I do not like peanut butter and jelly. Nope, never have, never will. It’s probably because I don’t have a sweet tooth. I do, however, love peanut butter and cream cheese. When I was in grade school, every Friday the cafeteria would be closed for the upcoming Shabbos and each classroom would get a tray of halved bread slices covered with egg salad, cream cheese, peanut butter, jelly and butter. We were allowed two halves and most of the children chose peanut butter and jelly or two egg salads. I could never choose between peanut butter or cream cheese so I took one of each and ended up loving the combination when they are put together.
Many years later, as an adult, I still love the combination of peanut butter and vegan cream cheese. I am very picky about my peanut butter. The label has to have one ingredient: peanuts. No salt. No sugar. Just peanuts. If there is a hint of salt or sugar, I don’t like it and won’t eat it. Yes, I have issues about my nut butters which is why I have to let everyone know when there is a brand of nut butters not to be missed like Once Again Nut Butters.
Once Again was founded in 1976 by Jeremy Thaler and Constance Potter. They are an employee-owned workplace in a small rural community in Nunda, NY. Once Again provides products of superior quality and integrity to customers who care about what they put into their bodies. They are also dedicated to supporting organic and sustainable farming practices.
Rocky the Raccoon, the little guy on their logo, is their company mascot. Rocky was one of four baby raccoons that were orphaned and then adopted by the Once Again family and grew up on the factory grounds. They liked hanging out in the office and so Once Again honored them with the logo. The raccoons were later released into the forest but the raccoon became a symbol of wholesome nature and the company’s responsibility to the earth and their products.
Once Again offers a variety of gourmet nut butters. They are all vegan, gluten-free, kosher and organic. They make peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, sunflower butter and sesame tahini.
When I opened the jar of peanut butter, I took a spoon and tasted it and my first words were, “It tastes pure.” It tasted like peanuts with their natural sweetness and nothing added. As much as I wanted to just eat the peanut butter – and the cashew butter and the almond butter – straight out of the jar, I knew I had to develop some recipes that would highlight the tastes of these incredible nut butters.
I started with the peanut butter. I’ve already made some savory dishes with peanut butter like my Cold Noodles in Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce, Kung Pao Tofu, and my Chicken-Free Satay with Peanut Dipping Sauce. After thinking about what to make, I opted to make a tofu dish with a spicy peanut sauce. I kept it very simple. The tofu was pan-fried and the sauce was a combo of green chiles, garlic, ginger, peanut butter, tomatoes and one of my 4 favorite products ever, So Delicious Culinary Coconut Milk.
The tofu was covered in the peanut sauce and served with rice. It was spicy and creamy. Delicious. I made more sauce than I needed for one block of tofu so I have leftovers for another day. It will be perfect to toss some fresh-cooked pasta with.
I also wanted to make some cookies with the nut butters but I’m not a big cookie fan. Short on gluten-free flour, I decided to make flourless cookies. I made two batches: one with almond butter and one with cashew butter.
Turns out they are better than cookies with flour and so fast and easy to make. I used The Vegg Baking Mix as my egg replacer, the nut butters, baking soda, sugar and chocolate chips. The first batch has the cashew butter which is amazing. It’s rich, creamy and tastes like high-quality cashews. I made these as drop cookies so they looked rather rustic.
The second batch was made with milder almond butter. These I measured and rolled into nice balls so the cookies are more uniformly shaped.
Both cookies tasted so good. Much better than cookies made with flour. I froze them and ate them straight from the freezer so they were a bit firmer and didn’t melt in my mouth quite as fast.
Whenever I taste a nut butter that is as amazing as Once Again is, I wonder how I ever ate any of those more commonly known name brands that don’t even taste like they are made from real nuts. Once Again takes great care and pride in their nut butters and you can taste it in every spoonful. I can’t wait to make more recipes, sweet and savory, with these nut butters.
You can buy Once Again Nut Butters in stores and online. You can also order them in cases of 6 or 12 jars or in 9 lb. tubs directly from their web site.
Thank you, Once Again Nut Butters, for the amazing and delicious nut butters!
