Quinoa and Black Eyed Peas with Cashew Queso. Nut Butter Universe Review !



I usually shy away from reviewing a cookbook because I easily get put off by each recipe calling for processed stuff, fake meats and too much tofu:). I almost never have those things at home, and I wont buy them just to try out a recipe. I hardly ever have vegan butter at home these days too. 

When Dianne Wenz(aka Veggie Girl), from Vegan Heritage Press asked me if I’d review Robin Robertson’s Nut Butter Universe, I thought I should give it a try because of the amazing reviews by fellow bloggers!
Robin Robertson needs no introduction really. Her culinary experience spans over 25 years and she is an award winning vegan cookbook author of some amazing and diverse cookbooks.

If I went shopping for a cookbook, most likely I will pick up one with a lot of detailed large and beautiful pictures. But then I already have a few of those and I haven’t cooked as much from them as much as I did from this book.:) There are limited pictures in the book. The recipes though are simple, creative, cover many cuisines, and still very intuitive that you can imagine how the final product will look and taste. And also so many vegetable based options, very whole-foods friendly and easily editable to taste. 

I tried the Roasted Tahini Cauliflower first because, a- it calls for cauliflower, b- it is roasted, c- theres Sriracha and Za’atar in the sauce. yum! Of course, I added more Sriracha than called for ;)

Roasted Tahini Cauliflower from Nut Butter Universe

In my small kitchen, some times the things move round during re-organization and can never be found. Such was the case when I decided to make muffins. I couldn’t find my regular muffin pan, so I made these mini ones instead. And I tell ya, these mini muffins are much funner than the large ones. Hubbs isnt a fan of too much sweet, but he loved these minis. I used Spelt flour instead of all purpose and almond-walnut butter instead of pecan butter and made a smaller batch and they came out delicious. These made a perfect breakfast!

The other great part about the book is the Soy-free and Gluten-free Index. You can pick out the recipes per your diet preference very easily. 

I had been postponing trying a queso and when I saw it in the book I decided to make some. Quinoa with Black eyed peas and some Cashew Queso sauce. Because I have cooked Black eyed peas easily in the kitchen :)

Quinoa and Black Beans/Black eyed Peas with Cashew Queso Sauce
Hearty quinoa and black beans are topped with a zesty queso sauce in this satisfying dish. Serve with a salad, or sautéed or roasted green vegetable, or add some cooked vegetables such as broccoli florets, on top of the quinoa mixture. When ready to serve, top with the sauce. You might want to make a double batch of the flavorful sauce to use as a dip for chips or to top roasted vegetables.
Gluten-free, Soy-free,  Serves 4

1 1/2 cup quinoa, well rinsed 
2 1/4 cup vegetable broth or water 
2 cups cooked or 1 (16-ounce) can 
black beans, rinsed and drained (I used cooked Black Eyed Peas)
3 scallions, minced 
2 tablespoons sliced pickled jalapeños
(14.5-ounce) can petite diced 
tomatoes, well drained 
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro 
2/3 cup raw cashews, soaked 3 hours or overnight

3/4 cup hot vegetable broth


3 tablespoons nutritional yeast

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Combine the quinoa and broth in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, add salt to taste, cover, and cook for 25 minutes. Stir in the beans and scallions, and cook until the quinoa is tender, about 5 minutes longer. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed. Stir in the jalapeños, tomatoes, and cilantro and remove from the heat. Set aside covered to keep warm.
While the quinoa is cooking, make the sauce. Drain the cashews and transfer to a high-speed blender or food processor. Add the hot broth and process until smooth and creamy. Add the remaining ingredients and process until very smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed.
To serve, divide the quinoa mixture among shallow bowls and top each serving with some of the sauce.
From Nut Butter Universe by Robin Robertson. ©2013 Robin Robertson. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press.

For more recipes, pictures and review posts.

Check out The Summer Berry Cheesecake, Romesco sauce, Nutty Buddy Burgers and more at Somer’s review. 
The Fantasy Brownies and Black Bottom Peanut Butter Freezer pie at Kristy’s review.
And more at Nut Butter Universe Blog Tour.

More cauliflower pictured below.

Mini Muffins.

Cranberry Almond-Walnut butter Muffins from Nut butter Universe

What attracts you to a cookbook initially and what makes the cookbook the most used, splattered, post-it-ed one? Leave me a comment

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  1. says

    My favorite cookbooks are ones that have short, healthy ingredients lists and mouthwatering photos! I also love cookbooks that are organized by season.

  2. says

    My favorite cookbooks have pictures of beautiful dishes and don’t require exotic or hard to get ingredients or cooking utensils. They are basic, yet yummy!

  3. says

    The photos are beautiful! Don’t you just love Za’atar! The Cauli looks amazing and the queso sounds so yummy. PICTURES, beautiful pictures and original layouts that read like a story first attract me to a cookbook. However these are used mainly for inspiration versus cooking out of. My most used and “go to” cookbook is the Veganmonican- its has so many basic recipes that I always reference it if cooking up something unknown- it is my vegan cookbook bible!

  4. Terri Cole says

    When I look at cookbooks I will oooh and ahhh over pretty pix. But when it comes to actually buying a cookbook, I want recipes that I will prepare more than once. There shouldn’t be too many obscure ingredients, the recipes HAVE to be vegan & healthy and simplicity is a bonus! As a fairly new vegan, I tend to gravitate towards the basics.

    gaia (at) cinci (dot) rr (dot) com

  5. says

    A healthy vegan cookbook to start with but pictures are really important. I want to know what the finished product should look like plus the pictures are inspiring.

  6. says

    The photography is what catches my eye. And the fact that it has lots and lots of pictures. I love being able to have some imagination as to what the dish should look like, it makes me feel better in the long run.

  7. says

    The gorgeous pictures I see of food made from recipes in a cookbook first catch my attention, but the ease of use is the thing that keeps me going back to a particular cookbook.


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