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Spicy Stir-Fry with Peanut Sauce

Stir Fry 3 CROP 1a

It’s National Peanut Butter Day!  To celebrate I’m sharing one of my favorite recipes from my cookbook, Nut Butter Universe.  It’s the stir-fry with spicy peanut sauce that I love to make often, usually varying the vegetables and protein with whatever I have on hand and sometimes tossing with cooked noodles instead of serving over rice.  The one thing that remains constant is the peanut sauce — although I often double the amount of sauce because, well, it’s peanut sauce!!!!

Just for today I’ve renamed the recipe (and added a little extra peanut butter!) in honor of National Peanut Butter Day!

“National Peanut Butter Day” Spicy Stir-Fry with Peanut Sauce

 A creamy peanut sauce is the star of this versatile stir-fry. You can vary the vegetables according to your personal taste and their availability. In addition, the amount of heat in this dish can be controlled by the amount of red pepper flakes added to the sauce. Strips of extra-firm tofu are a pleasant foil for the spicy sauce. This recipe calls for serving it over rice, but it’s also delicious tossed with cooked rice noodles instead.


2/3 cup water

1/3 cup peanut butter

1/4 cup wheat-free tamari

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 teaspoons natural sugar

1 teaspoon ketchup

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1/2 to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, orto taste

1 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in1 tablespoon water

1 tablespoon neutral vegetable oil

8 to 12 ounces extra-firm tofu, drained,pressed, and cut into 1/2-inchstrips

1 large yellow onion, halved length-wise and thinly sliced

2  cups broccoli florets, blanched

1  red bell pepper, cut into thin strips

2  cups thinly sliced napa cabbage

1 cup thinly sliced fresh shiitake mushrooms

3 to 4 cups cooked brown rice

1/4 cup roasted peanuts, chopped


 1.   In a bowl, a food processor, or a blender, combine the water, peanut butter, tamari, vinegar, sugar, ketchup, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes, and blend well.

 2.   Pour the mixture into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the cornstarch mixture and cook, stirring, until the sauce thickens. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed. Remove from the heat and set aside. Add a little water if the sauce becomes too thick.

 3.   Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and stir-fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the onion, broccoli, and bell pepper, and stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add the cabbage and mushrooms and stir-fry 3 minutes longer, or until the vegetables soften, adding a little water if the vegetables start to stick.

 4.   Return the tofu to the skillet. Add the sauce and stir-fry to coat the vegetables. Serve over the rice and top with the chopped peanuts.

 Serves 4 to 6

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







Vegan Planet Giveaway Winners


Many thanks to everyone who joined my “Vegan Planet Party” and entered the giveaway to win Vegan Planet aprons and a copy of the book.   I loved reading all of your comments — it’s such a great way to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Vegan Planet and the launch of the new revised edition.

Four winners were chosen at random (thanks, Random.org!)

An apron goes to the following three people:

1. Darrell Butner

2. Laura Thompson

3. Mark Hawthorne

A copy of the new Revised Edition of Vegan Planet goes to:

4. Asa Mills

Congratulations to all four of you.  Please e-mail me with your mailing address so your prizes can be sent to you.  If I don’t hear from you by Friday, a new winner will be chosen.

Reminder:  During the month of November I posted 30 recipes from the revised edition of Vegan Planet.  If you missed any of them, here’s the complete list.  You can find them all here or by clicking on the archive list for November 2013 on the right hand side of this page.

1.                  Penne and Butternut Squash with Kale Pesto

2.                  Roasted Root Vegetable Chili

3.                  Rustic Peasant Loaf with Black Olives and Sun–Dried Tomatoes     

4.                  Ginger-Lemon Tofu

5.                  Three–Onion Appetizer Pie   

6.                  Curried Cauliflower Pakoras

7.                  Scallion Pancakes with Sesame Seeds

8.                  Shredded Vegetable Fritters  

9.                  Tiramisu Cheesecake 

10.              Pasta Puttanesca        

11.              Za’tar–Spiced Bean Patties with Coconut–Curry Sauce

12.              Polenta–Stuffed Red Bell Peppers

13.              Fresh Peach Crisp with Almond Butter Cream

14.              Chickpeas Vindaloo

15.              Crispy Kale

16.              Savory Pumpkin Bites

17.              Three–Flavor Pancit

18.              Flax–Berry Pancakes

19.              Lemon Risotto with Peas and Scallions         

20.              Tempting Tempeh Sandwiches

21.              Banana–Split Tea Bread

22.              Mahogany Eggplant

23.              Red Bean Cakes with Creamy Coconut Sauce

24.              Curried Lentils with Carrots and Peas           

25.              Spinach Frittata

26.              Saffron Couscous Cake with Spring Vegetable Sauté

27.              Brandy-Apple Pie                   

28.              Autumn Roasted Vegetables

29.              Tofu Yung

30.              Smoky Maple Kale and Black Beans






Vegan Planet Countdown + Giveaway!


1/14/14 Update: THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  Thank you to all who entered and congratulation to the winners!

In less than a week, the new revised edition of Vegan Planet will become available and I couldn’t be more excited.  To celebrate, I’ll be giving away three of these spiffy Vegan Planet aprons to three lucky winners. 


So many people have been writing to tell me how much they love the old Vegan Planet.  For many of you, it was the first vegan cookbook you ever owned.  And I know you’ll love the new revised edition even more — it has lots of new recipes, plus the tried-and-true recipes have been revised and updated.  Among the new bells and whistles:  many of the recipes now call for less oil and the interior pages also  have an updated design.

