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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book contains recipes that are great for me:

1) no eggs
2) no gluten
3) alternate sugars
4) healthy oils
5) no soy

The author uses mostly buckwheat flour, which contrary to its name, has no wheat and no gluten in it. It is a dark grain. It has taken some getting used to, and now it doesn't bother my tastebuds (I suppose the mind deletes what tastes funny). I made the buckwheat shortbread with coconut oil and they were very crispy and not terribly sweet. I am nearly 50 and just went allergy free due to an asthma diagnosis - here's what happened medically:

I dropped 10 lbs of edema (lost my cankles) and my skin cleared up and the post nasal drip also stopped - asthma doctor reduced the Advair to the lowest dose a whole month sooner, and is contemplating maintaining me on Singulair (which has him puzzled). The High Sensitivity C Reactive Protein test dropped from 12 to 7. Still some follow up on that number because it *should* be lower than 3 (my cholesterol and triglycerides are awesome, as usual).

My head cleared and I can think far more clearly and have far more energy. I am grateful that while making this change in my life now that there are so many tools like this book and all the wonderful grocers who carry the ingredients. This would have been so much harder even 10 years ago. I made this commitment and have seen so much - however, I am comforted by the work of those who have gone before me to make this easier for me now. Thank you to all who brought these tools to the rest of us!
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on February 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
I am an avid baker and cook, gluten free for 10 years, and vegan on-and-off for 15. I was so excited to see my library had this gf, vegan book with baking recipes, by the owner of a bakery nonetheless.

Good points:
I love that she avoids margarine. I use it only for pie crust, and finding icing recipes without it is so tough. And I appreciate the lower sugar content of the recipes (so many cookbooks say "low sugar" but mean "lots of maple syrup instead"). I also like the use of healthful flours. And she limits the use of gums. All of these are things I incorporate in to my own recipes.

Not so good: the three recipes I've tried have not worked out.

1. vanilla roll out cookies' dough was so goopy, it couldn't even suffice for drop cookies. I needed to add *cups* more flour.

2. Apple tart was okay, good for serving to my kids, but not high-quality enough for company. The crust was a little too healthful-tasting and crumbly (and rock-solid when cold).

3. Seedy baguette was certainly dense as promised, but in no way chewy. I liked the flavor, but even fresh out of the oven it was crumbly. Perhaps some other binder (gums, flax meal, tapioca) would have helped while not greatly destroying the nutritional value.

I'd still be willing to try her bakery's cookbook, since I think she has innovative ideas, and, well, hopefully her bakery's goods were tasty, but I'd pass on buying this one.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
I've had this book for a little over a year now and feel like I've cooked from it enough to give it a review. Overall, I'm really impressed with the book and the recipes. I am nowhere near a professional cook, but I do enjoy trying new things and finding vegan and gluten-free options can be a challenge. This is the book that I go to when I want to make something a little more creative than the usual offerings. Many other reviewers said the recipes were simple... personally I disagree. It's not that they are extremely difficult, but they do take a little more effort. I also find that I have to "go with my gut" when dealing with the batters for the baked products (this is why I give it 4 stars...). If it looks dry, it probably is. If it looks too wet, it probably is. Most items I've made have been exceptionally crumbly (though the flavor is usually good), so I've started just adding xanthan gum to counteract (sorry, Jennifer!). I love the healthy focus, love the alternative flours and limited sweeteners, love the variety. Favorite recipes include: Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes, Coconut Pecan Chocolate Cookie Bars, Portabello and Shiitake Mushroom Stew (Incredible!), and Banana Split Cake. Coconut Dream Cake was good but very dry... will reduce cooking time next go round. Quinoa Cornmeal Biscuits were so salty I couldn't eat them though, and I thought the Acorn Squash with Porcini Mushrooms had almost no flavor.

In spite of the occasional recipe I didn't like, I would definitely recommend this book. It's beautiful and fun to use, and the recipes are different from any other books I own. I have all 3 of her books and recommend them all!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
The winter holidays are gaining on us quickly and living on the beautiful sunny and warm Gulf Coast of Florida, I can be sure to have lots of family from the frigid North coming to visit. Being a long-time vegan who is also afflicted with Celiac Disease, I needed exciting and delicious gluten-free fare for not only myself but to serve and impress my non-vegetarian winter visitors.

I purchased Jennifer Katzinger's delightful GLUTEN-FREE AND VEGAN HOLIDAYS last year and now that I have tried so many of the extraordinary recipes and can proclaim without hesitation that every recipe was a vibrant success, I am thrilled to give this wonderful, wonderful gluten-free vegan cookbook my enthusiastic 5 star rating. If I could I would give it 10 stars!

Excellent vegan cookbooks abound and I have been collecting them for over four decades but when I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease about ten years ago, I began a search for the excellent gluten-free vegan cookbooks and that's been disappointing. Gluten-free vegan books were simply not out there until recent years and I hadn't come across any that appealed to me until now.

I think every kitchen, gluten-free vegan or not, would benefit from Jennifer GLUTEN-FREE VEGAN HOLIDAYS on their cookbook shelf! With this cookbook every day can be a culinary holiday!

I have been using this cookbook for the past year and with Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and the Christmas holidays rapidly approaching I wanted to be sure and bring this wonderful book to the attention of all you gluten-intolerant who will be entertaining over the holidays. I can assure you that every recipe will be a great success and you will impress not only the gluten-free but traditional vegans AND non-vegetarians alike!

