Friday, March 01, 2013

Nut Butter Universe
Review and Giveaway

I am honored and proud to welcome back one of my very favorite vegan cookbook authors, Robin Robertson, with a guest post about her brand new book, Nut Butter Universe. Her latest contribution to making the world a more deliciously compassionate place contains a collection of tantalizing recipes.

I couldn't wait to dig into this book, and headed right for the luscious-looking recipe for Penne Primavera with Avocado Cashew Cream. It was, in a word, divine.

Every recipe in this book sounds incredibly enticing—from Walnut Butter Banana Bread to Peach Almond Butter Quesadillas, your mouth will water just from reading the Table of Contents. So without further ado, here's Robin:

Beyond the PB&J

Not long ago, the only nut butter sandwich around was the traditional PB&J made with peanut butter, grape jelly, and white bread. Did you know that before the age of 18, the average American child consumes 1,500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches?

But why settle for tradition, when you can put your own spin on the classic sandwich. These days, you can choose from over a dozen kinds of nut butters, paired with an orchard full of jams, jellies, preserves, and marmalades, and served on a wide variety of whole-grain breads. You can also get even more creative by adding another flavor layer to your sandwich filling by sprinkling your spreads with anything from dried or fresh fruits, to crushed nuts or chocolate, or even shredded carrots or cooked vegan bacon. Even Elvis got creative with his now-famous grilled peanut butter and banana sandwich (which he reportedly ate with a knife and fork.) 

Variations on a PB&J are, in fact, infinitely versatile when you consider that by combining a different variety of nut butter for the peanut butter, and a different flavor of jam, jelly, or preserves, combined with different “add-ons” as well as types of bread, you could potentially enjoy more than 32,130 different variations of America’s favorite sandwich.

The sandwich recipes in my new book, Nut Butter Universe, include:

·      My Favorite PB&J
·      Grilled Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich
·      Flower Power Almond Butter Sandwich
·      Walnut Butter Waldorf Wraps
·      Open-Face Peanut Butter and Tomato Broil
·      Chocolate-Hazelnut Paninis
·      Roasted Eggplant Pita with Garlicky Lemon-Almond Sauce
·      Peach-Almond Butter Quesadillas

And one of my personal favorites, these Thai Tofu-Vegetable Wraps...
Photo by Lori Maffei

Thai Tofu-Vegetable Wraps

Filled with baked tofu strips, crisp fresh vegetables, and a creamy, zesty sauce, these wraps make a yummy lunch or a light supper. You can add more vegetables, if you like. For an even quicker version, you can use a package of ready-made baked marinated tofu, although making it yourself is more economical. In place of tofu, you can substitute seitan or soy curls. To make them gluten-free, use gluten-free flatbreads.

8 ounces extra-firm tofu, cut into strips
2 tablespoons wheat-free tamari, divided
Salt and ground black pepper
3 tablespoons cashew butter
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 to 1 teaspoon natural sugar
1 teaspoon chili paste, or more to taste
1 cup shredded lettuce
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup bean sprouts (optional)
2 tablespoons finely minced red onion or scallion
2 lavash flatbreads or large flour tortillas

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or spray it with cooking spray. Arrange the tofu strips on the pan, drizzle them with 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bake until lightly browned, turning once about half- way through, about 20 minutes total. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
2. In a small bowl, combine the cashew butter, tamari, lime juice, sugar, and chili paste. Blend well.
3. In a medium bowl, combine the lettuce, carrot, bell pepper, bean sprouts, if using, and onion. Toss to combine.
4. Spread the cashew mixture onto each flatbread, dividing evenly. Top with the vegetable mixture, spreading on the lower third of each wrap. Top the vegetables on each flatbread with strips of the reserved tofu.
5. Roll up the sandwiches and use a serrated knife to cut them in half. Serve at once.
Serves 2

From Nut Butter Universe, by Robin Robertson. Copyright ©2013 Robin Robertson. Reprinted with the kind permission of the publisher, Vegan Heritage Press.

Update: Congratulations Billie Jean! You're the lucky winner! Please send me an email with your postal address, so I can send your book to you! Thank you everyone for participating! Stay tuned for more delicious fun to come! Giveaway: Almond butter, cashew butter, or good 'ol peanut butter? Simply leave a comment below telling me your favorite nut butter for a chance to win your very own copy of Nut Butter Universe.*

And to earn additional entries, you may do any or all of the following, and please leave a comment for each item you complete:

1. Follow Robin Robertson on Pinterest.
2. Follow @GlobalVegan on Twitter.
3. Follow this blog by clicking the "follow" link in the upper left-hand corner of this page, subscribing via email, or through Networked Blogs.
4. Follow @Vegiegail on Twitter.
5. Tweet the following message: Win a copy of @GlobalVegan's new book Nut Butter Universe: Easy #Vegan Recipes w/Out of This World Flavors! #giveaway

Please make sure I have a way to contact you if you're the lucky winner, (leave me your Twitter handle or email address or make sure it's linked to your blogger account.) Good luck!!!
*Sorry international friends. The giveaway is open to US residents only.