It was a wild year with surgery, a new house, tons of travel and shifting dietary restrictions. Somehow we still managed to post over 150 new recipes!
I really spread the love across blogs this year. I referenced 135 chefs and brought together some interesting fusions.
The biggest challenge of the year was to reset my immune system to fight off inflammation. This meant cutting gluten out along the way. It didn't stop me from making some baller meals.
My Favorite Gluten Free/Vegan Meals
I made tons of gluten free/vegan recipes this year, but these stand out as ones you'd expect to be all sorts of glutenous and dairy filled! First up: Pumpkin Mac & Cheez (GF, V). I made this part of our Christmas Eve feast and it was a crowd pleaser among omnivores and the chef who loved the quick and easy recipe. Make it!
Making gluten-free pasta from scratch is TOUGH! This Pea & Leak Ravioli (GF, V) actually came together and stayed together. Make it!
Before we moved, our local grocery store sold a black bean hummus, and I was addicted. I managed to work it into a "Mexican" Pasta (GF, V) recipe. I miss that hummus... Make it!
This Teff Fettuccine with Ye'abesha Gomen (GF, V) is actually my favorite recipe of the year. For a pasta dish, it's actually quite light with a lot of delicate flavors. Generally, the flavor profile is a departure from what I usually make. I really have to give it a second go in the new year. Make it!
The hubby had oral surgery this year, so we had a couple of pancake heavy weeks for him. These Bourbon Peaches & Cream Pancakes (GF, V) were sooooooo delicious. Definitely on the sweeter side. Might be better as a dessert than a brunch item. Make it!
My Favorite "Weird" Originals
I'm a huge fan of "Benedicts" when it comes to brunch time. I can for sure say, I've never seen anything like my gluten-free, dairy-free "JUST Eggs Penekiko" that brough Hawaiian flare to a traditionally bready, dairy heavy classic. Make it!
These Beyond Meat Pierogi Tacos (DF) were a lot of work, but also a lot of fun. They're quite heavy and definitely an indulgence. They were extra delicious on a cold winter day. Make it!
Recipes that "Scratched the Itch" for Meat
I was raised an omnivore, and occasionally, I have to scratch the itch. These recipes hold you over as you transition to vegetarian life. This Cuban Jackfruit Sandwich (GF, V) was out of this world delicious. I love a good fancy sandwich, and this one I savoured. Make it!
I am a Maryland girl at heart, and God do I love seafood. And, who isn't mad about saffron? This Banana Blossom Paella (GF, V) captures the flavor and texture of a traditional fish paella. It will be made again this summer. Make it!
As a hater of watermelon, these Watermelon Tuna Steaks with Asian Slaw (GF, V) were quite a gamble for me, and the gamble paid off. As an occasional fish eater, tuna is still taboo for allergy reasons. This is going to be a clutch summe fave. Make it!
These are recipes that surprised me. I chose them because I thought they might be easy, healthy, or filling, but not necessarily packed with flavor. They over-delivered. I thought Cilantro Orange Rice (GF, V) would be a minor twist to something basic, but this recipe was so creamy, my husband guessed it had coconut milk, which it does not. Same creamy goodness, dramatically reduced amount of saturated fat. Make it!
Finally, this Finnish Cabbage Casserole (GF, V) didn't sound like it would be exciting at all. Yet, it was FULL of flavor! Seriously has two spices in it: salt and pepper. Make it!