Thursday, March 28, 2013

Seitan Satays with Ginger-Peanut Sauce

Did you know that today is National Something on a Stick Day? It's true! We're not really sure how or when this "holiday" started, but we do know that the best way to celebrate is to skewer something delicious! These Seitan Satays with Ginger-Peanut Sauce from Robin Robertson's Vegan Fire and Spice seem like just the perfect dish for the occasion. Satays are traditionally served as an appetizer, but these would be just as tasty as a main dish.
  • 1 pound seitan, cut into 1/4-inch slices

  • 1/2 cup water
4 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 3 teaspoons natural sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter

  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne 
  • Orange slices
  1. Thread the seitan slices onto bamboo or metal skewers, pushing down firmly. Blend the water, 3 tablespoons of the soy sauce, 2 teaspoons of the sugar, and the garlic in a shallow baking dish. Add the skewered seitan and marinate for an hour, turning once.
  2. While the seitan is marinating, combine the broth, peanut butter, ginger, lime juice, remaining 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, remaining 1 teaspoon of sugar, and the cayenne in a blender or food processor, and blend until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a saucepan and simmer until thick enough to coat a spoon, stirring constantly, about 10 minutes.
  3. Preheat the broiler or grill. Cook the satays until hot and browned, about 3 minutes per side. Arrange the satays on a platter and garnish with orange slices. Pour the sauce into individual dipping bowls to serve.
Serves 4

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

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Italian Easter Pie

Easter will be here in just a few days, and we're getting ready to don our bonnets and hunt for tofu eggs. Okay, not really but we are looking forward to this Italian Easter Pie from Robin Robertson's Vegan Fire and Spice. Traditionally, this savory pie features hot sausage, ricotta cheese, and eggs, but, thanks to vegan sausage and tofu, we can make a plant-based version that’s rich and satisfying. Called by many names in different regions of Italy, Robin's family just called it Easter Pie because her mother only made it at Easter time.

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup non-hydrogenated vegan margarine 
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar, or a natural sweetener

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1 pound vegan sausage, crumbled

  • 2 pounds firm tofu, drained and crumbled
1/4 cup nutritional yeast or vegan parmesan

  • 1/4 cup minced parsley

  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel seed

  • 1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne

  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a food processor, combine the flour, margarine, sugar, and 1/2 tea- spoon of the salt. With the machine running, add enough of the water until a dough ball forms. Separate the dough into two equal balls, and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the vegan sausage, tofu, nutritional yeast, parsley, remaining salt, ground fennel seed, red pepper flakes, black pepper, cayenne, and paprika. Mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  3. Roll out the dough into two 11-inch rounds. Place the bottom crust in a 10-inch pie plate, and spread the filling mixture over it. Cover with the top crust, pinching the edges, and prick with the tines of a fork. Bake for 1 hour or until the crust is golden brown.
Serves 8

From Vegan Fire and Spice by Robin Robertson. ©2008 Robin Robertson. Used by permission from  Vegan Heritage Press.  
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Monday, March 25, 2013

March is Nuts!

Did you know that March is National Peanut Month? Well, now you do! It first began as National Peanut Week in 1941 and then in 1974 it was expanded into a month long celebration. In fact, March kicked off with National Peanut Butter Day on the 1st. And if that weren't enough nuttiness, today is National Pecan Day.

Robin Robertson's Nut Butter Universe celebrates peanuts, pecans and more, as it's jam packed with creative ways to make delicious, protein-rich recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and snacks - all using nuts and nut butters. Just a small amount of nut butter can add great texture, flavor, and nutrition to your meals.

Celebrate March's nuttiness with a Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie and Cranberry-Pecan Butter Muffins.

This Szechuan Stir-Fry with Fiery Peanut Sauce is full of peanutty deliciousness.

Who could say no to scrumptious home-made peanut butter cups?

This Black Bottom Peanut Butter Freeze Pie makes a for a sweet treat any time of the year!

March may almost be over, but the amazing recipes in Nut Butter Universe will have you cooking year round.  Nut Butter Universe is now available for both Kindle and Nook so you can take it with you wherever you go!

Photos by Lori Maffei.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sassy Springtime Rolls

Spring has sprung! Here at Vegan Heritage Press we're all excited about the promise of blooming flowers and farm fresh vegetables. We just love the spring dishes in The Blooming Platter Cookbook by Betsy DiJulio, and these Sassy Springtime Rolls seem like the perfect recipe to start the new season with. These light, refreshing rolls are full of fresh spring vegetables, herbs and tofu, and they pair well with with a wonderful deep red dipping sauce.

