Happy New Year! Hope you had a nice time celebrating the arrival of 2015. I got together with a few of my dear friends whom I’ve known since high school, and it was a low-key but laughter-filled evening. A couple of days later, I flew back home to Baltimore, and by the time my plane had touched down at BWI, I had come down with (what turned out to be severe) stomach flu. Gotta love traveling during flu season, right? So, that is my explanation for the complete silence on the blog in 2015 so far. Too bad I didn’t make a New Year’s resolution to lose weight, or I would be right on track…
Today I was finally feeling well enough to get on the computer and get some things done. But as you can imagine, I haven’t been cooking anything, unless you guys want a recipe for Saltines with a side of Gatorade. I’m hoping to get back into the kitchen this weekend; in the meantime, I thought I’d share a little look back at the recipes of 2014.
It was a great year of food on Yup, it’s Vegan. I had tons of fun writing the blog and connecting with readers and other bloggers. In 2015 it’s pretty much gonna be more of the same. Most excitingly, I saved up to get myself a DSLR camera as a holiday gift and I can’t wait to start playing around with it and get more creative at bringing these recipes to life. The point-and-shoot (used for all of the pictures on the blog so far, yikes!) is going up for sale on Craigslist ASAP. 🙂
Here is a roundup of the top 10 recipes on my site in 2014 (by total page views). Below that, I asked my partner to pick a few of his favorite things that I made this year (that weren’t already on the initial list), and shared 7 of them. Bon appetit!
Top 10 recipes by page views
10. Tequila Lime Baked Tofu Tacos with Chipotle Crema
Tofu is marinated in a flavorful tequila and lime sauce, baked to perfection, and served up on a taco with refried beans, fresh herbs, and a spicy chipotle cream sauce.
9. Warm Caramelized Onion and Kale Dip
A unique dip with bold flavors of white wine, caramelized onion, and fresh kale, and made with a secret ingredient!
8. Avocado Edamame Potstickers
Avocado blended into the filling of these potstickers makes for a delectably rich dumpling that melts in your mouth. The crunchy texture of edamame is the perfect counterpoint to the avocado, and scallions and bok choy add fresh notes. I received some feedback that it is difficult to find vegan wonton wrappers in stores, and I COMPLETELY agree. A homemade dumpling tutorial (including making the wrappers from scratch) is coming to the blog in 2015!
7. Chickpea Vindaloo (Spicy Chickpea Curry)
For those who like spice, this Goan-style curry packs the heat, but balances it out with warm spices and hearty chickpeas and potatoes.
6. Samosa Soup
The easiest way to get that samosa experience without the effort or the Fried. It’s a great substitute for those times when we order Indian food and end up getting nothing except for 4 orders of samosas. I’m guessing I’m not the only one who’s been there?
5. Sofritas (Shredded Tofu Braised in Adobo Sauce)
One of the best tofu recipes I’ve ever made, this sofritas is outrageously flavorful and blows Chipotle’s version out of the water. Speaking of Chipotle, they are offering a buy-one-get-one-free deal on sofritas this month! The offer is valid at all Chipotle locations in the US and Canada. On January 26th, order sofritas with any style dish at your local Chipotle. Return with your receipt anytime before February 28th, and get a free burrito, taco, or whatever else you want. And it doesn’t have to have sofritas in it the second time. I still totally think the homemade stuff is better, but it’s hard to say no to free Chipotle!
4. One Pot Pasta with Zucchini and Leeks in White Wine Lemon Sauce
Also known as the pasta that made my coworker exclaim, “oh my gosh that smells so good” when I reheated it for lunch. This dish cooks up in just about 10 minutes, and the delicate flavor of the white wine and lemon sauce pairs best with spring or early summer veggies. Here I used zucchini, leek, and garlic scapes.
3. Homemade Soy “Chorizo”
A perfect vegan substitute for anywhere ground meat is typically used. This recipe was inspired by the Trader Joe’s product which put us all on an emotional rollercoaster in 2014 (it was vegan, then it was discontinued, then it came back but wasn’t vegan anymore, then it was discontinued again, then it finally returned in a vegan form). I researched the spices and flavorings used to make authentic Spanish chorizo and made that, along with the TJ’s ingredients list, the starting point for this recipe. The results are so very delicious!
2. Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip
This vegan spin-art dip was my second most popular recipe of the year and I think that is well deserved. It is made completely from scratch, with no Daiya or anything like that, but it’s downright cheesy and gets rave reviews. I like to serve it piping hot, which makes it a great recipe for get-togethers during the warm months. Cough cough, Super Bowl! Last year, the Seattle (where I grew up) Seahawks won the Bowl. The previous year, the Baltimore (where I now call home) Ravens won it. This year, they could meet in the championship. I love scenarios in which I can only win. 😀
1. One Pot Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca with Chickpeas and Artichoke
This recipe was by far the breakout star of the blog last year. It can be made with pantry ingredients (perfect meal for power outages!), has very little prep work, takes only about 10 minutes, and tastes like a million bucks. For me, what’s even better is that many omnivores have truly enjoyed this dish and moreover found it satisfying. Inspiring plant love in people, no matter what the scale, is why I write this blog, and I’m profoundly thankful that this super approachable and toothsome recipe was able to reach so many people.
Amaranth flatbread with fig, corn, and shallot cream sauce
Creamy wild rice soup
Pizza-stuffed spaghetti squash
Everything bagel hummus
Beer-marinated baked sweet potato fries
Dark chocolate mango and macadamia nut butter cups
Baked pretzel empanadas