BOOKS: Nut Butter Universe by Robin Robertson; Linguini with Thai Pesto

All of us know and love Peanut butter, and have become acquainted with ever-popular Almond butter. But what about pistachio, walnut, chestnut butters? We seem to forget that we can make our own nut butters with a few ingredients and a blender, and then blank on what to do with them beyond a condiment for toast.

Nut Butter Universe Cover Welcome to the stage: Robin Robertson’s Nut Butter Universe. This salivation-inducing addition to my cookbook collection is about 150 pages of inventive, savory recipes that combine comfort food and international flair.

Recipes include beauties like Scalloped Cashew Potatoes and Cauliflower, Peach Almond Butter Quesadillas, and Tropical Chickpea Brazil Nut Stew. I know! I KNOW! You didn’t know these foods exist and now know, with everything in your soul, you can’t live without them. Who would want to?

Peanut butter is one of Chubby dog’s favorite snacks, so he was particularly excited about this one.

Nut Butter Universe, dog approved.

The first recipe I had from this book was Indonesian Gado-Gado (p. 49), prepared by Dianne. I couldn’t stop thinking about it for days afterwards, and tried to recreate something like it with raw shredded cabbage and spicy peanut sauce. EVERY recipe I’ve made from Nut Butter Universe is just as addicting, and this has quickly become one of my favorite new cookbooks in 2013.

I’m happy to share this recipe today, which combines two Karpovich household favorites – pesto and peanut sauce. Heaven on earth, right? This recipe can be made gluten and soy-free as well!

Linguini with Thai Pesto, by Robin Rpbertson from Nut Butter Universe

Linguini with Thai Pesto, by Robin Rpbertson from Nut Butter Universe

Linguine with Thai Pesto

(by Robin Robertson from Nut Butter Universe)

Redolent of garlic, lemongrass, and pungent herbs, this Asian-style pesto makes a fabulous fusion dish when combined with linguine. Most of these ingredients, including the slender, hot Thai chile, are available in supermarkets. Thai basil can be found in Asian markets, as can any of the other ingredients that your regular market may not stock. To make this gluten-free, use gluten-free pasta.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large cloves garlic

  • 1 Thai bird chile, halved lengthwise and seeded

  • 1 stalk lemongrass, white part only, chopped

  • 1 teaspoon natural sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup Thai basil leaves

  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves

  • 1/2 cup parsley leaves

  • 1/3 cup peanut butter

  • 3 tablespoons water

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

  • 
12 ounces linguine

  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted peanuts

Preparation:

Combine the garlic, chile, lemongrass, sugar, and salt in a food processor and process to a paste. Add the basil, cilantro, and parsley and process until finely ground. Add the peanut butter, water, and lime juice and blend thoroughly, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Set aside.

Cook the linguine in a large pot of salted water just until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup of the water. Toss the pasta with the sauce, adding a little of the hot pasta water, if necessary, to thin the sauce. Garnish with peanuts and serve immediately.

Serves 4

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

.    .    .    .

LINKS

Order a copy of Nut Butter Universe

Robin Robertson’s Website

Facebook page for publisher Vegan Heritage Press

And! Here’s that gateway-recipe for Indonesian Gado-Gado

Advertisements

Vanilla Rosewater Parfaits (with Lentils!) from Kathy Hester

You’d never think this gorgeous, fluffy parfait is a protein powerhouse made with beans, so your mind is about to be blown.

great vegan bean book This recipe comes to us from Kathy Hester and her freakin’ fabulous new book, The Great Vegan Bean Book.

I love love love this cookbook, not only because of the creative recipes, but because beans are so inexpensive and nutritious, and using them in so many inventive ways helps brings delicious vegan food to so many palates and grocery budgets. High five, Kathy.

Some of my favorite recipes in the book are:

  • Black Bean Breakfast Sausage Patties
  • Lemon Coconut Chickpea Muffins
  • Beluga Lentil Borscht
  • Hard Cider-Sauced Beans
  • Sun-dried Tomato White Bean Wheat Balls (“meat balls”)

Wholly inventive uses of beans to provide texture and flavor, from creamy dips and sauces to silky desserts (see below), plus gorgeous color photos throughout the book, make this book one of my new go-to favorites.

.     .     .     .     .

