Thursday, June 27, 2013

June VHP Author Round-Up

Another month is coming to an end, and, as usual, our authors have been busy. Here’s a recap of what they’ve been up to:

The Blooming Platter Cookbook author Betsy DiJulio was featured on Nasoya’s webite for her decadent Vegan Chocolate Nayo Cake. Betsy was also featured on Tofutti’s website for her creamy Vegan Caramelized Double Onion, Fresh Kale and White Bean Dip.

Amber Shea Crawley, author of Practically Raw and Practically Raw Desserts, shared some practical tips on how to stick to a vegetarian or vegan diet while eating out – even if plant-based dishes aren’t on the menu on Amber believes that vegetarians and vegans should never have to relegate themselves to ordering a meager salad when dining out, and we couldn't agree more!

Robin Robertson, author of the recently released Nut Butter Universe, has had a busy  month! In addition to sharing her recipe for tasty Hawaiian Pineapple Tofu with the VegNews Recipe Club, Robin's Sriracha-Spiked Hummus from Nut Butter Universe was featured in Kathy Freston’s Daily Lean, her Szechuan Stir-Fry from Nut Butter Universe was featured on Oakland Veg's Meatout Monday and her recipe for Banh Mi Fajitas was featured on the Nasoya website.

Vegan Heritage Press founder and author of Vegan Unplugged Jon Robertson welcomed Vegan Publishers to world of, well, vegan publishing with a guest post on their blog.

If you’re looking for more pictures of decadent and delicious food, you can now find us on Food Gawker and Finding Vegan.

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Celebrate Vegan Pizza Day with Amber Shea Crawley

Saturday, June 29th is Vegan Pizza Day! Since summer is now in full swing and it’s too hot to turn the oven on, we’re celebrating with this Italian “Sausage” Pizza from Amber Shea Crawley’s Practically Raw.

Don’t let the long list of ingredients scare you off - this recipe comes together pretty quickly. If you’re too impatient to make your own nut cheese, you can use store bought vegan cheese instead. You can also replace the “sausage” with your favorite pizza toppings. Try bell pepper strips, chopped olives, sliced mushrooms, diced red onion, fresh basil, or anything else you please.


For the Crust
  • 1 very large or 2 medium zucchini, peeled and chopped (about 3 cups)
  • 1 small clove garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried basil

  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1 cup oat flour

  • 1 cup buckwheat flour

  • 3/4 cup ground flaxseed
For the Pizza Sauce: 
  • 1⁄2 cup sundried tomatoes, soaked for 30 minutes and drained
  • 1 small ripe tomato, cored, seeded, and chopped

  • 1 small pitted date

  • 1 small clove garlic, peeled

  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon fennel seeds

  • 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 cup filtered water, as needed to thin
For the “Sausage”:
  • 1 cup dry walnuts

  • 1 small clove garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano

  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
For the “Cheese”:
  • 1 cup macadamia nuts or cashews, soaked for 2 to 4 hours and drained
  • 1/2 cup filtered water

  • 1/2 teaspoon probiotic powder
  • 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
To Serve:
  • Freshly cracked black pepper

For the Crust
Combine the zucchini, garlic, nutritional yeast, almond butter, oil, lemon juice, basil, oregano, and salt in a food processor or high speed blender and process until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. 
Add the flours and blend again until smooth.
 Add the flax and blend until well‐incorporated.
The batter will be very thick and sticky.
Make it Raw: In 8 portions, scoop the batter onto two Teflex‐lined dehydrator trays (4 scoops per tray). Using a spoon or small offset spatula (moistened with water), spread each portion into a round crust shape about 1⁄4 inch thick. Dehydrate for 2 hours, until dry on top, then flip over onto a mesh‐lined tray and peel off the Teflex sheet. Dehydrate for 4 to 6 more hours, until firm (though not crisp).
Make it Cooked: Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a baking sheet with coconut oil. In 8 portions, scoop the batter onto the baking sheet. Using a spoon or small offset spatula (moistened with water), spread each portion into a round crust shape about 1/4 inch thick. Bake for 8 minutes, then flip the crusts over with a spatula. Bake for 7 to 8 more minutes, until dry and lightly browned. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before handling.

