We may be in the midst of “Summer in November” here in Toronto, but 75F degree temps in Autumn isn’t enough to stop me from making my most favorite fall cookies ever: Snickerdoodles!⁣⁣
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These cookies have a slightly crispy cinnamon sugar exterior that covers a pillowy soft, rich butter cookie inside which literally melts in your mouth.⁣⁣

I’m not really sure which is more fun: saying ‘snickerdoodles’ or eating them, but one thing I do know for sure is that these are hands down the best ones you’ll ever try – and I speak from experience. I’ve tried at least a dozen different recipes – and this one is my favorite. It’s the addition of (dairy-free) cream cheese that makes the insides so rich and soft, and balances so perfectly with a spicy cinnamon sugar crust.

So whether Mother Nature is confusing November with June, or if your city is already blanketed in snow, a steaming mug of coffee and these cookies will make your day.

Best-ever Snickerdoodle Cookies

(yields approximately 36 cookies)

3 cups all-purpose flour⁣⁣
1 teaspoon baking powder⁣⁣
¼ teaspoon baking soda⁣⁣
½ teaspoon salt⁣⁣
1 cup vegan butter, at room temperature⁣⁣
1/2 ounces nondairy cream cheese, at room temperature⁣⁣
1 ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided⁣⁣
½ cup unsweetened nondairy milk⁣⁣
2 teaspoons vanilla extract⁣⁣
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon⁣⁣
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1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.⁣⁣
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2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.⁣⁣
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3. Using an electric hand or stand mixer, mix the butter, cream cheese, and 1 ¼ cups sugar for 3-5 minutes on med speed until fluffy. Add milk & vanilla and mix until combined. Reduce speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture until incorporated. Chill for 15-20 minutes.⁣⁣
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4. Combine remaining 2 tbsp of sugar and 2 tsps of cinnamon in a shallow bowl. Scoop up approx 2 tablespoons of dough and roll between the palms of your hand to form a ball toss in cinnamon sugar mix to coat. Place on prepared baking sheet, at least 2 inches apart. Repeat with remaining dough until both trays are full.⁣⁣
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5. Use the bottom of a glass to gently press the cookies down to approximately ½ inch thick. Bake for 9-10 minutes, or until very lightly golden on the bottom. Cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. ⁣
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We woke up to a light dusting of snow this morning – not enough to really stick (it’s all gone now), but enough to remind me that winter is on its way.⁣⁠
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Of course, as I’m typing this, I’m seeing the weather forecast will hit 60F again by Friday, but it’s just for a day or two. I live in a climate where winter is real and I best get used to it.⁣⁠
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That means it’s time to break out all the warm, creamy soup recipes – like my favorite Loaded Baked Potato Soup.

All the comforting flavors of a delicious fully loaded baked potato – in soup form. I guarantee this will become one of your favorite winter dishes in no time!

 Loaded Baked Potato Soup with Kale

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free

Serves 6

Ingredients

3 tablespoons vegan butter

4 garlic cloves, chopped

2 leeks, white and light green parts only, chopped

1 medium onion, diced

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

½ cup water

2 yellow flesh potatoes, peeled and diced into 1-inch cubes

1 (900ml) package low sodium vegetable broth

4 cups chopped kale, leaves only

1 cup shredded cheddar-style cheese

2 green onions, green parts only, diced

¼ cup simulated bacon bits (optional)

  1. In a large soup pot, heat the butter on medium heat. Add the garlic, leeks, onion, salt and pepper and cook until onions and leeks are softened, about 6 minutes. Add the potatoes and water and cook for 2 minutes, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot.
  2. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until potatoes are tender, 8-10 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and use an immersion blender to puree the soup. (Alternately, puree soup in a regular blender in small batches and return to the pot). Add the kale and cook until wilted, about 4 minutes. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed.
  4. Divide evenly between bowls and top with shredded cheese, green onion and bacon bits, if using.   

