu, extra extra firm
1 Tbs. vegetable stock powder
1/3 C. vegetable oil
1 Tbs. Tamari (natural soy sauce)
1 large lemon, juiced (or more, to taste)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 Tbs. soymilk powder
1/2 C. toasted walnuts and/or pumpkin seeds, chopped (optional)
20 sheets phyllo dough
olive oil cooking spray (or olive oil mister, or olive oil + a brush)

Step 2: Tools You'll Need

Sharp Knife
Cutting Board
Measuring tools: Cup, Teaspoon, tablespoon
Food Processor
Cast Iron Skillet (at least 8" diameter), or regular skillet (not pictured here)
Spatula/Big Spoon (not pictured here)
8.5"x1" baking dish (not pictured here)

Step 3: Cook It

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Fry onion and garlic in olive oil in cast iron skillet.
Add spinach, saute 5 minutes. Add nutmeg and pepper. Remove from heat.

In food processor, pulse tofu, vegetable oil, stock powder, tamari, soymilk, lemon juice, salt until the tofu looks crumbly (see image). Combine with spinach mixture and stir. Toss in nuts/seeds. Adjust seasonings to taste. (Hint: add the juice of one more lemon for extra tanginess)

Grease a baking dish with olive oil (spray or spread with hands), line it with 10 sheets of phyllo dough.
Spread spinach mixture evenly on top of phyllo.
Add one sheet at a time of the remaining phyllo to the top of the spinach mixture, lightly spraying every other sheet with olive oil as you go.
Place remaining phyllo on top of mixture.
Lightly spray top of pie with cooking spray.

Bake for 35-40 minutes at 375 degrees, or until the phyllo bakes up slightly brown and crusty. Let cool for 30 minutes. Cut into squares.

Step 4: Build Some Kind of System to Process Your Urine, Urinate, Sleep, and Make Kimchi.

Your system could be as simple as a 5-gallon bucket hydroponic garden containing substrate with lots of surface area and lots of nitrobacter and nitrosomas bacteria. Here's what my system looked like. In about a month or two, you'll have cabbage to make kimchi or sauerkraut.
Images #1, 4, and 5 by Jonathon Hexner.



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    54 Discussions


    2 years ago

    my dog wonders what I'm laughing at - she's getting worried!


    4 years ago on Introduction

    What bacteria works best to break down amm to NO? Have you tried using sustainable energy to sterilise? This would be perfect.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    This is serious! I knew kimchi was alive, but I think this takes it a little too far.

    Fascinating. Completely gross..but fascinating.
    Even more interesting is that you include two packs of frozen spinach in your recipe picture.
    Guessing the next recipe is a Fillo Pea Pie


    8 years ago on Introduction

    2 week old urine can be used as a bleaching agent too

    Hmmm..... Interesting enough, but I dont know if Id eat something I was watering with my pee! Although, I will save this instructable for the zombie apocalypse. I will need to have food. I need an instructable on your pee recycling lab tho!


    hah this reminds me of 30 rock when frank keeps his urine in mason jars. cool idea though! and i love that going vegan lets you, um, grow plants more efficiently. i hope this will get people to understand that going veg is really great for everything really.


    9 years ago on Step 4

    What the? Do you really have that little bladder control? Seriously, you gotta sleep right there? Otherwise quite an interesting idea though.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I understand the concept and I applaud it. While it is awesome and will make a lovely conversation with the wife, a lot of time and money went into making "Pee party snacks" when water and sunlight work pretty well. I'm not downgrading the topic at all and love the research but this is just too funny. I won't be personally changing my diet to make my urine suitable for "Waterworld (the movie)" plants. I do like the idea of tilapia and plants together and would like to do that soon myself. Good luck to all and thanks for making me smile.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I have taken my similar project as far as I can go for now:

    If anyone is thinking of doing this, or something similar, all the data is at the above link you might find it useful.


    9 years ago on Step 4

    This reminds me of aquaponics. Where you grow tilapia fish they eat algae then You use their waste to fertilize plants.  Very interesting art project to show how a fairly simple closed system can create food in a very small footprint.  Next step add effective micro-organisms (or EM) and bokashi to a composting toilet and close the waste loop!.  Well Done!  I'd love to see an instructable with more detail on the construction of the filtration system.


    9 years ago on Step 3

    Lot easier to make spinach quesadilla. Google it


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Though it is disturbing, it is interesting at the same time.

    Friend: Bloody vegans! You'll eat anything so long as its made of -poo-*
    Me: -Poo-* isn't vegan.

    *may have been censored for site rules.
    If its given willingly surely its perfectly vegan. Also, if food has to be completely untouched by animal "product," -snicker- I can't think of any vegan food on the planet.