Last summer I did two posts on recipes that we'd tried out and had especially liked over the past school year. I broke it into two parts, breakfast and dinner and dessert, and shared photos, reviews, and links to the recipes. This year we've continued eating those recipes I talked about last summer (in fact, all of the dinner recipes from last July are still in our current rotation!), but I haven't stopped adding new ones to the mix either. Here's a roundup of our latest and greatest (we've tried at least 15+ others that I'm not listing here, although you can find them and a short review I wrote about them on this Pinterest board - it's where I collect every recipe we've tried out - at least if it has an internet home!), grouped by breakfast, dinner, and dessert. Sorry the dessert category is extra light this time - I guess we've really taken it easy in that area, or else we've just been repeating old favorites (probably the latter!).
Strawberry Banana Smoothie Bowl - We first made this recipe last summer, followed the ingredient list and steps fairly closely, and really liked it! Since then we've made variations of the recipe by using different frozen fruits and plant-based milk combinations on a pretty regular basis on the weekends, but almost always top ours with chia seeds and bananas.
Banana Bread Granola - Ever since we first made homemade granola sometime last year, I've kind of been hesitant to try out another recipe, knowing that it would be hard for any other to measure up. Sure enough, we didn't like this one quite as much (after all, our favorite is peanut butter flavored, and that's hard to beat!), but banana bread is good too - plus this recipe made six servings, and our old standby only makes about four.
Vegan Coconut Pancakes with Caramelized Bananas - Last year, we had pretty easy access to maple syrup, so we made pancakes on the weekends fairly often. This year, things have changed, and while we can find syrup, it's in a smaller container and much pricier, so I've been trying to find recipes that don't need syrup. This recipe fit the bill, as the caramelized bananas make a sauce that's a good substitute for the syrup we're lacking. We skipped the coconut yogurt for serving, but even still, we thought this recipe was a perfect weekend breakfast for the two of us!
PB & J Chia Pudding - I've mentioned this recipe a few times on the blog recently because we like it so much, but it's worth listing it here, too, I think. The first time we made it, we just fell in love with the peanut butter chia mixture and the berry compote, but the second time we made it, the chia pudding didn't come together quite right. Danny loved it anyways, and while I still enjoyed it, the texture was just a little bit off.
D - My favorite part of the recipe is easily the peanut butter chia mixture. If you just made that and served it to me for breakfast, or heck, even for dessert, I'd be delighted.
Peanut Butter Banana Baked Oatmeal - We've tried out a handful of baked oatmeals over the past year or so, and this one is, hands down, my favorite. I think the warm, gooey peanut butter on the top is what really won me over. Leftovers were good too - I just heated my piece up for a little while and added some sliced banana for an easy weekday breakfast!
Butternut Squash and Sage Macaroni - This has become a real favorite for us, and after first trying it in June, we've made it on a few special occasions, like Thanksgiving and Valentine's Day (I expect we'll make it again on Easter too!). The measurements for the recipe are in metric, which intimidated me at first, but the internet is great for converting pretty much everything these days ;)
Thai Coconut Vegetable Curry - This dish was easy, really tasty (love the coconut flavor!), and nice served with brown rice. We tried it for the first time in November, and look forward to having it again soon!
Homemade Pizza Pockets - As with many recipes, we made some adjustments to these when cooking, leaving out the vegan cheese and using a different marinara sauce recipe, but we used the same filling ingredients and despite our dough not rising at all, we were really happy with the end results - I can only imagine what they're like when everything's done exactly right!
Creamy Corn Chowder - This has definitely become a favorite of ours. We made it for the first time in November, and have had it two or three times since. We both love corn chowder, but this one we favor over others we've tried because of the other ingredients that make it a bit heartier (potato, celery, red pepper in addition to, of course, the corn).
Loaded Lentil Salad - We didn't cook with lentils much while living in Colorado, but we've given them more of a chance here in Spain. This salad could be a side or a main dish, depending on how you serve it, and it seems like each time we make it, we like it more! It's good both warm and cold, and if you're thinking that salads aren't your favorite, well, they're not really mine either - this one doesn't have any traditional greens in it, just sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts (thinly sliced), red onions, lentils, and some different spices and sauces to help it all come together.
D - Let's be honest, nobody likes salad. You only eat it because it's good for you. That's one of the things that makes this so great. By calling it a salad, you instantly lower people's expectations and then when they taste it...BOOM. Mind blown. If someone asks you to bring a salad to a dinner party and you bring this, you will be the hero of the party. Everyone will ask you for both the recipe and your autograph.
