The top 10 most popular Quite Good Food recipes from 2018, including a both sweet and savoury plant-based dishes. All vegan, and mostly gluten free.
Hello 2019, I'm pleased to see you. 2018 was a rewarding but challenging year, and one where I really struggled to find balance.
The year started quietly (thanks for letting me ease into it), then gradually turned the volume up to a dull roar.
I went back to Bali, this time by myself, and enjoyed a blissful break filled with food and photography. This is one of my favourite pictures, taken at an early morning market. Take me back, please.
I was also privileged to work with some amazing clients in my day job. Highlights included supporting Le Va in launching Atu-Mai, New Zealand's first violence prevention programme for Pasifika young people, and writing a cookbook for Pathways, an organisation that supports people living with mental illness. Eating well is a vital part of being well and I'm so pleased to have been able to help people on their recovery journey.
Wholesome is a collection of healthy recipes made with straight forward ingredients, interspersed with helpful tips and information. The book is currently only available to people being supported by Pathways. I'm really proud of it and hope to be able to work on another cookbook project in the future (perhaps a Quite Good Food one next time...?)
Fitness wasn't high on my agenda this year due to a lack of available time, and my health suffered for it. I did however challenge myself by completing the Tongariro Crossing, a 19.4km alpine day trek. It was tough, and I'm determined to end 2019 in better shape.
Towards the end of the year I took on my first commercial food photography client, and I've been really enjoying applying everything I've learned here in a commercial food setting. I've also continued writing for Nourish magazine, and I don't think seeing my words and images in print will ever get old.
The last few months of the year also came with tremendous sadness as we farewelled much loved family members. Accident and illness are cruel, and it was a timely reminder to appreciate every day.
For 2019, I hope for a year of balance - rewarding work, a healthy body and mind, and treasured connections with family and friends. I'll continue to bring you recipes that make eating delicious plant based meals easy, and I'll look forward to seeing which ones you love the most.
The top of the pops for 2018 are led by my easy home made five seed crackers. These crackers are insanely easy to make, really moreish, and you guys love them! Me too! I've made countless batches of these crackers over the past year.
A new entrant to my top 10 list is turmeric jamu, an Indonesian health tonic. I discovered jamu when I spent a few months in Indonesia and it became an everyday part of my diet. When I got home I had to make my own, and I discovered how easy it is. I encourage you to give it a try.
What was your favourite recipe this year?
1. Easy home made five seed crackers (V, GF)
These five seed crackers are so simple to make, so I'm not surprised they've risen to number one. Naturally vegan, gluten free, keto and paleo friendly, they're a crowd favourite.
2. Crispy kumara cakes (V)
These crispy kumara cakes are an oldie but a goodie, and more proof that simple is good.
3. Lime and vanilla vegan cheesecake (V, GF)
This gluten free lime and vanilla vegan cheesecake remains very popular every single day, and it's one of my personal favourites.
4. Turmeric and ginger jamu (V, GF)
Indonesian turmeric and ginger jamu, an anti-inflammatory health tonic to add to your arsenal of home remedies. Give it a try next flu season.
5. Raspberry, lime and coconut cheesecake (V, GF)
It makes me so happy that this allergy friendly raspberry, lime and coconut vegan cheesecake remains popular. It was the happy result of a question from a reader and an ample dose of kitchen experimentation.
6. Mushroom and lentil vegan spaghetti bolognese (V, GF)
Loaded with vegetables, this mushroom and lentil vegan spaghetti bolognese sauce is a delicious and familiar go-to family meal that's enjoyed by everyone. The kids love it, it freezes well, and it's brilliant to have on hand for quick weeknight dinners.
7. Crispy salt and pepper tofu (V, GF)
I adore this crispy salt and pepper tofu. It's really easy to make and ticks all the boxes when you have a craving for something salty and crunchy.
8. Baked eggplant with lentils, tomatos and a herby topping (V, GF)
Hooray for lentils! I love lentils and their endless versatility, so it warms my heart to see how much you love this recipe for baked eggplant with lentils, tomatoes and a herby topping.
9. Passionfruit bliss balls (V, GF)
These fudgy passionfruit bliss balls are such a treat when passionfruit are in season, and the perfect afternoon pick me up alongside a cup of tea.
10. Almond milk pulp cheese (V, GF)
The popularity of this recipe for almond milk pulp cheese tells me two things. More and more of you are making your own almond milk (awesome!), and, like me, you don't like seeing the almond pulp go to waste. This easy recipe is one way to use it up.