For the Sauce
Combine combine all sauce ingredients, including 1/2 cup water, in a high‐speed blender and blend to combine.
 Add more water, 2 tablespoons at a time, as needed to help it blend smoothly.

For the Sausage:

Combine the walnuts and garlic in a food processor and pulse until coarsely ground. Add all remaining sausage ingredients and pulse until well‐combined.

For the Cheese:
Combine the nuts, water, and probiotic powder in a high-speed blender and blend until completely smooth. Line a strainer or colander with a double layer of cheesecloth, letting the excess cheesecloth hang over the sides. Place the strainer over a large bowl and pour the cheese mixture into the cheesecloth, then fold the excess over the cheese so it is covered. Place a weight on top that is heavy enough to gently compress the cheese without pushing it through the cheesecloth. Place the bowl with the strainer on the countertop for 24 hours to allow the cheese to culture at room temperature.
After at least 24 (and no more than 48) hours, take the cheese out of the strainer and unwrap it from the cheesecloth, placing it in a small bowl. Add the nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and salt and stir thoroughly with a wooden spoon to incorporate. Place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 8 hours or overnight before using.

Serving the Pizza:
Top each pizza crust with 3 tablespoons of the pizza sauce. Scatter the “sausage” bits evenly across the pizzas. Crumble 2 tablespoons of the Basic Nut Cheese onto each pizza. Top with freshly cracked black pepper, and serve.

▪       Tomato: 1/2 small red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
▪       Date: 1 teaspoon agave nectar, coconut nectar, or any other liquid sweetener
▪       Basic Nut Cheese: 1 cup store-bought vegan shredded mozzarella cheese
▪       Tamari: soy sauce, nama shoyu, or liquid aminos

Makes 8 personal pizzas

From Practically Raw by Amber Shea Crawley. ©2012 Amber Shea Crawley. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press. 
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Thursday, June 20, 2013

How to Prepare for a Zombie Invasion, Vegan Style

If life imitates art, we’re well over-due for a Zombie Invasion of epic proportions. With World War Z hitting theaters soon and the popularity of The Walking Dead on on the rise, even the CDC is taking notice with zombie preparedness posts. We vegans have to be particularly careful about avoiding infection. Since meat is not part our diet, turning into a flesh-eating Zombie would be a bit of a problem.

Vegan Unplugged by Jon Robertson is a survival guide that can help out in a variety of emergency scenarios, including a Zombie Apocalypse. Vegan Unplugged covers everything from buying provisions to preparing your home.  The book contains instructions on putting together a 5-Day Meal Box for a family of 4, a checklist for your pantry stash, a guide to preparing for an impending emergency, and even information on what to do with your companion animals.
Is the stress of avoiding Zombies getting to you? We’ll help you out with a chapter on stress management that contains tips on how to relax and what to do to pass the time. Have Walkers chewed through the electrical wires? We’ve got your covered with instructions on how to store food and cook without power. Do you wish there was a little more than brains on the menu? Robin Robertson provides recipes for easy-to-make dishes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even dessert, so you can eat in style while sequestered. With delicious dishes such as Black Bean Chili, Pantry Pasta Salad and Fire-Roasted Blueberry Cobbler, even the Biters might want a taste – if they actually liked that sort of thing.
Vegan Unplugged for Nook and Kindle
Start preparing with Vegan Unplugged now, and avoid the rush at the health food store later, when the invasion is nigh. Vegan Unplugged is available as a paperback, as well as digitally for Nook and Kindle, just make sure your batteries are charged before your power goes out.

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tropical Fruit Tartlets

The weather is warming up and the official beginning of summer is just days away. While cravings for freshly baked dessert might not wane with rising temperatures, the desire to stand in a warm kitchen with a hot oven turned on just might. Fortunately, Amber Shea Crawley has given us a plethora of desserts that can be made without the use of an oven in her new book Practically Raw Desserts. These no-cook Tropical Fruit Tartlets are cool and refreshing, which makes them the perfect summertime dessert.

