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My 16 Favorite Recipes Of 2016

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This Zesty Lentil Spinach Salad recipe is ready to go in about 30 minutes, made with hearty lentils, sauteed veggies, lots of fresh spinach, and a tangy lemon dressing. It's SO delicious, and also makes great leftovers! | (Vegetarian / Gluten-Free)

Happy New Year’s Eve, everyone!

Just realized that I forgot to hit “publish” on today’s follow-up post to the list I shared yesterday of Your 16 Favorite Recipes of 2016. But since we still have a few hours left before the end of the year, I wanted to pop in and share this delicious list of My 16 Favorite Recipes of 2016!

And by “favorite”, I mean the recipes that I make again…and again…and again. Which, in the life of a food blogger who’s always testing out new recipes, says something. ;)

So without further ado, here are my favorite new recipes that were shared on the blog in 2016. Hope that you mind find some new favorites in here as well!!

Learn how to make beef jerky with this easy and delicious recipe -- it's my fave! |

The BEST Beef Jerky

2016 was the year that I finally shared my all-time favorite recipe for beef jerky on the blog. And, as the girl who asked for a dehydrator for Christmas so that she could learn how to make jerky at age 16, suffice it to say that this is one of those nostalgic recipes I absolutely LOVE. And whenever I make it, everyone else always seems to go crazy for it too. My secret? ZERO ADDED SUGAR. (I can’t stand sweet beef jerky!)

5-Ingredient Arugula Salad with Parmesan, Lemon and Olive Oil -- super easy, and always so fresh and tasty! |

Arugula Salad with Parmesan, Lemon and Olive Oil

Speaking of favorite recipes, these next three are also all some of my favorite recipes that I have made dozens and dozens (and dozens and dozens) of times over the years that finally hit the blog in 2016. This simple arugula salad is one that Barclay and I make at least once a week…literally…and it never gets old. We’ve tried it making it with all sorts of different greens, and that delicious peppery baby arugula is still my favorite. I also love adding in some toasted pine nuts and, occasionally, grilled shrimp. SO GOOD.

This Garlic Lovers' Spaghetti recipe is quick and easy to make, and absolutely DELICIOUS. |

Garlic Lovers Spaghetti

Whenever the pasta craving hits, this ultra-garlicky pasta is also the recipe I turn to most frequently. It’s my total idea of comfort food, and always hits the spot. :)

My All-Time Favorite Gumbo Recipe -- made with chicken and andouille sausage, and full of the best flavor! |

My All-Time Favorite Gumbo

2016 was also the year that I finally figured out how to make an epic pot of homemade gumbo. I had been experimenting with various recipes over the years, which always seemed to be close but not quite. But this recipe is an absolute winner. If you love gumbo as much as I do, you’ve gotta try it.
Drunken Noodles Recipe (Pad Kee Mao) -- this classic Thai dish is surprisingly quick and easy to make homemade! |

Drunken Noodles (Pad Kee Mao)

2016 was also the year that I learned how to make drunken noodles at home, and I’m tellin’ ya, this recipe rivals any I’ve had out at a Thai restaurant. They’re super flavorful and delicious, and easy to make with your favorite meats, seafood, or tofu!

Italian Lentil Soup -- this delicious vegetarian soup is easy to make, and so comforting! Feel free to add in Italian sausage if you'd like extra protein. |

Italian Lentil Soup

This simple lentil soup also ended up being one of my surprise favorites of the year. Instead of traditional Mediterranean seasoning, it’s simmered with all sorts of delicious Italian flavors, and it is absolutely delicious.  And bonus? It’s freezes really well…which I do often.

This Zesty Lentil Spinach Salad recipe is ready to go in about 30 minutes, made with hearty lentils, sauteed veggies, lots of fresh spinach, and a tangy lemon dressing. It's SO delicious, and also makes great leftovers! | (Vegetarian / Gluten-Free)

Zesty Lentil Salad

So this lentil salad flew under the radar a bit on the blog this year, but man, I thought it was a TOTAL WINNER. Love all of those delicious, fresh, savory flavors together. And it’s an incredibly hearty and filling vegetarian meal.

This Easy Peruvian Shrimp is super quick and simple to make, and full of the BEST flavors! |

Easy Peruvian Shrimp

I also started experimenting with some new Peruvian recipes at the end of the year, and this easy shrimp saute was one of my surprise new favorites. It’s just as bold in flavor as it is vibrant in color, it’s super easy to make, and those flavors are crazy delicious. This was one of the few recipes over the year that Barclay insisted had to go on the blog — we both loved it!

Brussels Sprouts Tacos with Creamy Avocado Sauce |

Brussels Sprouts Tacos with Creamy Avocado Sauce

Those of you familiar with my undying love of Mexican food know that I’m always down for a good new taco recipe. And hands down — this yummy Brussels sprouts taco recipe (with that heavenly avocado sauce) was my favorite new discovery in 2016. The flavors in there all the best!!

