Tuesday, February 26, 2013

National Pistachio Day

Today is National Pistachio Day! The pistachio plant is a small bushy tree that's found in places like Greece, Turkey and Afghanistan. It produces bunches of fruit that are similar to grapes and the pistachio nut is actually the seed of that fruit.

Stuffed Squash with Brazil Nuts and Pistachios. Photo by Lori Maffei.
Pistachios are loaded with antioxidants and are also an excellent source of fiber, copper, manganese, beta carotene, and Vitamin B6.  Studies have shown that pistachios can help manage weight, reduce high blood pressure and even protect against type 2 diabetes. And of course, they're high in protein, with 6 grams per 160 calorie serving.

Pistachio Butter Biscotti. Photo by VeganAide.
Pistachios can be enjoyed right of the the shell, but they're also excellent to cook with. Robin Robertson's newest cookbook Nut Butter Universe features several recipes made with pistachios, such as Stuffed Squash with Brazil Nuts and Pistachios and Pistachio Butter Biscotti. The book's recipes are versatile and the nut butters are interchangeable, so if you're a fan of the green nut, feel free to use pistachios or pistachio butter in some of the recipes that for a different type of nut or nut butter. Pistachios would work really well in recipes such as Bryanna's Chocolate Double Nut Clusters or Nut Butter Fantasy Brownies, and pistachio butter would add a nice flavor to Nutty Buddy Burgers. Nut butters are so versatile that the recipe possibilities are endless!

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Cherry Mash Smoothie

Peaches and Creamsicle Smoothie, Cherry Mash Smoothie, Basic Green Smoothie

Today is National Cherry Pie Day! According to English legend, Queen Elizabeth I "invented" the cherry pie, although it's pretty unlikely that she spent very much time in the kitchen. Before the English began filling pies with cherries, fruit pies were were usually made with pears, apples and quinces.

In American lore, cherries are often associated with George Washington and the famous "I cannot tell a lie" story involving him chopping down a cherry tree as a child. Since Washington's birthday falls in February, it's fitting that National Cherry Pie Day also falls in the same month. 

For a twist on the traditional baked pie, how about celebrating today with a raw cherry smoothie? This Cherry Mash Smoothie is from Amber Shea Crawley's Practically Raw, and is sure to satisfy your desire for a sweet treat.
  • 1 frozen ripe banana, broken into chunks
  • 1 1/4 cups almond milk 
  • 1 cup pitted fresh or frozen cherries
2 tablespoons coconut butter
  • 2 pitted dates (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until very smooth. Add a few ice cubes and blend again if a colder smoothie or thicker texture is desired. Serve immediately.

Yield about 2 1/2 cups

From Practically Raw by Amber Shea Crawley. ©2012 Amber Shea Crawley. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press. 
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Monday, February 18, 2013

Nut Butter Universe Blog Tour

We're excited to announce Robin Robertson's Nut Butter Universe blog tour! Between today and March 1st, you can find Robin on a different website out in the blogosphere. Robin's guest posts will include recipes and interesting information about nut butter. Some bloggers will be posting book reviews and others will be giving away copies of Nut Butter Universe. Make sure you check back here each day for links to the tour stops.

Thank you to all of the wonderful bloggers who are hosting Robin on her tour! Here's the schedule:

Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, February 18: VeggieGirl
Tuesday, February 19: Robin Asbell
Wednesday, February 20: The Plant-Based Dietician
Thursday, February 21: Savvy Vegetarian
Friday, February 22: Go Dairy Free
Monday, February 25: Veg Kitchen
Tuesday, February 26: Julie Hasson
Wednesday, February 27: JL Goes Vegan
Thursday, February 28: Manifest Vegan
Friday, March 1: Vegan Crunk
Friday, March 1: Hungry Vegan

Hope to see you on the "tour"!

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Friday, February 15, 2013

Nut Butter Universe is Available for Kindle

Great news! Robin Robertson's latest book Nut Butter Universe is now available for Kindle, so you can take it with you wherever you go.

