At Southern Weddings, we’re big believers in family dinners–cell phone-free quality time spent at the table with your significant other. One of the best tools to have in your arsenal in order to make that happen? An inventory of delicious, healthy meals that can be prepared quickly and easily after a busy day of work. That’s why we love Dana and John of Minimalist Baker, and their commitment to sharing recipes that consist of 10 ingredients or less, use only one bowl, or take under 30 minutes to prepare. Their blog is a fantastic resource for making those family dinners happen, and we’re so excited to introduce this Kansas City couple to y’all!
Thanks so much to Whitney Knutson for these sweet photos!
By day: I’m a recipe developer, professional food photographer, and content creator for Minimalist Baker. John is the designer, technical guru, and brand strategist for Minimalist Baker, among many other roles.
How they met: We became familiar with each other through a group of friends who were in the same college church group in Wichita, Kansas (where we grew up). We first met at a dance party a friend of ours hosted. John says we locked eyes on the dance floor, but it wasn’t until months later that I fell for him and we began dating.
Their wedding: Our wedding was on a chilly day in March 2010, and it was simple and elegant. Since we were only engaged for a few months, the planning process went rather quickly. Friends and family watched us exchange vows at our church, and a dessert reception nearby followed. We may be biased, but it was kind of perfect.
Meal planning: I do the meal planning! Every Saturday, I plot out the week ahead and make a grocery run on Monday for everything we need. The grocery store is my happy place.
The cooking: That’s me again! John isn’t big on cooking, but thankfully, I happen to love it.
Favorite meal-related memory: There are so many, but I’d have to say eating sushi together during our trip to Bali, Indonesia last summer. We’d had a long day of lounging on the beach, and we got all dressed up and went out for dinner. I remember our time being particularly sweet, and John making me laugh a lot (which he does frequently).
Top ten favorite recipes:
1. My Favorite Vegan Pizza: I make this simple, healthy pizza every Sunday. It’s our favorite standing meal tradition.
2. Crispy Baked Peanut Tofu Stir Fry: I make some version of this dish every week. I love how bold the flavors are, and how it yields crispy, perfect tofu every time, even without frying!
3. Creamy Vegan Garlic Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes: This pasta gets thrown into our meal rotation at least every other week. I’m a sucker for white sauces, and this one satisfies my cravings every time, no dairy required.
4. Vegan Chai Ice Cream: Hands down the best ice cream I’ve ever made! I’m smitten with how creamy and perfectly spicy and sweet it is.
5. One Bowl Gluten Free Banana Bread: This is the most tender, moist banana bread I’ve ever had, and I love that it’s gluten free! I whip up a batch any time I have overripe bananas.
6. 5 Ingredient Detox Smoothie: I make some version of this smoothie most mornings for breakfast. It’s a simple way to squeeze more greens into our diet, and the tart-sweet flavor and creamy texture are near perfect.
7. Baked Herb and Pistachio Falafel: I’m a sucker for Mediterranean food, and this dish by Sara of Sprouted Kitchen satisfies my falafel cravings every time.
8. Chickpea, Spring Onion, and Tuscan Kale Panzanella Salad: I could eat this salad by Laura of The First Mess every day for the rest of my life and be one happy woman. Every time spring rolls around, I find myself reaching for this recipe as often as I can.
9. Shawarma Nachos: This recipe from My Name is Yeh looks like absolute perfection. This is technically cheating because I haven’t made it yet, but it’s on my menu plan for this week! I mean, look at all those flavors and textures! Amazing.
10. Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Pancakes: Hands down, my favorite pancakes of all time, and the recipe that started it all on Minimalist Baker. I whip them up whenever I’m craving pancakes (which is rather often). I love their moist, slightly dense texture and how they taste just like an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie, only healthier!
P.S. We’d love to hear from you! Our hope is to feature REAL couples in the South – your inspiring friend, super talented cousin, or neighbor with the cutest house – the kind of person everyone would love to “e-meet.” If that sounds like you or someone you know, take a peek at our Southern Newlywed submission page and shoot us an email!