When I start talking to someone new, one of the first things people usually say about me is something along the lines of “Wow, you have a lot of interests.” And they’re right- I do! From reading to making outfit, writing and yoga, I’m blessed with several pass-times that make me happy. As someone who loves to learn and explore, I’m also constantly acquiring new hobbies, one of which is cooking. At the risk of sounding cliché, a few years ago I could barely boil an egg, and now I love being at the stove. While I always loved the “eating” part of food, learning how to prepare it for myself is giving me a fresh appreciation for the entire process, from finding ingredients to deciding when a dish is “just ready” to leave the oven.
As one might expect, my time to try new recipes takes a hit during school term, so I always use my breaks and weekends to stretch my (growing) culinary muscles. The past two weeks proved no different, as I used my free time to whip up a handful of delicious plates for myself and my family. While there were definitely some less-than-stellar turn outs in the bunch, on the whole the results were delicious. For that reason, I thought it would be fun to share what I made, along with a few photos to make your stomachs growl a bit. 🙂 All original sources are cited or linked, so be sure to try out a these goodies for yourself!
Now, without further ado, let’s get cooking…!
Recipe #1: Lettuce Wraps with Walnut Taco “Meat”
While I do eat animal products, I love plant-based cooking and experimenting with non-meat alternatives. Enter walnut taco “meat,” aka walnuts soaked and then ground with seasonings to taste shockingly similar to ground beef. I’m not sure how the carnivore (hi, dad!) in my house felt about this, but I for one found it delicious!
Recipe #2: Grilled Pepper & Quinoa Taco Salad
One of my favorite Christmas presents this year with The Love & Lemons Cookbook, aka the book manifestation of the popular food blog of the same name. All the recipes I’ve tried thus far have been to die for, but this taco salad might take the cake. Bursting with flavor, crunch, and just enough heat, I can already tell my parents will be asking for this again soon!
Recipe #3: Chocolate “Ramekin Thing”
Oh. My. Gosh. I cannot believe that I have not already shared my “ramekin thing” with you guys. I stumbled upon it almost a year ago in The Foodie Teen cookbook, and it’s been my go-to ever since. With barely a handful of ingredients and quick prep time, it’s perfect for when you need a luxurious chocolate treat (read: at least once a week). As per the photo above, I recommend paring this dish with your bed, pajamas, and cozy entertainment.
Recipe #4: Fig & Almond Butter Smoothie
When my mom came home from a post-vacation grocery trip with a carton of fresh figs (such a find!), I knew I had to put them to good use. First up was this fig and almond butter smoothie, which I whipped up one morning after a long run. Topped with cacao nibs, coconut shavings, and a drizzle of extra AB, this goodie is a delicious, nutritious respite for some sore muscles…or whenever, really. 😉
Source: Find the original recipe here.
Recipe #5: Creamy Garlic Lemon-Pepper Pasta
Now, this dish isn’t what you think. As I alluded to above, I have a proclivity for trying recipes with funky alternatives and secret ingredients, and this pasta was no exception. Indeed, contrary to it’s name, the sauce contains zero cream, milk, or cheese. Rather, it’s a 100% plant-based blend of boiled cauliflower, cashews, lemon juice, and nutritional yeast (aka the Holy Grail of non-dairy cheesiness). I mixed this with some brown rice pasta, then devoured a bowl with some grilled salmon on the side! A Saturday night well spent, I’d say…
Source: Find the original recipe, plus more plant-based inspo here!
Recipe #6: Maple Fig & Tahini Overnight Oats
Remember those figs my mom brought home? Well, even after my smoothie we still had several left, so I whipped my entire family up a batch of this overnight oats combo. The addition of tahini was different from what I’d had before (throwback to my original overnight oats post), and the figs added a new dimension of flavor and texture! I gobbled my jar down after a hot yoga class yesterday morning, and can’t wait to make them again!
Source: Find the original recipe here.
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Guys, I have a problem. After typing this post, I’m seriously craving all of these delicious recipes! Seriously though…would a taco salad, pasta, and overnight oats be a weird combo for dinner? LMK below…
In all seriousness, I hope you enjoyed this peak at what’s been going on in my kitchen over the past two weeks! I’ve had so much fun experimenting (fails not pictured) with new combinations, and am already planning more “cooking nights.” Now it’s your turn, though: Let me know what you’ve been cooking, and share some of your favorites below! I’d love to talk all things “foodie” in the comments.
Have a beautiful Tuesday! I hope there are happy moment (and plenty of food) ahead of you. 🙂