I’ve mentioned before that I’m weirdly addicted to my Google Analytics. Yes, I get a kick out of the batshit searches that lead newbies here, but I also love that it can show me the recipes that people are looking for/interested in. For example, Peanut Butter and Banana Overnight Oats is the most trafficked recipe on this site (by a LOT), which I find hilarious. Don’t get me wrong, the oats are delightful, but they’d never come to mind if someone asked me to name my favorite recipes. Honestly, they probably wouldn’t even make it into the top 100.
Based on my very scientific analyses of what I’m sure is extremely accurate data, people on this site (and on the interwebs in general) appear to be attracted to recipes on opposite ends of the nutrition spectrum. They’re either looking for super healthy, vegan, gluten-free, Gwyneth-y things (like the aforementioned overnight oats, kale salads, and chia pudding), OR they’re ogling obscene No-Calorie Sunday creations like Nutella and Bacon Stuffed French Toast. This means that a lot of everyday, middle of the road awesomeness falls through the cracks, which makes me a little sad. Everyone needs a good taco or some chicken soup from time to time, amiright?
With that in mind, I thought I’d roundup some of my favorite recipes from the archives—the hidden gems, if you will—that you may have overlooked in your Google searches. They might not be the trendiest (or the prettiest), but they’re some of my most foolproof go-tos, and all would make excellent additions to your rapidly growing repertoire. Apologies in advance for some of the not-so-sexy photos in this mix. Food photography has a steep learning curve…
Domesticate ME!’s Forgotten Recipe Favorites:
Cure-All Chicken Soup with Quinoa and Sweet Potatoes. This was one of the first recipes on Domesticate ME!, and I’ve since updated the photos because the original shoot took place on…wait for it…the toilet in my old apartment. (It was early food blogging days, and I thought a white background would be nice?) Anyhoo, this soup is healthy and hearty with a subtle sweetness thanks to the potatoes, and it’s guaranteed to warm you up from the inside out. Don’t skimp on the avocado and cilantro, peeps—they really take things up a notch.
Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps. These handheld flavor bombs are brimming with fabulous health benefits (fiber! protein! antioxidants!) and a breeze to throw together, making them the perfect fuss-free meal for busy weeknights. With that said, they’re also awesome for casual entertaining. People like to eat with their hands.
Sweet Potato Hash with Chicken Sausage and Fried Eggs. If you’re in the market for a dank, nutrient-packed anytime meal, this is it, folks. It comes together in half an hour, and it just so happens to be gluten-free, paleo, Dude Diet approved, etc., so work this crowd-pleaser into the rotation ASAP.
Basil Tofu Bowls with Stir Fried Quinoa. I’m mostly anti-tofu, but I have a serious soft spot for it in this shockingly delightful bowl. Dry-frying the tofu makes all the difference (especially for those that share my fear of mushy bean curd), and the basil sauce hits all the right sweet, savory, and spicy notes. If you refuse to give tofu a chance, chicken or shrimp are both excellent subs.
Shrimp Tacos with Corn Salsa and Chipotle-Avocado Crema. You can never have too many killer taco recipes, and this one definitely deserves some love. The smoky avocado based crema is a game changer.
Mushroom, White Bean and Brown Rice Casserole with Bacon and Gruyère. I love me a cheesy brown rice bake, and this one’s a total showstopper. It photographs kinda meh, but I promise it tastes anything but. (Have you never had bacon and buttery white beans together???)
Harvest Pumpkin Soup with Candied Bacon. This soup is a serious fall flavor party, but the delicious insanity that is candied bacon really puts it over the edge. If you’re someone that does a Thanksgiving appetizer (so fancy and civilized!), this would be an excellent choice. You could even serve it in hollowed out pumpkins! (Too much?)
Cinnamon French Toast Bake with Bacon. Who doesn’t love a sweet, cinnamon-y breakfast casserole with lots of crispy bacon baked in? (That was a rhetorical question.) Assemble the bake the night before, and then just pop it in the oven come brunch time, and wait for people to lose their shit over the smell. You could also make this all fall-like by stirring pumpkin puree into the custard. Just throwing that out there…
Potato Rosti with Pancetta and Mozarella. This is basically a giant crispy hash brown stuffed with lots of melty mozzarella and crispy pancetta. It’s great with an egg on top for breakfast/brunch, but I like it for dinner with a simple salad.
Skillet Cornbread. If you don’t already have a go-to cornbread recipe, I recommend adopting this one. It’s the perfect balance of sweet and savory, and a little creamed corn keeps thangs super…moist. You don’t have to make it in a skillet, but why rob yourself of crispy edges?
Chia Seed Pork Meatballs with Spicy Ginger-Soy Glaze. Dr. Oz loved these. You will too. (If you’re not into pork, these are equally magical with ground chicken.)
White Bean Chicken Chili. I actually made this for dinner last night, and I’m about to have myself a sassy desk lunch of leftovers. It’s simple, super versatile (I like it for everything from cozy couch sessions to weird football parties), and makes your kitchen smell UNREAL, so get on it. Stat. I recommend setting up a little toppings bar and letting people pimp their own bowls. (Don’t have a slow-cooker? No biggie. It’s easily doable on the stovetop.)
Dude Diet Chicken Parmesan Burgers with Grilled Vegetables. All the flavors of chicken parm in burger form with lots of tender grilled veggies, this epic sando remains one of my favorite Dude Diet recipes to date. Ditch the bun and serve the burgers over salad when you want to keep things super tight.
Cauliflower Fried Rice. I’ve been a die-hard fan of cauliflower rice for years now, and I make some version of this skillet meal on a weekly basis. It comes together in a snap, and you can use whatever veggies happen to be kicking around in your fridge. This particularly recipe is vegetarian, but feel free to bulk things up with the protein of your choice. (Chicken, beef, salmon, and shrimp are all excellent additions to the party.)
Brie Quesadillas with Brussels Sprouts, Bacon and Beer-Glazed Onions. Fancy ‘dillas never get old, and there are few things in this world as mind-blowingly delicious as warm melted Brie. For the record, these make great party finger food, so keep that in mind as we make our way into the holiday season.
Bulgogi Sandwiches with Tangy Slaw, Fried Eggs and Creamy-Spicy Sauce. Of all the things on this list, I’m hoping you’ll take these bulgogi bad boys for a spin. I know you may be put off by the number of ingredients/steps involved, but I promise the recipe is far simpler than it seems. Yes, there’s a bit of hands-on time, but it’s mostly just chopping and stirring, and you can easily prep everything in advance, and then just cook the beef right à la minute. Do it.