Garlic Buffalo Brussels Sprouts (Vegan)

American football season is here, and so is this super spicy alternative to buffalo wings. It’s kinda junky due to the number of sub products involved (vegan milk, butter, mayo) but it hits the spot if you’re trying to satisfy a particular craving. Sometimes when you’re vegetarian you’ve got to have the special treat of imitation foods. Treatchaself.

Ingredients

16 oz brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved, if large
1 c plant-based milk
1 t apple cider vinegar
3/4 c flour
1/2 c corn starch
1 t sea salt, more to taste
2 t + 1 c hot sauce of choice, divided
3 c bread crumbs
1/2 c Earth Balance
4-8 garlic cloves, depending on size,* minced
1 T maple syrup
1 t tamari (or soy sauce)
1/2 c organic vegenaise
one lemon, juiced
garlic powder to taste
dried oregano to taste
dried basil to taste

*I used five garlic cloves because most were massive.

See? XXL

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F and lightly oil a lipped baking sheet. Set aside.
  2. Add milk and vinegar to a small bowl and set aside for a moment, allowing it to curdle.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, corn starch, and sea salt. Add milk mixture and two teaspoons of the hot sauce to the dry ingredients, whisking until lump free.
  4. Put bread crumbs in a separate medium bowl.
  5. One by one, immerse Brussels sprout in batter, then coat completely in the bread crumbs. Finally, place on prepared baking sheet. This is messy and not the time to send a text or turn up your podcast. :)
  6. Bake Brussels sprouts for ten minutes, remove from oven and flip them, then continue to bake for another 10-12 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, heat butter in a skillet over medium. When melted, add minced garlic and sauté for about a minute. Then mix in remaining one cup of hot sauce, maple syrup, and tamari. Cook for about one more minute to give the ingredients a chance to meld.
  8. To make the ranch-like dipping sauce, whisk together vegenaise, lemon juice, and dashes of sea salt, garlic powder, dried oregano, and dried basil to taste.
  9. When Brussels sprouts are done, toss in the garlic buffalo sauce and serve immediately with dipping sauce.
half the large sprouts, keep the small ones whole

Serves several people buzzed on Miller Lite.

Bummed Out Bailey Rating: 7/10 My dipping sauce was too runny and the recipe is messy. 10/10 on spiciness and taste, though!
Rick-the-Meat-Eater Rating: 7/10 Even he loathes Brussels sprouts! Whoa! Wow!

They were pretty good

Rick

Adapted from Vegan Garlic Buffalo Brussels Sprouts.

Related on Bummed Out Baker:
Kale / Brussels Sprouts Caesar Salad (Gluten-Free + Paleo + Vegan)
Spicy Lentil Tacos (Gluten-Free + Vegan)
Twice-Baked Potato Skins with Cheese Sauce


To subscribe to Bummed Out Baker and get my mental health musings and recipes emailed to you directly, scroll all the way down to the bottom of the website – Follow on Instagram for behind-the-scenes panic attacks and my begrudging, meat-eating husband captured in the wild – Follow on Facebook for mental health articles and discussion – Follow on Twitter for sassy tweets and a sprinkle of nonsense.

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

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The Aftermath of the Birthday Hullabaloo

If this is your first time visiting Bummed Out Baker, please read Mourning the Living and 31 Birthdays for context for this post.


After all of last week’s hullabaloo, I heard from my brother Alex today. It was a welcome surprise. He called me from a Chicken Express to wish me a belated happy birthday and to let me know that he had planned to call on my actual birthday, but that he’d lost his phone. He said that he still thought about me all day on my birthday.

I accidentally declined his call today, and as soon as I heard his voice come through on the voicemail I called the number back without listening to the rest. I knew I had a narrow window of time before he’d leave the restaurant and that I had to call straight away if I was to catch him. An employee answered and, when I asked for Alex, I heard him ask “Is Alex still here?” to someone else, signifying Alex’s familiar presence to the staff there, and then the phone muffled and I heard the employee say “sister” and “birthday” as if he were justifying Alex’s use of the phone to another employee.

