At the beginning of the year, 2018, my dear friend and I decided to challenge ourselves with a new recipe every week. Let’s admit, there are lots of cooking books in every kitchen, but how often do we cook something from them and eat these gorgeous foods in the photos? In everyday life, we choose the same beloved, and yet boring dishes just because it is easier, it takes less time, and you know the ingredients by heart, so there is no need for a shopping list, and you can watch your favorite TV series while cooking instead of going through a step-by-step cooking guide. However, it is very beneficial to get out of your comfort zone and challenge your brain in different directions. Therefore, my friend and I agreed to cook a new dish every week, photograph it, and to brag about it to each other.
Since the beginning of this year, I have tried 16 new dishes so far by randomly choosing recipes from my cookbooks, magazines, cooking blogs, or vlogs. I was pleased with the majority of the results, and was sometimes so happy that I forgot to take a photo. Today, I am sharing the best three recipes from all of my trials for the recipe challenge so far.
Salmon with Pomegranate and Herbs
This dish is from the book Paleo Every Day by Peter Evans. I slightly modified the recipe to make it kids friendly. I cooked individual portions of salmon instead of a whole one, did not use red onion, mint leaves, red chilies, or walnuts for the herb crust as I was sure these would make the dish a no-go for kids. My husband said this dish is worth appearing on a Michelin star restaurant menu.
Maple Pecan Pie
I found this dessert on the blog Unconventionalbaker.com. It is gluten-free, dairy-free, and egg-free, which also makes it vegan. I have already tried it three times as pie and as tartelettes. It is delicious.
Vegan Gluten-Free Carrot Cake
I chose this recipe randomly from among vegan gluten-free carrot cake recipes found online. It is from the blog Gimmesomeoven.com. It is a perfectly spicy and moist carrot cake. You would never guess it is gluten-free, dairy-free, and egg-free. For the cake itself, I followed all the instructions, and the only thing I adjusted was the number of nuts – I used a bit more than the recipe recommended. For the cream, I used light brown sugar, instead of white sugar, which made my cream a caramel color and added a light caramel taste to it. However, this was too sweet and dull for my taste, so I added the zest and the juice of two lemons. In my opinion, I got the perfect combination of flavor. I have baked this cake three times already, and believe me, it is delicious.
I would like to invite you to join my friend and me by accepting this challenge. Let’s not just be recipe collectors, but recipe makers as well. Let’s start making these recipes and encourage each other along the way.
So, who is going to join me in this challenge?