It’s been quite a week trying to get started with online school.⁣

Our school district had a huge spike in students switching from in-person to online classes, and not enough teachers to cover them, so we’ve been in a holding pattern with one child and a delayed start with the other one.⁣

So we took this opportunity to get in the kitchen and do some #kitchenschool with mom to prep some easy on-the-go snacks the girls can help themselves to throughout the day – like these mini pumpkin spice muffins.⁣

Slightly sweet and full of fall flavors like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and clove, these are a perfect little two-bite treat alongside some fruit that my girls can easily grab when they need a break – which means one less thing for mom to have to do!

Mini Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Yield: 36-40 mini muffins (or 16-18 regular muffins)

¾ cup unsweetened almond or soy milk
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¾ cup unsweetened applesauce
¼ cup vegetable oil

1. Preheat your oven to 350F and line 2 mini muffin tins with liners. Set aside.
2. In a measuring glass, combine milk and lemon juice and let stand for 5 minutes.
3. While the milk and lemon sit, use a large bowl to combine the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, and granulated and brown sugars.
4. Add the milk, vanilla extract, applesauce and vegetable oil and mix until just combined. Divide evenly into both mini muffin trays, filling each cavity no more than 2/3 full. Bake for 19 minutes or until topsLikeForwardCopyUnsendare golden dark, and a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before serving.

Note: If making full-size muffins, adjust baking time to 22-24 minutes.


Nothing Says fall quite like these Apple Spice muffins. With a streusel-like topping and chunks of apple, they are the perfect treat to cozy up with after a day of apple picking (and a great way to use up some of your bounty!)

To give these muffins even more texture, try chopping some walnuts or pecans – they both pair beautifully with brown sugar and apples and warm fall spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.

Apple Spice Muffins

Prep time: 10 minutes⁣
Cook time: 20 minutes⁣
Nut-free⁣
Yields 12 muffins⁣

Ingredients:⁣

1 tablespoon ground flax⁣
2 tablespoons hot tap water⁣
2 cups all-purpose flour⁣
½ cup granulated sugar⁣
3 teaspoons baking powder⁣
1 tablespoon cinnamon, divided⁣
¼ teaspoon nutmeg⁣
¼ teaspoon ginger⁣
½ teaspoon salt⁣
½ cup butter, chilled⁣
1 tablespoon brown sugar⁣
1 large Honeycrisp apple, diced⁣
⅔ cup unsweetened plant-based milk of choice⁣


Directions:⁣

1. Preheat the oven to 425F. Line a muffin tray with muffin cups or grease with butter/cooking spray.⁣

2. Combine the ground flax and hot water in a small bowl. Stir and let sit for 5 minutes until thick.⁣

3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, ½ tablespoon of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt. Using a pastry cutter or two knives working in a criss-cross motion, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.⁣

4. Measure out and remove ¼ cup of the mix, adding it to a small bowl with the remaining ½ tablespoon of cinnamon and all the brown sugar. Reserve this for topping the muffins.⁣

5. To the remaining mix, add the diced apple, flax mixture and the milk, stirring until just combined. The batter should be thick and lumpy.

6. Using 2” ice cream scoop to ensure even amounts, fill the muffin cups ¾ full. Lightly sprinkle the tops with the reserved topping. Bake for 15-20 min or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.⁣

Have you tried my ultimate ranch seasoning yet? It takes just minutes to make and lasts forever.⁣

 I make a huge jar of it and use it for everything – ranch dips and dressings, as a seasoning for roasted potatoes, and as a popcorn shaker or coating for roasted cashews.⁣

It’s delish and made from just 6 pantry staples so it’s easy to keep on hand for all your ranch needs.

I’ve included the recipe for my seasoning mix and how to turn it into a ranch dip. So the next time you’re craving some Buffalo Cauliflower Wings, you’re covered!

Vegan Ranch Seasoning

(makes about 3 cups)⁣

¼ cup ground black pepper⁣
1 ½ cups dried parsley flakes⁣
3 tablespoons kosher salt⁣
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons garlic powder⁣
¾ cups onion powder⁣
3 tablespoons dried dill⁣

Combine all ingredients in an airtight glass container. Cover and shake well to mix. Store in the pantry for up to 6 months.⁣

To make a vegan ranch dip, combine:

3 tablespoons ranch seasoning

2/3 cup vegan sour cream

1/3 cup vegan mayonnaise

juice of one lemon

Mix well and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes before serving.