·      1 cup dry macadamia nuts
·      1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

·      1 teaspoon lime zest or juice (optional)

·      1/8 teaspoon sea salt

·      1/2 cup soft golden raisins
·      1/4 cup coconut butter
·      1 tablespoon coconut water
·      1 tablespoon pineapple juice
·      2 small ripe kiwifruit, peeled and sliced
·      1 small ripe banana, peeled and sliced
·      1/2 small ripe mango, peeled, seeded, and sliced
·      6 tablespoons diced fresh pineapple
·      Squeeze of lime juice (optional)

Crust: Combine the macadamia nuts, coconut, zest (if using), and salt in a food processor. Pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Add the raisins and pulse until the mixture is crumbly but sticky and homogenous. Divide the crust mixture between four 4-inch mini tartlet pans with removable bottoms. Press the mixture firmly and evenly onto the bottoms and sides of the pans. Chill them in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or in the freezer for at least 2 hours, until ready to assemble and serve.
Filling: Combine the coconut butter, coconut water, and pineapple juice in a small bowl. Stir vigorously to combine.
Remove the crusts from the freezer and divide the filling among them, about 1 heaping tablespoon per tartlet, spreading it evenly in the tart shells. Each tart will only get a thin layer of the filling, but that’s ok, because the fruit is the star here. Top with the assorted fresh sliced fruit and a squeeze of lime juice, if desired, and serve immediately.
Snugly wrap leftover tartlets in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Yield: 8 servings (4 mini tartlets)

From Practically Raw Desserts by Amber Shea Crawley. ©2013 Amber Shea Crawley. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press. 

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

New Kids on the Block

Here at Vegan Heritage Press we know that a lot of great things hail from the Boston area. The Dropkick Murphys and Slapshot. The New Kids on the Block and Aerosmith.
Prestigious universities, amazing vegan eateries, the 2013 Red Sox (so far, so good!).

New to Boston in 2013 is Vegan Publishers, a company dedicated to promoting positive messages about veganism. Founders Christen and Casey are working to "Grow vegan awareness one book at a time." We think that's wicked good.

Today, Jon Robertson of Vegan Heritage Press is guest contributor over on the Vegan Publishers blog.  Click over, check out what Jon has to say, and welcome them to the neighborhood!

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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Father’s Day Cooking with Nut Butter Universe

Father’s Day is almost here, and for families across the U.S., it’s usually a day of relaxing in the sun and enjoying a meal cooked on the grill. Barbecuing isn’t usually associated with vegan cooking, but many tasty vegetable dishes can be cooked on the grill, and Robin Robertson has your Father’s Day meal covered with a menu from her latest book Nut Butter Universe. These dishes are so flavorful and creative, that they’re sure to please everyone in your family, regardless of dietary preference.

Start you meal off with Smoke and Spice Almond Hummus or Crudité with Spicy Cashew Dip.

Once the grill is fired up, you’ll be able to make Grilled Vegetables with Almond Romesco Sauce, along with some Nutty Buddy Burgers.

For a fun alternative to potato salad, serve Roasted Niçoise Salad with Cashew Goddess Dressing with your meal. Or maybe a side of Crunchy Cole Slaw with Creamy Cashew Dressing is more to your liking.

Barbecuing isn’t just for dinner dishes, as these delicious Grilled Fruit Satays with Pineapple-Coconut Peanut Sauce are also cooked up on the grill, and they make for the perfecting ending to this delicious summertime meal.

Photos by Lori Maffei.

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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Apple-Almond Butter Pancakes

Forget peanut butter and chocolate – almond butter and apples are two great foods that taste great together and now this delicious flavor combo can be enjoyed pancake form. We're betting Dad would love to start off his Father's Day celebrations on Sunday with a big batch of Apple-Almond Butter Pancakes from Robin Robertson's Nut Butter Universe.

For gluten-free, use gluten-free flour. This recipe makes eight pancakes.