Vanilla Rosewater Parfaits from The Great Vegan Bean Book

gluten-free option*, oil-free

vanilla rosewater parfait kathy hester

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup  (262 g) vanilla yogurt
  • 1 cup ( 192 g) cooked red lentils
  • 1 container (12.3 ounces/349g) silken tofu
  • 1 tablespoon rosewater
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar (more if using plain yogurt)
  • 3 cups (240 g) vanilla cookie crumbs (*use gluten-free cookies to make gluten-free or leave them out and just have pudding)

Add everything except for the cookie crumbs to a food process and purée for about 8 minutes. Stop every few minutes and scrape down the side of the bowl to make sure it all gets smooth.

In 8 small (10 ounce) custard cups (or in shot glasses to make minis) layer the crumbs on the bottom, add a layer of the tofu mixture, more crumbs, another layer of tofu and end by completely cover the top with the rest of the cookie crumbs.

The mixture will thicken up when you refrigerate the parfaits, so put them in the fridge at least 2 hours before serving but will keep covered for a few days.

Yield: 8 servings
Per serving: 124.1 calories; 3.1 g total fat; .0 g saturated fat; 6.0 g protein; 17.8 g carbohydrate; 2.3 g dietary fiber; 0 mg cholesterol.
Total Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Cooking Time: 0 minutes

Serving Suggestions & Variations: Use different extract flavors, add cocoa powder or even liquors to make an unlimited array of versions. Graham crackers and chocolate cookies make great crumb layers as well.

LINKS:

Order your of The Great Vegan Bean Book

Check out Kathy’s website, Healthy Slow Cooking

Beautiful food photography by  Renee Comet

Colombian Empanadas: Vegan and Gluten-Free by Allyson Kramer

Screen Shot 2013-06-28 at 8.14.58 AM Did you know Allyson Kramer has a new cookbook, available on newsstands right this moment? Her impressive, best-selling title Great Gluten Free Vegan Eats gets some international flair in her new book, GGFVE From Around the World.

Allyson, darling that she is, was kind enough to pop in for an e-visit on her book tour, and provided one of the many recipes you’ll find in her new book (see below).

A few more favorites include:

  • Peanutty Parsnip and Carrot Soup, Fusion Dish
  • Boeuf(less) Bourgignon, France
  • Fig Pastries, Sicily
  • “Seafood” Stew, Ecuador
  • Australian Veggie Pie, Australia
  • Baked Poutine, Canada

As we’ve come to expect from Allyson, the book is full of stunning color photos for nearly every recipe. Go here to order a copy immediately! And enjoy the recipe below. Thanks, Allyson! xo

.    .    .    .    .

Colombian Empanadas by Allyson Kramer

Yield: 12 empanadas

photo by Allyson Kramer

photo by Allyson Kramer

INGREDIENTS 

For the dough:

21⁄2 cups (560 g) masa harina flour

3 cups (700 ml) hot water

11⁄2 teaspoons sea salt

For the filling:

1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil

1 cup (70 g) chopped mushrooms

1 small potato, diced

1 onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

Salt, to taste

1⁄4 cup (4 g) packed cilantro

1 cup (130 g) frozen peas, thawed

1 teaspoon cumin

3⁄4 cup (84 g) vegan cheese shreds (Daiya brand works best)

Vegetable oil for frying

Directions:

In a medium-size bowl, combine the masa harina, hot water, and salt into a dough using a fork. Cover and let rest about 20 minutes.

To prepare the filling: Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large frying pan and sauté the mushrooms, potato, onion, and garlic until the potato is softened and the onions are translucent, about 10 to 15 minutes. Salt lightly while cooking. Stir the cilantro, peas, cumin, and cheese shreds into the rest of the filling mixture. Transfer to a bowl and set in the refrigerator to cool.

To assemble the empanadas: Grab a touch larger than a golf-ball-size amount of dough and roll out in-between 2 pieces of plastic wrap, forming a 5-inch (13 cm) diameter circle. Place about 1 heaping tablespoon (15 g) of the filling on half of the dough and using the plastic wrap, gently coax the other half of the circle to cover the filling. Use your fingers to seal the dough and form a half moon–shaped pocket. Make sure there aren’t any breaks or tears in the empanada; if needed, use wet fingers to help seal any small holes. Place prepared empanadas on a parchment-covered surface and repeat until all dough and filling has been used.

