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.

New ebook + a package offer!

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That’s right, folks! For the last several months, Lisa and I have been hard at work creating ebook #2, called Edible Gifts: Spread the Vegan Food Love at Every Occasion. (In case you missed the first ebook we launched last year, you can check it out here.)

It’s that time of year when celebrations and gift-giving are on our minds, and so it seemed fitting to create an ebook especially for this tradition. Most celebrations center around food, and so it is our hope that this new collection of recipes will help you share the love of delicious vegan food with the people you adore.

We’re not just talking about gingerbread cookies and jarred Chex party mix. We’re talking about 15 incredibly delicious food gift recipes like…

Gluten-free maple “bacon” doughnuts

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My hubby? He loves doughnuts. I mentioned on Twitter a couple of weeks ago that he ate an entire test batch of these babies. It took me a few more trials to get them just right, but here I am now able to share them with you!

These little guys are a real treat: tender baked doughnuts topped with a layer of sweet maple glaze and sprinkled with homemade coconut bacon. A truly Canadian treat made gluten-free and vegan. They are an ode to my home country, and a tribute to the place that gave us hockey, peanut butter, Nanaimo bars, Trivial Pursuit and the Wonderbra, and the birthplace of Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Ellen Page, Jim Carrey, and Ryan Gosling—oh, and me!