Well what a year that was! 2015 seems to have passed in a flash, and a blaze of yummy vegetarian and vegan food. This is my opportunity to say a great big thank you to you all for reading, commenting, sharing and liking my recipes and posts, trying out the recipes and letting me know what you think of them, (occasionally reminding me that I’ve forgotten to tell you when to add the ginger…. oops!).
Top 10 Most Popular Recipes of 2015
I’m thrilled that these were your favourite recipe this year, because these were definitely the most popular recipe of the year in our house too! They are simply delicious, and not nearly as fiddly to make as they look.
9,611 views Vegan
This one was a real surprise, as it was a quick 2-ingredient throw-together supper idea with quite frankly one of the most rubbish photos on the blog! But you loved it – so thank you!! They are tasty… maybe I’ll take a better photo of these in 2016.
7,133 views Vegan
My ‘20 Minute Meals’ series was really popular, and this speedy Thai-inspired noodle soup was super-tasty, so I’m glad it was so popular. I did have a few complaints that it wasn’t spicy enough…. do feel free to add another chilli or 4!
4,919 views Vegan
Spicy roasted chickpeas were a bit of a revelation to me – having seen them all over Pinterest I decided to give them a go in this recipe, and they were fabulous! They go so well with the creamy sweet potato mash, and smoky aubergine.
3,008 views Vegan
This was a ‘told you so’ recipe – Mr F. was a little dubious about an hot avocado pasta sauce, but this was intensely creamy and delicious, (and very rich – you don’t need a huge portion of this!), and the slow-roast tomatoes really finish it off.
2,885 views Vegan
I’ve been making these little beauties for years for picnics and parties, and they always go down a treat. So I’m so glad you liked them too – a really simple idea for picnic food, and stuffed to the brim with all your favourite pizza toppings.
I made this on one of the hottest days of the year – it is a bit of a ‘cheats’ throw-together recipe using shop-bought dressing, but who wants to be slaving over a hot stove for hours on a hot day? This is so refreshing – but really filling too.
This is another speedy lunchtime salad bowl using a microwave pack of brown rice and quinoa, which I find such a handy storecupboard staple. Paired with avocado, peanuts and spinach this really will make you feel like a green goddess!
I love giant cous cous, (any foodstuff with ‘giant’ in its name goes down well in our house), so when Ocado asked me to review their new vegetarian shop I jumped at the chance. This is such a clean but tasty supper.
I’ve been collaborating with Cranks over the past year, and was thrilled when they challenged me to give their signature dish, the wartime staple Homity Pie a makeover. My swiss-style version of the pie features white wine-braised onions, plenty of garlic, rösti-style grated potato and lots of emmental and gruyère cheese.
2015 in Review
This has been a big year for me and the blog… on New Year’s Eve 2014 I realised that our toddler childcare arrangements were not working out, and took the big (and scary) decision to give up work and be a full-time mum. I needed to keep my brain engaged, and to earn some money from home, so I decided to ramp up efforts on my blog and try to use its steady traffic and growing popularity to make a small part-time income.
Since then I’ve been trying to post at least one recipe a week, and you, lovely readers, have been wonderfully supportive. The blog has had over 200,000 pageviews since February, and I’ve managed to make a good part-time income from sponsored posts by food brands, my little online veggie shop, hosting adverts in the blog sidebar, and affiliate schemes such as Amazon, Pomora and the fabulous Froothie who I’m also doing some social media work for. Its also a lot of fun having all sorts of parcels pop through the letterbox with food products, kitchen gadgets, new cookbooks and other foodie bits and pieces to review.
Your comments, likes, and shares have helped me grow my traffic to a point where brands are keen to work with me in various ways including sponsored recipes on the blog, recipe development for their own websites, social media or packaging, sponsored supperclubs at my house, (fun!), advertising, giveaways and product reviews. There’s a delicate balance to be struck between the blog becoming too commercial whilst earning enough to make it worthwhile, and I hope I’m staying on the right side of that… (let me know!).
What’s New for 2016
News for January 2016 is that I’m once again taking part in ‘Veganuary‘, so me and the blog will be going vegan for the month. I’ve really enjoyed doing this for the last two years, and each year we’ve taken a little more away – cutting out more dairy and eggs from our everyday diet, and trying to think a little harder about what we’re consuming, and its impact on the environment, ourselves, and on animals.
I’ve found Veganuary such a good exercise in re-reading labels of foods we blindly consume regularly without realising what is in them. So many people say to me, “oh, but I only ever buy free range eggs and organic milk”, but when you start really reading food labels you realise that egg powder and whey powder creep into all sorts of unexpected foods, and you can be pretty sure they are not from organic and free range farms. Its easy to look at footage of battery farms and think “that’s nothing to do with me”, but in fact unless you are an eagle-eyed label-reader, I’m afraid it probably is.
So… who’s joining me for Veganuary? Their website is packed with helpful information and advice, meal plans and helpful lists of ‘unexpectedly’ vegan products, (no need to give up Oreo cookies, Jus-Rol Pastry, Ritz crackers, Birds Custard Powder, Pringles and more – see the ‘Accidentally Vegan Products‘ page on their website!).
And if you need a little vegan inspiration to get you through the month, you can’t get much better than one of my ‘Vegan Inspiration‘ Tea Towels or pack of postcards to inspire your friends – hop over to my shop for a look!
Thanks again for all your support in 2015, and here’s to a very happy and veg-filled 2016!