Nut Butter Universe is the only cookbook devoted to recipes using nut and seed butters, including peanut butter, almond butter, tahini, walnut butter and cashew cream. Find out how nut butters can add richness and deliciousness to your appetizers, soups, main dishes, desserts and more. In addition to containing dozens of fabulous all-new recipes, the recipes in Nut Butter Universe are clearly marked as being gluten-free or soy-free. This book has instructions for making your own nut butters, nut cheeses and even mayo and sour cream!

Of course, Nut Butter Universe is available in paperback too. 

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Comfort Food Cookbook Giveaway Winners

We have winners in our comfort food cookbook giveaway! Strangely, they're both Jessica C's.

Jessica Caneal won a copy of World Vegan Feast by Bryanna Clark Grogan.

Jessica Caviness won a copy of American Vegan Kitchen by Tamasin Noyes.

Congratulations to both of you! Please email Dianne with your addresses so we mail your books out to you. If you didn't win, don't worry - we'll have another great giveaway next month!

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Chocolate Macadamia Truffles with Coconut

What's Valentine's Day without chocolate? These decadent truffles from Nut Butter Universe by Robin Robertson are easy to make and are sure to please your sweetie!

  • 1 1/3 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/3 cup semisweet vegan chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup macadamia butter
  • 3 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar


  1. Finely chop the coconut by pulsing it in a food processor. Set aside.
  2. Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set it over a small saucepan of simmering water until the chocolate melts. (Alternatively, melt the chocolate chips by placing them in a small microwaveable bowl and microwave on high for about 1 1/2 minutes, or just until the chocolate is completely melted.) Add the macadamia butter and coconut milk and blend until smooth and creamy.
  3. Place the chocolate mixture, sugar, and 1/3 cup of the reserved coconut into a food processor and process until well combined.
  4. Shape the mixture into 1-inch balls and roll them in the remaining 1 cup coconut, pressing so the coconut adheres to the truffles. Place the truffles on a platter or a baking sheet. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use

Makes 12 truffles

From Nut Butter Universe by Robin Robertson. ©2013 Robin Robertson. Used by permission from  Vegan Heritage Press. Photo by Lori Maffei.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Nut Butter Universe

The wait is over! Robin Robertson's Nut Butter Universe is here!

This book is filled with recipes using delectable butters made from cashews, Brazil nuts, macadamias, chestnuts, almonds, and more, including everyone’s favorite, peanut butter. Just a small amount of nut butter can add great texture, flavor, and nutrition to your meals.

Here is just a sampling of Robin’s mouth-watering recipes, all enriched by luscious nut and seed butters:

 Apple-Almond Butter Pancakes

 Roasted Ni├žoise Salad with Cashew Goddess Dressing

Peanut Butter Cups

The recipes range from starters, soups, and sandwiches, to main dishes, breakfasts, and desserts. In addition to containing dozens of fabulous all-new recipes, the recipes in Nut Butter Universe are clearly marked as being gluten-free or soy-free. There's also a forward by The Plant-Based Dietician Julieanna Hever that's full of nutrition information for nuts and nut butters.

Buy Nut Butter Universe from Amazon, Barnes and Noble or your local independent bookstore. If your local bookstore doesn't have Nut Butter Universe, please ask them to carry it.

Photography by Lori Maffei. From Nut Butter Universe by Robin Robertson. ©2013 Robin Robertson. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press.

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Monday, February 11, 2013

Jumpin’ Jambalaya

Mardi Gras is tomorrow, and what better way to celebrate than with Jumpin' Jambalaya from Robin Robertson's Vegan Fire and Spice? The term jambalaya is believed to derive from the French word “ jambon,” which means ham. Traditional jambalaya is a rice and tomato dish made with a selection of whatever ingredients happen to be on hand. This recipe shows how well the tradition translates in a vegan kitchen. If seitan is not “on hand,” add more beans. Another tasty addition is sliced Tofurky sausage links. To tone down the heat, omit the chiles and cut back on the Tabasco. 

