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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good for everyday meals as well as holidays
I was a recipe tester for this book so I had an early chance to see what is in it.

As the description says, it offers recipes for the winter holidays. Some of the recipes are for time-consuming special dishes that will make a holiday table more festive. But most of them are for dishes that are easy enough to enhance the daily table as well as the holiday...
Published 24 months ago by J. Mitchell

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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lots of Repeated Flavors, Not Enough Pictures
I thought that Vegan for the Holidays would be the perfect book with Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up, but I wasn't really impressed. With recipes for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza and New Years, there are creative menus for each of the winter holidays. There aren't lots of pictures, however, so it is really hard to visualize what they should look like...
Published 19 months ago by shelfishness


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lots of Repeated Flavors, Not Enough Pictures, November 22, 2012
This review is from: Vegan for the Holidays: Celebration Feasts for Thanksgiving Through New Year's Day (Paperback)
I thought that Vegan for the Holidays would be the perfect book with Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up, but I wasn't really impressed. With recipes for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza and New Years, there are creative menus for each of the winter holidays. There aren't lots of pictures, however, so it is really hard to visualize what they should look like (especially when they have names like Jolly Green Christmas Tree, Santa's Swanky Salad, Shiitake Tornadoes in Cashew-Cream Sauce and Mushroom-Barley Cholent).

The book definitely has some creative recipes, such as the Harvest Succotash, Tomato Pine-Nut Pie with Sweet Potato and Nut Crust and the Christmas Carrot Wreath. It does, however, have lots of repeated flavors. For example there are multiple recipes featuring Brussels sprouts, cranberries, sweet potatoes, and beets. While these are delicious, they are used in almost each of the holiday menus, so there isn't really a great deal of diversity between Thanksgiving and Christmas, for example.

Any time a new vegan cookbook comes out, I enjoy testing out a few recipes, and there are definite winners here (the Garlicky Roasted Caulflower, Pear and Walnut Compote with Choc-Wafers, and Jamaican Rice and Peas are all really good). Also, as a bonus, there are a number of recipes that are soy-free (always a plus). I just didn't think that this was as original holiday cookbook as I had hoped it would be.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good for everyday meals as well as holidays, July 18, 2012
By 
This review is from: Vegan for the Holidays: Celebration Feasts for Thanksgiving Through New Year's Day (Paperback)
I was a recipe tester for this book so I had an early chance to see what is in it.

As the description says, it offers recipes for the winter holidays. Some of the recipes are for time-consuming special dishes that will make a holiday table more festive. But most of them are for dishes that are easy enough to enhance the daily table as well as the holiday table.

The recipes offered for the New Year's Soup and Chili Bash would also make a perfect Super Bowl party--two kinds of chili, four kinds of soup, and lots of things to munch on while watching a game.

I am especially fond of soups and hearty stews, and there are plenty of each in this book. The Butternut, Beet and Apple Soup is gorgeous and delicious. The Curried Kabocha Soup is another favorite, as are the Sweet and Sour Cabbage Borscht, the Curried Pumpkin-Peanut Soup, the Mulligatawny Vegetable Soup. The Carrot and Sweet Potato Tzimmes could be a main course by itself, as could the Mushroom-Barley Cholent.

This is a book with a care for healthful eating. Zel often calls for brown rice or whole wheat flour. I usually replace white rice or white flour with those anyway, so it is nice to have the recipe optimized for those ingredients.

The recipes are largely low fat. Many have no added fat at all, and others have only a small amount. There are several fat-free salad dressings and one salad dressing with fat only from the ingredient tahini. Most of the desserts have added oil or margarine, but it is hard to come up with low fat desserts beyond a fruit salad.

The book is very attractive. Not every recipe has a photo, but there are eight pages of color photos throughout the book with several dishes shown on each page.

The layout is nice. Recipes are all on one page or on two facing pages, so you do not have to turn a page with a sticky hand to read the next step in the instructions. Also, the ingredient lists are in bold face, which makes them easier to read. I own a few cookbooks where I have trouble telling the 1/4 from the 1/3 from the 1/2.

