Recipe: Beet Tartare and Cashew Cheese Dip (Gluten-Free + Vegan)

This recipe takes forever to make, but it’s pretty dang good. If you’ve got some sort of sophisticated home event you need to bring a dish to, consider this.

Ingredients

1 c raw cashews, soaked four hours
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 T coconut oil
1 T miso
2 t nutritional yeast
1 t apple cider vinegar
sea salt, to taste
2-3 tablespoons water, as needed
5 small, prepackaged beets*
1 T balsamic vinegar

*You can buy fresh beets and cook them from scratch, but I found the prepackaged, cooked organic beets to be much easier.

Instructions

  1. After soaking for four hours, drain and rinse cashews.
  2. Place cashews, lemon juice, coconut oil, miso, nutritional yeast, apple cider vinegar, and a pinch of sea salt in a blender. Blend until completely smooth, adding water if necessary.
  3. Transfer cheese to an airtight jar, wrap jar in tea kitchen towel, and let sit overnight.
  4. The next day, preheat oven to 400°F.
  5. Place beets, balsamic vinegar, and another pinch of salt into a food processor. Blend until beets are diced or nearly shredded, not liquified.
  6. Pack cheese into a well-oiled 4″ dish (I used the bottom half of a round glass Tupperware). Do your best to eliminate any air pockets and bake for ten minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and flip onto a plate. The cheese should slide out.
  8. Top with beet tartare and return to the oven for another ten minutes.
  9. Serve warm with your choice of crackers. I chose one of my favorites, Nut Thins.

Serves 8-10 as an appetizer.

Bummed Out Baker Honest Rating: 6/10
Rick-the-Meat-Eater Honest Rating: 0/10

I took points off due to the recipes high maintenance time, and Rick hates beets, so.

Adapted from Beet Tartare with Cashew Cheese.

Related on Bummed Out Baker:
Roasted Beets and Sweets
Borscht Topped with Sour Cream


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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: Eggs Benedict (Vegan)

Vegan eggs benny doesn’t make sense, I know. But even Rick liked this one.

Ingredients

7 oz package firm tofu,* sliced lengthwise into 4 slabs
1/4 c tamari
3 T water
2 T maple syrup
1/2 t liquid smoke
1/4 c coconut oil
1/4 c brown rice flour
1/8 t turmeric
3 T dry white wine
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 c coconut milk
1 T nutritional yeast
1 1/2 T Dijon mustard
1 t sea salt
1/2 c cornmeal
2 T whole fennel seeds
2 t garlic powder
1 t paprika
6 T grapeseed oil
1 large vine tomato, cut into four slices
2 English muffins, toasted
1/2 avocado, thinly sliced into rounds
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
fresh chives, chopped

*I like Wildwood.

Instructions

  1. In a shallow bowl, stir together tofu, tamari, water, maple syrup, and liquid smoke until well combined. Cover and set aside to marinate for 30 minutes.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium, stir together coconut oil, brown rice flour, and turmeric and cook for two minutes. Add wine and cook for another two minutes. Stir in lemon juice and coconut milk.
  3. Turn heat up until mixture begins to simmer and then turn down to low for ten minutes, stirring regularly.
  4. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in nutritional yeast, mustard, and 1/2 t salt.
  5. Pour sauce through a fine mesh strainer (this requires rigorous tapping to get through – be sure to isolate yourself so not to bother your husband binge-watching Hart of Dixie). Set aside and keep warm.
  6. In another shallow bowl, combine cornmeal, fennel seeds, garlic powder, paprika, and other 1/2 t sea salt until well combined. Thoroughly coat tomato slices in mixture before frying.
  7. In a skillet over medium, heat 3 T grapeseed oil and sear tomatoes on both sides until golden brown and crisp. Remove tomatoes from skillet and set aside.
  8. Heat remaining 3 T grapeseed oil in the skillet and add tofu slabs. Cook on both sides until golden brown and crisp.
  9. To serve, top each English muffin half with tomato, tofu, and avocado. Spoon Hollandaise sauce generally over each and garnish with pepper and chives.

Serves two.

Bummed Out Baker Honest Rating: 8/10

If I could do it again, I’d ditch the tofu. It’s simpler and just as good with only the tomato, avocado, and Hollandaise – I did the leg work.

Adapted from Vegan Eggs Benedict.

Related on Bummed Out Baker:
Scrambled Eggs with Parmesan and Arugula
Açaí Bowl


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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: Strawberries Romanoff (Gluten-Free + Raw + Vegan)

Gooood morning! Simple recipe alert. Strawberries romanoff is a wonderful, easy summer dessert or perhaps a special breakfast if you’re feeling cheeky.

Ingredients

1 c raw cashews, soaked four hours
1 Medjool date, pitted and soaked for 30 minutes
16 oz strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 T Triple Sec or other orange liqueur (like Grand Marnier)
1 T cane sugar
1/3 c fresh orange juice

Instructions

  1. Soak cashews and then go find something else to do for three and a half hours.
  2. Soak date and then go find something else to do for half an hour.
  3. In a medium bowl, gently toss strawberries with Triple Sec and sugar until well combined. Set aside.
  4. Rinse soaked cashews in cold water. Combine cashews, OJ, and date to a high speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Patience Iago, it will get fluffy.
  5. Spoon strawberries into a glass, top with whipped cream, and serve.

