The end of the year thoughts and my most favorite recipes of 2015

A photo from my new upcoming Estonian cookbook, which will be published in 2016.

Dear reader. I'm so happy you're here. It doesn't matter if you are here for the first time or if you're a frequent visitor. I'm thankful that you come here, read my thoughts, cook my recipes and leave comments. It means a lot. Thank you! I just wanted to get that off my chest. I have received so many delicious food pics, comments and letters from you. Also, virtual Christmas cards. And even a couple of juicy hate mails. What you gonna do - if you put yourself out there, create something and say the things that matter to you, there are always people who don't like it. It's all part of it. But I still hope that you have gotten some inspiration and joy from this site, along with delicious vegan recipes for your weeknight and weekend meals. This is what I'm here for. My recipe site is always opened, 24 hours a day.

My year of 2015 was really diverse and felt pretty long. At the beginning of the year, there were a couple of really sad goodbyes. But the sad winter was followed by a gorgeous spring (is spring ever ugly?), and probably the best summer of my life. It was almost like I was a little kid again. And my fall has been really busy and filled with different food related projects. To really visualize my 2015, I will leave you some my favorite pics:

The view from our tiny log cabin in winter, right after I came from a run and had put my clothes on a rocket stove to dry.

A screenshot from the video of my lecture "Veganism as a lifestyle" which I gave in the Estonian Health Care Museum. The video is in Estonian.

My winter running route.

With the first warmer spring days, I always drag the chair out to get some rays on my face.

Spring sunset and quality dark beer in the city of Tartu.

A nice event organized by the Estonian Vegan Society, where I talked about veganism.

On the cover of an Estonian women's magazine.

Still life of spring.

My spring running route.

Our lakeside vegan dinner party for the Walpurgis Night.

An article about me in the Estonian women's magazine.

Our tiny log cabin and me in the summer :)

Our summer trail running route. One of my most favorite moments of the summer. Especially if we got to dive into a cooling lake afterwards.

One of the many delicious meals of summer.

Fresh summer produce from my parents' garden.

My dad's birthday table on my favorite terrace.

The Vungi sisters: Hedvig, Sandra and Kudrun.

A funny quiz about me in an Estonian women's magazine :D


A really tender summer night in the city of Tartu in one of my favorite Asian restaurants, Hot Pot.

A little surprise concert for my dearest on his jubilee. 

Fall produce from my parents' garden!

My first half marathon.

A fun fall night in Tartu. Photo by Leila Kroonberg.

Talking about veganism in a prime time Sunday morning talk show in the Estonian National Television. The video is in Estonian.

Talking about veganism on a fabulous chat night organized by Femme.

But what will 2016 bring? My first Estonian vegan cookbook is sold out and so many people are writing to me asking if I have some extra copies. I'm always so sad to tell them I only have my author copy and the books are really sold out. But I'm also happy to say I'm writing a brand new Estonian vegan cookbook! It will be out in 2016 and it's filled with delicious savory and sweet vegan recipes that are satisfying, filling and affordable. A new English cookbook would be awesome too in the future! Never know :) In the meantime, my "Vegan Dinner Party" is still available for you on Amazon. 

But now I would like to share my most favorite recipes of 2015, which were in a heavy rotation in my kitchen this year. I cooked them for myself, for my family and for my friends. If I was looking at statistics for the past year, I noticed that there were so many of you. I am SO happy about that! I also looked for the most popular recipes and discovered that these were the good old favorites like the green kiwi smoothie, bean and zucchini cutlets, carrots in a blanket, chickpea and onion omelette and baked pasta with creamy spinach and Brussels sprouts

I can't blame you, these recipes are also my all time favorites. But to make things more interesting, I decided to write down my personal list of favorite recipes in 2015. Here they are:

Easy vegetable and dumpling soup. Whenever I craved soup, this was almost always my first choice.

Easy creamy buckwheat salad. So simple and healthy. No boiling, just soaking. And with homemade sunflower sour cream!

Coconut and lemon pasta with chickpeas. A very rich and satisfying pasta dish with a hint of a refreshing lemon.

Lentil and turnip soup with lemon. My second favorite soup after the dumpling soup. Comforting and lemony.

Crispy turnip and bean balls. Only 4 ingredients and just perfect as a snack or side dish.

Perfect rhubarb cake. I don't know how many times I baked it! A lot. And it was perfect every time.

Jumbo beet and pickle burgers. My new favorite cutlets. 

Easy vegan ranch dressing (nut free). Definitely my most popular recipe of 2015. Loved it on almost everything!

Perfect seitan steaks. Just look at them! They were such a hit on our Christmas party.

What were your personal favorites? And what are you expecting from 2016? Have a wonderful New Years!