At the end of the year, it’s time to reflect. It’s crazy to think that we’ve been writing for this blog for almost 5 years, and had over 1 MILLION views during that time! We’re blown away on how this accountability project, originally set up to blog about our first Whole30® (my first post here), has grown and changed our lives. We’ve made lifelong friends, hundreds of recipes, and had a great time cooking and learning to photograph.
To send off 2016 in style, here are the top 10 recipes as rated by views for the year. We’ve also added a few of the posts we felt were the best of the year in the honorable mention, the least popular post of the year, and news and well wishes for 2017.
10. Meyer Lemon Chia Pudding
Chia pudding has a lot going for it. All it really takes is chia seed and full-fat coconut cream, and you’re all set. This iteration, with fresh Meyer lemon juice and rind is great when in season. If lemon isn’t your squeeze, check out this key lime pie version!
9. Mustard and Dill Crusted Salmon
This is the first of two salmon mentions on the chart this year. This easy preparation surprised us; we had never thought to do a dry-crust on salmon before. We’re glad we did, however, as this is a great change of pace when you want to kick up your salmon game.
8. Homemade Mayonnaise
Homemade condiments are fulfilling for many reasons. First, you know exactly what’s in it. Second, you learn that many things are deceivingly easy to make yourself (and often tastier and less expensive). We never buy mayonnaise anymore, and we hope you’ve been able to cross it off your grocery list permanently as well.
7. Salted “Caramel” Chocolate Pudding
Salted caramel and chocolate are two of Heather’s favorite flavors. We don’t do a lot of dessert at home, but when we do, this is on the menu. We like it so much we put it in an ebook! While the ebook’s no longer available, the recipe is here for you.
6. Crab-Stuffed Salmon
Here’s the second salmon preparation you all loved this year, and we agree. Since moving to Maryland, we’ve really gotten to appreciate great crabs. This recipe looks ridiculously complicated (and fancy!), but it’s really straightforward. Inspired by the pre-packaged option we often pass in Costco, this is a great special-occasion dish.
5. Chicken Fried “Rice”
Going into the New Year, many of you will be resolved to do food challenges, or clean up your eating. This fried “rice” with cauliflower rice is a way to enjoy “take out” without hitting the wallet or your waist as severely. If this type of thing is right up your alley, be sure to check out Paleo Takeout by The Domestic Man.
4. Scalloped Potatoes and Ham
Scalloped potatoes and ham?! Paleo?! No way. While the debate on potatoes, and which potatoes, are paleo, the world was shook when the Whole30® program allowed white potatoes in their meal-planning in July 2014. Nevertheless, this play on the classic dinner is a hearty staple.
3. Potent Primal BBQ Sauce
This recipe is one of our earliest experimentations, and all the photos were shot with our iPhones. You’ll see in this recipe from July 2012 how far we’ve come in our blogging adventures (this was from our previous website, Virginia is for hunter-gatherers). A spicy, tomato-forward barbecue sauce you’ll surely enjoy.
2. Deep Dish Sausage Breakfast Casserole
Whether or not you eat breakfast, we can all appreciate the need to cook for a group or add variety to the first meal of the day. This casserole uses sugar-free breakfast sausage from US Wellness Meats, and is a family favorite for our relatives when we have a holiday breakfast. Check it out, and make it part of your tradition as well.
1. Brian’s Barbecue Sauce
Brian’s barbecue sauce is consistently one of the most popular recipes on our website, and for good reason. This barbecue sauce is amazing. It’s extra heart-warming to us, as it is inspired by our friend Brian, who we lost too soon and suddenly. While he never got an opportunity to taste this himself, we think of him often when we restock our refrigerator with another batch. We put it on nearly everything. Here are a few applications:
Honorable Mention & the Least Popular Recipe of 2016
While the next 5 didn’t make the list for 2016, here are some we really enjoyed and think you will, too:
And, without further ado, the least requested recipe of 2016… Homemade Ghee
As of writing this post, this recipe was viewed a whopping ONE time in 2016!! That said, check it out. Ghee can sometimes be hard to find and expensive to buy. It’s simple to make with a watchful eye and a little patience.
Going into 2017, we are excited to welcome our first child—Heather is pregnant and we will meet the newest addition in early June. For the next year, we hope to continue to focus on our health, beyond just what we eat, and continue to enjoy life. Our writing will occasionally expand to discuss fitness, health, and becoming paleo parents (not to be confused with our great friends at Real Everything). We wish you well in the new year as well, and hope you’ll continue to follow us. As we enter another new year, with new goals, we offer the following quote for your reflection:
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
– Will Durant
May you find excellence in abundance in 2017.