To cook the empanadas: Preheat a deep fryer to 360°F (182°C). Prepare a surface with either paper bags or paper towels to place the empanadas on once they have cooked. Drop about 3 empanadas at a time into the preheated oil and cook for 6 minutes or until golden yellow in color. Place on the prepared surface and let cool briefly before serving.

Recipe Note: For an easy alternate filling, simply stuff the empanadas with Soyrizo (in the book, page 103) and follow the directions the same way.Stir the cilantro, peas, cumin, and cheese shreds into the rest of the filling mixture. Transfer to a bowl and set in the refrigerator to cool.

GGFVEaroundtheworld

*Recipe Printed with Permission of Fair Winds Press

PUMPKIN PIE ENERGY BARS: Homemade Raw Snacks on the Go

One of my most popular recipes got a little tweak and now a video.

You can watch the half-hour episode of the Save the Kales! RIGHT HERE, which also features a recipe for Raw Peanut Noodles and a visit to Brad’s Raw Foods Chip Factory!

Here’s the first segment where I quickly make Pumpkin Pie Energy Bars:


(Raw) Pumpkin Pie Energy Bars

  • 1 and 1/4 cups medjool dates (no pits)
  • 1 and 1/4 cups dried apricots
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews

larabars2

Pulse the dried fruit in a food processor until it becomes gummy and mixed together. Add that to a mixing bowl. Put the rest of the ingredients in the food processor until the nuts are finely chopped and crumbly (not turned to almond butter). Add those to the same bowl.

Mix everything by hand to form a “dough”. Line an 8 x 8 baking sheet with parchment paper. Press the dough evenly into all areas of the pan with your hands. Freeze for at least 30 minutes (overnight is fine).

Take the pan out of the freezer and turn over, then peel off the parchment paper. You can cut the bars into whatever shape/size you want, but this will make about nine snack sized bars.

larabars1

Bars should stay in a cool place (the fridge is best!) until you’re ready to eat them, or wrap them individually and they will carry well inside a purse or bag for a snack in the middle of the day.

Think of it as blended-up trail mix!

(psssttt – there’s still time to vote!)

Blog Awards

(Allegedly) Raw Marinated Mushrooms and Kale with Walnut Cheese

If you’re trying to eat healthier, but still want a filling comfort-food meal, give this a try! You can watch the whole half-hour episode by going to this Youtube Playlist.

rawmushrooms and kale  I wanted to make this recipe after hearing someone talk about a walnut-based vegan “cheese”. It’s one of those recipes with simple, tasty ingredients that can’t help but be delicious when they are combined.

Watch the video:

Mushroom Marinade

  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 cup Bragg’s Aminos (or soy, or tamari sauce)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • *1 tsp. maple syrup or agave, added later only to the kale!

Veggies

  • 4 large portobello mushroom caps
  • 4 cups packed kale, torn into bite-size pieces (or as much as you have in a bunch)

In a small bowl, whisk together marinade ingredients except maple syrup. Use the 1/4cup measuring cup and scoop out some marinade, then set aside for later use.

Use a damp paper towel to wipe the dirt off the top of the mushroom caps (this cleans them). In a rimmed baking dish or tupperware container, place the mushrooms gill side up. Brush the marinade into the mushroom gills, then place in the fridge for  at least 1-2 hours.

Get a large mixing bowl, and add the raw kale to the bowl. Pour the reserved mushroom marinade over the kale, and add the maple syrup. Use clean hands to massage the marinade into the kale for a few minutes, and kale will break down in size.

Vegan Walnut Cheese

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/8 cup miso paste
  • 1/8 cup water

Blend all walnut cheese ingredients in a food processor until it’s a chunky spread consistency.

.    .    .    .    .

Raw Marinated Mushrooms and Kale with Walnut Cheese

Raw Marinated Mushrooms and Kale with Walnut Cheese

I plated the dish with the kale on the bottom of a large platter, topped with the mushrooms gill side up, and then filled the mushrooms with the walnut cheese. You can garnish with kalmata olives, sesame seeds, or smoked paprika. 

… and if you’re looking to make some healthy changes in the New Year and want to eat more plant-based dishes or go vegan but don’t know where to start, I’d love to work with you!

Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip Quiche

To learn more about the Save the Kales! half-hour television show, click here. STK! is a vegan cooking + lifestyle show which airs in Pennsylvania, and full episodes are available online.