The strawberries will keep for about a day and the whipped cream about three days.

Serves two.

Bummed Out Baker Honest Rating: 8/10

Adapted from Vegan Strawberries Romanoff.

Related on Bummed Out Baker:
Strawberry Cake
Avocado Strawberry Caprese Salad (Gluten-Free + Vegan)
Açaí Bowl


Subscribe at the bottom of Bummed Out Baker to get my mental health musings and recipes emailed to you directly – Follow on Facebook for mental health articles and discussion – Follow on Instagram for behind-the-scenes panic attacks and my begrudging, meat-eating husband captured in the wild.

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.


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

Happy Birthday Bummed Out Baker! Recipe: Chocolate Birthday Cake with Whipped Cream Icing (Gluten-Free + Vegan)

Happy Birthday Bummed Out Baker!

One year ago, I scuttled into the library at my in-laws’ NYC apartment carrying a heavy cutting board loaded down with a food rainbow. I used the window’s natural light to photograph the korma I was making, and my husband and my mother in-law’s nurse looked at me suspiciously, wondering what the heck I was up to now.

I wasn’t quite sure, myself. I had an old, but decent DSLR camera, limited lighting knowledge, and an affinity for cooking and baking new things, so I decided to capture it and throw it up on my site for anyone interested. I made a deal with myself to post a new recipe every Monday for one year and here I am, 52 recipes later! I’m proud I stuck to a promise I made to myself.

Less than two months in I changed the website name from my full name to Bummed Out Baker (Why Am I the Bummed Out Baker?) in order to encapsulate the full breadth of, well, me. Although I was finally pursuing my passion for writing and had accepted a place in The New School‘s MFA Creative Writing Nonfiction cohort for fall, that didn’t take away the depression and anxiety I’ve suffered for years. Do you guys wanna guess what my thesis is about? ;)

This is not a bubbly, perfectly put together vegetarian food blog like the ones all over the internet. They’re beautiful, but that just isn’t me. Instead, I aim to present my truest self to you all and be unabashed about the mental issues I face.

Some days, I’m too wrecked to do much more than to get up, do my morning routine (bed-making, teeth-brushing, etc.), take my meds, and then crank out what’s needed for school. I work hard not to beat myself up for being unable to take on more extracurriculars or a more rigorous social schedule and always try to look for silver linings in mental illness. I will say that one thing my finite emotional gas tank and constant, sinister awareness of my own mortality (lol) have taught me is to be hyper-focused on what and who matters most. Mental illness silver lining, yay!

Mental illness manifests in a myriad of terrible, unconventional, surprising, and sometimes hilarious ways and I will continue to share what I experience here. Thank you to all those who’ve kept an open mind and have been along for the ride with me.

THIS SEASON ON REAL HOUSEWIVES OF BUMMED OUT BAKER:

  1. I will be more transparent about the issues I’m experiencing in real time.*
  2. “Don’t judge your life in comparison to someone else’s highlight reel” has become a social media platitude, and I will further that mentality.
  3. I, an average, sad person on the internet, will provide community and reinforcement to people dealing with or who are in close proximity to mental illness. You’re not alone.
  4. I will snuggle golden retrievers.

Alright, now CAKE!

Ingredients

1 can unsweetened coconut milk
1 c teff flour
1/2 c rice flour
1/2 c potato starch
1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
2 ripe bananas
1 c orange juice
1/2 c olive oil
1/4 c + 2 T maple syrup
1/2 c coconut sugar
1 t vanila extract
vegan chocolate sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Refrigerate can of coconut milk overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease sides of cake pan with oil and place parchment paper on the bottom of the pan (or use cake pan w removable bottom).
  3. Combine teff flour, rice flour, potato starch, cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder in a large bowl. Mix well.
  4. In a blender, add bananas, orange juice, olive oil, 1/4 c maple syrup, and coconut sugar and blend until smooth.
  5. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  6. Pour batter into cake pan.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes, testing the middle of the cake with a toothpick until it comes out clean.
  8. Let cake cool completely in pan before removing.
  9. When you’re ready to ice, place mixing bowl in the freezer for about ten minutes.
  10. Turn refrigerated can of coconut milk upside down and open. Pour liquid at the top into a jar for later use (i.e., smoothies). From bottom of can, spoon out coconut fat.
  11. In the cold mixing bowl, beat together coconut fat, remaining 2 T maple syrup, and vanilla on high for about four minutes.
  12. Frost top of cake with whipped cream and sprinkle with chocolate sprinkles.

*I’ll start my candor now: this cake, although it looks delicious, tasted like a stale Luna bar with coconut guts smeared on top. The sprinkles were top notch, but you don’t have to make this cake to eat those. My advice: enjoy the photos, eat some sprinkles, but… don’t make this cake. Here’s a recipe for a truly fabulous cake.

If you’re a masochist: recipe adapted from Vegan Gluten Free Chocolate Cake and Vegan Whipped Cream.


Subscribe at the bottom of Bummed Out Baker to get my mental health musings and recipes emailed to you directly – Follow on Facebook for mental health articles and discussion – Follow on Instagram for behind-the-scenes panic attacks and my begrudging, meat-eating husband captured in the wild.