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Stefanie Tsabar

Fall Favorites: recipes, products & a cookbook



I bought my first can of pumpkin yesterday on the hottest day we’ve had in Los Angeles this year.

I’ve officially dived head first into fall, and regardless of the weather, there’s no turning back. Here are my current fall favorites, including recipes, new products I’ve discovered and an old favorite cookbook that I love more and more each time I dust it off.


The Family Cooks

This doesn’t feel like a traditional cookbook; it feels like your dear friend – who happens to be an amazing cook- is teaching you how to cook, one step at a time. The tone is very colloquial (e.g., “All you need to make your own croutons is…”), which I find refreshing as I navigate a new recipe.

I’m in love with the healthy recipes, the gorgeous photos and the way the authors guide you step-by-step by engaging the reader and building confidence in you by asking questions along the way (e.g., “Does it need more salt? Or lemon? Make it taste how you like it best.”

My favorite part of the cookbook, though, is the bottom of each page where they include fun and useful sections to encourage your child to cook with you (“kids in charge”), encourage you to test new flavor combinations (“play with it”) and simple explanations for why they include certain steps in the recipe (“why ? ‘cause…”).  


Five Seed Almond Bars

I’m not sure how I’ve missed these bars in the past, but they are amazing. They are healthy, taste homemade, and have fish oil for Omega 3s (which you cannot taste!). I’ve been giving my son fish oil in the mornings, which he’s not in love with, but now he can still get his Omega 3s with these amazing bars.

Nutty Bits

These are also from Trader Joe’s. My family eats these all year round, but they seem perfectly suited for fall. They have few, whole ingredients and a nice amount of protein. My husband snacks on them all day long, but I usually give a few to my son (and myself) in after-school snacks along with some fruit.


Fruit-filled bars

This recipe is so simple to make and feels, smells and tastes like fall. They are rich and hearty, yields a large batch of 14 bars, and since they are nut-free, I can pack them in my son’s school lunch. I’ve made them even healthier than the original recipe without sacrificing any flavor whatsoever. I replace the sugar with coconut sugar, the whole wheat flour with sprouted spelt flour and the butter with Earth Balance. As a bonus, they freeze perfectly, so I can always have a batch on hand.

Baked Black Bean or Chicken Taquitos Recipe

I made these taquitos a few weeks ago as our “new” recipe when I also served Trader Joe’s Black bean and cheese taquitos. Since I’m dairy-free, I used vegan cheese for some and cow’s cheese for the others. We loved them, and now I can serve them as a “comforting / familiar” food. Plus, these freeze well, too!

Can’t wait to try:

Julienned Root Vegetables

You can find these in the freezer section of Trader Joe’s. I’m not sure how I’ve overlooked these. Apparently, they appeared over a year ago! They are completely free of preservatives, and the ingredient list is pure.

Cheesy Cauliflower Rice & Broccoli Bake

To me, this recipe has fall written all over it. Plus, it’s dairy free, and comes from Minimalist Baker, whose recipes we’ve been loving.

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