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I had an abundance of red radishes recently and, after roasting a few and pickling a bunch, I needed a creative way to use up the rest of them.⁣

Cool, creamy, tangy tzatziki is one of my favorite dips, and I’ve got a wicked dairy-free version in my first cookbook that has fooled many non-vegans into thinking they were eating the “real deal”.  I decided to mix it up by swapping the cucumber for radishes, which add a nice peppery bite (and gorgeous pink hue) to this delicious condiment.

Radish Tzatziki pairs perfectly with my soy curl shawarma recipe from The Budget-Friendly Vegan Cookbook, and also works well as a veggie burger topping, a veggie platter dip and so much more. And since radishes are always in season, you can enjoy this condiment all year long.

Vegan Radish Tzatziki

6 red radishes, scrubbed clean and grated on a box grater⁣
2/3 cup vegan sour cream (or unsweetened vegan Greek-style yogurt)⁣
1/3 cup vegan mayonnaise⁣
1 tablespoon fresh chopped dill⁣
1 teaspoon lemon zest⁣
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice⁣
1 teaspoon salt⁣
1 garlic clove, minced⁣
 ½ teaspoon onion powder⁣

Squeeze grated radishes to remove as much water as possible and place in a medium-size bowl.  Add all remaining ingredients and mix well to combine. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to let the flavors meld.  Serve or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.⁣

I came across a non-vegan version of this recipe in a vintage cookbook and decided I needed it in my life. And being that it’s a yeast-free bread, it was right up my alley. (My breadmaking skills leave much to be desired. I have this unfounded fear of working with yeast. Yes, I know…I need to get over that, pronto!)

As a child, I lived on peanut butter. Literally lived on it. I was that kid that skipped pizza and burgers for a PB sandwich (sans jelly- I was never a fan of anything jiggly). And as a teen, if I didn’t like what was being served for dinner, peanut butter came to my rescue.

Now I’m raising two peanut-butter loving daughters, so when I saw this recipe, I knew we had to try it.

I used dairy-free peanut butter chips to boost the peanut butter flavor. You can find dairy-free flavored chips, like white chocolate, peanut butter or butterscotch in most kosher grocery stores, or online. If you can’t find them, just add a little extra peanut butter.

I recommend baking this bread the night before so it’s ready first thing in the morning. The flavor gets better overnight and all you have to do when you get up is make a cup of coffee!

Peanut Butter Quick Bread

prep time: 5 minutes

bake time: 60 minutes

2 cups all-purpose flour⁣⁣
1/4 cup granulated sugar⁣⁣
4 teaspoons baking powder⁣⁣
1/4 teaspoon salt⁣⁣
3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter⁣⁣
1 1/3 cups unsweetened almond milk⁣⁣
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Preheat oven to 325F. Grease a standard loaf tin.⁣⁣
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Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix just until a dough forms. Transfer to prepared tin and bake for 55-60 min or until a cake tester in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 min then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. ⁣⁣
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So… remember that just-like-grandma-made blueberry muffin recipe I shared last week?⁣ Turns out they also make the best-ever Bakery-Style Chocolate Chip Muffins.⁣ Soft and fluffy on the inside with perfectly baked crunchy sugar tops.⁣

I always find myself making a double batch of these because they disappear so quickly. Its that crunchy-sugar topping that makes them so irresistible.

Bakery-Style Chocolate Chip Muffins

yields: 12 muffins

Prep time: 10 minutes

Bake time: 25 minutes

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cups granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
½ cup unsweetened almond milk, or more as needed
1 ½  cups semi sweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon turbinado or raw sugar for dusting

1. Preheat oven to 400F and line a standard muffin tray with liners.

2. In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Make a well in the center and add oil, applesauce, and almond milk. Stir just until a batter forms (it will be thick and sticky.) Gently fold in 1 cup of chocolate chips.