A few recipes call for tofu or seitan, but most are just real food, vegetables and beans and grains, thoughtfully prepared and bursting with flavor. Zel suggests colorful garnishes to make dishes appeal to the eyes as well as the taste buds.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You don't have to be vegan to love these recipes!, August 14, 2012
By 
J. Mathews (California, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Vegan for the Holidays: Celebration Feasts for Thanksgiving Through New Year's Day (Paperback)
First of all, you don't have to be vegan to love Vegan for the Holidays by Zel Allen. I'm not a vegan or a vegetarian, and I have enjoyed many of these tasty dishes. In this recipe book, you will find vegan versions of almost every holiday comfort food - from pumpkin pie to posole and from pistachio cookies to pomegranate punch. Zel explains each recipe in an easy-to-understand format. I'm not the most experienced cook, but I made the Holiday-Ready Apple Crisp for a dinner party and everyone went back for seconds! Those of you who are fans of Zel's vegan blog, Vegetarians in Paradise, will definitely want a copy of this beautiful cookbook.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If everyday Vegan tasted like Zel's cooking, no one would ever miss meat, July 30, 2012
This review is from: Vegan for the Holidays: Celebration Feasts for Thanksgiving Through New Year's Day (Paperback)
Vegan for the Holidays, like Zel Allen's first book, The Gourmet Nut, appears to be a collection of down-to-earth recipes by somebody's Vegan mother. User-friendly, easy to comprehend and with several composite photos of beautifully styled food, Vegan for the Holidays is so much more than just some wife and mother's cookbook. It contains glorious, well-researched recipes that eliminate the need to satisfy through meat.

Separated into popular holiday chapters, every winter holiday meal is covered. For example, you don't have to be Jewish to cook her Hanukah recipes. And it doesn't have to be Hanukah. Traditional favorites such as cholent (a sabbath standby for Orthodox Jews) and Latkes (potato pancakes), re-imagined with beets and tofu, whets one's veggie taste buds.

In Vegan for the Holidays there is holiday comfort food for celebrants of Christmas, Kwanzaa and more. Zel's recipes are apt to make you forget that Grandma was your favorite cook.

If you desire to try cooking Vegan, this book is a great place to begin your culinary journey!

Chef Scott Sachs
Teacher, Healthy Cooking
Kaiser Hospitals
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Too good to wait for the holidays, July 28, 2012
By 
This review is from: Vegan for the Holidays: Celebration Feasts for Thanksgiving Through New Year's Day (Paperback)
Vegan for the Holidays has over 110 recipes that are much too good to wait for the holidays to enjoy. Following her highly successful book The Nut Gourmet, chef Zel Allen has given us a collection of delicious dishes that answer the question "What do I serve for any holiday that's both vegan and captures the holiday spirit?"

The five holidays featured are Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Years. But most of the recipes are ones you'll want to savor all year round.

The recipes are easy to follow for both those who are just beginning to prepare vegan meals and the experienced cook who is looking for new and exciting dishes. 150 pages of recipes, a short introduction, beautifully photographed color pictures of many of the dishes, and a comprehensive index make this book an essential part of any recipe collection.

Dr. Neal Pinckney, Author: The Healthy Heart Handbook
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delicious and healthy without meat and dairy for the holidays or any day., December 14, 2012
This review is from: Vegan for the Holidays: Celebration Feasts for Thanksgiving Through New Year's Day (Paperback)
An easy-to-read and follow cook book with recipes specifically created for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza and New Year’s Eve. All for eating without meat and dairy.

Thoughts: This reasonably sized paperback book contains sections with unusual and delicious sounding concoctions for each of the holidays mentioned above. It has starters, soups, main dishes, side dishes, desserts, and drinks. With names like Lemony Carrot Soup, Autumn Vegetable Roast, Mashed Potatoes with Onion-Chardonnay Gravy, Holiday-Ready Apple Crisp, and Pumpkin-Apple Nog; these are a small selection of the recipes for Thanksgiving alone. With a number of beautiful colored photographs of many of the recipes in its 153 pages you can see examples of how to serve some of the dishes in the book. I also like that the index includes each of the recipe names and many of the major ingredients for easy access in creating dishes with specific foods.

We especially enjoyed a delicious recipe that will more than suffice in exchange for the obligatory turkey (a center piece for a lot of holiday meals – in the US at least) called Thanksgiving Philo Pie. The dish is large and dense, using nuts, mushrooms, and traditional poultry spices to give the dish protein, a meat like flavor, and the familiar taste that most of us crave when thinking about the holidays. I will have to say that the pie is gorgeous, and tasty. And it will have those who try it believe that there can be an alternative to eating meat and dairy.

So, what exactly is a Vegan? Often the word vegan is confused with vegetarian. But it’s different. Being a vegan means that you do not eat meat, eggs or any dairy products. Some vegans do not wear or use any animal products (wool and silk included), and may even forsake honey.

