Best of 2019

Hoooooo boy, am I ever ready to say bye to 2019. Like, byeeeeeeeee Felicia. 

Regular readers know that 2019 was a hell of a doozy of a year. We lived for six months without a bathroom, taking showers at the gym across the street and bathing our kids in the bathroom sink. We lived for nine months in a construction zone. Our upstairs neighbours jackhammered a hole in our goddamn ceiling. 

Remember when our bathroom looked like this?!

I freelanced through my “maternity leave” with a fussy baby who was a nightmare to breastfeed and who undid any and all attempts at sleep training to the point that I threw in the towel and just operated on fumes. In general, I worked way too much and slept way too little. 

Our big boy was sick CONSTANTLY for a while and went through a whiny phase that tested my patience to the absolute limit and taught me that I’m a much, much shoutier parent than I expected to be. I’ve been on the literal brink of falling apart more than a few times.

There’s plenty that I haven’t shared publicly, too. Like how tough this year has been on my marriage. In over 16 years together there have been five occasions where I thought, fuck this, I don’t care about my stuff, I’m packing a bag and I am outta here. Two of those occasions have been in the last year. 

Honestly, no one thing that happened in 2019 was that terrible, it was just that cumulatively it was a crazy trying year and we were just like, enough already. ENOUGH. 

But! This is the last day. The end of 2019, and tomorrow is a new year. A new decade, even. 

I turned 40 in 2019! That part was fun.

I’ve done a lot of reflecting lately, and one thing I realized is that for a lot of the last decade my identity, my free time, and even my goals have been wrapped up in being Paul’s wife. When you’re married to a goal-oriented high-performance athlete, it’s easy to let your own stuff fade into the background as supporting them becomes a full-time job. 

I can’t tell you how many cities we’ve traveled to for marathons where I’ve worked with him to painstakingly map out my support route, gone out the day before to test the transit system and find my meeting spots. And then, on race day, been up early, stomach in knots, literally running from point to point so I can shove a bottle of electrolytes and a gel into his sweaty hand and then turn and run as fast as I can to the next spot, frantic that I might miss him. 

All the extra shifts I’ve taken with the kids while he’s gone out on 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 hour training sessions. All the vacations we’ve tailored to his training and racing schedule. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love that he’s passionate about this stuff, and honestly, all that training he does keeps him the hell out of my hair – all that energy has to go somewhere, trust me, it’s better this way.

But part way through 2019 I was like, wait a minute, where’s my water bottle guy? I’ve also got a thing that I do that I’m passionate AF about. That I stay up late working on, that I think about all the time. And that’s slowly but surely turning into a profitable little business. 

So I made a decision: 2020 is the YEAR OF KATIE.

Eff yes! Shit is about to get real. This is when I start prioritizing myself, and the things that fill me up.

I’ve got TWO conferences on my agenda in 2020 which means I’ll be flying over to the US By. My. Self. and congregating with my people to geek out on stuff like SEO and social media strategy, and I am freaking stoked about it. 

I’ve got some courses and me time blocked into my calendar, which I hope will help me do a better job of prioritizing work-life balance than I did in 2019. And on that note, a bit of news: Just before Christmas I signed a contract for a full-time role with one of the companies I’ve been freelancing with. 

This was actually a job interview outfit

I love freelancing and the flexibility that it affords me, and it has gone really well for me. But, I took a good look at my life and realized that for a number of reasons, stability is what I need right now. I have two small kids and a crazy hectic life, and I do not need to be worrying about where my next paycheque is going to come from.

In a crazy turn of events, I had another, potentially more exciting opportunity come my way at the exact same time as I was offered this contract, but once my head finished exploding I chose to sign with the agency that I already have a relationship with. I’ve known the guy who I will be reporting to directly for a long time and I know I like and can trust him.

Since I’ve already been freelancing there and they know me, they’ve waived the usual probation period, which means this role will be stable from the get go. And, I had them write a clear development plan for my role into the contract since the other role was slightly more senior to begin with. 

The experience taught me how to really negotiate for myself, and what I’m worth. It also taught me to step back and look at the big picture, not to be romanced by what on paper looks like a more glamorous opportunity, but what’s going to be the best for my life right now. 

So, I’m excited for 2020. The year of Katie is going to be badass and I’m stoked to see how it’s going to unfold. 

The year of Katie is going to be awesome!

I must say though, there were *some* good parts of 2019! This little old blog, which is like The Little Engine That Could, just kept chugging along. 

All of the hard work I’ve been doing over the past 18 months finally started paying off, and I had record-breaking month after record-breaking month, right up through November. In September I cracked 100,000 page-views for the first time (FINALLY!) with steep increases to over 125K in October and 135K in November. 

