For the past couple of months, I was completely lost in a new world, a colorful world that is full of creativity, passion and crazy awesomeness that is beyond my imagination – the food blogosphere!

Starting this blog led me to discover very admirable food blogs one after another. There are so many of them out there. My mind was totally blown away by how useful and informative these sites are, the perfect wonderful recipes with multiple times of testing, the gorgeous photos of food, the authors’ dedication and effort behind the sites, the life stories that they tell. It’s all for making our lives better via good homemade food. I was lost in this wonderful world. I was truly touched! I still am…

Based on my eye-opening discovery, the urge inside of me drove me to try out lots of awesome recipes from different food blogs with their unique style and taste. I am absolutely in love with them all! I have no doubt that every single recipe must have earned its way up to these sites!

For today, let’s take a look at 10 recipes that I would personally recommend to you because they are super healthy, tasty and easy to make.

If you have some saved recipes that fit in this category, or recipes of your own, please share in the comments or create and link to your own list post. Let’s get started!

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ASIAN NOODLE BOWL WITH GINGER PEANUT DRESSING
Author: Minimalist Baker >> Recipe Link

Asian Noodle Bowl With Ginger Peanut Dressing

Peanut butter sauce is a very common sauce used in cold noodles back in China. Dana and John, the lovely couple behind one of my favorite food blogs, Minimalist Baker, managed to bring the peanut dressing to a whole different new level with chili garlic sauce, honey and ginger. To me, it’s new, yet still tasted like home.

If all else goes wrong in the world, pour some peanut sauce on it.Dana Shultz

Asian Noodle Bowl With Ginger Peanut Dressing

Additional notes: If you would like to add one or two more ingredients in this noodle bowl. Cucumber stripes or omelette style of egg stripes could be something to consider. (Han came up with the egg idea and actually did it half way devouring the noodles.) Besides, Dana suggests to use uncooked Tofu which goes well with the dressing. I happened to have some leftover Mapo Tofu I cooked the day before. It worked out great.

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BEET AND QUINOA TABBOULEH
Author: Brian Samuels from A Thought For Food >> Recipe Link

Beet is such an interesting vegetable. Anything it touches turns into red. Red quinoa is what we call this fantastic tabbouleh.

To be precise, this recipe originally comes from a cookbook – La Tartine Gourmande: Recipes for an Inspired Life, written by Beatrice Peltre, another extremely talented food blogger. However, Brian did a great job to break down every single good part of this dish.

Beet and Quinoa Tabbouleh

This is a recipe that needs to be made immediately… tonight, in fact. The ingredients aren’t hard to find, the preparation takes less than an hour. Eat it as a side or on its own. Serve it to family members or consume the whole bowl yourself. I promise, I won’t judge… and no one else should either.Brian Samuels

With Brian’s gorgeous self-talk photos, I did make it immediately after I found out this recipe as we are very fond of quinoa. As a result, I went ahead to chop up Roma tomatoes to replace mix cherry tomatoes as suggested because they happened to be out of stock on that particular day when I desperately wanted to make this dish… It’s still awesome!

Beet And Quinoa Tabbouleh

Additional notes:

  • If you would like to try with Roma tomatoes with this tabbouleh like I did, add some corn to enlighten the color. 🙂
  • Want to go budget a little? Topping with sunflower seeds instead of pine nuts gives it a similar aroma.
  • We usually eat this with some Potato and Yam Salad and some veggie salad. It turns into a perfect dinner plate.

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CHICKPEA, TOMATO AND BASIL PASTA
Author: Sasha from Chezsasha >> Recipe Link

Chickpea, Tomato and Basil Pasta

Adding puréed chickpeas into tomato sauce with onion and garlic was a pure genius idea to bring the right richness and thickness to the sauce, plus that basil’s special fragrant gives a delightful spark to it. Combine the sauce with short cut pasta, then you will have a great main course option for your family. Here’s what Sasha says about this recipe –

This dish will satisfy even the most intense carb craving. Pasta enveloped in pureed chick peas and tomatoes and perfumed with fresh basil is so rich, you’d never suspect it was actually vegan.

Chickpea, Tomato and Basil Pasta

Before you roll up your sleeves to prepare for cooking this dish, check out the process with bunch of notes here.

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GINGER FRIED RICE
Author: Smitten Kitchen >> Recipe Link

Ginger Fried Rice

Whenever you come across fried rice, what’s the first thing that jumps into your mind? Yep, that’s a traditional Chinese cuisine. What if I tell you that there’s a fancy but still very practical French version for fried rice? Deb from Smitten Kitchen was able to magically make the transform happen and explain how –

For one, it has leeks, which although used in both Chinese and French cooking, I can’t say I’ve ever seen them caramelized for fried rice. Second, egg isn’t scrambled into the dish, but pulled out, fried whole and laid on top of the rice. There are other deconstructions too: the ginger and garlic are fried until crisp and scattered over the dish, like bacon bits from the Far East, rather than tucked within. And rather than cooking the rice in gobs of soy sauce and sesame oil, both are conservatively drizzled on top at the end like droplets of a pan sauce.

Ginger Fried Rice

If you happen to have some leftover rice from an Asian restaurant like we did, Deb’s recipe is certainly going to let you have a fun and easy cooking experience to make the most of it, with another great main course option for your family.

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MANGO AND CILANTRO GUACAMOLE
Author: Adrianna Adarme from A Cozy Kitchen >> Recipe Link | Original Source: Absolutely Avocados by Gaby Dalkin

Mango and Cilantro Guacamole

Believe it or not, this guacamole was literally the first official dish I made out of my kitchen after we moved to the States from China. Yet, I am still making it at least once a week. It’s simply something that you cannot get tired of eating. You just can’t. That’s how awesome the flavor is!