Eating a diet that is vegan is lower in fat, better for the environment, and also kinder to our fellow animals. With that being said, it also takes a large commitment including changing your entire way of eating and cooking. This is a process -especially if you have been eating and cooking as an omnivore for years. But one does not necessarily need to go “the whole hog”. You can start by considering recipes that are vegan and bringing them into your diet and your body just may thank you. And with this book especially, it can help find alternatives to traditional recipes for the holiday. It will surely help to convert even staunch meat consumers into thinking and eating differently at your dinner table. Some may not even realize that there is a difference. It’s a 4 star cook book in my opinion.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Layers of Flavor, October 30, 2012
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This review is from: Vegan for the Holidays: Celebration Feasts for Thanksgiving Through New Year's Day (Paperback)
One of the many delicious aspects to the recipes in Vegan for the Holidays are the layers of flavor. I have made all of the chili's and each burst with layers of flavor with every bite. I have made the recipes for Vegans and non-Vegans and each response is always positive. Even though the book is geared for the Holidays I use the recipes in everyday cooking. One of my favorite treats is Santa's Panforte. Everyone I sent the Panforte to raved about it coast to coast. I look forward each time I try a new recipe in the book - my family is always delighted with the result!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Zel Allen has done it again ..., September 6, 2012
By 
EarlyGirl "EarlyGirl" (Marblehead, MA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Vegan for the Holidays: Celebration Feasts for Thanksgiving Through New Year's Day (Paperback)
Zel Allen has once again provided us with a super user-friendly (recipes all on one page each), accessible (no teeny, squinty print), fabulous (with no exceptions) book full of recipes to be loved by both fussy eater and gourmet alike. (I felt like this when Zel brought out The Nut Gourmet a few years ago.) Never mind that its title suggests that it's a holiday collection; these dishes are good for any day of the year. I am loving the book especially for its soups and salads, and for its emphasis on whole, healthy foods. Zel has a fine hand and a sense of elegance and tradition here -- and I will never tell my meat-eating buddies that what they're getting at my house comes from a VEGAN kitchen! (We're not strictly vegan ourselves, but this book is already every bit as dog-eared as my 1950 Rombauer and Becker, my Mark Bittman, and my Deborah Madison.) I'm making the Old World Vegetable Goulash tonight .... true comfort food, and there'll be a crowd .... Thank you, Zel (and Reuben, your beloved muse)!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vegan for the Holidays, July 15, 2012
This review is from: Vegan for the Holidays: Celebration Feasts for Thanksgiving Through New Year's Day (Paperback)
I got this book because it is unique in that it focuses on specific holidays. I selected one recipe from each of the five holidays to check it out and they were all great. What a wonderful idea. I look forward to trying out more and then selecting my favorites to share on the holidays and maybe even not on the holidays. Great buy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Diverse Collection of Vegan Recipes for the Holdays--and Every Day, September 14, 2012
This review is from: Vegan for the Holidays: Celebration Feasts for Thanksgiving Through New Year's Day (Paperback)
Vegan for the Holidays provides dozens of delightful recipes for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and the New Year. Zel Allen has covered all the bases here; I've never seen another vegan holiday book that includes such a diverse mix of recipes.

From vegan patés and seasonal soups to phyllo pie and hearty roasted vegetables, the Thanksgiving section will dazzle even the staunchest of omnivores. Christmas recipes include a colorful spinach, beet and pomegranate salad; a not-so-traditional main dish yule log made from chickpeas; and homemade panforte that one of Zel's testers described as "amazing" and "TOPS!" A quick glance through the Hanukkah section reveals traditional dishes such as tzimmes, cholent and potato latkes. For Kwanzaa, you get a taste of African-American cuisine whether you choose to make the groundnut stew or go for some spice with the okra creole. New Year's is presented as a "soup and chili bash" starting with appetizers, moving on to warming main dishes and finishing up with festive drinks and desserts.

Eight high-gloss pages of pictures manage to cram in gorgeous photos of over two dozen recipes, most of them arranged in attractive layouts that will put you in the mood for a holiday feast. Who can resist garlicky roasted cauliflower or tempeh-bacon-stuffed mushrooms? I know I feel inspired to cook up an entire holiday spread every time I flip through these pages!

Add this book to your arsenal before the holidays, use it for the holidays and show your whole family what a delicious vegan celebration tastes like! Then use it the rest of the year, because who says hot spiced cranberry punch has to be limited to the winter?
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Vegan for the Holidays: Celebration Feasts for Thanksgiving Through New Year's Day
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