Sweet Potato Salmon Sliders (Gluten Free, Vegan Option)

Ever since the Earl of Sandwich slapped meat between two slices of bread to free his hands for gambling (true story!), sandwiches have ruled people's daily diet. When celiac popped into the picture, though, I found myself craving a different kind of Wonderbread than gluten free substitutes. That's when I saw a sweet potato staring at me from my desk.

Just pause for a moment and imagine. Two fluffy sweet potato rounds with a juicy slab of salmon tucked in between, perfectly accented by a few leafs of spinach and a creamy slice of avocado. A rich, chewy, soft taste of heaven with every bite.

Sweet Potato Salmon Sliders (Gluten Free, Vegan Option)

I'll admit, until my diagnosis last May, I was a salmon and sweet potato virgin. Seafood? Orange potatoes? Too exotic for those sheltered taste buds! Now, though, these sliders sneak into my meal plan (and onto my plate) at least once a week. Why not? It's easy. It's allergen friendly - no gluten, dairy, soy, or nuts anywhere nearby. And it's deliciousness cooked up in less than an hour of total cooking time. Begin by gathering your ingredients.

For the sweet potato sliders:

1 large sweet potato
Choice of protein (salmon, pulled pork, pulled jackfruit or tofu for a vegan option, etc)
Enough oil to cook with
Choice of toppings/condiments: avocado, spinach or other greens, BBQ sauce, etc.

Sweet Potato Salmon Sliders (Gluten Free, Vegan Option)
Talk about heaven!

For the salmon

1 filet of salmon
Spices of choice (I use oregano, thyme and salt)
Lemon slices

How to Make Your Sweet Potato Sliders

First, begin by prepping your sweet potatoes. It's best to pick ones that are relatively equal in diameter, long and circular. You can bet I loaded my cart when Sprouts had a sale on sweet potatoes the size of my forearm! Preheating the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit, cut the sweet potato into relatively even rounds. The length of each depends on your preferences - for crisper rounds, cut thinner slices (around 1/4 inch). For slider purposes, I prefer cutting them to be around 1/2 inches thick for buns with crunchy edges and soft middles.

Sweet Potato Salmon Sliders (Gluten Free, Vegan Option)
Yep, I was the girl taking selfies with a sweet potato
in the courtyard of my dorm...oops.

Then, place the rounds in a plastic bag and pour in enough oil (I prefer coconut but any will work) to coat all of the rounds equally. Finally, arrange them on a baking tray lined with foil (if easy clean up is preferred), spacing them so there is limited overlapping. Pop them in the oven, setting the timer for 20 minutes. When it beeps, you'll flip them over, and cook them for another 20 minutes. I've found that 40 minutes creates a magical blend of crunch and give, but feel free to flick on the broiler for a few minutes to really up the char. (Be sure to babysit your potatoes, though - they can burn fast!)

Now, it's time to get down and fishy! There are two ways I make mine, depending on whether I feel like active or passive cooking.

When I want the oven to do the grunt work, I start by placing the salmon in a lined baking tray, skin-down. This is when my spice sidekicks pop up, with thyme, oregano and salt acting as my go-to's. Sprinkle whatever flavors rev your taste buds in a thin layer on top. To keep the salmon moist while it cooks, I give my fish a bikini of lemon slices before placing another layer of foil over the top. When the sweet potato rounds have about 30 minutes left, throw the salmon in too. Start cooking for around 15 minutes, checking every 5 minutes after until it is done. The cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the fish.

Sweet Potato Salmon Sliders (Gluten Free, Vegan Option)
Salmon two ways!

When I don't have a lot of time to wait for fish to cook, though, I whip out my frying pan and olive oil. After heating up around a tablespoon of oil at medium, I slap the spice-coated salmon skin-up in the pan. Keeping the heat around medium-high, I close the cap to steam the fish for about 3-4 minutes before flipping it over. Though it takes some practice to master charring over burning, this gives the salmon a delicious sear. To finish it off, cook the fish for another 4-5 minutes or until it is cooked through and the meat flakes away easily.

When the timer beeps, that means the real fun - the stacking - can start! My favorite slider toppings are spinach or kale, avocado slices, and BBQ sauce. Some other ideas are mustard, ketchup, peppers, onions - any burger topping that always gets you drooling! I can also promise that this recipe is as delicious with salmon as with any other fish - or even pulled pork! - and rocks my culinary world hot or cold. Not digging the sandwich? You can even devour these babies on a bed of greens and veggies!

Sweet Potato Salmon Sliders (Gluten Free, Vegan Option)
I've had it just a few times, I'd say...

As chilly winter weather blankets California, I have Lord Sandwich to thank for the hearty, delicious dinner filling my belly. Sure, sometimes I miss bread. Sure, sometimes I devour my favorite slice of Canyon Bakehouse's gluten free toast. But as I take a big bite of salmon, sweet potato, avocado and spinach, missing bread is the last thought roaming my mind!

*This recipe is also featured on http://www.furtherfood.com/recipe/gluten-free-salmon-and-sweet-potato-sliders/ 

**Also found at RunningWithSpoonsGF Friday, Melt in Your Mouth Monday, Made By You Monday, and What's Cookin' Wednesday!**

Have you ever tried sweet potato sliders? What is your favorite burger topping? Comment below!


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