Rigatoni with Mushrooms, Rosemary and Parmesan -- this Italian comfort food is so simple to make, and soooo flavorful and delicious! |

Rigatoni with Mushrooms, Rosemary and Parmesan

This simple pasta recipe also became a new favorite in 2016, inspired by a meal that Barclay and I had this past fall in Washington D.C. It may seem like nothing ground-breaking with such simple ingredients, but trust me, they come together to create a DELICIOUS meal that is sure to please a crowd.

Mimosa Sangria -- quick and easy to make, and kicked up a notch with lots of delicious fresh fruit! |

Mimosa Sangria

Who knew that mimosas and sangria paired so well together?! Until last year, I had no idea. But now it’s one of my — and it sounds like, thousands of your — favorite drinks to serve at brunch. Super simple, and super delish!

This Toasted Almond Chipotle Guacamole recipe is ridiculously delicious...and always a crowd favorite! | (Appetizer / Dip / Gluten-Free / Vegan)

Toasted Almond Chipotle Guacamole

I meant to post this recipe back in 2015, when my friend Kathryne and I spent a month in Austin, but finally got around to it in 2016 after a trip back to visit (when I was reminded how much I need it in my life!). It’s inspired by one of the amazing guacs served at La Condesa in Austin, and it is so irresistibly good. If you’re looking for a show-stopping recipe to bring along to your next party, I can’t recommend it enough.

This Shrimp and Artichoke Green Salad is made with easy Italian-herb shrimp, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, pine nuts, and then it's tossed in a zesty lemon vinaigrette. It's one of my all-time favorite salads! |

Shrimp & Artichoke Green Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Mmmm, I actually just made this salad again this week, and was reminded of how amazing it is. It looks like there’s a lot happening there, but it’s totally easy to make. And that yummy Italian-seasoned shrimp, zesty artichokes, toasted pine nuts, and lemony vinaigrette pair absolutely perfectly together. I love this salad so much!

This yummy Refrigerator Pickles recipe is quick and easy to prep, and so healthy and flavorful! |

Easy Refrigerator Pickles

2016 was also the year that I really — finally — learned how to like pickles. And this ultra-easy refrigerator pickles recipe is now my favorite way to make them. It can be prepped in just a few minutes, and the result will be an amazing batch of pickles that you can’t stop crunching. So healthy and good!

Learn how to make homemade hot or iced golden milk (turmeric milk) with this simple recipe. It tastes kind of like a chai, and it's quick and easy to make. |

Golden Milk

I tried to be intentional about incorporating more turmeric into my diet this past year, and fell hard for the golden milk craze that has been sweeping the country. This recipe is my favorite way to make it, and it works well either hot or iced. (Just be careful when making it, because that pesky yellow turmeric will stain your countertops if it spills and isn’t wiped up quickly…speaking, er, from experience…)

This Slow Cooker Curried Lentil Soup recipe is easy to make in the slow cooker, and so healthy and delicious! | (Vegetarian / Gluten-Free)

Slow Cooker Curried Lentil Soup

Finally, you all know how much I love a good crock pot recipe, and this simple curried lentil soup is one that I’ve been making on and off for years. The recipe is finally on the blog now, and will absolutely hit the spot when you’re craving some good classic lentil soup. So delicious.

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13 comments on “My 16 Favorite Recipes Of 2016”

  1. Can’t believe you left out mezcal margaritas! Love those!!

  2. Bookmarked this page; can’t wait to try your favourites in the coming year. Happy 2017!

    Charmaine Ng

  3. What a pretty rainbow of food! I love your gumbo! Can’t wait to try those lentil recipes next. Happy 2017!

  4. The Zesty Lentil Salad was one of my favorites too!! I made it a bunch.

  5. The Brussels sprouts tacos look awesome! So creative! Happy New Year =)

  6. This post has the most delicious sounding recipes I’ve seen anywhere. I don’t know where to start! I really love your slow cooker chicken tortilla soup – it’s copied into my all time favorite collection of recipes. And goodness, congratulations on your engagement! I hope you enjoy the planning process. My only advice is to try and savor it all, especially the big day. It goes by in a blur. Best wishes for you both!

  7. I just pinned like five of these. Yum. In particular, I’m intrigued by the jerky, the gumbo, and that zesty lentil salad (which I think I’ll try with kale so I can store it for a couple of days). YUM.

  8. I pinned a bunch of these!! Don’t know how I missed them earlier :) Congratulations on your engagement! I just married off my youngest daughter in October, I know how exciting this must be for you!! Thanks for the great recipes!!

  9. I love your favorites!!  Everything on your list looks perfect, but that lentil salad and the arugula salad look so delicious right now!!!  Also, I have made your drunken noodles and you are absolutely right!  They rival the best drunken noodles I have ever had!  

  10. Those pickles are amazing. I made them the other day and just had a few for lunch. Thanks for the great recipes! Love your blog.

  11. I made four of your recipes this weekend and all of them were amazing! Thanks for coming up with such healthy and simple recipes and making me look good. Your blog is wonderful.

    • Thank you for your sweet words, Jessica — we’re so happy you love the blog and that you enjoyed the recipes you made! :D