Recipe: Kale / Brussels Sprouts Caesar Salad (Gluten-Free + Paleo + Vegan)

Hello people, I hope you’ve all had a lovely weekend. This week’s recipe is a healthy take on a classic Caesar salad packed with protein, iron, omegas 3 and 6, and some iodine. It’s not complicated, but it does require either a food processor or blender to make the crumble and dressing. It works great as a main dish or as a side with some Italian food! Enjoy.

Ingredients

1/2 c raw almonds

1/4 c + 1 1/2 t hulled hemp seeds

3 T nutritional yeast
2 t paprika

Himalayan pink salt
 (or regular sea salt) to taste
1/2 avocado, pitted and peeled

1 garlic clove

2 T + 1/3 c olive oil

2 T fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 T dijon mustard


1 1/2 t chia seeds

1/2 t dulse granules*
fresh ground pepper to taste
2 lb brussels sprouts, trimmed and thinly sliced or shredded
5 oz container baby kale

Lemon wedges for serving


*Dulse is a red seaweed that kind of tastes like… bacon. It’s a great source of iodine. This is the kind I use.

clockwise from top: chia seeds, paprika, dulse granules, Himalayan pink salt, freshly ground pepper
hulled hemp seeds

Instructions

  1. In a food processor or small blender, pulse almonds
, 1/4 c hulled hemp seeds
, 2 T nutritional yeast, paprika
, and sea salt 
until mixture resembles fine crumbs.
  2. Transfer crumble to a small bowl, set aside, and wipe out food processor.
  3. In food processor, puree 1 1/2 t hulled hemp seeds
, 1 T nutritional yeast, 1/2 avocado, garlic
, 2 T olive oil
, 2 T lemon juice
, 1 1/2 T dijon mustard
, 
1 1/2 t chia seeds
, 1/2 t dulse granules, sea salt, and fresh ground pepper.
  4. Transfer dressing to a small bowl, set aside, and rinse out food processor. I promise this is the last time.
  5. Preheat oven to 450°F. In a large bowl, toss brussels sprouts with 1/3 c olive oil, sea salt, and pepper. Spread brussels sprouts on two rimmed baking sheets and roast for about ten minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
  6. In a large bowl, toss brussels sprouts with kale, dressing, and crumble.
  7. Serve with lemon wedges.
crumble
dressing
rinsed, trimmed, and ready to roll
crisp in some places, still tender in others is what you’re going for

Serves 4-6.

Adapted from Kale–and–Brussels Sprout Caesar Salad
.


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

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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.


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Recipe: Borscht Topped With Sour Cream

Normalizing psychiatric care is vital and there are some things everyone should know.

Stigma

Look, not all of us with mental health issues are blatant, eating other people’s faces on the side of a highway in Florida. Most people who seek or are in need of psychiatric care are average folks you interact with regularly: your colleague, your grandchild, your mail person, your stepdad, the person two people behind you in line at the grocery store, yourself.

Unfortunately it’s common for a lot of people to suffer in silence and confusion. Not only do they need care, but they also often have no idea where to begin in terms of finding the right doctor, are overwhelmed by the expense and, most unnecessary of all, have to deal with the crippling stigma attached to mental health issues.

I think a lot of de-stigmatizing begins with open, judgement-free discussion. There is no shame in seeking mental health care you need, just like there is no shame in having to use a crutch, getting braces, having LASIK, etc. There is no shame in getting help with or correcting something in order to have better quality of life. Empathy and understanding surrounding mental health are paramount. Let’s start today.

Now… borscht!


Borscht is a fabulous, flavorful soup (stew?) that is a staple to the good people of frickin’ freezin’ Russia. So, if you’re weathering frightful weather this February this is a good option. If it’s not cold where you are this soup is A) red and therefore on brand for the month of February and B) a good excuse to pair a meal with vodka. * shrug *

Ingredients

Borscht:
1 T coconut oil
1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 t caraway seeds
4 carrots, thinly sliced
3 beets, peeled and diced
3 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
4 c red cabbage, shredded
6 c vegetable broth
1 T apple cider vinegar
sea salt to taste
black pepper to taste
cashew sour cream
fresh dill, chopped
fresh parsley, chopped

Sour Cream:
1 c cashews
1/2 c water
1 T lemon juice
1 t apple cider vinegar
1/4 t sea salt
1/4 t Dijon mustard

Instructions

Borscht:

  1. Heat oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add onions and sauté until translucent, about five minutes.
  2. Stir in caraway seeds, cooking for about 30 seconds.
  3. Add carrots, beets, potatoes, and cabbage to pot, stirring to combine.
  4. Pour in vegetable broth and bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat to a simmer for 30 minutes until vegetables are tender. (I found beets to be the last to cook and the best veggie to test for doneness.)
  5. Stir in apple cider vinegar, sea salt, and pepper.
  6. To serve, top with cashew sour cream, fresh dill, and parsley.

Sour Cream:

  1. Cover cashews in boiling water and let sit for an hour. Then, drain and rinse.
  2. Combine cashews, water, lemon juice, vinegar, sea salt, and mustard in a blender and blend until mixture is smooth and creamy.
  3. Top each bowl of borscht with a generous dollop. Store leftover sour cream in an airtight container in fridge.

Serves 6-8.

Adapted from Vegan Borscht and Vegan Sour Cream.


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Recipe: Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Sweet potatoes are fabulous for you, and gnocchi is delicious and can easily be made vegan. If you’re intimidated by the idea of making your own gnocchi, well, so was I. Fear not! I was delighted by the ease of this recipe. Also, orange food makes for a good October dish. #spooky

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Ingredients

2 medium sweet potatoes
1 T ground flax
3 T water
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 t sea salt plus a pinch
1/2 t nutmeg
2 c flour

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  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. Pierce each sweet potato several times with a fork and bake for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  3. Combine ground flax and water and allow a few minutes to congeal. Mix well and set aside.
  4. Once cool enough to work with, remove potato peels and mash potatoes in a large bowl.
  5. Mix garlic, sea salt, nutmeg, and flax egg into the potatoes. Finally, mix in the flour a little at a time until you have soft dough. I recommend the dough blade in a food processor for this part.
  6. Bring a large pot of  water and pinch of sea salt to boil.
  7. Roll dough out on a floured surface and cut into pieces, roughly 1″ (see photos).
  8. Drop pieces into boiling water, allowing them to cook until they float to the surface. Remove floating pieces with a slotted spoon.
  9. Serve with organic Earth Balance or a vegan cream sauce.

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Serves 4-6.

Adapted from Sweet Potato Gnocchi.