The reason I started this fifty-recipe challenge was that I find it so easy to set aside recipes that inspire me (usually on Pinterest), but so seldom (never?) actually do anything with them. I might as well have been packing them into a box in an attic this whole time.
The nicest surprise to come out of the challenge is how easy it is to cross that line from “inspired by” to “inspired to do.” My tastes are simple, so the dishes often call for items I have on hand. And I have enough experience in the kitchen to carry me through the various recipe instructions.
What had I been waiting for this whole time? Here are the recipes I’ve used so far …
1. Maple Cinnamon Almond Butter with Flax Seeds, Oh She Glows
Almond butter was the first of my fifty recipes. I even wrote about it. And I’ll make it again. What would I change about this recipe? Nothing. I didn’t have the hemp and chia seeds also called for in the recipe and it turned out fine; but if I come across them, I’d like to add them next time to boost its yummy goodness.
2 & 3. Cuban Black Beans, Eat Live Run; and Zucchini Cheddar Biscuits, A Cozy Kitchen
Both of these were incredibly simple to make — the most trying part of the meal was washing the food processor after grating the zucchini. (Boohoo, Lindsay! It’s a magic machine that grates an entire zucchini in three seconds. Get over yourself.)
1. I might play with spices for the beans next time (this seemed like a great base for experimenting with future batches).
2. I ran out of all-purpose flour for those biscuits! I ended up having to use about half AP, half whole wheat; and the biscuits were still delicious. I might even do that on purpose next time (and add just a minute or two to the baking time to help the heavier whole wheat flour finish up in the oven).
4. Carrot Apple Ginger Soup, Joy the Baker
Joy is one of the food bloggers I’ve been following since I discovered food blogs. And (ridiculous, I know) this is the first Joy recipe I’ve tried. And it’s soup. Go figure.
No notes on this perfect recipe, but a question: Does anyone know why my food processor would happily and perfectly smooth the first mini-batch of soup I ran in it, but leak like hell for every single other batch, even teeninsy ones?
5. Crispy Rosemary Flatbread, Smitten Kitchen
In any case, another of the challenges I’m taking up is Unprocessed October, during which time I hope to find a substitute for the tortilla chips we eat every single day in the Beeson home. This was the first recipe I tried to that end.
It doesn’t quite pair with the salsa we make (that’s a must), but it was such a simple bread that I’ll be making it again. It plays especially well with our hummus. And hummus is something I could eat nearly every day. (Here’s the hummus recipe.)
6. Macaroni Salad, 101 Cookbooks
And with this recipe, I discovered I love arugula. I’d never had it before, but I found myself snacking all week on the leaves I hadn’t needed for the recipe. I added them to my leftover black beans; I thought about (but for some reason never ended up) adding them to my eggs at breakfast. I ate them raw and solo.
Oh, and the pasta salad was tasty. No need for mayonnaise when you have so many fresh flavors mixed in the bowl.
7. Apple Butter, All Recipes
This was a simple way to fill our home with sweet autumn smells. And the apple butter on the other end of a twelve-hour slow-cook was delicious. I included some recipe notes when I wrote about it (and our apple-picking adventure).
8. Healthy No-Bake Almond Cookies, Eating Bird Food
I made these into bars with the idea that Patrick could take them on bike rides. The recipe is a little too dry for these little guys to hold together (even after I added about an extra 1/4 cup almond butter), but they’re tasty (I crumbled them over apple for a really nice post-workout snack).
I have a protein-bar recipe in my files (from Patrick’s cousin Jill; thank you Jill!), and I’m going to see if I can borrow from it to make these bars more handy.
… Eight recipes down, forty-two to go!