I love the sweetness and spiciness and herbaceousness going on from the mango, serrano pepper and cilantro action going on. It’s full of flavor but not too busy.Adrianna Adarme

Mango and Cilantro Guacamole

Be aware that this guacamole will be long gone before everything else if you decide to make it for family and friends gathering like picnics. It’s that irresistible!

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MEDITERRANEAN QUINOA BOWL
Author: Sprouted Kitchen >> Recipe Link

Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl

San Francisco is full of good food temptation. We need to watch out the growth of our tummies, like SERIOUSLY. If you are trying to reduce carbs as much as possible like we are, then quinoa is a really good choice, especially that you can mix it with all sorts of ingredients to bring it into a salad, a side dish or even a main course just like this one.

This salad of sorts is gluten free, high in plant proteins and is just as good, if not better, the next day for lunch over some salad greens with another little squeeze of lemon.Sara Forte

Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl

Additional notes:

  • Once I made this Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl with green beans and baby carrots. The result was equally good!
  • Maybe you would say that cooking quinoa is a bit of a hustle. By using the right tool, it is actually just a piece of cake. It requires no attention at all after you push a button. Period.

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SPICY CHEESY GUACAMOLE
Author: Gaby Dalkin from What’s Gaby Cooking >> Recipe Link

Spicy Cheesy Guacamole

I couldn’t help digging into another awesome guacamole recipe from Gaby after trying the Mango and Cilantro one, plus I was all excited about the high accessibility of avocados in the States. 😛

Who puts cheese to guacamoles? Gaby does and she has a damn good reason, so you should do the same too!

Any of the guacamole recipes on What’s Gaby Cooking are totally easy and require almost no time at all! Plus they are crazy delish!Gaby Dalkin

Spicy Cheesy Guacamole

Additional notes:

  • Feel free to switch the pepper to something that suits your spiciness tolerance level. I went up to use habanero pepper.
  • For the cheese, other than Queso Fresco, Gaby also suggests Feta.

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SPICY SHRIMP STIRFRY
Author: Kasey Hickey from Turntable Kitchen >> Recipe Link

Spicy Shrimp Stirfry

I have a thing for shrimp. Actively finding different ways of cooking shrimp or just devouring it is like a weekly routine for me. This spicy shrimp recipe is one of TK’s oldest recipes. However, this is not fashion. We do not need to stay on top of new collections. This is a world with no eliminations. In fact, sometimes, the older, the better! I am so glad that I found this!

Here’s a hodge podge recipe that has some serious kick, comes together in about 15 minutes and is actually quite good!Kasey Hickey

Spicy Shrimp Stirfry

We ate this with quinoa! It was bomb! Wait a second…Oops, I forgot the edamame. 😛

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SPRING GARLIC PANCAKES
Author: Brian Samuels from A Thought For Food >> Recipe Link

Spring Garlic Pancakes

These pancakes reminded me of the little breakfast kiosk area close to my college in Shanghai. There was one only selling the same type of pancakes. It’s called “Cong You Bing” in Chinese. “Cong” means spring garlic; “You” means oil and “Bing” is usually something made from flour, which means pancakes in this case. Those three words basically indicate the only three main ingredients that are required. It was certainly a surprise when I saw such thing coming out from a western hand, and the truth is that it was just as good as the ones that I had in the breakfast kiosk area across street from my school back in China, if not healthier and better!

Spring Garlic Pancakes

Additional note: Generously add some sesame oil into each dough when folding spring garlic into itself. It’s suggested by Han who’s born in Taiwan and apparently this is how my father in law usually made “Cong You Bing” when Han was little. Considering that you can smell the fragrant of “Cong You Bing” a few yards away from where it’s being made on one of these small streets in Taiwan (I am not kidding!), I took his advice without hesitation. (Usually, Han is requested to leave the kitchen until it’s dish washing time.) All in all, that’s the secret! Oh, by drizzling sesame oil into the dough, it makes funny cute squishy noises when folding it. 😀

We ate this alone with the dipping sauce that Brian suggested. We also had it with some braised beef…So yum! I am drooling again…

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THE PERFECT PICO DE GALLO
Author: Christine Gilbert from Almost Fearless >> Recipe Link

Pico De Gallo

Almost Fearless has been one of my all time favorite blogs! Different from all the sites mentioned above, it’s not a food blog, per se. As a world traveling mom, Christine blogs about a variety of interesting things including travel, kids, photography, language, etc., mostly inspiring life stories. She cooks. She doesn’t publish recipes very often on her site because she says she doesn’t measure. But when she does, it’s perfect, just like this Pico De Gallo!

You make a big batch, you put in the fridge and as you’re making tacos, quesadillas, burritos, rice and beans, asado, or pretty much anything, you pull out your pico and throw a little in.Christine Gilbert

Pico De Gallo

Additional note: Other than keeping it red, green and white as Christine suggested, I like adding a little extra sweetness and color in it by using half of a yellow bell pepper.

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Here you have it! You can quickly get mouth-watering food on your dining table with these 10 proven easy recipes. Now go surprise your significant others and friends! They are going to love you more! Until then, don’t forget to share your suggestions in the comments.

6 thoughts on “10 Proven Easy Recipes to Surprise Your Family”

  1. haha! love the bit about the squishy sesame oil sounds and Han washing the dishes. This all looks crazy crazy good!!!! <3

    1. Hey hey ya! Thanks for stopping by! Well, Han usually debates between washing dishes by hand and loading up the dishwasher. 😛

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