I hope the new year is finding you happy and healthy. Russ and I spent a relaxing New Year's Eve at home together after a round of golf in the morning. Is it just me, or does anyone else have a hard time staying up to watch the ball drop these days?
Although we've both been crazy busy with work for the last month, I did get Russ to sit down and select his top ten guy approved recipes from 2017 for you. These are recipes that I make for him frequently. First of all, most of them are easy weeknight meals or slow cooker creations that make dinner a snap on those late nights. Second of all, all ten recipes are gluten-free depending on how you serve them (not that he cares), and most of them are Whole30 friendly. Third of all, I did ask him to rank them, so they are listed from his most favorite to his tenth most favorite.
Thank you all for your support and encouragement this year. It really does mean the world to me. Your comments about recipes you've tried is what keeps me motivated to keep Inspired Fresh Life going. Cooking really is a passion of mine, and making (mostly) healthy whole foods that taste amazing is a plus. And a really special thanks to Russ for being my constant guinea pig and giving me honest feedback about the dishes I prepare.
Read on for Russ's guy approved recipe picks for 2017:
This is a great recipe for using up veggies from the fridge. You can mix and match nearly anything you like. The meat you use is also versatile. I’ve made Veggie and Sausage Breakfast Casserole with turkey sausage, bacon, and prosciutto. Of course, you don’t even need to include the meat if you want a vegetarian or more cholesterol friendly dish. If you don’t include the meat, just add an extra cup of veggies.
If you’re like me, you’ve tried a number of different recipes that promise crispy chicken from the oven. Either they weren’t crispy, or they used ingredients that weren’t very healthy. Well, despair no more. These Crispy Oven-Baked Chicken Thighs really are crispy, and use only tapioca flour, a blend of spices, and an egg. You can also mix up your spices for different flavor combinations.
No, you don’t have to wait for St. Patrick’s Day to come around again to enjoy Corned Beef and Cabbage. This is such an easy recipe to prepare with a huge flavor pay off. It’s not quite a “fix it and forget it” slow cooker dish, but the extra steps make a difference and are really quite simple.
Deliciously smoky, and fall-off-the-bone tender, Smoked Rosemary Wings deliver on flavor, and are so much healthier for you than restaurant fried wings.
You definitely want to try these Easy Steak Fajitas. Whether you serve them over greens or wrap them in a warm tortilla, you are going to love the flavor. I love to add fresh tomato, avocado, and shredded cheese to mine, but you could use additional toppings such as black beans or sour cream.
I make Slow Cooker Carnitas about once a month. It's such an easy dish to prepare, and it gives us a ton of leftovers for lunches, another dinner later in the week, or the freezer. You can serve the carnitas in a tortilla with your favorite toppings, over rice, or in lettuce wraps (which is what I did for myself).
Yum! Creamy Veggie and Chicken Sausage Gnocchi is so easy to make and full of fresh flavors. For me, this is pure comfort food, and I was excited to find Delallo Gluten Free Gnocchi. Of course, you can use any gnocchi you like, or even a pasta for that matter.
I used ground chuck, zucchini, spinach, and cauliflower rice in these Whole30 compliant Veggie Loaded Meatballs, and I really don't think he realized how many veggies were packed into each serving. I served mine over wilted spinach and served his over linguine with a little pasta sauce. He always loves it when I make different variations of meatballs, and these were no exception.
This Chicken Enchilada Casserole is an easy weeknight dinner. Russ is not always a Mexican food fan, but he loves this casserole. Depending on your family size, you should end up with some yummy leftovers for lunch during the week.