Black Bean Soup and Rice - This recipe is so simple, ingredient-wise and prep-wise, and made just enough for the two of us. We thought it was great - I love soups that are served with a little something else, like this one, and make it my goal while eating to get some soup and rice in every bite.
One-Hour Vegan Shepherd's Pie - We had a bunch of leftover mashed potatoes from Thanksgiving, so I was on the hunt for a recipe that would use up most/all of them, and that's where this shepherd's pie came in. It was great in that we didn't have to do anything to the topping, just prep the innards a bit, and then bake. Definitely recommend this for your holiday leftover needs!
Pineapple Fried Rice - Another new favorite that we're making again this week! It's a fairly bare-bones recipe, so to make it heartier, consider some of the suggested add-ins at the end of the recipe, like veggies, beans, tofu, and roasted cashews. The two times we've made it, we've left it as it and just eaten the whole thing (between the two of us) in one sitting - we just love what pineapple can do to a dish, I guess!
Vegetarian Quinoa and Black Bean Nachos - You know something's good when you decide to make it for your friends...after testing this recipe out on ourselves this past January (and really liking it!), we had friends over for dinner and made these nachos for them. Everyone seemed pretty pleased with the idea, aside from the fact that nachos are usually a finger food, and our friends are British and quite a bit more proper than us, meaning that meals served without a fork and a knife are...well, more up our alley than theirs.
Mexican Quinoa Wraps - We made a few modifications to these as we didn't have any tomatoes at the time, we skipped the cheese, and just used standard size tortillas rather than large ones, but we still gave them rave reviews. We each ate a couple, and as long as you do most of the prep before you start cooking (getting ingredients out, chopping, etc.), it's an easy recipe from start to finish for sure.
Sweet Potato and Kale Chili - Another one of those soups that's served with rice, which I'm a fan of, and this one is also super simple to make. There's really only three ingredients to prep (garlic, onion, and sweet potatoes) - everything else is mostly measuring, pouring, and mixing.
Fajita Rice Bowl - We love fajitas/fajita bowls and have a handful of recipes that we rotate between when we want dishes like those, but this one was unique in that we pretty much never incorporate mushrooms into our Mexican-inspired food. While it seems to be kind of extreme to say it made all the difference here, it must have, as otherwise it has all of the same elements as the other recipes we make. The prep was super easy, and the results were great, so we'll be making this bowl again soon...and giving mushrooms more of a chance too!
One Pot Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo with Peas and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes - The first time we made this, I thought I liked it but wasn't completely sure. The leftovers convinced me, though, and since it's super easy to prepare, we made it for friends a couple of weeks ago, and that meal sealed the deal - it's a new favorite for us!
Vegetarian White Bean Chili - We're big chili fans, but as we were battling through a month of almost non-stop rainy days, I was looking for a few new soup recipes. I remembered a white chicken chili my mom made at one point, which inspired me to search for a vegetarian version of the recipe. I love how the beans, quinoa, and spinach come together in this chili (we didn't have kale at the time), and the leftovers were really good too.
Lentil and Chickpea Salad Sandwiches - I've been really skeptical of trying out recipes that are trying to be a veganized version of egg salad for a while now (we had a chickpea salad sandwich recipe that we made about two years ago...but it wasn't great) but I've also been trying hard to use up things we have in the cupboard (looking at you, red lentils). The prep work for this recipe was a bit more intensive than I had anticipated (read: I thought it would take me about 15 minutes, not 45) but it was worth it. We loved the end product and probably got about 6-8 sandwiches out of it.
D - I was super impressed with these sandwiches! Seriously so good and I love recipes that make tons of leftovers.
Vegan Stuffed Shells - We didn't end up stuffing any shells (couldn't find any!) but we did stuff cannelloni, and aside from the actual stuffing action (which I imagine is easier if you use shells), everything about this recipe is really easy - and delicious! Really looking forward to the leftovers this week!
Taco Pizza - We made this recipe over the weekend - and had so many leftover ingredients from it, that we had it again last night! The lentil and walnut taco 'meat' was pretty simple to make, and everything else just topping prep (easy)! We love pizza (who doesn't?!), and I particularly like the cheese-less kind, so this is a recipe we'll be happily adding to our rotation!
Stovetop Cinnamon Apples - A small organic grocery store opened up across the street from us a few weeks ago, and as a part of their grand opening celebrations, they were giving away bags of free produce. We gladly accepted ours and found a couple of apples inside, which we used them for these cinnamon apples since we had just a few spoonfuls of ice cream in the freezer we wanted to get rid of - the perfect way to combine the two!