Recipe: Maple Pecan Sweet Potato Casserole (Gluten-Free + Vegan)

Just in time to have missed the holidays, here’s a holiday recipe! Maybe you’re late to celebrate something or other and this still applies. Or, maybe you hate black eyed peas and would rather bust a munch on this delish casserole on New Year’s Day, instead.

Ingredients

~2 lb. sweet potatoes (~4 medium or, in my case, two XXL), peeled and chopped into large chunks
1 c pecans
1/2 c gluten-free rolled oats
3/4 c full fat coconut milk from can
3 T coconut sugar
1 t + 2 1/4 t cinnamon
pinch + 3/4 t sea salt
1/2 t nutmeg
1 T ground flaxseed
1 T coconut oil, melted
1 T maple syrup
1/2 t vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Place chopped sweet potatoes in large stock pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Boil about 20 minutes until easily pierced with fork.
  2. Meanwhile, put oats and pecans in a food processor and pulse a couple of times. You want to break them up a bit, not be a meal.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together pecan/oat mixture, ground flaxseed, coconut oil, maple syrup, 1 t cinnamon, vanilla, and pinch of sea salt. Set aside.
  4. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  5. Once sweet potatoes finish boiling, strain through a colander and return them to pot. Top with coconut milk, coconut sugar, 2 1/4 t cinnamon, 3/4 t sea salt and nutmeg. Then, mash mixture with a potato masher.
  6. Transfer potatoes to an 8×8″ baking dish and top with maple pecan topping. Bake for 15-17 minutes, keeping an eye to ensure topping doesn’t burn.

Serves 8-10 as side dish.

Bummed Out Bailey Rating: 6/10
Rick-the-Meat-Eater Rating: 5/10

Tastes like a sweet potato.

Rick, a meat-eating husband

Adapted from Maple Pecan Sweet Potato Casserole.

More on Bummed Out Baker:
Recipe: Roasted Artichokes (Gluten-Free + Vegan)
Recipe: Cornbread Casserole (Gluten-Free + Vegan)
Recipe: Corn Risotto (Vegetarian)


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If you or someone you know needs help right now, please call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Recipe: Roasted Artichokes (Gluten-Free + Vegan)

A post about roasted artichokes is comically banal following last week’s heavy hitter regarding mental illness and homelessness as it pertains to my brother, Alex.

I’d just like to say how grateful I am for the support I received in regards to that last post. It took a full, painful week to write and, with my mental illness-informed workday, I was often hammering at the keys and staring at the screen until three or four in the morning. For me, those are the worst hours. It was arduous and awful.

I often feel lonely, mentally, and trapped in my own head. My brain feels helplessly impermeable. I’m stuck inside of it hating myself and others are stuck outside of it wondering how I could feel that way about their friend, Bailey. For me to be successful in getting something so intimate and hard to capture in words out into the world, helping people feel connected to others like them, is about all I could hope for.

So, I’ll keep doing my best to take care of myself so I can take care of others. It’s not a martyrdom, but a motivation. Making someone else feel less alone alleviates my loneliness, too.

Thanks, again.


These roasted artichokes are a simple, sightly side to add to any dinner. They look sophisticated AF on a a dining room table.

Ingredients

4 large artichokes, stems and top 1″ removed
1/4 c fresh lemon juice
1/4 c olive oil
4 garlic cloves, peeled
sea salt, to taste
~3 T Earth Balance butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425° F.
  2. Place artichokes stem-side down in a bowl and separate the leaves slightly with your hands.
  3. Drizzle artichokes with lemon juice and olive oil.
  4. Insert a knife blade into the center of each artichoke and (carefully) wiggle around* until you’ve created a space big enough to push in a garlic clove. Press one garlic clove into the center of each artichoke.
  5. Finally, generously season each artichoke with sea salt.
  6. Tightly wrap each artichoke twice with aluminum foil.
  7. Place foil-wrapped artichokes in a baking dish and bake for an hour and 20 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and allow artichokes to cool for about ten minutes before carefully removing foil. Then cool further, about another ten minutes, so you don’t burn your friends. Or enemies. Why’d you invite your enemies to dinner?
  9. About ten minutes before serving, melt butter over low in a saucepan before pouring into small bowls for individual dipping.

*”Wiggling a knife around” is a delicate technique I learned at Le Cordon Bleu Paris

lovely

Something I love about this recipe is not only that it’s low-maintenance to prepare, but you then get to pop it into the oven and essentially have an hour and a half to work on other items. I find timing out the preparation for a hosted dinner to be just short of rocket science. Everything should be as warm and fresh as possible, and this recipe makes it all a bit more manageable. After a while your loved ones are gonna be like “Why do we get artichokes every time we have dinner at [Bailey]’s house?” and that’s when you tell them, “Listen up assholes, this is actually my in-laws’ house. And…” (I don’t have the rest if the retort planned out yet). Then bring out the red velvet cake. Which they also always get served at your house.

If you get really into artichoke roasting, there are fancy accoutrements like this butter warmer or these artichoke servers or this artichoke plate, the latter of which I frankly don’t understand but… enjoy!

Serves four.

Bummed Out Bailey Rating: 8/10
Rick-the-Meat-Eater Rating: ?/10 He was in NYC and I was in Texas when I made this, but I have a feeling that, with his twelve year old palate, it’d be a solid… 1/10 for Rick.

Adapted from Simply Roasted Artichokes.

