~ Looking for easy, healthy recipes your whole family will love? These recipes are must-try favorites – our most popular recipes of the year – as chosen by you, our readers! ~
2016 was a big year around here, full of changes and new beginnings. And we have all of you – our wonderful, supportive, enthusiastic readers and friends to thank for the successful, surprisingly fun year it turned out to be!
You might remember that it all started with a sad farewell – as Gretchen (my bestie and one of THK’s original, diabolical, founding masterminds) stepped away from the blog to begin a new career helping special needs kids in our local schools. (For the umpteenth time … I miss you so much, G!)
What to do … what to do??? How would THK even be THK without her?!?
But, we regrouped and refocused. We came together as a family to make this effort uniquely our own – to keep bringing you healthy recipes that we love, in the hope of inspiring all of you to try cooking healthier recipes at home, too.
No doubt, it was a bit of a whirlwind, with a definite learning curve (so many of Gretchen’s talents and strengths that we had to learn to recreate without her) – but somehow, little by little, we did it!
Looking back on 2016 now, most of all I want to say THANK YOU! Thank you for cheering us on, for encouraging us to keep going, and for letting us know what types of recipes you’d like to see and which of our recipes you’ve loved most of all.
As we do every year, we’ve gathered up the list of our most popular (most viewed) new recipes, to share one more time in case you missed one along the way. Looking for great, healthy recipes to kick off 2017? You’re sure to find a little spark of inspiration here!
And speaking of little sparks … thank you again. Really. Thank you for being our little spark of inspiration and encouragement, for pushing us along even when we weren’t sure how this year would all work out. We can’t wait for another year with you!
Happy, Happy New Year, friends!
This fun, super-easy twist on chicken parmesan was an instant hit, and quickly became a runway favorite with our readers, and on Yummly and Pinterest. All the satisfying flavors of a classic chicken parmesan casserole, but ready in just 15 minutes! You can even make them completely ahead – and they’re freezable, too! Perfect for grab-and-go eating on the run!
I started making these for Ty as an after-school snack, and the recipe immediately became a favorite we just had to share with other busy families! We’ve definitely noticed that pizza-inspired recipes are almost always a guaranteed hit with our readers, and this unique quesadilla was no exception. It takes just minutes to throw together, and features lots of whole grains and protein – absolutely perfect as a quick meal or a hearty, nourishing, keep-you-powered-up snack!
These are terrific as a freezable, make-ahead breakfast for busy mornings, or as a fun, personal-sized breakfast dish for holiday brunch buffets. These cute little quiche cups take just a few minutes to prep, and (because of their mini size) they bake extra-quickly! And with no crust, they’re also gluten-free. Truly versatile, and seriously yummy!
Inspired by a greasy, artery-clogging food court indulgence, these incredibly delicious pizza fries are loaded with pizza flavor, yet so much healthier! They’re really easy to make, and our whole family was just crazy for them, from the very first time we made them. Turns out, our readers love them as much as we do!
Also known (in our house at least) as Apple-Dapple Crunch Wrap Supremes, this recipe puts a fresh-tasting spin on your same-old, same-old peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Filled with a satisfying combination of sweet, crunchy, chewy and creamy ingredients, these wraps quickly became Amy’s go-to school lunch request. Easy to make ahead, and so perfect for on-the-go meals!
A delicious way to change-up taco night, this skillet meal is a cinch to throw together – in just 30 minutes (of mostly hands-off cooking time). And for those extra-busy nights, we’ve got make-ahead strategies, too! Another of our family favorites we couldn’t wait to share with you this year!
A gluten-free, super-nutritious twist on tabouli that still tastes just like … well, like tabouli! So vibrantly fresh and delicious! We debuted this recipe last spring at a farm market where we’d been invited to do some cooking demos. Our whole family had a great time that day, especially seeing little kiddos’ faces light up with surprise and delight as they tried healthy recipes they weren’t really sure they would like. Our best compliment of the day? When a tiny little farm market shopper named Marcus cracked a huge grin and dubbed this tabouli “Exploding good!” Could it possibly get any better than that?!? Plus, this recipe makes a big, big batch that keeps well for several days – exploding good as a make-ahead recipe, too!
