Glad I’m not alone! Who wouldn’t be ravenous after all the temptingly delicious 2012 Gluten-Free All-Star Recipes that have been shared around the web this week? Kudos (gluten-free ones, of course) to Lexie for coming up with this fabulous idea and rounding up some of the most talented gluten-free recipe developers to be a part of it. I’m honored to be a part of it! And big thanks to Carolyn for featuring me today!
Something you should know about me is that I’m not your average gluten-free blogger. Believe it or not, I can tolerate gluten seemingly just fine, as can my husband (the only other member of my household for now, but that will be changing in a few short months!) And yet, just about everything I cook at home (and all of what has made it to my blog in recent years) is gluten-free. Everyone from gluten-eating carb-lovers to discouraged celiacs must be wondering, “Why do that to yourself if you don’t have to?” If that is eating a variety of clean, wholesome foods that offer myriad nutritional benefits and never getting board, I’ll happily keep doing it. Bonus if more people can enjoy my food because it happens to be gluten-free – and if gluten-lovers can learn that there are good reasons to go beyond wheat flour every now and then.
Of course, I haven’t always embraced this philosophy. I’ve always been a food lover, which was very evident as I was obese through early childhood and most of college. Things turned around in my early 20′s, when I decided that someday I’d meet a wonderful guy and with that man I’d probably want to have children, not raise them to be obese, and that I’d be so in love with said husband and children that I’d want to live as long and active a life as possible and soak up every minute with them. This motivation was worth a lot more than simply wanting to fit into a pair of size 6 jeans. I adopted a (mostly) low-carlorie diet and began exercising until I reached a healthy weight. And how have I managed to stay there and indulge my love of food? By learning to cook! With colorful, nutritious, and exciting ingredients. It’s funny how many people think you must deprive yourself to eat healthy as a food-lover; I think it’s quite the opposite. I’m grateful to enjoy so many foods as it just opens up more possibilities for healthy, delicious things to eat.
Now that you know me, how about getting to know some of my recipes? Here are a few that my readers really loved in 2012.
My Mint Chocolate Brownie Protein Bars were hugely popular both on the blog and in this house. In fact, they’ve spawned a wide variety of spin-off flavors we regularly enjoy, so much that I’ve considered putting out an e-book of all the flavors. Would you like to see something like this? These bars are sweet and chewy, naturally sweetened, and vegan – yet they boast 12 satisfying grams of protein, something I see missing from most dried-fruit-and-nut concoctions.
When going through this year’s top views and comments, I was psyched to see my Salted Caramel Ice Cream right near the top! Just the other day I was telling my husband I *need* to make this again. I could tell you about the healthy, vegan ingredients and lack of refined sugar, but I’d rather let your mouth water with thoughts of rich, dark caramel blended into an unthinkably creamy base, perfect for scooping on top of a warm, gooey chocolate chip cookie. That’s how we first fell in love with it!
And since sweets aren’t for everyone, I’m happy to share some savory nosh that went over particularly well. My Melon Mojito Fish Tacos are certainly not your average taco; but we love our tacos here and I rarely make normal ones. This fusion of zesty mint-and-lime marinated white fish topped off with bright purple cabbage and green honeydew melon was as pretty to look at as it was delicious to eat, and got me through a long-lasting summer affair with melon.
Finally, I want to highlight an extremely popular recipe that I can’t take total credit for. This Strawberry “Cheesecake” with Almond-Macadamia Crust by my friend Alta of Tasty Eats at Home was the inspiration for my Vegan Blueberry Cheesecake Cupcakes – and a jumping point for me to begin incorporating cashews into more creamy dairy-free concoctions.
Once again, thanks to Lexie’s Kitchen and Carolyn for making this such a yummy and fun event – and proof that 2012 is going to be hard to top!
Want to join me for a delicious 2013? Here’s how you can stay in touch:
Subscribe to Cara’s Cravings via email or your favorite reader
“Like” Cara’s Cravings on Facebook
Follow @carascravings on Twitter
Check out my favorite recipes on Pinterest
See what I’m eating on Instagram