Related on Bummed Out Baker: 
Roasted Garlic Lemon Broccoli
Roasted Beets and Sweets
Parmesan Garlic Orzo (Gluten-Free + Vegetarian)


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If you or someone you know needs help right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Recipe: Avocado Strawberry Caprese Salad (Gluten-Free + Vegan)

Okay the people who are like “Mmm yes dahling balsamic reduction” as if it’s some kind of delicate culinary masterpiece are FULL OF IT because it was so easy to make. I felt v sophisticated, and you can, too. You can also, like me, dance around the kitchen to Donna Summer’s Hot Stuff, wave around a spatula as a dancing accoutrement, and then hit yourself in the eye with a flying drop of balsamic vinaigrette reduction.*

This salad is perfect for summer in it’s ingredients, of course, but also in it’s simplicity. It’s crunchy, tart, sweet, addicting, and, perhaps most importantly, easy to make.

Ingredients

1/3 c balsamic vinegar
1 c strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 c grape tomatoes, halved
1 avocado, pitted and diced
1/3 c loosely packed basil leaves, chiffonade cut
1 1/2 t olive oil
Himalayan pink salt
 (or regular sea salt) to taste
fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 T toasted sesame seeds
1 T chopped pecans

Instructions

  1. Bring vinegar to a simmer over medium heat in a small saucepan, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for ten minutes, uncovered, until it thickens and reduces in volume by about half. Set aside.
  2. Add strawberries, tomatoes, avocado, and basil to a large, shallow bowl for serving.
  3. Drizzle olive oil on salad and gently toss until just coated.
  4. Season with salt and pepper and briefly toss again.
  5. Top with sesame seeds and pecans.
  6. Finally, drizzle all balsamic reduction over the salad.
  7. Serve immediately – best enjoyed fresh!

Serves two.

Look, not everything I make is awesome, so I’m gonna start giving you my honest opinion. Avocado Strawberry Caprese Salad: 10/10

*Just kidding about that last bit, my eyes are fine. But if that did happen, I wouldn’t mind. I’d do it for Donna.

Adapted from Avocado Strawberry Caprese.

More on Bummed Out Baker:
Recipe: Strawberry Shortcake with Coconut Whipped Cream (Vegan)
Recipe: Arugula, Watermelon, + Feta Salad (Gluten-Free + Vegetarian)
Recipe: Spinach Fig Salad


Do you love Bummed Out Baker? Want to help keep it going? Support me on my Patreon. Your contribution means more to me than you’ll ever know!

To subscribe to Bummed Out Baker by email, scroll all the way down to the bottom of the website to find the form. Follow Instagram for behind-the-scenes panic attacks and my begrudging, meat-eating husband captured in the wild, Facebook for mental health articles and discussion, and Twitter for sassy or informative tweets.

If you or someone you know needs help right now, please call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Recipe: Roasted Garlic Lemon Broccoli

I promise I will lay off the broccoli for a while after this week – I know you’re probably over there like Is this Bummed Out Baker or Bummed Out Broccoli, amirite? But if you are in fact like oh waw I love broccoli, here’s another recipe: Shredded Broccoli Salad. I just like it a bunch.

Keeping with last week’s theme of super easy, quick, and tasty, here’s a way to revitalize your roasted broccoli go-to.

Ingredients

2 heads of broccoli, chopped into florets of similar size
2 t olive oil
1 t sea salt
1 t black pepper
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 T lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Toss broccoli, oil, salt, pepper, and garlic together in a large bowl.
  3. Spread broccoli in an even layer on a baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of your florets (longer for bigger). Remove from oven and transfer to a serving bowl.
  5. Squeeze lemon juice over broccoli before serving.
  6. Optional: top broccoli with lemon zest for extra tang.

Serves four as a side dish.

Adapted from Roasted Garlic Lemon Broccoli.


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Recipe: Spinach Fig Salad

First and foremost, your favorite bummed out baker (I hope that’s me) is PUBLISHED! I tied for third place in a flash memoir contest (750 words or less) put on by Writer Advice. I wrote about the last time I saw my brother, which was about ten months ago. I visited him under the bridge he was living under. Read my piece called “The Bridge” here.


Greetings! If you live in NYC you know spring has semi-sprung, but who knows. I’m actually still bummed out about the fact we didn’t get a terrible, north-of-the-wall-type winter including several feet of snow that requires staying indoors for unending weeks of darkness and the family golden retrievers to high step around in the snow shoes they hate, (deep breath) but I’m trying to get on board with sunny weather.

I know I’m a bit premature on the fig scene (optimum time = summer), but this salad is so simple, lovely to look at and tasty and can inspire your salad creations for months to come. It’s an easy, healthy recipe and the dressing is so good it makes me mad. I licked the spatula. :(

Enjoy!

Ingredients

1/3 c walnuts, roasted
1/2 c olive oil
1/4 c balsamic vinegar
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1 T dijon mustard
1 t maple syrup
1/2 t sea salt
1/2 t freshly ground pepper
2 big, giant handfuls fresh spinach
4 figs, halved
1/2 avocado, sliced
~1/4 red onion, chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F and roast walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet for five minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
  2. Combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, dijon, maple syrup, sea salt, and pepper in a blender and set aside.
  3. Assemble salads, dividing ingredients evenly between two plates: spinach, figs, avocado, onion, walnuts and, finally, drizzle it all with dressing. Serve immediately.
undressed (just like that MTV show from the early 2000s)
dressed to impress
tastebuds will be wilin’

Serves two, or perhaps one ravenous person.

There will be leftover dressing, which is something to rejoice about. Keep it in the fridge for up to a week for future salad concoctions, or drink it straight.

Adapted from Spinach Fig Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette.


Subscribe at the bottom of Bummed Out Baker to get new recipes emailed to you every Monday – Follow on Facebook for mental health articles and discussion – Follow on Instagram for more food pics, behind-the-scenes, and my begrudging husband captured in the wild.