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Book Review: Vegan Holiday Kitchen by Nava Atlas

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Entertaining around the holidays can be really stressful. Most of the preparation of the meals falls to me and I am always worried about what my guests will think about the meal and snacks I’ve prepared. One of the things that I worry about are food allergies and food preferences. I’d hate to find out that one of my guests has dietary preferences I wasn’t aware of.

Vegan Holiday Kitchen is a cookbook that contains more than two hundred delicious, festive recipes for special occasions. As you’d guess from the title, the recipes in the cookbook are vegan. More than that, each recipe has a notation to let you know whether or not the recipe is also gluten-free, soy-free, or nut-free. This is a huge help for those of us that are planning holiday meals for people with allergies and food sensitivities whether or not they are vegan.

The recipes in Vegan Holiday Kitchen are organized by holiday starting with Thanksgiving. Each chapter focuses on a different holiday. The recipes are then broken down into different categories (Soups & Breads, Salads, Main Dishes, Stuffings, Side dishes & Sauces, and Desserts). Each recipe contains a brief description of what it is, allergy warnings, detailed ingredients list and easy to follow instructions.

I was very impressed with the variety of recipes included. Many vegan cookbooks I’ve come across use ingredients that your non-vegan kitchen wouldn’t normally have in it like a variety of tofu products or faux meat products. While there are some recipes in the cookbook that use soy and tofu, many of the recipes can be created products that I normally have in my kitchen already. Because the cookbook is allergy friendly, there are several substitutions included when possible. As an example, the Pear, Apple, and Cranberry Crumble suggests a frozen dessert for topping which can either contain soy or coconut depending on your allergies.

While not every recipe contains a photograph, the photographs that are included are really gorgeous. There are also a variety of different help boxes throughout with advice on things like making healthier Easter baskets, choosing chocolate, slow cookers and setting a Passover table/Seder plate. The beginning of each chapter also gives you more information about the holiday itself and some of the customs.

I’m so glad I have this cookbook as a resource. It’s going to make cooking for my daughter who is gluten intolerant so much easier. There are a ton of recipes that are gluten free and they look amazing. We tried the Chocolate Mint Bars (which are not gluten free) and they were delicious!

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About Ellen Christian

Ellen is a busy mom of two teenagers who left the corporate world in 2008 to focus on a more eco-friendly life. She lives in rural Vermont where she juggles family, two blogs and a career in social media. You can find her at http://www.confessionsofanover-workedmom.com/ and http://the-socialites-closet.blogspot.com/.