As always, here it is…the BEST OF 2015!
THE TOP 10 MOST VISITED RECIPE POSTS ON VEGETARIAN GASTRONOMY
(based on traffic)
Traditionally, I like to end the year showcasing the Top 10 Most Visited Recipes Posts here on VG, and also reflect on the past 12 months and plans for the upcoming year.
Reflecting on the past year.
I Finally Became Vegan! If you read my Best of 2013 post, I had set a goal in 2014 to become vegan for ethical reasons. Well it didn’t happen in 2014, and I was scared to put it out there again in my Best of 2014 post with the thought that I may not be able to give up dairy. Well, 3 weeks into 2015, I become vegan! I wasn’t sure what to expect, and even thought that I would probably go back to eating cheese in a few days (which I used to love), but with the help and motivation of 1-2 other vegan blogger friends and a few vegan family members, the transition over to a completely vegan diet was surprisingly very easy. It took a few weeks to figure out how to make vegan versions of a few of my favorite dishes (mainly Italian dishes) and figure out which vegan brands and products I enjoyed. But along the way I discovered new flavors that I fell in love with. Not to mention, there were so many awesome brands that came out with great vegan products this past year, which made the transition even easier (that’s a post for another time).
When I first became vegan, the plan was just to focus on myself the first year. My husband, although completely supportive, did not have any intentions on giving up dairy. But as the year went on, and my vegan diet solidified, I started cooking completely vegan at home for the entire family. I gradually switched the kids over to almond milk and vegan versions of other foods in their diet, and am happy to say that they now eat about 98% vegan at home as well! My husband has even started to enjoy vegan versions of dishes and doesn’t care as much for the cheese and dairy in his food, and has greatly cut the amount of dairy in his diet now, which is awesome to see! It’s still a gradual change for the rest of my family, and I’m hoping they will eventually be 100% vegan as well, but I couldn’t be happier with where we are today.
This Site, Vegetarian Gastronomy. As most of you know, this site went through a major redesign less than 3 months ago. It’s been long over-due and I hope you guys like this new site! It’s not only aesthetically different, but also set up to be more functional and it allows me to implement new features for you in the future, some of which I’ve already mentioned several times. I have a new SHOP page of all my favorite cooking/food products, from toddler/kid products to kitchen essentials and even foodS, and each and every item is actually something I have owned, used, and recommend myself. A new Toddler/Kids page is in the works, which will include a new section on school lunch ideas that I’ve been gathering throughout the year. The RESOURCE page is still under works, but already has a lot of great information. And I have many more ideas coming in the new year!
Did you know that my ABOUT page contains a fun section of 50 Random Facts About Me?
Perspective. If I had to choose one word to describe how I’ve navigated through life and viewed life this past year, it’d be PERSPECTIVE. This past year was so much better than the previous year, and rightfully so. I lost my Dad in June of 2013, and although still hard to deal with at times, my days of being down, frustrated, angry, and confused are improving and are turning into simply being sad and missing him. I wish he was here to witness his two beautiful grandkids grow into little people. I would give ANYTHING to watch my Dad see my 3 year old daughter and all the joy she would bring him. But I can happily say that this past year I’ve started focusing more on all the amazing memories we shared and how lucky we were to have had him as a father. I witnessed a few other tragic losses this past year and it really put life into even more perspective. I have learned to appreciate the more important things in life and how lucky my family and I are to have each other, our health and a wonderful life. With this perspective, it’s been easier to let go of little things and try to simplify life and just be happy.
My KIDS are the other important element that helped me get through this past year. They are my everything, and I love being at home with them. My Dad is a CONSTANT part of our lives, all due to my kids. It is AMAZING how much my 5 year old son talks about my Dad (his ‘Nana’), and brings him into every part of our lives, all of this on his own without any guidance from me. He writes my Dad letters all the time, talks to him through the stars, and refers to him on a daily basis. I even caught him yelling at the top of his lungs out his window one evening talking to my Dad, the brightest star in the sky. Kids are amazing like that. Hearing my kids constantly bringing my Dad into our everyday lives has truly been remarkable, almost healing. I love them for that, and don’t know where I’d be without my kids this past year.
To All Of You, My Followers. THANK YOU!
Thank you for reading my posts, making my recipes, following me on social media and commenting on my site. I develop recipes and share them with all of you because I simply love doing it. It makes my day knowing that there’s a chance my site may inspire you to cook in your own kitchens, try new ingredients, flavors, and cuisines, and eat healthy. I love reading comments on my blog posts, seeing your pictures of my dishes on social media, and knowing many of you enjoy my recipes.
If you ever have any questions, suggestions on the site, or requests on what type of recipes you’d like to see in the upcoming year, I’d love to hear from you! Simply comment in this blog post below, contact me through my site, or email me at [email protected]
This Upcoming Year – 2016.
I have TONS of new recipes already developed and lined up to share with all of you in the upcoming year! New flavor combinations, easy quick family-friendly meals, and much more. I’m also hoping to bring you a few more desserts this next year. If you still haven’t subscribed to my site and would like to receive emails of my recipes, do it now below. That way you won’t miss any of my posts!
From a site standpoint, although I haven’t focused on this much at all, I really want to try and get Vegetarian Gastronomy out there and connect with more people. Vegetarian Gastronomy is now on Instagram with more than 10,000 followers! I’ve met some awesome bloggers and made a few great friends and connections over Instagram, and I’m hoping to continue to do more of that this year. I’d love it if you could help spread the word about my site to anyone you know that may benefit from it and my recipes.
This past 2015 year was extremely busy, yet filled with family and friends. My focus for this coming year is to really BE LIVING in the present. My mind is always racing and thinking 50 steps ahead and I’m all about planning. But this past year has reminded me more and more to just BE in the moment, let small things go, be appreciative of your surroundings, and try to be as happy as possible because life is short.
Being a blogger, it’s a bit of a challenge trying to keep up with all the social media. As amazing as social media is, it’s also something that can take up a lot of time since it’s instant and things are constantly changing and being updated every second. And with all our smart phones, it’s easy to get caught up in all of it instead of simply putting down your phone and living in the moment. Because honestly that’s what life is all about. I know I must sound like some quote about life on a billboard =) but it’s really true, and we all need to be reminded of it again and again. This is something I’ve been trying to keep in mind…not only from a blogging standpoint, but also on a personal level, and am hoping to carry it forward in 2016.
And finally… here it is. The Top 10 Recipes in 2015 based on traffic, followed by a bonus list of the Top 10 Vegan Recipes on Vegetarian Gastronomy (for those of you new to the site) from all past years.
Top 10 Recipes of 2015 (based on traffic)
Top 10 Vegan Posts on Vegetarian Gastronomy From All Past Years
(excluding ones already mentioned above)