As 2016 comes to a close, I did what so many others do at the end of the year…look back and reflect, then look ahead and anticipate. It’s hard to believe that I’ve been writing, creating, cooking, and photographing recipes for Fed and Fulfilled for almost a year already! To honor all that 2016 was for my new little food blog, I’m sharing the Top 10 Paleo Recipes of 2016 on Fed and Fulfilled!
These Top 10 Paleo Recipes of 2016 received the most page views throughout the year. After looking at the list, I’m not surprised by what you liked best! Many of these recipes are my all-time favorites, too!
So, I was going to just wrap up the year with my Top 10 Recipes list and call it a day, but Fed and Fulfilled is more than just a collection of recipes. It’s a little piece of my life. I thought it would be fitting to end my blogging year on a more personal note, which you’ll find at the bottom of this post. But first, let’s get to those recipes! 🙂
To kick off our Top 10 list, our number 10 is one of my favorite alternative pasta dinner recipes! My Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto and Sausage Pasta features zucchini noodles that you can make easily with a veggie spiralizer. And the sauce is absolutely out of this world! Sun-dried tomatoes are pureed with fresh basil, lemon juice, and spices and combined with spicy Italian sausage for a hearty, rustic, Paleo main dish. Serve it up with a salad and a glass of wine and you’re set!
Since I posted this recipe way, way back in the Spring, I’ve probably made these No-Bake Paleo Protein Bars at least 25 times, if not more! I make them almost once a week for my husband, since he’s absolutely crazy about them! I love that they’re not only Paleo, but also Vegan, and they can be easily adapted to whatever fruits and nuts you have on hand. For an easy, protein-packed breakfast, throw together a tray of these bars and start your day off right!
Going right along with our No-Bake Paleo Protein Bars are these no-bake Salted Cashew Coconut Truffles! Like the bars, these truffles can be whipped in minutes, then slathered with chocolate glaze and decorated with even more coconut! I like making a big batch and keeping them in the freezer to eat whenever I’m in the mood for a sweet treat! (Which is OFTEN!) The combination of the sea salt, cashew butter, and chocolate is absolutely heavenly! Plus, they’re so pretty and elegant to serve for special occasions!
We’re on a bit of a dessert kick, aren’t we? 😉 And that’s quite all right with me! Every good food blog needs a brownie recipe because when you want a chocolate fix, brownies are the way to go – especially THESE brownies! My Flourless Fudge Brownies taste super decadent, but are made primarily out of healthy coconut oil and only a few other basic ingredients! Deep, dark, fudgy goodness awaits. I bet you won’t be able to eat just one!
In the baking world, the opposite of brownies are blondies, and I can’t quite decide which one I like better! Especially if the blondies I’m eating are these Paleo Pumpkin Blondies! The fact that this recipe made my Top 10 list shows how popular these treats are, since I just posted the recipe this Fall! These soft, thick blondies are full of pumpkin and cinnamon, drizzled with a creamy, coconut butter glaze. They are completely grain-free, dairy-free, nut-free, and egg-free, but you’d never know from how incredible they taste! Truly divine!
I’m so happy that this “set it and forget it” Crockpot Beef Pumpkin Curry dinner made the Top 10! A warm, comforting meal like this is exactly what you want to come home to on cold Fall or Winter evenings. It’s packed with sweet pumpkin and butternut squash, savory beef, turmeric, and fresh cilantro. And even though it’s AIP and allergy-friendly, it’s a simple meal that requires no special skills or ingredients! Just dump the ingredients in your crockpot and call it a day! I like to pile my curry over a big bowl of steaming cauliflower rice. Mmmm…
There’s just something special about dessert in a cast iron skillet! Maybe it’s the rustic feel, since you can serve it family-style, without any frills. Or maybe it’s the fact that this Paleo and Vegan Skillet Berry Cobbler just tastes absolutely AMAZING! You really can’t go wrong with juicy berries, sweet large biscuits, and coconut whipped cream to top it all off. My family enjoyed this dessert so much that I made it for my brother’s wedding this Spring! It’s also a versatile cobbler, so you can make it any time of the year with your favorite seasonal fruits!
