Recipe: Arugula, Watermelon + Feta Salad (Gluten-Free + Vegetarian)

I suppose it’s the summertime effect, but super simple recipes are prevailing on Bummed Out Baker right now. Enjoy!

Listen to this while you make the salad and, like me, ponder why this guy is stealing bikes when he appears to be old enough to drive.

Ingredients

1/4 c orange juice
1/4 c freshly squeezed lemon juice (about one large lemon)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 small white onion, minced
1 T honey
1/2 c olive oil
1 t sea salt
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
6 c baby arugula
1/2 small seedless watermelon, cut in 1″ cubes with rind removed
8 oz feta cheese, diced into 1/2″ cubes
1 c fresh mint leaves, chopped

Instructions

  1. In a large jar, combine orange juice, lemon juice, garlic, onion, honey, sea salt, pepper, and olive oil. Screw on lid and shake dressing until well combined.
  2. In a large salad bowl, gently toss together the arugula, watermelon, feta, and mint.
  3. Pour dressing over salad to your liking and toss. Serve immediately.
Any unused vinaigrette can be stored in the jar and kept in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

Serves two as a main, four as a side.

Bummed Out Baker Rating: 9/10
Rick-the-Meat-Eater Rating: 9/10

Adapted from Arugula, Watermelon and Feta Salad.

Related on Bummed Out Baker:
Greek Quinoa Salad
Scrambled Eggs with Parmesan and Arugula
Spiced Cauliflower with Feta


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.

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Recipe: Jalepeño Cream Cheese Enchiladas (Vegetarian)

Alright, those of you who’ve been around a while know I put on for enchiladas, hard. They’re my favorite food and, while I try to mostly eat healthy, when I don’t, I really don’t, if you nom sayin’.

This dish is vegetarian garbage. Delicious, vegetarian garbage that perhaps should only be eaten sparingly but, who cares. Live your enchilada truth.

Ingredients

~10 oz meatless “chicken” of choice (I used gardein)
1/2 t sea salt
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 t cayenne pepper
1 T + 1/2 t garlic powder
2 T butter
1 large onion, diced
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 t paprika
1/2 t chili powder
1/2 t ground cumin
~28 oz green enchilada sauce (homemade or canned)
~6 flour tortillas
~8 oz shredded Monterey Jack cheese
diced avocado or cilantro (optional)

while the innovation is certainly getting better, fake meat is typically junk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Prepare meatless “chicken” according to package, seasoning with sea salt, black pepper, 1 t of the cayenne pepper, and 1/2 t of the garlic powder. Set aside to cool for a moment.
  3. Over medium, heat butter in a deep skillet. Add onion and jalapeños and sauté until translucent, about five minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, dice “chicken”.
  5. Add cream cheese to onion mixture and use a spatula to break into chunks, allowing it to melt and soften.
  6. Stir in remaining garlic powder (1/2 t) and cayenne pepper (1/2 t), paprika, chili powder, and cumin.
  7. Stir in “chicken” and remove mixture from heat.
  8. Pour half the enchilada sauce into the bottom of a 9 x 13″ baking dish (or something of similar size).
  9. Place tortilla stack on a work surface next to the “chicken” mixture. Using a ~1/3 c measuring cup, scoop mixture onto each tortilla, creating an approximate line down the center. This does not have to be perfect, so relax and enjoy yaself. Sprinkle about 1 T of Monterey Jack cheese on top of the mixture inside of each tortilla before rolling it up and placing in baking dish, seam down. If your tortillas misbehave, go rogue, and pop open in the dish, again, don’t worry. Just rearrange it and rest assured that as you fill the dish the tortillas will begin to stay in place.
  10. Once dish is full, top with any remaining enchilada innards, pour remaining sauce over enchiladas, and then sprinkle with remaining Monterey Jack cheese.
  11. Bake 30 minutes.
  12. Remove dish and apologize to the oven for having melted cheese and enchilada sauce all over bottom of it. (More about apologizing to inanimate objects here.) Then apologize to the in-laws you live with for dirtying up their oven, if applicable.
  13. Let the enchiladas cool a moment so you don’t burn the crap out of your mouth, but serve them warm.
  14. If desired, top with avocado or a sprig of cilantro as garnish.