Spring Rolls:
  • 1 scallion, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into quarters
  • 1/2 bell pepper, any color, cut into 1/4- inch strips
  • 1 carrot, cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • 1 small yellow summer squash, cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • 3 large radishes, halved lengthwise, then cut crosswise into paper thin slices 
  • 2 cups rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup natural sugar
  • 3 large cloves garlic, halved lengthwise 
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 
  • 14-ounces extra-firm tofu, cut into 1/2 x2-inch strips
  • 8 (8-inch) rice paper wrappers
  • 16 baby spinach leaves
  • Fresh cilantro sprigs or Thai basil leaves
Dipping Sauce:
  • Reserved liquid from marinated veggies 
  • 1/4 cup vegan fish sauce
    1 teaspoon soy sauce
    2 tablespoons natural sugar
    1/4 cup finely chopped peanuts

  1. Spring Rolls: Combine the scallion, bell pepper, carrot, squash, and radish in a medium bowl. In a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the vinegar, sugar, garlic, celery salt, coriander, ginger, salt and pepper and bring to a boil, then pour over the vegetables and toss well. Cool to room temperature. Add the tofu, cover and chill overnight. When ready to use, drain the tofu and vegetables. Reserve the liquid to make the dipping sauce; remove and discard the garlic pieces.
  2. Fill a large bowl half full with warm water. Place a kitchen towel beside it and a serving platter on the opposite side. Place one wrapper at a time into the warm water for 30 seconds or until softened. Remove from the water and place near one end of the towel. Fold the other end of the towel over the wrapper to blot excess moisture. Place two spinach leaves, face-down and overlapping, horizontally in the center of the wrapper. Arrange a piece of tofu horizontally in the center of the spinach and cover with 1/8 of the veggies, parallel to the tofu. Top with 1 or 2 cilantro sprigs. Fold the ends of the wrapper toward the filling, then fold the edge nearest you over the veggies and continue rolling. Place the roll on the serving platter, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining ingredients, changing out water if it becomes too cool.
  3. Dipping Sauce: Whisk all ingredients except peanuts together. Divide the mixture among individual serving bowls, and top with peanuts. Serve with the spring rolls.
Yield: 8 spring rolls

From The Blooming Platter Cookbook by Betsy DiJulio. ©2011 Betsy DiJulio. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press.  

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Monday, March 18, 2013

Practically Raw Desserts Sneak Peek

All of us here at Vegan Heritage Press are super excited about Amber Shea Crawley's upcoming book Practically Raw Desserts. This innovative cookbook revolutionizes raw desserts with versatile variations, substitutions, and baking options. The recipes also allow for easy adaptation to a non-raw kitchen.

Chef Amber Shea’s raw treats are totally free of dairy, eggs, gluten, wheat, soy, corn, refined grains, refined sugars, yeast, starch, and other nutrient-poor ingredients. Many recipes are also free of oils, nuts, and added sugars. Great for beginners as well as seasoned raw foodists, Practically Raw Desserts is jam-packed with delicious, healthy vegan indulgences that include:

New York Cheesecake

Tropical Fruit Tartlets

Dark Chocolate Truffle Tart with Macaroon Crust

Coconut Heaven Cupcakes

Practically Raw Desserts hits the stores on April 15th and is available for pre-order from both Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

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Friday, March 15, 2013

Mashed Potatoes with Sautéed Chard and Garlic

Saint Patrick's Day is just a few days away, and people all over will be donning their finest green attire and celebrating with feasts consisting of Irish stew, soda breads, vegan corned "beef" and cabbage. This recipe for Mashed Potatoes with Sautéed Chard and Garlic from Bryanna Clark Grogan's World Vegan Feast is a Mediterranean take on the classic Irish potato and cabbage dish colcannon.

  • 2 pounds yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 pound green swiss chard, tough stems removed and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices 
  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 cup hot nondairy milk

