Cauliflower fried rice

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Ah, January, the first month of the year is already drawing to a close. As completely amazing as 2013 was, I have big plans and long lists to accomplish this year.

With so much going on, I’m embracing 2014 with simplicity on the food front. I adore one-pot meals that are delicious yet realistic and achievable with busy schedules. Brown rice with colourful stir-fried veggies is a staple in my house, but I’ve recently discovered grated cauliflower to replace rice for a more nutritious and vegetable-packed meal. Have you tried it yet? I have to say, it is incredible and super simple.

A look inside Comfortably Yum

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Today I’d like to share a beautiful new ebook I recently worked on for Allison Rivers Samson, owner of artisan vegan bakery and chocolaterie Allison’s Gourmet and award-winning food columnist for VegNews. It was a pleasure photographing (and taste-testing) her recipes for this new ebook, Comfortably Yum.

Top 5 recipes of 2013

Happy new year! Now that 2014 is here, I’m excited as ever to jump into projects with the fresh perspective and motivation that a new year brings. The past 364 days were a whirlwind of travel wonderment and accomplishments, including trips to Las Vegas and Portland, winning a top spot at Toronto’s Totally Fabulous Vegan Bake-Off, launching a second ebook with Lisa, and photographing recipes for Dreena’s first ebook and upcoming cookbook.

With that said, let’s look back at the top five reader favourites of 2013.

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1. Coconut peanut butter—Inspired by Earth Balance coconut & peanut spread, this homemade spread combines the tropical, full-bodied flavour of shredded coconut with the popular, all-natural goodness of peanuts.

Chocolate espresso chia and coconut pudding from Vegan Chocolate

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Let me just put it out there: I think Fran Costigan is a culinary genius.

I’ve been in awe of her incredible baking knowledge ever since participating in her Vegan Baking Boot Camp Intensive training course in 2010. A classically trained pastry chef who went vegan more than 20 years ago, Fran is a true powerhouse who has dedicated years of her life to tweaking, testing, and analyzing the chemistry that makes a top-notch vegan dessert.

She has worked her way up to become a a sought-after instructor at the Natural Gourmet Institute, consultant, author of More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts Naturally, and the expert of all things (vegan, fair-trade) chocolate.

“I can’t believe it’s not pumpkin” pie

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There are an epic number of pumpkin pies being shared this week, so why another? As the name implies, this is no ordinary pumpkin pie. It’s actually made with nuts and carrot juice!

I first had the opportunity to try this raw vegan pie when Jess, a.k.a. Natural Chef Niagara, came to my in-law’s house to cook and serve us a three-course vegan meal, which I had won as a raffle prize at the Niagara Veg Fest back in June. With busy schedules and newborn babies, we weren’t able to schedule a dinner until earlier this month but the wait was absolutely worth it.