Enchiladas are a dang mess and really hard to make look pretty / photograph, so I added some diced avocado as a visual diversion. EVERYONE WILL BE TOO DISTRACTED BY THE GARNISH TO NOTICE THE MESS THAT TRULY LIES BENEATH, which is also a rich metaphor for my life.

Serves four.

Bummed Out Baker Honest Rating: 7/10

Adapted from Jalepeño Cream Cheese Chicken Enchiladas.

Related on Bummed Out Baker:
Black Bean and Potato Enchiladas
Enchilada Soup


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: Parmesan Garlic Orzo (Vegetarian + Gluten-Free)

Orzo is my favorite pasta. I learned that today after looking for it in the grain section at the grocery store… where I found out it’s a grain-shaped pasta! Of course this means that traditional orzo is made with wheat, but I found a highly rated gluten-free option here.

This recipe is fast and delicious to even the most selective of palates (see: Rick). While I don’t have kids to test recipes on, Rick… kind of… counts in terms of food.

Ingredients

1 c orzo pasta
1/4 c butter (I used organic Earth Balance)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 c Parmesan cheese, shredded
2 T milk (I used organic coconut milk)
2 T fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 t sea salt
1/2 t fresh black pepper, ground

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, bring lightly salted water to boil. Add orzo to boiling water, stirring occasionally until cooked through, about ten minutes. Drain orzo and set aside.
  2. In a skillet, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add garlic and sauté until lightly browned, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Stir orzo, Parmesan cheese, milk, parsley, sea salt, and pepper into garlic mixture.
  4. If desired, top servings with more fresh grated Parmesan.

I made it and it was eaten immediately. No leftovers for the fridge, folks! Although this would make a really good lunch at work, hot or cold.

Serves two for a main dish, four as a side.

Adapted from Parmesan Garlic Orzo.


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: 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: Stuffed Mushroom Eyeballs

I come alive in Q4, especially October. I’ve celebrated Halloween all month by doing one spooky activity per day, and today I made creepy eyeball hors d’oeuvres. Halloween is on a Wednesday this year, which is a good opportunity to have some loved ones over for a spooky movie and an All Hallows’ Eve themed spread with these EYEBALLS.

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Ingredients

16 oz button mushrooms*
1 block extra firm tofu, drained**
1 garlic clove, minced
1 t lemon juice
3/4 t sea salt
1/2 t Italian seasoning
1/2 t onion powder
1/2 t black pepper
2 T balsamic vinegar
2 T sun-dried tomatoes (from bag, not packed in oil), julienned
1 small can of sliced black olives

*This recipe yields a lot of tofu ricotta, so feel free to double your mushrooms for more eyeballs or keep the ricotta for another recipe.
**If you prefer to avoid tofu, this recipe would be great with a store-bought or homemade cashew cheese.

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Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. Rinse mushrooms, pull out stems, and set aside on a baking sheet.
  3. Puree tofu, garlic, lemon juice, sea salt, Italian seasoning, onion powder and pepper together in a food processor until completely smooth. Set aside.
  4. Using a teaspoon, drip a few drops of balsamic vinegar into each mushroom cap.
  5. Make a piping bag by scooping tofu ricotta mixture into a Ziploc and trimming off a corner. Pipe mixture into each cap so that it creates a small mound.
  6. Place sun-dried tomato pieces on stuffed mushrooms, and top each one with one slice of olive. Press down gently.
  7. Bake the mushrooms for 15 minutes, until the caps begin to wrinkle slightly.

Serve warm or room temperature.

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Rick Aldrich: Spooky Mushroom Eyeball Model and General Good Sport

Serves eight.

Adapted from Stuffed Mushroom Eyeballs.

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