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
  1. Place a metal colander or steamer insert in large pot or Dutch oven. Add enough water to barely reach the bottom of the colander. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Transfer the potato chunks to the steamer/colander, cover the pot and reduce the heat to medium-high. Cook the potatoes for 20 to 25 minutes or until the potatoes are soft and the tip of a paring knife inserted into a potato chunk meets no resistance.
  2. While the potatoes cook, sauté the garlic and chard in hot olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Keep stirring, adding a tiny bit of water or broth if necessary, but the chard should exude its own liquid. When all of the liquid has evaporated and the garlic and chard are tender (but still bright green), remove from heat and set aside with a lid over the skillet to keep it warm.
  3. Set a potato ricer or food mill over the empty pot. Working in batches, transfer the potatoes to the hopper of the ricer or food mill and press or grind them through the holes, removing any potatoes that stick to the bottom. Press all the potatoes through the ricer or food mill into the pot. If you do not have a ricer or a food mill, transfer the potatoes to the pot, which has been drained of water and mash with a potato masher. 
  4. Stir in the salt until well-mixed. Stir in the hot milk and beat the potatoes with a wooden spoon until they are smooth and fluffy. Add the chard and garlic and lots of black pepper. Mix well and taste for salt. Serve immediately.
Serves 6

From World Vegan Feast by Bryanna Clark Grogan. ©2011 Bryanna Clark Grogan. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press.

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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Macadamia Shortbread Tart With Lemon Mousse And Fresh Berries

Today is Pi Day! Pi Day takes place on March 14 (3/14) is a yearly celebration for the mathematical constant pi or ∏. On March 12th 2009 the US House of Representatives Passed a resolution recognizing March 14th as National Pi Day, and people all over the country will be celebrating today by eating pie and discussing pi.

Here at Vegan Heritage Press we’re celebrating Pi Day the delicious way – with pies and tarts! This Macadamia Shortbread Tart from
The Blooming Platter Cookbook by Betsy DiJulio is perfect for both Pi Day and it helps to put us in a springtime frame of mind. The vegetarian version of this refreshing dessert won one of two top monthly prizes for “Lemon Desserts” in the January 2003 Better Homes & Gardens. This vegan version is even better with the addition of glistening red summer raspberries nestled into a citrus cream.

Shortbread Tart:

  • 1/2 cup vegan butter

  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal (regular or self-rising)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 6 tablespoons finely chopped toasted macadamias or other nuts, optional

Lemon Mousse:
  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • Pinch sea salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract

  • 6 ounces extra-firm silken tofu (3/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

  • Zest of one large lemon
  • Vegan whipped cream
  • 1/2 pint of blackberries, blueberries or raspberries

  • Optional garnish: sprigs of fresh mint; lemon slices


  1. Shortbread Tart: Grease a baking sheet or line it with Silpat. Preheat the oven to 325°F. 
  2. In an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. With mixer on low, mix in flour, cornmeal, and cornstarch just until combined. Avoid overbeating. Mix in the nuts, if using, until well distributed. The dough should be very stiff. If it feels soft, gather into a ball, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 
  3. With floured fingers, press the dough into an 8-inch circle on the prepared baking sheet. Prick the surface all over with a fork. Bake the crust for 18 to 20 minutes or until edges are barely browned. Avoid overbaking, as the shortbread will break rather than slice when you try to cut it. 
  4. Remove the pan from the oven to a wire rack and cool the shortbread for 10 minutes. Carefully remove it from the pan and cool completely on the wire rack. Transfer the crust to a serving platter, cover tightly, and set it aside until the mousse is chilled. 
  5. Lemon Mousse: In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar and cornstarch. Add the soy milk and salt, and whisk until smooth. Place the pan over medium-high heat and cook the mixture, stirring continually, until thick. Reduce the heat if necessary to prevent sticking and scorching. Transfer the mixture to a heatproof bowl, and place it in a larger bowl filled with ice water. Cool the custard, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes.
  6. Combine the tofu and lemon juice in a food processor and process until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the custard mixture and continue processing until completely incorporated. Add the zest and pulse to dis- tribute. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and chill, covered, for 1 to 2 hours.
  7. To assemble: When the mousse is thoroughly chilled, spread it over the surface of the shortbread, stopping 1/2-inch from the edge. Cover and chill the tart overnight. Just before serving, decorate the top with berries and garnish with the whipped cream and optional sprigs of mint or lemon slices.
Yield: 8 servings

From The Blooming Platter Cookbook by Betsy DiJulio. ©2011 Betsy DiJulio. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press.

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Monday, March 11, 2013

We Have a Winner!

We have a winner in our Blooming Platter Cookbook giveaway! The winner is Trez, whose favorite sprintime dish is a garden salad or grilled vegetables.

The Blooming Platter Cookbook by Betsy DiJulio book is a celebration of fresh, seasonal produce, and features a wide range of recipes from easy homestyle dishes to creative upscale fare including American favorites and global cuisines. These 175 recipes showcase the taste, beauty, and nutrition of seasonal ingredients. Also includes recipe variations, menu suggestions, season­al icons, and tips. The Blooming Platter Cookbook is available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and your local independent bookstore. 