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon natural sugar

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk

  • 1/2 cup apple juice

  • 3 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 large apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped roasted almonds

  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  2. In a blender, combine the milk, apple juice, almond butter, and vanilla and blend until smooth.
  3. Pour into the flour mixture, stirring with a few swift strokes until just moist. Fold in the chopped apple and almonds.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200°F. Lightly oil a griddle or non- stick skillet and heat until hot. Ladle about 1/4 cup of the batter onto the griddle or skillet. Cook on one side until small bubbles appear on the top of the pancakes, about 2 minutes.
  5. Flip the pancakes with a spatula and cook until the second side is lightly browned, about 1 minute longer. Repeat with the remaining batter. Keep the cooked pancakes warm in the oven while preparing the remaining pancakes.
Serves 4

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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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Vegan Unplugged Makes a Great Gift for Grads!

Amazing Technicolor Chickpea Salad
High Schools across the US are finishing up the school year and unleashing a fresh new class of graduates into the world. Are there any recent graduates in your life who are about to head out on their own? Vegan Unplugged by Jon Robertson and Robin Robertson is a pantry cuisine cookbook that can help them learn to cook the basics with ingredients that are easy to find at any grocery store. Cooking instructions are simple and the meals are easy. Recipes include Shiitake Happens Mushroom Soup, Puttanesca in a Pinch, Rice Noodles with Spicy Peanut Sauce and Amazing Technicolor Chickpea Salad. The book can be taken with them as they head off to college as it includes instructions on how to cook meals without the use of a stove, such as in a microwave or on a hot plate, so it's perfect for dorm room cooking. Most of the dishes’ ingredients are canned or boxed, so refrigerators aren’t required.

Curry in a Hurry
Vegan Unplugged also makes an excellent gift for college graduates who might be finding themselves eating outside the university dining hall for the first time. All of the book’s recipes use inexpensive ingredients, so even those making entry-level salaries can afford to eat in style. Dishes such as Curry in a Hurry, Almost Instant Chili and Instant Vichyssoise come together in a flash, so even grads on the go will have time to cook.

Vegan Unplugged Paperback
Vegan Unplugged for Nook and Kindle

Vegan Unplugged is available in paperback as well as for Nook and Kindle.

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Monday, June 3, 2013

Asian Spring Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce

It's the time of year where warm weather has us craving fresh, crips vegetables, but the heat is keeping us from turning our ovens on. These Asian Spring Rolls with Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce from Robin Roberson's Nut Butter Universe are ideal for hot summer days, because they require no cooking. They're perfect for appetizers or snacks, or even a light lunch.

Spring roll wrappers, made of fragile rice paper, are brittle when you buy them, but soften easily when soaked in water. They are available in Asian markets. Strips of baked tofu make a good addition to these spring rolls. To make this recipe soy-free, use coconut aminos in place of the tamari.


·      1/4 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons wheat-free tamari
·      1/4 cup water

·      1 tablespoon rice vinegar

·      1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

·      1 teaspoon finely minced garlic

·      1 teaspoon natural sugar

·      1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste

·      1 tablespoon minced cilantro leaves
Spring rolls
·      8 rice paper wrappers

·      8 Boston lettuce leaves or other soft leaf lettuce

·      1 1/2 cups shredded carrot
1 cup fresh bean sprouts

·      1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into strips
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Sauce: In a small bowl or food processor, combine the peanut butter, tamari, water, vinegar, lime juice, garlic, sugar, and red pepper flakes until well blended. Taste to adjust the seasonings. Add more water if the sauce is too thick. Set aside while you make the spring rolls, or cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Add minced cilantro to the sauce just prior to serving time.

Spring Rolls: Dip a wrapper into a shallow bowl of warm water just long enough to soften. Remove the wrapper from the water and place on a piece of plastic wrap on a flat work surface. Place a lettuce leaf on top of the wrapper and arrange a small amount of the carrots, sprouts, avocado, and chopped cilantro on the bottom third of the lettuce leaf. Bring the bottom edge of the wrapper over the filling and fold in the sides tightly. Use your finger to spread water along the top edge and roll tightly, using the plastic wrap to help roll it up.

Place the roll seam side down on a serving platter. Repeat with the remaining wrappers, lettuce, and filling ingredients. When assembly is finished, serve the rolls with the peanut sauce for dipping.

Serves 4

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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