What I'm most proud of this year is the way I have faced my fears and tried new things. While I've been approaching all areas of my life with this intention, here on the blog it's been particularly apparent. I even pulled back the comforting curtain of anonymity and posted about me.
And now I am in the final day of a year that has been jam packed with delicious, colorful, nutritious, and home cooked foods. Many of them started out as frightening or scary ingredients or ideas.
Here are my favorite posts from 2010.
10. Chipotle Salad Dressing - this is probably the number one restaurant thing I crave and it's rewarding to be able to recreate it at home. I've also recreated French Meadow's tempeh cutlet with good results.
9. Zucchini Oat Bran Muffins - boy, oh boy was I proud of this one! First time I ever felt like I had created a recipe for a baked good from scratch that actually worked.
8. Garlicky White Beans with Veggies and Egg - this was the first time I'd cooked dried beans, and it wasn't the last. I've cooked up several big pots of black, garbanzo, and cannellini beans since then and I love having them available in the freezer for last minute meals.
7. Steamed Artichoke with Balsamic Aioli - artichokes are not scary! It's like eating crab legs...takes a little work to get to the good stuff, but it's worth it!
6. Vegetarian Lunch Meat - it was fun using vital wheat gluten for the first time and I enjoyed sandwiches with this "mock meat." I also used mock meat in my Vegetarian Pot Pie, Rustler Pizza, and Vegetarian Pulled "Pork" Sandwiches.
5. Grilled Teriyaki Shrimp and Pineapple - I've become really confident on the old Weber and I'm no longer afraid to fire it up for dinner. I used to think it was way too much work and too much mess but I've made a great Grilled Balsamic Veggie Sandwich and Grilled Chili Lime Veggie Burritos.
4. Squash and Spinach Risotto - lots of people are scared to make risotto from scratch but it's very simple and the results are ridiculously good. I also made a risotto out of barley that was awesome.
3. Pizza Dough - so much easier than I thought it would be! I even used it to grill pizza and make calzones.
2. Sweets - in the first couple years of my real food challenge, I didn't do a lot of baking. Now I know good desserts are real food if you use the right ingredients and enjoy them in moderation. I've made some amazing sweet things this year including the Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie, Guinness Cake, Chocolate Lava Cakes, Carrot Cake, and Greek Yogurt Lemon Mousse.
1. Wasabi Pea Encrusted Tuna Steaks - I used to think fish was difficult to cook at home, especially the kind that you want to eat rare. But this recipe was a breeze. And out of this world delicious.
I also want to give honorable mention to these recipes that stand out in my memory as being exceptionally delicious: Sweet Potato Gnocchi, Baked Egg Rolls, Avocado Boats, and Sweet Onion and Mushroom Galette.
The best part is that I'm not done yet. I have a fairly lengthy list of items I'd like to eat or try in 2011. I'll continue to post here and you're welcome to continue reading! Thank you for following along and I wish for you to make 2011 an outstanding year, just as I'm intending to do!
ONE YEAR AGO: Top Ten of Green and Lean '09