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If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you know that I typically cook up at least 2-3 new recipes a week, mostly on Sunday evenings when my instagram feed goes into overload as I prep my weekly meals.  

Since I love trying new recipes so much, I have to really really love a recipe in order to make it a second time.  Of all the recipes I’ve cooked so far this year, here are the best of the best, all definitely deserving of frequent repeat performances.  Where available, I’ve included links to the recipes as well.

Breakfasts

Flora Foodie’s Lemony Deep Dish Fruit Pizza earned itself a permanent place in my heart.  Technically it’s a dessert, but since there are chickpeas in the crust plus plenty of fruit on top of the vegan lemon curd, I decided it had enough redeeming qualities to get away with having it for breakfast. It’s difficult to think of a better reason to get out of bed in the morning than this.

Ricki Heller’s Orange Oatmeal Muffins enticed me with their creative use of an entire orange – peel and all.  Molasses, Dates, and Raisins give them a ginger-bread like taste. Surprisingly the orange flavor was pretty subtle.  I actually made this recipe from an adaptation in The New Enlightened Eating, but the version on Ricki’s blog is very similar.

Oh She Glow’s Bananas Foster Baked Oatmeal – This recipe is much tastier than it looks.  I followed Angela’s suggestion of adding blueberries to my bake which I admit gave it a strange color, though it was delicious.  One of the best things about this recipe is that sauteeing the bananas really brings out their natural sweetness for a perfectly sweet oatmeal with just a smidge of maple syrup and no other sweeteners.   I didn’t have Kahlua or Rum on hand for the bananas foster, so I used what I had on hand – Southern Comfort – and it actually came out great.  Mike loved this recipe even more than I did, and that’s pretty rare in our house since I’m the one with the food obsession :-)

Cornmeal, Carrot, Coconut and Cardamom Halwa – This is just a shameless plug for my most recent original recipe creation.  Seriously though, I am so pleased with how this one turned out – a very creamy and buttery grain-based pudding.  It’s completely unlike any breakfast concoction I’ve made before and was a great way to add some variety to my breakfast repertoire.

Vegan Brunch’s Sesame Scrambled Tofu and Greens with Yams – This is my new favorite breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner.  It’s such a perfect combination – it’s got protein (tofu), healthy fats (sesame oil & sesame seeds), plenty of greens (I used Collard Greens), and healthy starch (sweet potatoes) – and the flavor is mind blowingly good.  I made this as part of the virtual Veg Cookbook Club and can’t wait to try more recipes from this month’s selection – Vegan Brunch by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.

Lunches/Dinners:

Daily Garnish’s Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Miso Sauce – When I first had a taste of this recipe at January’s Book Club, I thought it would make the perfect brown-bag lunch.  I had the idea to add chickpeas and celery to round it out more as a one-dish meal, solely for the purpose of making it more filling.  Dare I say it, but it my opinion these additions made it even tastier too.  I loved the added crunch from the celery, and the chickpeas helped to mellow out the strong flavors of the miso and tahini.  I followed Emily’s recipe exactly then added 2 cans of rinsed & drained chickpeas and about 1/2 a bunch of celery, finely diced.

Twice-Baked “Chorizo”-Chipotle Potatoes – These are so good I’ve made them 3 times already this year, inspired by one of Laura’s recipes and a brainstorming twitter conversation she and I had.  These make for a hearty, spicy, protein-packed entree!

Black-Bean Chipotle Tacos – We’ve made these so many times, I’ve lost count.  Impressively, this recipe is something Mike whipped up on a whim while cleaning out the fridge and pantry one day.  It was so good I handed him a pen and paper and made him asked him to write down exactly what he put in it.  We even tried this out with a couple different brands of taco sauce to make sure the results will turn out well for all of you too.

Quick Fix Vegan’s Muffaletta Pizza – This pizza is absolute perfection.  The comforting taste and lack of fake cheese make it a vegan pizza that any omnivore would certainly love.  The crust (we used storebought) is baked  with a chickpea puree and marinated artichokes, then afterwards is topped with a mixture of avocado, olives, capers, and hot peppers.  Every bite is creamy, salty, spicy, savory bliss, and it really tastes like something special, even though it can be ready in under 30 minutes.  It took serious restraint for us to save half the pizza for leftovers the next night.  This would also make an amazing party appetizer.

Tempeh Bacon BLT – I know this recipe seems like a cop-out, but this is one 5 minute dinner that I truly get excited about.  We use Light Life’s Tempeh Fakin’ Bacon and lightly sautee it in a pan while toasting the bread.  Add some vegenaise, lettuce, and tomato, and next thing you know I’m making “Mmmm” sounds out loud.  We like to get fancy and stir some chipotle sauce into our Vegenaise.  One fun spin on it that I recently tried was a Peanut Butter BLT (pictured below), inspired by PlantStrongMama.  It was actually REALLY good and brought out the salty, savory flavor of the ‘Bacon’.  

StarchSolution’s Spicy Cabbage & Lima Beans – This is not only a very budget friendly meal, but it’s also ready in about 15 minutes and it packs a surprising amount of flavor.  The Cabbage and Corn lend it a great sweetness, the Lima beans and rice make it filling, the spice makes it niiiiice, and the tomatoes help to cool things off.  This combo may seem simplistic, but it sure doesn’t taste that way.

Desserts:

Chocolate Almond Midnight Cake – When Nissa made this incredibly dark & fudgy chocolate cake for our PPK February Potluck I was seriously sad when the leftovers I hoarded were all gone.  I needed more, but I knew me + an entire cake = bad idea.  My office potluck was the perfect solution.  Although I burned the crust, it must have come out alright.  One of my coworkers asked for the recipe.  Her teenage daughter had a vegan crush and she wanted to bake him something to give him when she invited him to the Sadie’s Hawkins dance.  She did, and he said yes!

Vegetarian Times’ Cinnamon-Vanilla Flan – Mike loves flan.  And I love Mike.  So for Valentine’s Day, I attempted to make him a Vegan Flan.  To be honest, even I was skeptical that a Vegan Flan could be as good as the real thing.  And while this recipe didn’t have that eggy flavor or a buttery caramel sauce, we both thought it was fantastic.  This was also my first time cooking with Agar Agar, a gelatin-like substance made from seaweed.  If you have the option, I’d recommend using Agar Agar Powder vs Agar Agar Flakes as the Flakes took nearly 10 minutes of simmering and constant stirring to dissolve completely, but either way this is completely worth making.  I used Coconut Palm Sugar which gave it this beautiful caramel color.

It’s certainly been a delicious year so far!

I’d love to hear from you!

What new recipes have you tried recently?