“Is that ayewunsennighthreesisate?” Alex rattled off my phone number.

We talked for a bit, the details of which I’m purposely omitting. It’s strange to live this saga in real time.

A hallmark of this blog is transparency for the sake of normalizing these shitty, hurtful family situations, but I also don’t ever want to be exploitive or disrespectful to the time it takes to simply process happenings. Basically, I will share what I can when I feel it’s ready to be shared.


Last Thursday I slept until 4pm. I was shocked when I sat up in bed and saw the clock – I’ve never done that before. I’ve been sleeping 12-14 hours a night, sleeping through alarms, waking up physically exhausted, unable to get out of bed. These long sleeps result in restlessness the following night, and then the cycle starts again. I’ve always been a high maintenance sleeper, meaning I require more hours than the average bear to be at my best functionality, but this is something else. I’m gonna talk with my psychiatrist about it on Thursday because, as I’ve discussed before, my mood sunsets with the day. Staying up late and then sleeping strange hours has not been good for the ole psyche.

As always, I feel extremely fortunate to be able to sort out my issues without the fear of losing a job or without feeling like I’ve failed my family. I know not everyone struggling with mental illness-related sleeping problems has this luxury. As a privilege check I want to openly acknowledge the rarity of my specific situation.


Are these Wednesday posts helpful? I aim to be consistent when I post so that readers can always count on new content each week, but am not sure of reader preferences. Please let me know.

Written on Tuesday, September 17, 2019.


To subscribe to Bummed Out Baker and get my mental health musings and recipes emailed to you directly, scroll all the way down to the bottom of the website – Follow on Instagram for behind-the-scenes panic attacks and my begrudging, meat-eating husband captured in the wild – Follow on Facebook for mental health articles and discussion – Follow on Twitter for sassy tweets and a sprinkle of nonsense.

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

Mental Health: 31 Birthdays

This post has been removed in order to submit to publications. Stay tuned!


Related on Bummed Out Baker:
Mental Health: A Birthday Wish
Mental Health: Saying No in the Spirit of Self-Care


To subscribe to Bummed Out Baker and get my mental health musings and recipes emailed to you directly, scroll all the way down to the bottom of the website – Follow on Instagram for behind-the-scenes panic attacks and my begrudging, meat-eating husband captured in the wild – Follow on Facebook for mental health articles and discussion – Follow on Twitter for sassy tweets and a sprinkle of nonsense.

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

Recipe: Sloppy Joes (Vegan)

Come on down to nostalgia town
Where sloppy joes are lots of fun
There’s a healthy way
to make them, yay
So come on, everyone.

Anytime I think of sloppy joes, I think of this fine piece of cinema.

Ingredients

1 c lentils, well rinsed
2 c water
2 T olive oil
1 medium white onion, half minced, half sliced for serving
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 pinch sea salt
1 pinch black pepper
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
2 T sugar
1 T vegan-friendly Worcestershire sauce
1 t chili powder
1 t ground cumin
1 pinch paprika
hamburger buns

Instructions

  1. In a sieve, rinse lentils thoroughly. In a medium saucepan, bring water and lentils to a low boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cook, uncovered, for about 18 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Once hot, stir together oil, minced half of onion, garlic, bell pepper, sea salt and black pepper.
  3. Sauté mixture for five minutes, stirring frequently, until the peppers and onions are tender and beginning to brown.
  4. Stir in tomato sauce, sugar, Worcestershire, chili powder, cumin, and paprika until combined.
  5. Stir lentils into the mixture until combined.
  6. Stirring occasionally, heat mixture over medium-low heat until warmed through and thick, about five minutes.
  7. Taste and, if needed, adjust with sea salt, sugar, Worcestershire, chili powder, or cumin.
  8. Serve on your favorite buns with sliced onion.