Tofu in Spicy Peanut Sauce
1 block extra-firm tofu, pressed and drained
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
½ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
2 Tbs. vegetable oil, divided
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
4 oz. can green chiles or 1 fresh green chile, seeded and minced
2 carrots, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch fresh ginger, minced
2 cups vegetable broth
½ cup Once Again Creamy Peanut Butter
1 Tbs. tomato paste
1-14 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 cup coconut milk
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbs. fresh chopped parsley or cilantro for garnish
Cut the tofu in half and slice each half into 4 pieces for a total of 8 tofu slices. Mix the garlic powder, onion powder, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper together and season the tofu slices with the blend. Heat 1 Tbs. vegetable oil in a deep saute pan over medium heat. Cook the tofu slices until browned on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the tofu to a plate and set aside.
In the same pan, heat the remaining oil and saute the onion until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the bell pepper and the chiles and cook another 2 minutes. Add the carrots, ginger and garlic and cook for 4 minutes or until the carrots begin to soften. Add in the broth and simmer until it reduces by half. Stir in the peanut butter and tomato paste. Mix so that the veggies are coated in both. Add the diced tomatoes, thyme and coconut milk. Stir everything and let cook for 3 minutes. If the sauce is too thick, add more coconut milk or broth. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed. Return the tofu slices to the pan and coat with the sauce. When the tofu has heated back through, turn off the heat.
Spoon brown rice on the plates and top with tofu slices. Add more sauce as desired. Garnish with parsley or cilantro. Serve hot.
Flourless Nut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 tsp. egg replacer +1/4 cup warm water
½ cup sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup Once Again Cashew Butter or Almond Butter
1 cup vegan chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a mug, mix 1 tsp. egg replacer with ¼ cup warm water. In a bowl, combine the egg replacer with the sugar and whisk until smooth. Add in the baking soda and mix. Stir in the cashew butter. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop out cookie dough and make little balls on the baking sheet spaced about 2 inches apart. Flatten the tops of each dough ball a bit with the back of a wet spoon. Bake for 6 minutes, rotate the baking sheets and bake for another 6 minutes. The cookies should feel soft. They will harden as they cool. Let cool for a couple of minutes on the baking sheets and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
The “V” Word: Say it. Eat it. Live it.
- 1 block extra-firm tofu, pressed and drained
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
- 2 Tbs. vegetable oil, divided
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 4 oz. can green chiles or 1 fresh green chile, seeded and minced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-inch fresh ginger, minced
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 Tbs. tomato paste
- 1-14 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 cup coconut milk
- Kosher salt and pepper to taste
- 2 Tbs. fresh chopped parsley or cilantro for garnish
- Cut the tofu in half and slice each half into 4 pieces for a total of 8 tofu slices.
- Mix the garlic powder, onion powder, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper together and season the tofu slices with the blend.
- Heat 1 Tbs. vegetable oil in a deep saute pan over medium heat.
- Cook the tofu slices until browned on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the tofu to a plate and set aside.
- In the same pan, heat the remaining oil and saute the onion until softened, about 3 minutes.
- Add the bell pepper and the chiles and cook another 2 minutes.
- Add the carrots, ginger and garlic and cook for 4 minutes or until the carrots begin to soften.
- Add in the broth and simmer until it reduces by half.
- Stir in the peanut butter and tomato paste. Mix so that the veggies are coated in both.
- Add the diced tomatoes, thyme and coconut milk.
- Stir everything and let cook for 3 minutes. If the sauce is too thick, add more coconut milk or broth. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.
- Return the tofu slices to the pan and coat with the sauce. When the tofu has heated back through, turn off the heat.
- Spoon brown rice on the plates and top with tofu slices.
- Add more sauce as desired. Garnish with parsley or cilantro. Serve hot.
Second dime in a row that i’m trying your recipes….oh my! I can tell the spicy peanut sauce will soon become a staple of mine! It was DELICIOUS!
Keep em’ recipes coming :p
Thank you Caro! So glad you liked it! xoxo
I don’t have access to the vegg. Would I use the same measurements if using ener g egg replacer & water in the cookies?
If I recall correctly, Ener-G is 1 tsp. per 3 Tbs. water which is close. 1/4 cup is 4 Tbs.