My “new recipe a week” Top 25

By Friday, February 5, 2016 1 , Permalink

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos, credit Kirsten Akens 2015

I honestly can’t remember when I started my “new recipe a week” project. It was an Instagram thing for me before I started recording them anywhere else, and that’s been going for a few years at least.

While I haven’t hit every single week, I realized when looking back over my Pepperplate recipe list, that I’ve hit way more than I thought I had. (Some weeks I’d miss, but some weeks I’d try two or three. I think it’s all balanced out in the end.)

Of the 100-plus new recipes I’ve given a shot over the past couple of years, 25 of them were yummy enough to stick around. Thanks to a couple of friends who’ve asked, I’m sharing that list with you today.

I’ve divided the dishes out by categories. Note: because I’m vegetarian, you won’t find any meat on this list. It’s also worth saying that lots of these dishes are also vegan, gluten-free, or easily prepared one of those ways.

I do have about a dozen cookbooks I still page through, and I love grabbing them from the library and skimming, but more and more, I head online to find recipes.

My favorite sites include:

  • 101 Cookbooks: Heidi Swanson’s site is easy to use, and, since she’s also a photographer and traveler, beautiful. I have never cooked anything that completely flopped from her recipes, and I have both of her cookbooks as well. (The few recipes that haven’t been winners for us have been due to taste.)
  • My New Roots: Sarah Britton earns the title of recipe queen, in that, of all of the new recipes I’ve tried, it’s her Big Comfy Sweet Potato dish that I’ve cooked over and over again, not only for my family, but for dinner parties. You’ll find the recipe link below.
  • Food52: Food52 can be hit or miss, mainly because it’s a community recipe site. That said, I’ve found that if you stick to recipes that have received tons of likes, or that are contest winners, you’re usually good to go. And they’ve got an awesome blog for foodies. Really great cooking resource.

OK, on to my top 25.

Main courses

Big Comfy Sweet Potatoes: The dish I mentioned above. OMG. SO yummy.

Wintery Mushroom, Kale and Quinoa Enchiladas: I’d never made my own enchilada sauce until this. And it was excellent.

Heidi Swanson’s Baked Oatmeal: Yum. Just yum. Great for breakfast, brunch, and morning potlucks.

Open Face Egg Salad Sandwich: I prefer chives to dill in this. Whatever you do, don’t overlook the garlic step. (This is actually a Heidi Swanson recipe from one of her cookbooks, reproduced on a blogger’s website.)

Refried Beans with Cinnamon and Clove: I placed this in main courses because I use them as a taco salad base. This recipe makes a TON, so use a big pan and be prepared for leftovers. Side benefit: it makes your house smell yummy.

Broccoli-Basil Mac and Cheese: Use delicata squash! So much easier!

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos: More yum. (Pictured above.)

Asparagus and Brown Rice: Love this, but make sure you rinse the chickpeas really, really well.

Cheese-Crusted Eggs: Super easy.


Lime Peanut Coleslaw: Good side to the Big Comfy Sweet Potatoes, if you’re wanting something else or having a group.

Carrot-Dill-White Bean Salad: I could eat this all day.

Farro Kale Salad: Use non-sweetened dried cranberries if you can.

Garlicky Greens: Garlic makes everything better. I’ve made this with kale, spinach and chard. All good.

Cherry Tomato Cous Cous: Makes a ton, so good for lunch leftovers.

A Simple Tomato Soup: Such an easy homemade soup. I pour over brown rice, add a dab of coconut milk cream, and top with toasted slivered almonds.

Roasted Carrot Soup: The only bad thing about this recipe is that it doesn’t make much.


The Life Changing Loaf of Bread: OK, it hasn’t changed my life, but it’s rather good.

Olive Oil Granola: The best thing about this recipe is that you can alter to the nuts and seeds you prefer. Just keep the ratios in mind. Great over yogurt.

Maple Syrup Scones: I love these so much.

Carrot Oatmeal Cookies: I love these even more.

Other Sweets

Fudgesicles: Good anytime, probably best in summer.

Crisp Raw Apple Pie: This. Pie. Is. Brilliant. Vegan. GF. Raw. And seriously brilliant. I use pomegranate, and I don’t use the Wild Orange Oil.

Alicia Silverstone’s Crispy Brown Rice Squares: Kids love these! Adults love these! I love these!

Pine Nut Brittle with Rosemary: Perhaps an odd mix of flavors, but really tasty.

Salted Maple Honeycomb Candy: Mmmm. That’s all.

Questions? Let me know in the comments! And happy cooking!

1 Comment
  • Ann
    February 8, 2016

    Thank you so much for posting this. I heard from my mom that she tried the Cheesy Eggs and loved them! Can’t wait to try …well… pretty much all of these. Maybe over the next six months! 🙂

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