  • 2 tablespoons cold-pressed canola oil 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 hot chiles, seeded and minced
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon filé powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 teaspoons Tabasco
  • 8 ounces seitan, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked or 1 (15.5-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed 
  • Freshly cooked rice 

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pep- per, celery, garlic, and chiles. Cover, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove the cover, add the juice from the tomatoes, the thyme, filé powder, salt, cayenne, and Tabasco. Stir in the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.
  2. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the seitan and cook 5 minutes or until lightly browned, then add to the tomato mixture along with the kidney beans. Adjust the seasoning to taste and simmer an additional 10 minutes to blend the flavors. Serve over rice.
Serves 4 

From Vegan Fire and Spice by Robin Robertson. ©2008 Robin Robertson. Used by permission from  Vegan Heritage Press. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Hunan Vegetable Stir-Fry

Sunday is Chinese New Year, and we're about to enter into the year of the snake. Ancient Chinese wisdom says a Snake in the house is a good omen because it means your family will not starve. The snake zodiac sign symbolizes gratefulness, materialism, mystery and intelligence. Being born into the year of the snake is considered lucky, as tradition says snakes will have bright futures.

It's a Buddhist tradition that no animal is harmed on the first day of the lunar new year, so this Hunan Vegetable Stir-Fry from Robin Robertson's Vegan Fire and Spice is perfect for vegans and omnivores alike. In Chinese culture vegetables are a symbol of purification, so they're often eaten at the start of year for a fresh start. This stir-fry is versatile and can be made by using different vegetables or with the addition of tofu or seitan.

  • 1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup tomato puree
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, or a natural sweetener
  • 2 tablespoons cold-pressed canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound bok choy, thinly sliced
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • 4 ounces snow peas, trimmed
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  1. Soak the red pepper flakes in the wine vinegar in a small bowl for 30 minutes.
  2. In another small bowl, combine the tomato puree, sherry, soy sauce, sesame oil, and sugar, and set aside.
  3. Heat the canola oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the ginger, garlic, bok choy, carrot, and undrained red pepper flakes, and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the snow peas and mushrooms and stir-fry for 3 minutes longer. Add the reserved sauce and cook until heated through.
Serves 4

From Vegan Fire and Spice by Robin Robertson. ©2008 Robin Robertson. Used by permission from  Vegan Heritage Press.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

American Vegan Kitchen or World Vegan Feast Giveaway

February is cold and dreary in most parts of the US, and many of us just want to stay inside with bowls of steaming hot soup or warm and comforting soup. To help you stay warm and cozy, we're having a comfort food cookbook giveway! Chose from either American Vegan Kitchen by Tamasin Noyes or World Vegan Feast by Bryanna Clark Grogan.

American Vegan Kitchen is full of recipes to make vegan versions of favorite comfort food dishes found in diners, delis, and cafes across the US. Spaghetti Pie with Arrabbiata Sauce, Southern Fried Seitan and Beer-Simmered Seitan Stroganoff with Cracked Pepper are just a few of the many warm and hearty dishes in this book.

World Vegan Feast includes authentic dishes from around the world that you won’t find in other vegan cookbooks. Ugandan-Style Peanut Butter Stew, Seitan Wellington and Curried Vegan Meatloaf are some of the comforting recipes you'll find within the pages of this book.

To enter, leave a comment listing which of these two cookbooks you’d like to win.  To increase your chances of winning, in addition to leaving your initial comment, you can do any or all of the following, and leave a separate comment here for each that you do:
  1. “Like” Vegan Heritage Press on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Vegan-Heritage-Press/120897831319698
  2. Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/VeganPress
  3. Subscribe to this blog
  4. Link to this giveaway on Twitter
  5. Link to this giveaway on Facebook
  6. Link to this giveaway on your blog

Winners will be chosen at random for each book. Contest ends on Tuesday, February 12th, 2013 at 11:59pm, EST. US residents only please. One winner will be chosen at random for each book.

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Vegan Unplugged Goes Digital!

That's right - Vegan Unplugged is getting plugged in, so to speak. This best selling pantry cuisine cookbook and survival guide is now available for both Nook and Kindle (with a new cover!) so you can take it with you when you're on the road, camping, backpacking or visiting non-vegans. Of course it's still available in paperback for times when you really are unplugged.

Vegan Unplugged is a must-have for everyone who wants to see how easy and practical it is to make great-tasting, nutritious food with staples that are probably already in the kitchen pantry. The recipes are easy to make, the instructions are simple, and the ingredients are easy to find. Vegan Unplugged also features a concise emergency preparedness section for everyone in the family, including companion animals, because we all need a backup plan.

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