It's been another year! Already! Where does the time go?
I know it has been a rough year for many, the internet keeps saying a gleeful farewell to 2016, but I must say, (not in a braggy way), that 2016 was a really good year for me.
Here's what happened over the last year:
- I wrote, photographed, and ate my way through creating my first cookbook (to be published in October 2017 by Appetite by Random House).
- I started a YouTube channel and learned I'm apparently somewhat ok at being in front of a camera because I was then selected to go film a cooking show with Food Network star Chef Michael Smith in P.E.I.
- There were 3.5 MILLION pageviews on It Doesn't Taste Like Chicken, with almost 1 million of those from the last 2 months alone. My site popularity increased by 73% when compared to last year! Seriously, so much vegan love this year!
- I had the honour of working with many great sponsors who love my vegan recipes, and I love their products right on back. Work relationship love!
- I adopted my new furry (so. much. shedding.) best friend Chickpea.
- I was nominated as one of Toronto's best bloggers by Now Toronto, and even though I didn't win, it was a HUGE honour to be recognized by my own hometown.
- I was interviewed by Bjork from Food Blogger Pro about my new successes as a blogger. At the time I was still freelancing on the side to help support my blog, but I let that go and I'm thrilled that I'm 100% a real full-time blogger now!
- I started a book club, ran obstacle courses, went to reggae fest (and other fun fests), and had regular date nights with my most amazing collection of friends. ❤️
Yes, 2016 treated me very well.
So let's take a trip down memory lane. I think a great way to start the new year is to remember all the deliciousness of last year, (I remember in food). So I collected the top 10 vegan recipes of 2016. You can see the top 10 vegan recipes from 2015, and 2014 (and take a trip back to my bad food photography skills while you're at it).
While these two recipes were published in 2015, The Ultimate Vegan Chocolate Cake, and my Easy Vegan Pumpkin Pie were both posted in November, and so they didn't really get enough time to shine to make it to my top 2015 list. Over the course of the year, they have both reached the top of the charts becoming some of the most popular recipes on my blog of all time. Desserts for the win!
Along with the recipes, I began posting recipe collections that featured recipes from my blogging friends across the net. Apparently, you guys love these as they were all super duper popular! Check out the top 5 recipe collections:
- 25 Hearty Vegan Salads That Will Fill You Up
- 16 Life Changing Cheese Recipes
- 30 Breakfast Recipes (that aren't smoothies, oatmeal, or energy bars)
- Top 8 Must Have Vegan Apps, 25 Vegan Recipes for the Grill
- 25 Vegan Potluck Recipes
And without further ado, the Top 10 Vegan Recipes of 2016!
This recipe isn't only delicious, but it also won me a spot in the #LoveLentils competition, where I was flown to Prince Edward Island and got to film a cooking show with celebrity Chef Michael Smith (who raved about my avocado cilantro sauce and kept eating it by the spoonful p.s.).
Sometimes simple is the way to go. These easy peasy simple potato pancakes hit the spot in all the right places.
This recipe was cut from my cookbook because there are SO many lentil shepherd's pie recipes floating around in this world. For me, the problem was, that this was THE BEST lentil shepherd's pie recipe I had ever tasted, so I didn't want it to just disappear into my scribbled book of recipes never to be shared. I decided to post it regardless of how many lentil shepherd's pie recipes there already were, and I'm so glad I did because you guys are just loving it! Apparently I'm not the only one who thinks it's the best 🙂
While I supposed you could eat these treats (some of my friends did... apparently they want to try ALL my vegan recipes!) these treats are actually intended for the pooches of the world. The cutest little mutt that ever lived (also know as Chickpea) is obsessed with this treats, and so are your dogs!
One of my very early recipes on my blog was a pulled jackfruit sandwich. I was still pretty new to vegan cooking at that time, and while my recipe was totally bomb, it also required a million ingredients and a lot more time. I have since learned how to streamline my recipes making them easier, and quicker while keeping all the flavour pow. I revamped this recipe in 2016 and my golly I'm glad I did because it was very much appreciated.
This recipe was inspired by a breaded chicken recipe, but it doesn't taste like chicken. Ba dum dum tsk! Sorry... that was bad, but I just had to.
I am vegan, I like tofu, I admit it. (Apparently, you guys do as well).
Another recipe that was booted from my cookbook, not because it wasn't delicious, but because I had way too many recipes and my editor, Bhavna, was worried the book would be 5 inches thick and cost a fortune if we didn't narrow it down. One of the most nerve-racking parts of writing a cookbook is that I have to wait a whole year before I actually start getting feedback about how you guys like the recipes in it. So posting this recipe gave me a big sigh of relief. If you loved this recipe so much, then the rest of my cookbook must be pretty darn good too. Whew!
Cut a slice of sweet potato, put in in the toaster, and presto: sweet potato toast. This isn't really a recipe so much as it was a concept I wanted to try. Hot dang it works! The funny thing is I kept getting messages from readers saying they didn't believe it could work or that it would ruin their toaster. So to prove it, I made a video, which quickly became my most popular YouTube video... who knew a slice of delicious toast would cause such a stir!
I can't say that I'm surprised these vegan peanut butter cups came in 2nd place, they really are so insanely good. I used to make them when I was a kid (because it was always easier to make treats than it was to convince my mom to buy me treats). I noticed a lot of the vegan peanut butter cup recipes floating around the internet involved using just plain peanut butter and freezing it. I really don't like frozen chocolate, and the original candy is so much more than just plain peanut butter, so I played around a little with my memory of making them, veganized them, and made the best vegan peanut butter cups there ever were! (In my not so humble opinion).
And the winner is, Sweet Korean Lentils!! With Korean BBQ becoming the trendy thing to eat, I wanted to capture those awesome flavours of the dish bulgogi, except without the ground beef. I knew lentils would be PERFECT for this dish. The lentils are cooked in my sauce recipe so each lentil is jam packed with flavour, but the best part is that it only takes 10 minutes to make!!! Flavour packed instant, healthy meal, for the win!
And there it is, the Top 10 Vegan Recipes of 2016 in all their glory. I hope you loved eating them as much as I loved creating them.
Bon Appetgan my friends! I can't wait to share 2017 with you.