Hey everyone! So I’ve been seeing some fellow bloggers put together a recipe round up of reader faves. They do a whole ‘voting’ process. Which I’m sure makes a whole lot more sense and is much easier to “round up”, but I seem to always do things the hard way. It’s part of my charm. I didn’t do a voting, because I flat out don’t know how. I’ll look into it next year in December… hopefully before December 29th when I decide I want to do this again. haha! Anyway, the other night I had asked readers to comment on their favorite recipes and a lot of people did! So this round up is a mixture of what people commented with the other night and what I’ve personally seen people make on Instagram, Facebook, and from commenting here on this handy dandy blog! I love feedback. I love it even more when it’s positive feedback. (haha!) No really though, sharing my recipes whether it be via Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, or good ol fashioned word of mouth means the world to me. Thank you so much! I’ve been running this blog since April of this year and I have learned so much. I’ve fallen in love with sharing my recipes with y’all. It makes my heart so happy to know that you’ve invited my recipes into your kitchen to feed yourself, family, and friends. This was a lot of fun to put together actually. I realized I had forgotten about a lot of gems on here! I also realize I’ve learned a lot about food photography since the beginning. I’ve also realized I want to photograph recipes again, but I won’t because It’s fun for me to look back and see improvements that I make on myself whether it be with the photography or the recipe writing itself.
Alright, so here’s this years top ten.
Cheers to many more years.
Happy New Year!
With love from my kitchen to yours,
Number Ten: Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells
This is a newer recipe that has been posted here on Daily Dose of Pepper. It’s a little bit more from scratch and requires a few extra steps. This is not a very popular recipe… and I honestly think it’s because of the extra steps, but Eric and my mama said that this has to be in the round up because this is their absolute favorite. And the few who I have seen make it LOVE it! So I’m following orders here. This is a perfect Sunday dinner. The from scratch Alfredo is to die for and each shell is packed with lots of chicken, broccoli, and flavor. Who says you can’t have a creamy cheesy dish and still lose weight? You’ll never hear me say that!
Number Nine: Green Bean Casserole
One of my absolute favorites. I’m so glad a lot of you have made this, loved this, and “voted” for this. I’m also honored that when I posted this hmmm like two days before Thanksgiving (Sorry again for that!) that many of you made it for your feasts without hesitating or trying it before hand. I’ve heard from many, many people that it was a huge hit! One girl commented on my Instagram post saying that she thinks about it daily… So I think that definitely means it deserves a spot in the top ten! Side note: I had three thanksgivings to attend all of which were deliciously perfect. On my second Thanksgiving feast downstate I forgot to bring the ingredients for this dish. So, I had to grab them quickly at the store. I grabbed cream of chicken soup instead of cream of mushroom….. honestly, the happiest of accidents ever. I don’t think I’ll make it with cream of mushroom ever again. It had rave reviews among all. (not one person even thought for a second that it was lightened up!)
Number Eight: Crock Pot Marinara
I think It’s safe to safe to say that while watching your weight, whether your counting points with weight watchers or tracking calories (I realize I said that backwards, oops!) that we all love to save on calories where and when we can. So why not save on calories with the easiest, yummiest, homemade marinara sauce EVER? (bonus: super-duper freezer friendly so you can make as much as your heart desires to have some on hand whenever the moment strikes that you need some marinara.) This recipe was tested out years ago when I was doing a few rounds of whole 30 and I can safely say that I’ve bought maybe 5 jars of sauce since then. (I’m talking about 3 years) I’ve seen so many people use this sauce in so many different ways on the regular and it makes me so happy that you all enjoy it so much. Ringing in at 0 Smart Points/Points Plus for any amount. It’s perfect. Did I mention that it’s absolutely DELICIOUS? I think the real trick is the slow cooking process. It allows the tomatoes to lose any acidic taste without adding any sugars. It’s also pretty customizable. I use fresh herbs when I have them on hand, and sometimes I add in peppers and carrots for a even more depth of flavor.
Number Seven: Skinny Chicken Salad
Seriously, hands down. The best chicken salad I’ve ever had. To the point where I can’t order chicken salad whenever in a restaurant without worry that I’ll hate it. What makes it the best? Simply, the two different spices that I use and making sure the chicken is finely shredded. My mom has been making chicken and tuna salad this exact way ever since I can remember. I could eat this every single day in the summer, and I have seen a lot of you that do too! My favorite ways to eat it are in a pita, with potato chips, crackers, or in a salad with sunflower seeds chopped up on top!
