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stack of lemon blueberry pancakes

Top 15 Recipes of 2012

Rounding up the top 15 recipes on Ambitious Kitchen in 2012, from pancakes, to cookies, to dinners, to smoothies, and more. Also sharing some of your amazing comments on each recipe!

I’m a little bit late in posting this, but I wanted to share with you the Top 15 recipes on Ambitious Kitchen in 2012. I also was inspired to include some of your amazing comments, as I feel that hearing someone else’s success on a recipe is always encouraging. Ultimately, I feel so amazed and blessed by your readership, stories, comments and emails. You inspire me much more than you know!

I’m looking forward to sharing more photos, recipes, adventures, and cooking with all of you in 2013. If there’s anything you’d like to see more of, be sure to leave a comment or send me an email; I’d love to hear from you. Now on to the recipes!


15. Lemon Blueberry Quinoa Pancakes

CC says, “Just made these for my father-in-law for Father’s Day (second time making them) and I wanted to share that you have won him over. He wouldn’t ever consider eating quinoa before today (“too healthy”), but I whisked this cup in under the radar and he LOVED it/them! Love the healthy, tasty recipes you share. Keep up the great work/passion!”

stack of lemon blueberry pancakes


14. Vegan + Gluten-Free Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Arwen wrote, “This is SUPER tasty. Like, shockingly so. I’m not sure if it messes up the healthy factor if you eat half a loaf in a day, but that’s definitely the direction I’m heading in. Not sure I mind too much.”

Chocolate chip oatmeal banana bread in a loaf pan


13. Vegan Detox Green Monster Smoothie

Laura said, “I made this on Tuesday and was daydreaming about it all of yesterday while fasting for Yom Kippur, and I had leftovers of it this morning, and I’m making more now to have tomorrow morning!”

Vegan Detox Smoothie


12. Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Homemade Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

Kira says, “Just made these for dinner with cornmeal crusted tilapia and mixed greens. The dipping sauce is amazing! I almost considered not making it but I’m delighted I did. Another culinary masterpiece from Monique!”

Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce for Sweet Potato Fries from


11. Banana ‘Ice Cream’ with Toasted Coconut, Almonds, & Dark Chocolate

Karissa said, “Result: It was so easy to scoop out, even after that amount of time; literally like the texture of real ice cream! Hooray! We didn’t eat all of it, so the rest is still being stored for later. I thought I would have to chip/scrape or thaw the banana ‘ice cream’ after the refreezing, but nope, it was perfect!”

Banana Ice Cream #vegan


10. Kale, Edamame, and Quinoa Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Janna wrote, “I made this salad last night for dinner and it was great! I almost didn’t add the mango but I’m so glad I did, it really added some nice sweetness to it. I found myself digging for more of the juicy pieces. And then I made the banana pancakes this morning and they were great too. Thanks for getting my out of my recipe rut! Your blog is great!”

salad with avocado, edamame, and tomatoes


9. Black Bean, Sweet Potato, and Quinoa Chili with Smoked Chipotle

Emn wrote, “I’ve made this twice, and I absolutely love it! (My boyfriend does, too.) The only things I do differently are: double the chipotle sauce in the chile and use three cups of stock instead of four. All around a ten out of ten!”

Quinoa chili with black beans and sweet potatoes in a bowl


8. Sesame Ginger Sweet Teriyaki Salmon with Garlic Quinoa Stir-fry

Christina said, “I made this last week and totally forgot to tell you how wonderful this recipe is! The sauce itself could be used for so many other meats. The salmon turned out perfect and I never thought to sub quinoa as rice. Very healthy and very tasty…usually I can’t find recipes that fit that description. Thank you so much for sharing!”

teriyaki salmon with rice and vegetables on plate


7. Whole Wheat Banana Quinoa Pancakes

Ash wrote, “Hey there! I’ve been lurking on your blog for a while and just tried these pancakes out last week. Not only are they AMAZING, but for a vegetarian living with a house full of allergy ridden people/gluten free people, these are perfect. A success with everyone! Not to mention they hold up really well in the freezer and are an awesome breakfast before work any day of the week. Thank you so much for sharing and I look forward to you new creations.”

Most Popular Recipes: Whole Wheat Banana Quinoa Pancakes


6. Turkey Meatballs in Spicy Tomato Basil Sauce with Burrata

Tracy wrote, “Made these tonight, used fresh mozzarella instead… just a touch of cayenne and there was some REAL heat in those balls! We LOVED them! So moist, flavorful and yummy! Thanks for this one, it’ll make a re-appearance in my house.”

Turkey meatballs in a skillet of tomato basil sauce


5. Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt

Jennifer wrote, “Thank you so much for this recipe. I doubled it, used sour cream instead of greek yogurt (because I had none), and used natural (have to stir) peanut butter. They were FABULOUS. My son said, “Best cookie Ever.” My husband and daughter agreed. So happy to find your site–so positive and friendly… and TASTY!”

Peanut butter chocolate chip cookies on a wooden board


4. Healthy Chicken Chickpea Chopped Salad

Stacy wrote, “I made this last night for dinner – probably one of the best salads EVER! Thank you so much for the recipe! I shared the link on Facebook.”

Easy healthy chicken chickpea chopped salad loaded with protein and fresh ingredients like grilled corn, grape tomatoes, crunchy romaine, creamy avocado, and your favorite dressing.


3. Easy 5-Ingredient Fudgy Nutella Cookies with Sea Salt

Amanda said, “Thanks so much for this amazing recipe! I can’t bake to save my life- BUT these—–oh these I mastered!!!! A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!”

Easy 5-Ingredient Fudgy Nutella Cookies with Sea Salt


2. Brown Butter Snickerdoodle Cookies

Jennifer wrote, “Eating these as I type…UNBELIEVABLE flavor!!! Fabulous! I’m a huge snickerdoodle….ok, cookie fan… but they’ve gotta be awesome for me to make more than once. Better believe this will NOT be the last time I make these! Thank you for the recipe. PS…making these as a gift…sure hope a few make it into the box!”

stack of snickerdoodle cookies


1. Nutella-Stuffed Brown Butter + Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies

Annie wrote, “Made these two nights ago. My husband nearly died. He actually called me from work the next day to tell me again how amazing they were. I will never make chocolate chip cookies without browning the butter again. You are awesome! Thank you!!”

Bri wrote, “I made these for my office holiday party’s bake-off and they won! Thanks!”

Twyla wrote, “Honestly, These were wonderful!! The only thing I changed was I baked them for 13 minutes because I didn’t want them doughy. Other than that they were amazing! Took them to work and people thought I should start selling them, they were THAT good!! Thanks for a great new standard at our house!”

Amy said, “My best friend and I decided that this is the only chocolate chip cookie recipe that needs to exist in the world! Divine. I stuffed half the batch with nutella and the other half with peanut butter. Best decision of my life!”


Nutella-Stuffed Brown Butter + Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies from

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