Variously dubbed the “vegan joy of cooking,” the “vegan bible,” and the “ultimate vegan cookbook,” Vegan Planet is a classic that has withstood the test of time.  If it’s new to you, I hope you enjoy it for the first time.  If it’s already an old favorite, I hope you like the new edition even more.

Now about the apron giveaway….


1. Leave a comment at the end of this post.  It can be why you’re looking forward to the new edition of Vegan Planet, your favorite memory/recipe of the old Vegan Planet, or why you want to win the apron!

2. For a SECOND chance to win:  Go to the Vegan Planet Facebook page and Like the page.  If you already Like the page, then leave a comment on the page (it can be the same comment you left on this post) and then come back to this post and leave a SECOND comment telling me you Liked the Vegan Planet Facebook page and/or left a comment there.

The contest ends on Tuesday, January 14th at midnight.  Three winners will be announced here (and on the Vegan Planet Facebook Page) on Wednesday, January 15.

Good luck and many thanks to all of you who helped make the original Vegan Planet a best-selling classic over the past ten years.  Here’s to 10 more great years for the new edition!

 Fine Print Bonus Giveaway:  In addition to giving away three aprons I will also be giving away one of my cookbooks (winner’s choice!) — so now you have another reason to enter and another way to win!







Happy New Year!

Hoppin John 2014 012 1a

Much like the past year, the holidays just flew by and suddenly, here we are in 2014.  I made my own particular riff on Hoppin’ John yesterday (I combine the collards with the black-eyed peas and rice for a delicious one-dish meal) but I changed it up slightly, adding some diced tomatoes, smoked paprika, and jalapenos to the already-tasty dish.  Topped with some vegan sour cream and a splash of Tabasco, it was out-of-this world fabulous.  I also made some cornbread to add to the prosperity symbolism (gold) along with the (green for money) collards, and the good luck black-eyed peas, every indication is that it should be a great 2014 (I’m assuming it will be even better because we had second helpings of our Hoppin’ John!).

My favorite Christmas present this year was the Crazy Cat Lady Action figure that my sweet felines gave me. (I think Jon helped them place the order…)  Here is the Crazy Cat Lady sitting in a vat of catnip — she even had her “house” carpeted with scratching box material — all in an effort to make her cats love her even more!

Cat Lady 2014 014 1a

Speaking of cats, my kitties had a great Christmas — they each got their own new catnip toy.  Here’s Gary with his catnip banana — he’s so happy with it, his tail wouldn’t stop wagging!

Gary banana 2014 005 1a

And here’s Gary wishing everyone a Happy Mew Year!

gary happy new year 1a




Vegan Planet Apron Giveaway


I’m very excited about the 10th Anniversary of my bestselling cookbook, Vegan Planet.  And even more excited about the publication of the new Revised Edition, coming out in just a few weeks.

To celebrate, my publisher, Harvard Common Press, is sponsoring a fantastic giveaway: a chance to win one of 20 limited-edition Vegan Planet aprons just for pre-ordering the revised Edition of Vegan Planet. Here’s how it works:

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the best-selling cookbook, we’re giving every person who pre-orders a copy of the newly revised edition of Robin Robertson’s VEGAN PLANET a chance to win one of 20 limited-edition Vegan Planet aprons! Just forward your Amazon confirmation receipt detailing the pre-order to hcpblogging@gmail.com, and you will be automatically entered to win.

To find out more about how to enter and other details, go to this link

Here’s what the apron looks like — wouldn’t it be fun to wear while your cooking up all those great vegan recipes?



Happy Anniversary to Vegan Planet!


Nut Butter Universe Giveaway Winners!

Nut Butter Universe Cover

It’s time to announce the two winners of the Cookbook Giveaway for two signed copies of Nut Butter Universe.  First, a huge thank you to everyone who entered.  If you didn’t win, I hope you will put Nut Butter Universe on your Christmas list! :-)

The winners (chosen at random by the infamous Random Number Generator) are:

#22 – Gloria Kersh — whose favorite nut butter is peanut butter.


#162 – Kristin Troska — who likes Sunflower Nut Butter on toast.

Congratulations, Gloria and Kristin!  Please e-mail me with your mailing addresses so I can sign your books and get them out to you. (Let me know if you want the books signed for you or someone else.)

I don’t want to leave everyone else empty-handed, so how about another recipe from Nut Butter Universe?  This is one of my favorite desserts in the book:


Lemon-Kissed Chocolate-Cashew Mousse

A touch of lemon adds a refreshing flavor note to this chocolatey mousse.  A garnish of chopped cashews adds crunch. This recipe is from Nut Butter Universe by Robin Robertson. (c) 2013.


1 cup vegan semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked 4 hours, then drained well

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

6 ounces extra-firm silken tofu, drained and blotted dry

1/4 cup agave nectar or maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest, divided

2 tablespoons chocolate curls or toasted chopped cashews, for garnish


Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over gently simmering water, stirring frequently.  Set aside. 

In a dry blender, grind the cashews to a paste.  Add the lemon juice, tofu, agave, and vanilla extract and blend until smooth. Add the reserved melted chocolate and 1 teaspoon of the lemon zest and process until smooth. 

Transfer to individual dessert dishes, cover, and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 4 hours. 

When ready to serve, sprinkle the top of each dessert with the remaining lemon zest and chocolate curls or nuts.


Serves 4