Well, friends. It’s almost time.
Time to bid this crazy, wonderful, tough, fulfilling, eventful, bizarre year adieu.
I know 2017 has been a hard year for a lot of people, but 2017 was actually a year of tremendous growth for me.
When I was younger, my mom got me this book called, “I Hope You Dance.” It was the lyrics of that Lee Ann Womack song by the same name depicted in book form. And she got it for me because she loved the chorus:
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance / I hope you dance.
2017 was one of the first year I truly thought that I chose to “dance.” (And this is figurative dancing, of course. No one needs or wants to see this hot mess express dance. ;) ).
Yes, there were struggles. But there were also glimpses of dances:
- When I said “yes” to an invite to Tuesday trivia, it turned out to be the highlight of my week and I ended up meeting a lot of wonderful people.
- When I said “yes” to a quick trip to Baltimore with one of my best new buds.
- When I said “yes” to a 48 hour whirlwind trip to Portland with my main squeeze.
- When I said “yes” to turning Fooduzzi into a full-fledged business.
- When I said “yes” to that second cookie, the not-super-healthy ingredients, the weekend beer, and my nightly chocolate fix.
- When I said “yes” to visiting my two best high school friends in a different state on a whim.
- When I said “yes” to being active and finding a workout I love.
But it wasn’t all about saying “yes.” I also found dancing in the nos:
- When I said “no” to plans on a Friday night when I really needed a night to decompress.
- When I said “no” to blog opportunities because I didn’t have the mental capacity to take them on.
- When I said “no” to being controlled by food fears and self-doubt. (More to come on this soon. I promise.)
2017 helped me figure out that it’s really all about balance. To loosen up, metaphorically let my hair down, and not stress the small stuff.
It’s kind of hysterical that I’m saying this because I’ve literally lived 24 years doing the exact opposite of that. But this year was different. And I can tell I’m much happier because of it!
Okay, enough personal stuff. Let’s get to the food!
#10: Easiest Way to Cut a Watermelon
I know, not really a recipe. But also totally a recipe you need in your life. This little hack gets me through the summer stress-free.
#9: Cinnamon Turmeric Iced Tea
I’m trying it with Green Tea it’s an awesome taste, thanks I really like it.
The ultimate refreshing summer drink! I’m kinda shocked this recipe made it into my top 10 this year, but it sounds like you guys love all-things tea, turmeric, and cinnamon like I do!
#8: Thai Peanut Hummus
Just made this! I really don’t think this kind of deliciousness is actually legal.
That’s what I like to hear! I’m obsessed with this hummus, and it sounds like you guys are, too! It has such a unique and addictive flavor, and it honestly couldn’t be easier to make. We make it for get-togethers, parties, and random weeknights!
#7: Vegan Tofu Quinoa Taco Meat
I am not much of a meat eater, but never tried tofu before. This is my very first time making tofu. I scoured Pinterest for an easy recipe for first time users of tofu, even though I am a well seasoned cook, and was happy when I found yours. Wow! I am pretty sure this will be my new go to recipe!! This is so tasty and very easy to make!! Thank you for sharing your recipe! :)
Whenever you’re looking for a quick and easy meat substitute for tacos, I’ve got you covered. This Tofu Quinoa Taco Meat is so so so simple, and the flavors are really fab. The texture is on point too – it has the perfect amount of chew!
#6: Thai Peanut Butternut Squash Soup
CONFESSION TIME: I’ve made this soup three times already in less than a month. My Husband eats anything I put in his plate except any kind of squash (saaaaad) BUT in this case it makes me happy because more for me lol! I made some for my girlfriend and after her first bite she said “uhh recipe please.”
Ps. I have some cooking on the stove right now! We moved into our first home and guess what my first meal was…. :P
^^ that is my favorite comment from the entire year! I’m so thrilled you guys love this soup. If there’s one think I learned from 2017, it’s that you all love when peanut butter is thrown into weird and wacky dishes. When it turns out this tasty, I totally understand why.
#5: The Best Damn Gluten Free Vegan Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Just made these and they were AMAZING!!! They may just be my favorite healthy cookie of all time. You are right the almond flour makes it chewy while the coconut flour gives it fluff. Thank you for a delicious, healthy treat!
You know I can’t turn away a cookie, especially when it’s filled with ingredients like almond flour, pure maple syrup, and rich dark chocolate! These are the cookies of my dreams, and I love them with a hefty sprinkle of salt over the top.
#4: Protein Fried Rice
I made this tonight! It is absolutely delicious and I am so excited. You are very clever and my husband went back for thirds!!! This will now become part of my repertoire. I am so glad I doubled the recipe cause now I will be able to have some for lunch. Very Filling too. Thank you!
Whenever you’re hungry for Chinese take-out but you want something a little more wholesome, Protein Fried Rice has got your back. I still am kind of shocked at how delicious this recipe turned out tbh. A rice-free, cauliflower-free version of fried rice. This is what heaven looks like, I swear.