December is always my slowest month of the year (people aren’t so excited about nutrition blogs in December, it would seem) but I’m still at about 110K at the time of writing. I’m REALLY hoping to crack 200K in the coming months, which is a real possibility with the increase in search volume for healthy recipes in January. Can she? Can she? 

Let me take a moment, dear reader, to sincerely from the bottom of my heart thank you for being here. It’s regular readers like you who come back week after week, who leave comments on my recipes, send me emails, and DM me on social media, that make this all worth while. 

Thank you for pinning my recipes, sharing my posts, and telling your friends where they can find that delicious recipe. Thank you for sticking with me through this incredibly tough year, and I hope we can all find some joy in 2020.

Let’s take a look at the top 10 posts of 2019, according to Google Analytics:

Best of 2019

1. Mung Bean and Coconut Curry 

It should surprise no one that Mung Bean and Coconut Curry is the top recipe of 2019. This recipe actually accounts for about 30% of my traffic, which is both impressive and worrisome. 

In Google search I’m ranking in position zero (that’s right up at the top of the page) for “mung bean curry” and “mung bean recipes” and a few other things. I tip-toe around this page as carefully as I can as to not wake the sleeping giant and disturb the balance. If Google were to decide to shake things up and put someone else in that top place, it would be a painful fall from grace for me. 

This recipe alone had nearly 200,000 visits in 2019, so if you haven’t tried it yet, what are you waiting for?!

two bowls of mung bean and coconut curry with naan and brown rice in the background

Mung Bean and Coconut Curry
Mung Bean and Coconut Curry! This easy vegan curry is packed with Indian flavours, coconut milk, cilantro, and lime. It's incredibly easy and can be made in the Instant Pot or on the stove top. 
Check out this recipe
mung bean and coconut curry on a grey background

2. Black Bean and Quinoa Freezer Burritos

This recipe for Black Bean and Quinoa Freezer Burritos is another long-time fan favourite. It’s not ranking quite as well as I’d like it to be, but now that I know much more about SEO, I’m going to be giving it some love in 2020 and hoping it gets a boost. 

vegetarian black bean burrito on a piece of foil with foil-wrapped burritos in the background

Black Bean and Quinoa Freezer Burritos
Black Bean and Quinoa Freezer Burritos! These make-ahead vegetarian burritos are super easy to make, loaded with beans and veggies, and are freezer-friendly. Perfect for healthy lunch on the go or planning for busy times. 
A stacked black bean freezer burrito on a piece of foil

3. Chia Fresca

Weird, but true, this super simple and super hydrating recipe for Chia Fresca clocks in at the third most popular recipe of 2019. 

A glass of chia fresca with lime and cucumber and a glass straw, with a jug of chia fresca in the background

Chia Fresca
Make Chia Fresca at home! This quick and easy recipe is the perfect healthy hydration drink. Made with just chia seeds, lime juice, honey, and a pinch of salt, it's a natural energy drink you can pull off in a matter of minutes. 
Check out this recipe
two glasses of chia fresca with wedges of lime and a multicoloured tea towel on a grey background

4. Indonesian Black Rice Pudding

I gave this already popular recipe a makeover early in 2019, and it just took off! If you haven’t tried making Indonesian Black Rice Pudding, I urge you to do so. It’s a delicious breakfast, snack, or dessert. 

Indonesian black rice pudding in a large blue bowl topped with banana and coconut chips

Indonesian Black Rice Pudding
Indonesian Black Rice Pudding is a healthy vegan recipe that's perfect for breakfast or dessert! Made with coconut milk and naturally sweetened with coconut sugar, this rice pudding recipe can be made on the stove top or in the Instant Pot. 
Check out this recipe
Indonesian black rice pudding in a blue bowl

5. Curried Cauliflower Chickpea Wraps

These simple, spicy, Curried Cauliflower Chickpea Wraps still hold the record as the recipe that got the most views on a single day, and that was back in 2015. Hoping we’ll break that record in 2020! 

A metal bowl with chickpea wraps on a grey background

Curried Cauliflower Chickpea Wraps
These Curried Cauliflower Chickpea Wraps are a healthy, spicy make-ahead meal! Easily vegan and gluten-free, made with warming Indian spices, these wraps are freezer-friendly to boot! 
Check out this recipe
curried cauliflower chickpea wraps cut in half with a bowl of filling in the background

6. Vegetarian Freezer Meals for New Moms

This recipe collection of Vegetarian Freezer Meals has been doing great all year. I’m planning to give it a makeover early in 2020, so keep your eyes peeled for that!

photo grid with text that says vegetarian freezer meals for new moms

7. Turmeric Latte Mix

Such a simple recipe but so easy and so delicious, you’ll never have to shell out for over-priced coffee shop turmeric lattes again! Just whip up a batch of this Turmeric Latte Mix, and you’re good to go. 