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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Mango-Coconut Cream Sorbet

As strange as it sounds, today is National Frozen Food Day! Frozen foods originally hit grocery stores shelves in Springfield, Massachusetts in the early 1930s after Clarence Birdseye (yes, that Birdseye) developed a process for freezing foods. In 1984, Congress passed a resolution naming March 6th Frozen Food Day. President Ronald Regan made it official with the statement "I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim March 6, 1984, as Frozen Food Day, and I call upon the American people to observe such day with appropriate ceremonies and activities."

So what is an appropriate activity for frozen food day? We think spending a few minutes in the kitchen making this mouthwatering Mango-Coconut Cream Sorbet from Betsy DiJulio's The Blooming Platter Cookbook might qualify!

  • 1 (15-ounce) can Cream of Coconut

  • 2 fresh ripe mangoes, pitted and peeled 
  • Juice of 2 fresh limes

Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Process until completely smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl. Cover and chill for 3 hours or overnight. Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions.

From The Blooming Platter Cookbook by Betsy DiJulio. ©2011 Betsy DiJulio. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press.

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Monday, March 4, 2013

The Blooming Platter Cookbook Giveaway

March is here which means spring is just around the corner! Soon the dreary grey of winter will be replaced with color as everything around us starts to bloom. We're looking forward to plates full of farm fresh vegetables and juicy, sun-ripened fruits.  

The Blooming Platter Cookbook by Betsy DiJulio is perfect for spring cooking, as it's full of recipes that celebrate fresh, seasonal produce. This book features a wide range of recipes from easy home-style dishes to creative upscale fare including American favorites and global cuisines. The mouthwatering recipes include:
  • Sassy Springtime Rolls
  • Black Bean and Roasted Corn Salad
  • Macadamia Shortbread Tart with Lemon Mousse and Fresh Berries
  • Blueberry and Lemon Verbena Pancakes
  • Chocolate-Orange Mousse
  •  Zucchini-Stuffed Shells with Blooming Marinara Sauce 

The Blooming Platter Cookbook includes recipes for appetizers, soups, sandwiches, salads, main dishes, side dishes, desserts and brunch, all divided by season. Recipe variations and menu suggestions will help you apply your own creativity in the kitchen.

To kick off the spring season, we're giving away a copy of The Blooming Platter Cookbook to one lucky winner. Enter the contest below.  (US residents only please.) The contest ends at midnight EST on March 8th.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Peanut Butter Cups

It's National Peanut Butter Day! Peanut Butter is a such a beloved food, that having a day to celebrate it makes total sense.

Peanut butter was first developed in the United States in the 1890s as a high-protein health food. The original patent for peanut butter was given to Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (the Kellogg’s cereal magnate) who initially developed peanut butter as a protein alternative for his patients.

Peanut butter was first introduced to the American public in St. Louis at the 1904 World’s Fair, where over $700 worth of it was sold at a penny per sample. Peanut butter has been a favorite kitchen staple in American homes ever since. Commercial production of peanut butter began in earnest in 1908, but the early products had a gritty texture and spoiled easily. That soon changed. In 1922, Joseph L. Rosefield found a way to prevent the oil from separating, and he received the first patent for a shelf-stable peanut butter that stayed fresh for up to a year. Today, of the peanuts grown in the U.S., nearly half are used to make peanut butter.

What better way to celebrate National Peanut Butter Day than with this recipe for Peanut Butter Cups from Nut Butter Universe by Robin Robertson! This recipe makes 18 peanut butter cups. For bite-size versions of this delicious treat, use small paper candy cups instead of the cupcake liners.

  • 1/2 cup vegan butter
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 16 ounces semisweet vegan chocolate chips
  1. Melt the butter in a medium-size saucepan over low heat. Stir in the peanut butter and vanilla until well blended. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar. Mix well until thoroughly combined, then refrigerate.
  2. Place the chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water until the chocolate is melted.
  3. Use a small brush to coat the chocolate over the bottom and about 1/2 inch up the sides of 18 paper cupcake liners. Reserve the remaining chocolate. Refrigerate the cups until firm, about 10 minutes.
  4. Scoop out about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the peanut but- ter mixture and shape into a ball. Flatten the ball into a disc and place inside one of the chilled chocolate- lined cups. Repeat until all the cups are filled. Spoon the remaining 2 teaspoons melted chocolate over the tops of each cup. Refrigerate until firm.


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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