Hey there, Friday! You’re looking good. Today, I thought I’d share a few of the top recipes from the past year. Looking back at each recipe brings back memories of the circumstances surrounding it, some of which I was more open about than others.
I can’t talk about last year without bringing up the break-up that knocked the wind out of me. It was a relationship that moved about 100 miles per hour. It was a relationship punctuated by a terrible car crash and it was over as quickly as it began. I learned last year that falling in love, even briefly, leaves an indelible impression, not unlike a semester in France.
Last year, Cookie and I walked about a million miles together. She led me around the parks and through the neighborhoods, over and over again. These days, I’m not wiping my eyes on our walks. I feel focused and energized. I enter 2014 with a fresh sense of empathy for anyone who has ever loved and lost, which is everyone. Broken hearts are real.
Last year wasn’t all bad. I travelled a lot: first Salt Lake City, then Atlanta, that road trip through the Appalachians and Nashville, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver. I got back into yoga and feel more comfortable in my own skin than ever. I laughed really, really hard with my friends—those deep, side-splitting laughs left my cheeks burning and assured me that I am ok.
I quit my job last year so I can spend more time hanging out with you wonderful people. I love this little website. It’s my baby. I owe you a tremendous thank you for visiting. Thank you for cooking, commenting, and sharing with friends. You make all my late nights worthwhile.
Today, in the absence of a new recipe, I thought I’d share the top ten recipes from last year. I left out a few sweets since we probably got enough of those during the holidays. Which recipes are your favorites? I want to hear about them! Please tell me about your 2013, and about the recipes you’d like to see this year.
No. 1: Sweet Potato & Black Bean Veggie Burgers
It was about time I posted a veggie burger recipe and told you all about my friend Bill, a friend and cancer survivor. (vegan and gluten free)
No. 2: West African Peanut Soup
I had no idea this soup would go over so well! Apparently peanut butter in soup isn’t too crazy (if you don’t believe me, try this soup). (vegan and gluten free)
No. 4: Raw Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad with Tahini-Maple Dressing
I worried that this salad would seem too bird food-y, but you tried it and loved it and I love you for it. (gluten free and easily made vegan)
No. 5: Crispy Mushroom, Spinach and Avocado Quesadillas
Crispy cheese, guys. Crispy grilled cheese on the outside and filled with mushrooms, sautéed spinach and avocado on the inside. (vegetarian like the rest)
No. 6: Lentil and Mushroom Meatballs
These “meat” balls almost got the best of me, but the third time was the charm. I ate so many mushrooms in the making of this recipe that I haven’t wanted to eat any more since then. Truth. (gluten free)
No. 7: Chopped Kale Salad with Edamame, Carrot and Avocado
I love kale salads! This is one of my favorites. The ginger-soy dressing is killer, if I can say so myself. (vegan and gluten free)
No. 8: Kale, Black Bean and Avocado Burrito Bowl
A bunch of my favorite things in one satisfying bowl. Lime-marinated kale and avocado salsa verde are meant for one another. (vegan and gluten free)
No. 9: Roasted Broccoli, Arugula and Lentil Salad
This is one of the few recipes that I’ve made that turned out just right on the first try. Broccoli gets all roasty toasty and crispy on the edges when roasted in the oven—if you haven’t tried roasted broccoli yet, you’re missing out. (gluten free and easily made vegan)
No. 10: Portobello and Poblano Fajitas
Yet another mushroom and avocado recipe. Even meat-loving guys love these fajitas. They were a hit at girls night, too. (easily made vegan and gluten free)
Some sweet extras: ginger beer concentrate (add club soda for homemade ginger beer), chai coconut ice cream (because warming spices make it suitable for winter?) and gluten-free chocolate chip cookies (my favorite chocolate chip cookies, ever).