Friday, 30 December 2011

Review - Vegan Holiday Kitchen, Nava Atlas

In order to do this book justice, I waited until I had holidays to cook for (and until my stove was fixed!) so I could share the recipes and get feedback from friends and family. I have to say that no-one has had anything negative to say about any of the recipes I tried, so that there is a positive in itself!

Before I run through the recipes I made, I'd like to talk about the book itself. Its a lovely hard-cover book, and there are plenty of yummy looking photos (which is not a huge consideration for me in choosing a book, but I know some folks love lots of photos) taken by Susan Voisin of Fat Free Vegan fame. The recipes are organised by holiday, and I like the information in the Jewish Holiday chapters as, not being Jewish, I didn't know a great deal about a lot of these recipes.

I also like the summer- and brunch- entertaining sections, as though not specifically holidays, they are relevant to "festive" type of events.

I also liked that there aren't "menus" as such for each holiday - just a range of recipes which would suit, and these allow you to mix and match. (There are a number of great books which are more specifically "menu-d" for each holiday, - I can think of three off the top of my head - and I like these too but it is nice to have options.)

The recipes I tried and my notes:

Banana Chocolate Chip Mini Loaves, page 64.

I subbed hempseeds for the walnuts, but otherwise as written. Lovely, moist and banana-y. I've actually made this twice and the ones I was to give as gifts were eaten before they got that far!

Citrus Roast Tofu, page 183.

Though I didn't make the carrot / almond topping. Lovely citrus flavors bursting from tender, yet a little chewy tofu.

Agave and Mustard Brussels Sprouts, page 43.

I love Brussels, and this recipe was a lovely way to eat them! Not too mustard-y or too sweet.

Massaged Kale Salad, page 17.

As I said the other day my daughter can make this one all by herself! I have used the recipe as a starting point and have been creating my own variations. Tomato and Olive is nice!

Ginger Cookies, page 71.

We made these for Santa, but with no raisins, as apparently Santa doesn't like raisins in his cookies! The ginger is more apparent after they have had a day in the tin, and I'd maybe increase just a touch. The girls thought these were "healthy tasting", but that didn't stop them (and Santa) from enjoying.

Apple and Broccoli Coleslaw, page 276.

Super easy. Overall taste depends somewhat on the vegan mayo you use, but a nice raw vege combo with bursts of sweetness from the crisp apple. We took this to Christmas dinner at the in-laws and was liked by all who tried it.

Pear, Apple, and Cranberry Crumble, page 53.

Not like how I make crumble but very nice. Spiced, and sour-sweet, this was lovely with some vegan vanilla ice-cream.

and I have bookmarked a couple more to try (ones that M wants to "help" me make so she can try!)....

Many of the recipes are simple, straightforward, and non-threatening, so this book makes a good starting point for vegans, new and established, for the holidays and for any time.

Would I recommend the book? For sure.


As a note -

Yes I did receive a free copy of the book for review. If I hadn't liked it I wouldn't have reviewed it as I did.

Also, I have a couple of other books to review on the way to me (and there will be giveaways) so watch out for that in January.

If anyone out there has a cookbook being published and they'd like to send me a review copy - just email me at the address in the side bar!!

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