The perfect grab-and-go breakfast to fuel you up on busy mornings! These freezable Breakfast Burritos are filled with sweet chicken-apple sausage and butternut squash, savory cheese and red peppers, and fluffy scrambled egg. (I’m desperately craving these all over again, just typing this!)
So this was kind of a surprise – finding that two of our Top 10 recipes this year were for puppy treats – recipes that we’d mainly created just as a way to use up leftover chicken that I had on hand from concocting so many rotisserie chicken recipes. Huh. Go figure! Leave it to a cute, fuzzy little pup to turn a simple, 2-ingredient recipe into a Top 10 hit! Thanks, Finny! And really – no matter how many times we make these, Finn never stops being excited about them. Doggy tested, doggy approved … again and again and again!
Ditto everything I said above! But I truly do pinky-swear promise not to turn THK into a doggy blog … no matter how much everyone loves our doggy treat recipes! It actually is pretty cool, though, that every single member of our family – even little Finny – got to put their mark on our family blog this year! To be honest though, I don’t think Finn cares much about all of that. He’s probably way more worried that his supply of these treats is frighteningly low at the moment – only two left! (So if you whip up some for your pup today … feel free to send some our way!)
Every year, Gretchen and I each always used to pick one personal “sleeper” favorite – a recipe we dearly loved that somehow didn’t make it into the Top 10. She and I used to joke that it was pretty much an impossible task – like choosing a favorite child.
This year, I asked both of my favorite kiddos (and Scott, too!) to help keep the tradition going. Each member of our family (except Finny – since #1 he has a hard time with big decisions and #2 his favorite recipes are both already in the Top 10) to choose just one fave to spotlight.
I thought it was really interesting what each of us chose … four more recipes you should definitely try in 2017 because (at least around our house) they’re way, way too good to miss!
Scott’s Pick: Hungry Hippos (Fun Sandwich Recipe for Kids)
Why Scott picked these: “Because – if I remember correctly – I was innocently eating a Flatout PB&J when I noticed that I was eating a hippo head. In that brief moment of discovery, the lightbulb actually turned on – and I knew I finally had something to offer to THK. Also, I love PB&J. And Hippos.”
Shelley’s Pick: Indian-Spiced Turkey Chili
Why I picked this: “I love everything about this recipe … the back story of how it evolved, and the collaborative effort as Scott and I scoured local stores for authentic Indian ingredients (and then tested and tested until we came up with work-arounds for those of you who might not be able to find those ingredients). But, as a mom, I also treasure this specific photo and all that it represents. Those are Ty’s sweet hands wrapped around the bowl. He’d arrived home from school just as I finished this photo shoot, and standing in for this shot was one more way that he helped in shoot after shoot all year long. My little photography assistant! Oh … plus the chili is seriously delicious! Try it!!”
Ty’s Pick: Reuben-Topped Irish Nachos
Why Ty picked these: “I love the Reuben Nachos because … who doesn’t love nachos? And they’re healthy. And they’re reuben. Nachos + Reuben + Healthy = Awesome.” Oh – and in case you were worried (which I’m pretty sure you weren’t) – Ty gets his favorite recipe listed before Amy’s since he’s older … by about 45 seconds, but that still counts!)
Why Amy picked these: “I just love these muffins! They’re always a go-to for snacks and desserts, plus they’re super versatile, with tons of ways to enjoy them! I especially love them warmed up with vanilla ice cream! And, with Valentine’s Day coming up, these are definitely in season!” (BTW … if we would’ve listed the Top 11 recipes of 2016, instead of only the Top 10 … these would’ve just snuck in under the wire at #11. Amy knows a winner when she see one!)
Here’s to another exciting, deliciously healthy year together, friends! Happy 2017, from our healthy kitchen, to yours!