Breakfast has always been my favorite meal of the day. I had long been a sweet breakfast eater – cereals, breads, fruit, granola, etc. And then I started on the AIP (autoimmune protocol) diet, which required me to convert to more savory items. That meant a major breakfast overhaul! I needed an easy, egg-free breakfast that was packed with protein and veggies. Something I could make once and eat throughout the week. Thus, this delicious, healthy Turkey Apple Breakfast Hash was born! The hash is actually potato-free, made with butternut squash, onion, zucchini, spinach, ground turkey, and apple. The combination of flavors has now totally changed me into a lover of savory breakfast! So glad to see you guys love it, too!
This Spinach Artichoke and Bacon Spaghetti Squash meal is the second alternative pasta dish that made our Top 10 Paleo Recipes! While zucchini noodles are a good pasta replacement, I personally think that spaghetti squash is even better! It really soaks up whatever sauce you pair it with and has a natural creaminess after it’s roasted. For this dish, I used my popular Spinach Artichoke and Bacon Dip recipe and adapted it to become a delicious main course with the addition of mushrooms, extra artichokes, and of course, spaghetti squash! I promise that you won’t even miss the dairy in this recipe, thanks to a sauce of creamy coconut milk and (believe it or not) cashews!
And this brings us to our number one most viewed recipe of 2016…
Yay! Seeing my Easy Mango Guacamole recipe as the winner of my Top 10 Paleo Recipes of 2016 made me ecstatic! This guac is my go-to appetizer that I take to picnics, gatherings, and dinner parties throughout the year. It really is one of the simplest recipes on my blog, but it’s also one of the tastiest! There’s just something SO good about the flavors of juicy mango combined with creamy avocado, spicy chili peppers, and a big handful of fresh cilantro. And if you’ve already become a fan of my Easy Mango Guacamole, chances are that you’ll fall in love with my newest AIP Pomegranate Guacamole, too! 🙂
To all of the visitors, followers, and fans of Fed and Fulfilled, thank you for playing a part in creating this awesome list of Top 10 Paleo Recipes of 2016! If you haven’t had a chance to make any of these recipes yet, then I encourage you to do so in 2017! And if you haven’t ever explored Paleo eating, consider trying it as a New Year’s resolution!
It’s been a pleasure cooking for you and I’m looking forward to many more new recipes in the New Year!
A Year of Hope
If you’re still reading at this point, I’m closing out my first blogging year the way I started – on a personal level.
And, as I look back on a year that has definitely been challenging – both physically and emotionally – this blog has been a true highlight in my life. I started it on a whim on Leap Day in February, without having much of an idea of what was to come. In fact, I was pretty terrified of food blogging.
But since overcoming my initial fear of “taking a leap,” it’s been a true adventure and joy getting to share a bit of my life, my health journey, and my kitchen with you here on Fed and Fulfilled. Before 2016, I didn’t even know what “AIP” was and now I have almost a dozen of my own AIP recipes on the blog! Crazy!
While this year has been a season of learning, creating, and growing for me, it’s definitely had its share of hardships and dark days. (I’m sure many of you can relate!) Sometimes it’s tough to feel excited about starting a new year when we’re just finishing a rough one. I found these verses so encouraging this week, as New Year’s Eve approaches:
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” ~Isaiah 43:18-19
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” ~Hebrews 11:1
“Then you will know that I am the Lord; those who hope in me will not be disappointed.” ~Isaiah 49:23
I’m not big on New Year’s Resolutions, so instead, I choose a “Word of the Year.” Something that I can focus and reflect on throughout the new year. My word for 2016 was “Restoration,” and I have definitely seen evidence of that in various aspects of my life, health, and relationships. While pondering words for 2017, the scriptures above came to mind. To me, it felt like they shared a common theme of “Hope,” my new word of the year.
Hope seems fitting for 2017 because living with hope means having a positive outlook, waiting with expectation, and trusting that things will work as they are meant to. These are all qualities that I really need more of in my life. There are also so many things I’m hopeful for in the coming year(s): Hope for healing, hope for a family, hope for a bright future. But even more importantly, a renewed hope in God, who is always faithful and never changes.
So, wherever you are in life, whatever 2016 has been for you, “forget the former things” and leave the struggles, hardships, and heartaches in the past. Instead of dreading the start of a new year and uncertain future, let’s take heart that good and exciting things might be just around the corner. Maybe even better things than we could have planned for ourselves. Here’s to a New Year filled with hope!
Happy New Year!