I have been a vegetarian since the 70s, a vegan since the 90s, and a gluten-free vegan for the past ten years or so. I've also worked in professional food service for many, many of those years so the vegetarian kitchen is not new to me, nor is it a challenge, but I think this book is as wonderful for the inexperienced cook as it is for the accomplished one.

The recipes are written clearly and precisely so that the inexperienced will not be daunted by any of them. The full-color photos are gorgeous and Jennifer also provides a lot of helpful and interesting information. Finally, the book is well organized and cross reference is easy. The Index is very good and comprehensive.

So, my cooking friends, don't wait any longer! Order this book now so you have it in time for the holidays! Everybody you cook for or entertain - gluten-free vegan or not - will love you for any of these creative and satisfying recipes. And I'm sure it will become one of your all-time favorite cookbooks for every occasion year-round! It is mine.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2013
Format: Paperback
I have made 10 recipes from this book. Some have become family favorites and only 2 didn't quite turn out. Here are the recipes we've tried that worked really well: brussels sprouts with sauteed shallots and slivered almods (a favorite), stuffed tomatoes with basil and forbidden rice (delicious), rosemary roasted carrots and new (red) potatoes, mint and basil citrous salad (refreshing), pistachio joys, molasses spice cake, the blackberry "buttercream" frosting (absolutely delicious). The stuffed artichokes amore recipe needs more details as far as preparation. It was still very tasty but the artichokes did not cook all the way even after 3 hours of baking. My take on it is that there is information missing from how to prepare the artichokes. The other recipe that just didn't turn out right was the coconut pecan chocolate chunk cookie bar. It turned out way too dry (very difficult to swallow on its own), had a funny taste (probably from the tahini) and texture. With a history of 80% of recipes turning out delicious and being quite easy to prepare, I think this book is a great buy and a must have if you are on a gluten free diet (I'm not vegan). The other plus is that the vast majority of the recipes in this book use the cheaper and/or easier to find ingredients: brown rice flour, shredded coconut, produce that is readily available at any grocery store, etc. Great recipe book!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on October 5, 2011
Format: Paperback
As a vegan who has recently learned I am also Celiac, my mind shifted ahead to the holidays and how much more difficult this would be this year. I was really excited to find this book! I love that the recipes use seasonal ingredients for each holiday and they are easy to find at the local health food store. There is a great section on holiday baking and the pictures are fantastic! I enjoy that these recipes are simple and most don't require a lot of time or massive amounts of prep. There are a lot of recipes in here that I will start to incorporate to my everyday meals! My favorites so far have been the Pumpkin Stew and the Polenta cookies! I am very thankful to have found this book and I highly recommend it!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
So far I have made three things from this cookbook: twice baked sweet potatoes - very good, made them for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. For Thanksgiving, I also made the "late winter apple tart". The crust only contained almond meal, teff flour and coconut oil. Hmmm, what is going to hold it together? No xanthan gum or binder of any king to replace the gluten? But I kept an open mind and tried it. Well, my gut instinct was right as the joke at Thankgiving was "would you like a piece of my sand tart?" Aside from being flavorless, the crust disintegrated into powder. The filling only consists of apples and coconut milk... I am not a fan of sugar so was hoping this would taste good, but again, no flavor. So I spent and hour and a half making baked apples, as the top was the only edible part of the tart. I thought... perhaps I overmixed the dough? So for Christmas, I decided to make the Holiday White Bean Spinach Tart. Again similar ingredients for the dough, but I was very careful not to overmix it, and used individual tart pans. And yet again, we had sand tarts for Christmas! The filling however was delicious. So in conclusion, I will probably try more recipes from this book that do not involve crusts or baking of any kind! Hate to think what would happen if I tried to make (sand?) cookies.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
The author's first cookbook was wonderful, and this one is equally amazing! I have been longing for a vegan recipe book that pairs dishes for special occasions! Our family made the entire Thanksgiving menu and (now don't be shocked) we made a turkey on the side for those meat lovers at our table. It was a hit! We are planning to make the Christmas menu as well, and I know we won't be disappointed as the track record is of star quality = D !
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 29, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Simple and delicious recipes. I have found one error. The vanilla "roll out" cookies. I'm sorry. I've already forgotten what they are actually called. I made them yesterday. There is a type-o. Chia seeds are your egg replacer. One tablespoon chia seeds, to three tablespoons water. 4 for a large egg. It should be 1/2 a cup water. **NOT 1 1/2 cup.** That's one cup too much water. If you are an old hat at vegan baking, resist the urge to grind the seeds up. The little dots are lovely in your cookies. Also, I didn't see any point to mixing the chia seeds in batches with the flour. I mixed them directly in with the oil, sugar and vanilla, by hand. Then added the flour in batches. The recipe calls for a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. So you don't chew up the seeds. I just blended it by hand. It only took seconds. Now all I need are seasonal Wilton cutters. They are delicious! Very much like an all butter shortbread, er? With poppy seeds? The recipe said to roll them out to 1/4 inch. But mine came out HUGE! They rose significantly. Chickpea flour really makes these cookies GRAND!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 25, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This cookbook By Jen Katzinger is pure magic, as a kitchen guide and as a beautiful gift. I've enjoyed it and learned from it, and am sending it to many of my friends this holiday. I'm not vegan, and most of my friends aren't, but it won't stop me from gifting them with this -- it's full of inspiration, useful recipes and food knowledge, beautiful imagery, and a bit of the author's loving soul. I'm grateful for this awesome little book.
Thank you Jen Katzinger!
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