.   .   .   .   .

Sometimes you just want to indulge, ya know?

This is a (vegan!) quiche inspired by a luscious, creamy spinach artichoke dip. If you need to impress Holiday guests, tofu-fear-mongers, or just want a hearty dinner reminiscent of an old comfort food — we’ve got you covered.

Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip Quiche (makes 2)

  • 2 pre-baked vegan pie crusts (*baked about 15 minutes)
  • 1 block firm tofu, water drained
  • 8 oz. vegan cream cheese (one container of Tofutti brand)
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (unsweetened)
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil, to sautee veggies
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1 can artichoke hearts (not in oil)
  • 1 bag spinach

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, blend tofu, cream cheese, garlic powder, nutritional yeast and almond milk. Add mixture to a large bowl.

In a pan, sautee the red onion in a little olive oil until soft, about 2-3 minutes. While thats cooking, chop the artichoke hearts into halves or fourths. (Don’t cut too small; you want big chunks of artichoke!) Add to the pan with onion for 1-2 minutes. Rough chop the spinach, unless you’re using baby spinach. Add spinach to the pan and cook at medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes. The spinach will get much smaller in volume once it cooks.

Add the veggies to the creamy mixture, and mix everything well. Pour 1/2 of the mixture into each pie crust. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees, and the top of the quiche will start to turn golden-brown.

Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip Quiche by Save the Kales!

*I used a pack of two pre-made, frozen vegan pie crusts. Check your freezer section and read ingredients. I pre-baked these for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Do this in the beginning and leave the oven at 350 to bake the assembled quiche.

Save the Kales! makes a vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip Quiche

CAN BE MADE GLUTEN-FREE using a gluten-free pie crust!  One viewer wrote:

“I made two and took one to a Thanksgiving party Wed night and nobody knew it was gluten-free or vegan. In fact, a few ladies asked me for the recipe so gave them your blog address. 

The second one I froze and baked it for brunch today where there were a lot of meat eaters, and the first thing gone was the quiche 🙂 They almost fainted when I told them it was vegan.”

… Hey, now that’s nice to hear.

A little slice of heaven! I mean, Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip Quiche.

You can watch the whole half-hour episode on my Youtube Channel, which includes:

… Watch all half-hour episodes HERE.

.     .     xo     .     .

VEGAN BEER AND CHEESE SOUP: Creamy, Hearty… and Full of Vegetables!?

beer soup Not to toot my own horn, but this is one of my favorite recipes I’ve ever made. Ever. 

Believe it or not, this soup is actually quite healthful. It does contain alcohol (so I can’t claim that it’s outright “healthy”), but the entire recipe only calls for one cup of beer, among four full servings, and the rest of the ingredients are actually whole foods or spices.

Imagine the thick, creamy, bisque-like qualities of a beer and cheese soup, with the benefits of vegetables and no added oil. Oh, and no cheese or milk. (*Easily made soy-free by using chickpea miso rather than soybean miso.)

If it sounds impossible, I need you to 1) trust me, and 2) make this and see for yourself.

Behold…

VEGAN BEER + CHEESE SOUP by Save the Kales

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 onions, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup water (or veg broth)
  • 1 Tbsp veg broth paste (if using water)
  • 1 cup dark vegan beer (Go to Barnivore.com for vegan beers)
  • 1 can white beans (Northern White or Cannellini), drained
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 Tbsp white miso paste
  • 2/3 cup nutritional yeast

Put carrots, potatoes, onions, broth/water and beer in a large soup pot. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until all vegetables are tender and some liquid evaporates.

Pour contents of soup pot into a blender. (You may need to do this in two batches so you have enough room. If you have a Vitamix, everything can go in.)

Add the beans, almond milk, miso paste and nutritional yeast. Blend well until very smooth. This will be thick, so you may need to stop and scrape the sides of the blender.

That’s it!

Vegan Beer and Cheese Soup

Vegan Beer and Cheese Soup

You can serve in a bread bowl, in a regular bowl, or as a dip for veggies or pretzels. Or why not try a fondue?

.   .   .

This was part of our “Football Foods” themed episode of our half-hour vegan cooking show, Save the Kales!, airing in Pennsylvania and online everywhere. New episodes each month.

Check back for our Vegan Hot Wings recipe!