A turmeric latte in a dark grey mug with a jar of turmeric latte mix in the background

DIY Turmeric Latte Mix
You can make your own Turmeric Latte Mix in a matter of minutes! It's as easy as whisking turmeric together with a blend of spices, inexpensive, and makes for a fabulous homemade gift. 
Check out this recipe
landscape shot of turmeric latte in a black mug

8. Is Popcorn Healthy?

This little old post just keeps on chugging! The people want to know, Is Popcorn Healthy?!

a wooden bowl of popcorn with garlic and nutritional yeast in the background

9. Amazing Vegan Gravy

Mmmmhmm. This stuff is legit. If you haven’t tried Amazing Vegan Gravy yet, you’re going to want to bookmark it for the summer when I share my vegetarian poutine recipe!

A plate of mashed potatoes topped with vegan gravy with a gravy boat in the background

Amazing Vegan Gravy
Amazing Vegan Gravy is the vegetarian gravy recipe you've been waiting for! Made with nutritional yeast and marmite for a ton of flavour, this vegan brown gravy is perfect with mashed potatoes, poutine, or as part of your Thanksgiving table. This healthy gravy recipe is made from scratch and it's super simple!
Check out this recipe
a blue plate of mashed potatoes topped with vegan gravy

10. Homemade Pumpkin Purée

My how-to post on how to make your own Homemade Pumpkin Purée made it to page one on Google riiiiiiiight at the end of November. I’m confident she’s going to crush it in 2020!

three glass jars of pumpkin puree on a grey background

Homemade Pumpkin Puree
How to make and freeze your own homemade pumpkin puree - it's easier than you think!
Check out this recipe
three jars of pumpkin puree with ornamental pumpkins in the background

My favourite recipes of 2019

Just because these recipes didn’t make it into the top 10 doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a little love. Here’s a selection of my favourite recipes of 2019:

1. Mango Matcha Green Tea Smoothie

This Mango Matcha Green Tea Smoothie is *almost* too pretty to drink. Almost. 

overhead photo of matcha green tea smoothies with lime slices and orchid blossoms scattered about

Mango Matcha Green Tea Smoothie
This Mango Matcha Green Tea Smoothie is the perfect thing to get your day started! Made with banana, frozen broccoli, mango, and plant-based milk, this vegan matcha smoothie is loaded with green goodness, antioxidants for a healthy morning breakfast recipe.
Check out this recipe
matcha green tea smoothies on a grey surface with a cut mango and matcha powder

2. Tempeh Tacos

I love a good taco night, and these Tempeh Tacos are my current go-to recipe.

tempeh tacos with red cabbage and jalapenos on top

Tempeh Tacos
Tempeh Tacos!!! These vegetarian tacos are made with an easy vegan taco filling made from tempeh. They're super fast to make, healthy, and delicious, and the vegan taco meat is full of plant-based protein. 
Check out this recipe
a platter of tempeh tacos on a grey background

3. Chipotle Black Bean Burgers

I love having a batch of these Chipotle Black Bean Burgers on hand in the freezer. You can grill ’em up, or use them to make Veggie Burger Bowls

Chipotle black bean burgers on a blue plate

Chipotle Black Bean Burgers
Looking for an amazing vegan black bean burger recipe? This is it! These Chipotle Black Bean Burgers are super easy to make, packed with healthy ingredients, and are gluten-free. Full of protein and flavour, this is the only spicy black bean burger recipe you'll ever need!
Check out this recipe
chipotle black bean burger on a blue plate with some potato chips on the side

4. Creamy One-Pot Pasta with Peas

This recipe for Creamy One-Pot Pasta with Peas has six ingredients and takes about 15 minutes to make. Anything you can pull off in the same time as an episode of Daniel Tiger is a total win for me.

three bowls of bowtie pasta with peas on a grey surface

One-Pot Creamy Pasta with Peas
Creamy One-Pot Pasta with Peas is a simple, nutritious dinner you can have on the table in under 20 minutes. With just a handful of ingredients and a yogurt cream sauce, this vegetarian pasta recipe is easy, comforting, and delicious.
Check out this recipe
a bowl of pasta with peas on a blue napkin

5. Red Lentil Stew

I don’t think I ever had so many comments on a new recipe so fast as when I posted this Red Lentil Stew. It’s loaded with veggies and plant-based protein, and my kids (and many of your kids) absolutely love it.

two bowls of red lentil stew on a grey background with a plate of lemon wedges and cilantro

Red Lentil Stew
This easy Red Lentil Stew recipe is the perfect weeknight dinner when you want something healthy, quick, and delicious. It's completely vegan, loaded with veggies, and comes together in under 30 minutes. Make Instant Pot Lentil Stew or cook it on your stove top, and serve with rice or pasta. Top with chili flakes if you want to bring the heat, or leave it as is for the kids.
Check out this recipe
red lentil stew in a ceramic bowl

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