#3: Vanilla Matcha Green Tea Latte
Omg…. this may change my life!!!!! I had never tried match before and was thinking it was going in a smoothie when I saw your post. This is going to replace my morning coffee and quite possibly get me off diet mountain dew (I know it is awful but I’m addicted to it’s all day long pick me up ability). Thanks!
I LOVE comments like this! It’s so simple to get your coffeehouse fix without the coffeehouse. I love making matcha lattes at home, and you can get that incredible foam from a somewhat common kitchen utensil!
#2: Chocolate Covered Vegan Cookie Dough Bars
OMG Alexa, I made these, they are FANTASTIC!!! I love having them as that “treat snack”, I love reading all your GREAT Recipes… please keep them coming.
These. Are. Insane. If you’re a fan of cookie dough, you MUST make these bars ASAP. I’ll just leave it at that. :)
#1: Roasted Broccoli Quinoa Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing
When I was reading this recipe and the blog post and I thought, man this chica is over selling this. There’s no way this salad is THAT good.
And then there I was at 11 pm. Quiet house. Standing in front of my open refrigerator, shoveling this in my mouth. I couldn’t sleep knowing that it was downstairs. It’s so good. I miss it now.
^^ My other favorite comment from this year. Of course, we round out this top 10 with THE king: roasted broccoli, quinoa, and honey mustard dressing. I’m not sure if it’s the ease, the flavor, or all of the above, but you all love this recipe just as much as I do, and I’m absolutely honored to place it at #1 in 2017!
Vegan Greek Chickpea Lettuce Wraps
I was so tickled with how these turned out!! Between THE most addictive sauce I made this year, the creamy avocado, the marinated chickpeas, and the mountain of other toppings, totally totally obsessed with this one.
Rice and Bean Vegan Enchiladas
It was my first time ever making enchiladas, and these TOTALLY didn’t disappoint! They’re stuffed with a simple rice and bean mixture, and I swear I can eat the entire pan in one sitting!
Nana’s To Tos Made Vegan
MY FAVORITE COOKIE…made vegan!! I made a big batch for Christmas, and my family loved them almost as much as I do. :)
Crispy Baked Olives
I am the first to admit that this recipe is…weird. Breaded olives? How? Why?
Trust me, friend. They’re so unbelievably good.
Ginger Banana Green Smoothie
Yep, a smoothie made the list! I made this smoothie for months this summer, and it’s my favorite flavor combo to date! Banana, ginger (fresh or powdered), spinach, and a few other healthy ingredients. I loooove!
Vegan Butternut Squash Bisque with Curried Pepita Brittle
This soup is ridiculous. It’s one of those recipes that totally shouldn’t be as good as it is. BUT it is. It requires only a handful of ingredients, and the slightly spicy / slightly sweet brittle on top just makes my life complete.
Caramelized Onion Rosemary Focaccia Bread
Homemade bread is my single favorite thing to make in the kitchen. Yes, I love it more than cookies.
Focaccia is a super simple recipe for people who are just getting into the bread-making game. It’s naturally vegan, semi-whole wheat, and packed with caramelized onion and rosemary flavor!
Grilled Bread with Tomatoes and Cashew Ricotta
Another one of those recipes that shouldn’t be as good as it is. BUT IT IS. Grilled bread, vegan ricotta, fresh tomatoes…nothing beats this dinner on a warm summer night!
Vegan Curry Chickpea Burgers
While I love these burgers, Mark loves these burgers. He’s obsessed with them, and I think I know why.
You know when you order a veggie burger pretty much anywhere how it’s all flat and flimsy and flavorless? Yeah, these are so not like that. They’re chewy, full of texture, and loaded with curry flavor. The best veggie burger I’ve ever had!
Chewy Vegan Cookie Dough Cookies
Of course, we have to end things on a sweet note! These cookies are so insanely chewy, they taste like cookie dough after they’re baked. Especially if you pop them in the fridge over night. Gahhh so good.
Good question! For starters, I hope to deliver some vegan/plant-based lifestyle (aka. not food!) content to ya next year. I’ve come across some simple ways to extend a plant-based mindset into other aspects of my life, and I’d love to share what I’ve found!
I also have a post drafted about our sweet floof. She’s fine, but she dealt with a medical issue this year that I’d love to chat about.
Another thing: more savory. Not going to lie, this is going to be tough for me. But you said you wanted it! If you have any suggestions or recipe ideas, please do leave them in the comments!
Also! Maybe some videos? I don’t know. What do you guys think? Do you like the “hands” videos you see plastered all over Facebook? Or would you prefer something more personal?
Last thing: more love to you! Thank you for reading, cooking, laughing, and learning with me. I love you to bits.
Happy New Year, friend! 2018, here we come.
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