3. Scoop out batter into the prepared tray, filling each well about 2/3 full. Top with remaining half cup of chocolate chips, pressing each one gently into the muffin batter. Bake for 22 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean and the muffins are lightly golden.

Meet your new poolside, beachside, backyard-side snacking companion: Spicy Vegan Jerky.⁠⁣⁣⁠
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Made with Butler soy curls and a blend of seasonings, this jerky is our go-to sweet, spicy & savory snack. It’s perfect on a charcuterie board with vegan cheese and all the accessories, or just on its own. ⁣⁣⁠
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And when major league sports starts up again, you’ve got game-time snacking DONE!⁠⁣⁣⁠ You can get the recipe for a BBQ version of this Soy Jerky in my new cookbook, The Budget-Friendly Vegan Cookbook, but if you can’t wait, I’m sharing the original Smoky Spicy Version here.

You can find Butler Soy Curls online at Amazon and in most specialty/natural food stores.

Smoky Vegan Soy Curl Jerky

prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 70 minutes

1/4 cup tamari⁠⁣⁣⁠
1/4 cup molasses⁠⁣⁣⁠
2-3 drops of liquid smoke (optional but it adds a nice smokiness to it)⁠⁣⁣⁠
2 teaspoons kosher salt⁠⁣⁣⁠
2 teaspoons onion powder⁠⁣⁣⁠
2 teaspoons garlic powder⁠⁣⁣⁠
1/2 – 1 teaspoon cayenne powder⁠⁣⁣⁠
1/2 cup neutral oil like canola or grapeseed⁠⁣⁣⁠
2 cups boiling water⁠⁣⁣⁠
1 x 8oz bag Butler Soy Curls⁠⁣⁣⁠
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1. Preheat your oven to 275F and line a standard baking sheet with parchment paper.⁠⁣⁣⁠
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2. In a large bowl, whisk to combine the tamari, molasses, liquid smoke, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, and oil. Add the water and whisk again until blended.⁠⁣⁣⁠
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3. Add the soy curls and let stand for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is absorbed (you will still have some leftover, that’s okay) and the soy curls are plump and tender. Transfer the curls only to the prepared baking sheet, discarding the leftover marinade. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, turning every 15 minutes. Cool completely.⁠⁣⁣⁠
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This is the Ultimate Vegan Tuna Sandwich.

I make a tub of this “tuna” mix every weekend and pretty much live on it throughout the week, the same way my twenty-something self lived on real tuna. And every time I take a bite, I’m still amazed at how much it tastes like tuna.

The natural brine flavor from chickpeas and canned hearts of palm, plus the addition of kelp flakes gives this mock tuna the fishiness of the real deal, without harming any sea life.

Kelp flakes are a type of ground seaweed and are readily available in the fish section of most grocery and health/natural food stores these days, as well as online.
I like using a mix of chickpeas and hearts of palm for this salad to capture both the texture and color of chunk tuna from the mashed chickpeas and the flakiness of tender hearts of palm that mimic tuna so well.
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The Ultimate Vegan Tuna Salad⁣⁠
Prep time: 20 minutes⁣⁠
Makes 6 sandwiches⁣⁠
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1 x 14oz can chickpeas, drained⁣⁠
1 x 14oz can hearts of palm, drained and roughly chopped⁣⁠
1 celery stalk, diced⁣⁠
2 green onions, diced ⁣⁠
½ kosher dill pickle, diced⁣⁠
1 teaspoon green relish⁣⁠
1 teaspoon ballpark mustard⁣⁠
¼ – ½ teaspoon sriracha⁣⁠
½ teaspoon tamari⁣⁠
1 heaping tablespoon vegan mayonnaise⁣⁠
½ teaspoon kelp flakes⁣⁠
½ teaspoon ground black pepper⁣⁠
¼ teaspoon kosher salt⁣⁠
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1. In a medium-size bowl, combine the chickpeas and hearts of palm and mash using a fork or potato masher until semi-chunky, but spreadable.⁣⁠
2. Add all the remaining ingredients and mix until well combined. Taste and adjust salt, pepper, and sriracha as needed.⁣⁠