Number Six: Chicken Pot Pie Soup
Such a warm, hearty, delicious soup! A favorite in my family! I’ve seen so many of you make this these past few months. I’m so happy that it has won a spot in this line up. Soup is such a perfect meal. Almost always lower in points and calories, when you do it right, so that you can pair it with a nice slice of hearty bread to dip into your bowl and sop up the delicious broth.
Number Five: Meatball Sub Bubble Up
Knock Knock.. Who’s there? Oh just me having another craving but trying not to blow my diet. I’m not kidding you guys. Seriously, nine times out of ten…. this is where some of my best ideas come forth. And those little refrigerated biscuits saved the day again! I originally made these with some frozen turkey meatballs that I found in the freezer, but I went ahead and also made it with homemade turkey meatballs and continue to make it with the homemade version to this day. I love this bubble up and from what I’ve seen, y’all love it A LOT too!
Number Four: Mom’s Chicken & Rice
I grew up on this stuff! It’s my favorite and I’ve seen so many of you feel the same. It’s the ultimate comfort food and for what it lacks in presentation it makes up for big time in taste. With a few tiny tweaks I was able to lighten it up to enjoy every single day if I wanted to. I should also mention that it takes only 5 ingredients one of which is water so that doesn’t even count. Easy and delicious. You couldn’t ask for more. Yum!
Number Three: Make Ahead Freezer Friendly Breakfast Sandwiches
I’ll be honest about this one. I really didn’t think anything of this when I made the post. It was back to school time so I figured some busy mamas would really enjoy a freezer friendly breakfast recipe. I didn’t think anyone would even really respond to it. (Haha, Boy was I wrong!) I’ve been making and freezing these sandwiches for years for quick breakfast options. This is Eric’s go to breakfast because he’s always on the go. He doesn’t even know what to do with himself if there’s not at least one of these in the fridge waiting for him when he wakes up. Creature of habit, that one. I have seen these made SO many times since August. I’m so happy that these are helping make busy mornings much easier!
Number Two: Chicken Street Tacos!
Seriously, the day I came up with these my life was forever changed on Taco Tuesdays. I don’t even know how, but they are SO low in points/calories and SO incredibly filling. I can eat three tacos and be completely satisfied, but still have enough points/calories leftover for at least 5 more of them. I just started out with some corn tortillas and some of my favorite taco-ey type things. I was determined to make a new type of taco and I think I hit the nail on the head! These things are perfect and I’ve seen so many of y’all say the same. I’m so happy these are ringing in at number TWO. I’m thinking I might do some fun variations of these bad boys in 2017!
Number One: Biscuits N’ Gravy Bake!
I mean, let’s be honest, we probably all knew this one was coming. This makes me so happy. This was the FIRST recipe I ever decided to post to Daily Dose of Pepper. This one came to me out of sheer hungry breastfeeding mama pangs. I wanted everything breakfast on my plate, but I still wanted it to be semi-healthy. I threw this together one morning after seeing other people create so many bubble up casserole type of bakes with those perfect little refirgerated biscuits. I had no idea if it would work. Honestly, I figured it wouldn’t. I thought it would be mush between using eggs and gravy, and that I’d end up feeding it the dogs. (hoping they would at least eat it so it wouldn’t go to waste) It didn’t, Look at it now, folks! I’ve made this at least once a month, if not more, for over a year now and it is still one of my favorite things. I see people making this every single day. This pleases just about any person you could think of picky, young, old, middle aged, angry, happy, boy, girl, dog, cat, toddler, baby, grandma, gramps.. I could go on. I think I’ll stop… mostly to spare ya. Bottom line: if you haven’t made it, please do yourself a solid and make it! Also, One of my very dear friends is a certified vegetarian and she makes it with fake sausage and she says it’s a dream! If it tastes good with fake sausage, it’s good!
Fun fact: Eric actually did NOT like this when I first started making it. He preferred my homemade sausage gravy over homemade biscuits. He was insistent that it shouldn’t be the first recipe of mine to share on the blog. What’s that saying, y’all? Men are from Mars…?
These recipes had lots and lots of mentions, but I had to cut off how many recipes I put in the the “Top” somewhere!