This recipe serves four people but, uh, I ate it all in two days. So, in my case, one. It served one.

To reheat, put on stove over low or medium-low heat, adding a splash of water if the mixture has gotten dried out.

Bummed Out Bailey Rating: 9/10
Rick-the-Meat-Eater Rating: N/A/10 …because I ate it all.

Adapted from Vegan Sloppy Joes.

Related on Bummed Out Baker:
Recipe: Spicy Lentil Tacos (Vegan + Gluten-Free)
Recipe: Mujaddara
Recipe: “Chicken Salad”


To subscribe to Bummed Out Baker and get my mental health musings and recipes emailed to you directly, scroll all the way down to the bottom of the website – Follow on Instagram for behind-the-scenes panic attacks and my begrudging, meat-eating husband captured in the wild – Follow on Facebook for mental health articles and discussion – Follow on Twitter for sassy tweets and a sprinkle of nonsense.

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

Mental Health: A Birthday Wish

Last night I went to my first Nar-Anon meeting in hopes of finding a community and healing among other people who have loved ones suffering from addiction. It was not fun. It was not peaceful. But, I acknowledge that in the long run it may be helpful. Just walking through the door for the first time was a huge step for me. There were a lot of heartbroken parents, spouses, siblings, and adult children in that room. Like mental illness, knowing someone else suffers is the worst, but it also helps bolster a feeling of normalcy.

It’s been a blue day, a blue month, a blue season. But, my birthday’s tomorrow, so I’ve forced myself to the keyboard.

Meet Achilles.

I’ve been open about having mental illness, and I cannot begin to explain the significance of having the comfort and joy of our family’s golden retrievers to get through hard times. We have two, and one of them, Achilles, is a precious senior at 14 years old. He is at once gentle, ornery, funny, and whip-smart. Most of all, though, he’s provided critical companionship to both me and Rick (and every other Aldrich) during hard times in our lives.

my and Rick’s wedding party + Achilles because, of course

Golden retrievers live to love, and not all seniors are doted upon, snuggled, and cherished like our sweet boy Achilles. Often times senior goldens are dumped because their care has become too much time-wise or financially or, worst of all, because they’re no longer a “cute puppy / young golden” anymore. When I think about the state of our world and the great comfort our goldens have brought me in the throes of it all, I’m crushed to think of senior goldens not receiving the amount of TLC they so selflessly give during their younger years. They care for us and, when they’re no longer able to, we should care for them.

So, for my birthday this year, I’m asking for donations to Golden Retriever Senior Rescue Sanctuary and Educational Center and I hope you’ll consider contributing as a way to celebrate with me. $1, $2, any amount helps these precious seniors who have spent their lives loving. All donations are tax-deductible.

I love the description on their site:

All GRSRS&EC Sponsored Senior Goldens receive life-long housing and care at the Sanctuaries we support nationwide. We all know how expensive geriatric care can be, especially when multiple life-enhancing therapies are provided on an on-going basis. So, you can understand why we need and deeply appreciate your financial support. Together, we can provide nation-wide life-long, caring support for senior rescued Goldens in their most vulnerable time of life.

DONATE HERE!

Christmas ‘Chilles

On the support page you can choose from a few options, including donating specifically to the food supply or the safe transport of the goldens as needed. They also have an annual silent auction to support “sugar-face senior goldens” (I’m not crying you’re crying).

DONATE HERE!

big, big wags

Of course I spent an inordinate amount of time looking at photos of Achilles because of this post, but it made me feel better. Happy birthday to me!

one more for the road

Related on Bummed Out Baker:
Mental Health: Guilt and Golden Retrievers and Headaches


To subscribe to Bummed Out Baker and get my mental health musings and recipes emailed to you directly, scroll all the way down to the bottom of the website – Follow on Instagram for behind-the-scenes panic attacks and my begrudging, meat-eating husband captured in the wild – Follow on Facebook for mental health articles and discussion – Follow on Twitter for sassy tweets and a sprinkle of nonsense.

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