on 1 July 2012
This Vegan Holiday Cookbook is a beautiful hardcover book with nice quality paper and lots of beautiful photos of several of the recipes. It's the type of book I'd be proud to give to friends who love to cook, vegan or not. I seldom sit down and read every recipe in a new cookbook, but this one was one of those. Nava Atlas has set the bar high for holiday cookbooks with this exceptional collection of holiday recipes. As an added bonus, for those of you who are looking for gluten-free or soy-free dishes, there are many in this book plus some substitutions to make others gluten or soy-free. In fact, I would say that most of them are listed as gluten-free although I didn't count up the actual number.
The book is divided into sections:
Christmas and the Holiday Season
Jewish Holidays: Passover, Rosh Hashanah, and Hanukkah
Independence Day and Summer Entertaining
Brunches, Appetizers, and Potluck Dishes
Each of these chapters is divided into subsections. For example the Thanksgiving chapter has Soups and Breads, Salads, Main Dishes, Stuffings, Side Dishes and Sauces and Desserts. Within those sections she has several chatty pages about different subjects like "How to Bake Winter Squashes or Sugar Pumpkins" or "What about Faux Turkeys?" A few of the recipes are things like Sweet Potato Biscuits, Coconut Butternut Squash Soup, or Ravioli with Sweet Potatoes and Sage to name a few. I tried the Sauerkraut, Potato and Apple Stuffing (I have a thing for sauerkraut) and as strange as the combination sounds, it was delicious!
The Christmas and Holiday section is divided into sections like Sweets for Giving and Sharing, a Holiday Appetizer Buffet with recipes, A Pair of Christmas Dinner Menus, with recipes such as Wild Rice Pilaf-Stuffed Peppers (red, yellow and orange peppers - so festive!), Mixed Greens with Green Apples, Beets and Pistachios, or Spiced Pears and Fresh Figs in Red Wine. There were lots of desserts in the section too. There are many more recipes, of course, and each one sounds mouth watering.
The Jewish holiday sections contains both Ashkenazic (Eastern Eurupean) and Sephardic, drawing from the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines, recipes. She also explains the different foods that are considered kosher for Passover in each tradition and recipes for both. All of the standards like vegan versions of Potato Latkes (these actually stick together without eggs, I tried them!) and Matzo Ball Soup are included with lots of others like Passover Fruit Crisp, Chocolate Matzo Brittle and Moroccan Carrots. You don't have to be Jewish to love this food!
Each chapter has similar sections with lots of interesting sub sections and recipes. Cool Dishes for Summer Entertaining has yummy dishes that you'll want to enjoy all summer and the section on Brunches, Appetizers and Potluck Dishes is really a great resource when you can't think of what to make to bring along to a potluck. You don't have to be a vegan to love these dishes. I doubt that most people would even notice that the animal parts are missing. There are over 200 recipes in the book and they sound good enough that I will probably try them all, meaning this book will keep me busy for a good long time. I have some 40 vegan cookbooks and this is one of the best. Two thumbs up for this beautiful, mouthwatering cookbook.
on 30 October 2012
I live with a vegetarian, with a vegan son, and I love my veggies, but do eat meat. This book suits us all. It has the most fabulous photography, easy to follow recipes, no hard to find ingredients, just wonderful, healthy and great looking food.
The squash stews are my weekday staples during autumn/fall and the chocolate orange cake is simply divine.
on 1 April 2013
I was attracted to this book by an article in the New York Times about vegan receipes for Passover. Therefore I ordered it on Amazon UK, as I am vegetarian and use a lot of vegan receipes. However I was very disappointed when I finally received the book and plan to return it. Let me explain. There are two main problems. One is the author's use of brand name seasonings, with no possibilities to substitute this in her receipes. There are serious ethical problems with that - is she receiving subsidy for this. People wanting to make the receipes with the spoonfuls of seasoning mix would have to purchase these commodities - a captive audience. And too people like myself who do not live in the United States (nor in the UK, but rather continental Europe), have no way of finding these products -even if we wanted to. So what am I do to.
Second the author mentions things like 'pumpkin spice' and 'tomato sauce' without indicating what she means. What the dickens is 'pumpkin spice'? It's interesting because I have a couple of other American vegetarian cookbooks (including Moosewood)that indicate what they mean if they mention things like that (or have their own receipe for tomato sauce) and if they mention brand names do so as information. I have never had to worry about specific brand names in order to make receipes from these cookbooks.
I am a busy academic and have family and other civic responsibilities. But I do have a large collection of herbs and spices in my kitchen and it takes no time to organize them for cooking. So there is no need to just throw a handful of a brand name into a receipe. And too it is not possible to "tweek" a receipe - put a little of this or that in - if you are dependent on a particular seasoning mix.