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Vegan Christmas: Over 70 Amazing Recipes for the Festive Season Hardcover – October 16, 2018
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Second, I plan on bringing THE star dish to holiday gatherings this year. As a vegan, I am tired of being relegated to eating a green salad and cranberry sauce during Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. Therefore, I decided that this year I am going to bring several of my own dishes, no matter what the host says. That way, family and friends will realize that vegan cooking can be beautiful and delicious. My goal is for them to come back for seconds!
First off, I made the parsnip vanilla soup. Delicately flavored and, hands down, my new favorite way to enjoy parsnips (a food that I would never have gone out of my way to eat, previously). This soup is so good, that I'm thinking of making ahead and freezing for guests at Christmas-time. They are staunchly not vegan, but it's that good, that I think, even they will enjoy it.
Next I made the cranberry sauce and nut roast filling. I love it even more than the soup. It's simply amazing. The flavors both meld beautifully together AND stand out. It's really remarkable. I've never liked homemade cranberry sauce, until now. (I was canned, cranberry jelly girl, before this recipe!) my roommate, who up until now hated cranberry sauce, was begging me for more. And he's very picky!
I have my nut roast tightly wrapped in the fridge and I am really looking forward to cooking it day of.
I'm also planning on making Welsh rarebit, to serve alongside the soup after a nice hike, and I'm making the stuffing and orange glazed carrots, to accompany the main event. Oh, and I'm making gravy day of, as well. I'm REALLY looking forward to trying these recipes.
This book surpasses my expectations. The recipes are next level. Some may take a little time and care but the results are well worth it. None have been difficult, just time consuming to chop ingredients. I could probably use better knives, so they may go faster once I upgrade.
True, this cookbook is not for the gluten free but if you can eat gluten the "meat" recipies are yummy. About 4 years ago I discovered that I could no longer buy the dry mixes to make seasoned seitan. After trying other recipes that didn't work well, I gave up. Now I'm back to success.
Top international reviews
My family is a mix of vegetarians, vegans and meat eaters so I have been looking for recipes which could keep everyone happy and I’m looking forward to perfecting the vegan turkey!
- Easy to follow instructions and plenty of tips for substitutions in case of allergies.
- The food photography is stunning throughout.
- Every part of Christmas Day is covered, from Christmas morning, party food, cheese boards and even mulled wine. I thought this was a nice touch and shows an understanding that people want to keep their Christmas food traditions alive.
- I found it a little grating that animal products being imitated are in speech marks (“cheese”, “turkey”, “bacon” etc) it seems silly, the book has Vegan in big letters on the front, I’d be surprised if anybody reading it needs reminders it’s not real turkey.
All in all this is a great book and I would recommend it to anybody!
- book is beautiful and bright. Plenty of photos and a lovely hard cover
- recipes are very innovative and seem relatively easy to make
- plenty of recipes and ideas that you might not think to add to a celebration
- I love every recipe to have a picture with it since I’m a very visual person. Even though a lot of the recipes have photos, not all of them have and some when they do are not next to the recipe.
- I wish there was one of the those strings to mark the page. Not a necessity or a deal breaker but it is a good thing to have.
- a lot of the recipes seem to be made with tempeh which if you live in a small town like I do, you won’t be able to find it. Therefore making a lot of the recipes unusable to me.
I have not tried any of the recipes yet. These are my first impressions. All in all I still give the book a 5 star for the time being since the observations made above a small remarks that does not change how amazing the recipes themselves look. Which is what a recipe book is for.
Gaz if you read these comments - Thank you, you're inspiring, my son (8) is over the moon he can show his friends that vegans can eat incredible meals with no friends in them!
There are loads of great looking dishes in there which I'd love to eat... But.. For me personally I felt a lot of the recipes had ingredients I didn't really know where I could get them from and most of them stated they'd take a LONG time to make.
I love cooking and I love to try new recipes all the time but I think the first recipe I turned to was how to make 20 'bacon' rashers and the ingredients list was miles long and it said it would take around 2 to 3 to make! (all I could think of was but it would take me 5 mins to eat them)!? Lol.
That being said though, it wasn't a complete wasted purchase as there are some things I will eventually make from it (there's just not a lot in comparison to the ones I'm not going to bother with).
Another plus is the book is nicely presented and very informative so you know what you're letting yourself in for with each recipe. (clear ingredient list, clear instructions, details of the equipment you'll need and how long it will take to prep and cook)
It's just not for me that's all so that's the reason for the 3 stars.
Let's look at some specifics:
1. The 'bacon': not as daunting as the recipe appears (as long as you have a blender), and quite fun in the execution what with all the violently whacking the seitan dough with a rolling pin, the result really isn't bacon. Or even 'bacon'. It's not just the weird texture, like some sort of alien polymer, it's also the flavour. Hurling three thousand different ingredients into the mix, no matter how brilliant the flavours are, doesn't produce anything particularly close to bacon. And it's a bugger to slice as well. It's not that it's actively horrible or anything - it's not. It's just that calling it bacon (or even 'bacon') sets up expectations which the end product massively fails to fulfil.
2. The coconut panna cotta. Now real panna cotta is a cream jelly, basically. This version is set with cornflour. Don't get me wrong, this is easy to make and tastes really nice, but texture-wise it is more like a solid custard than a jelly. Gaz doesn't seem to have a clue what panna cotta should be - and all he needed to do was use agar, surely?
There's also a problem with portion size. We made the tiramisu over Christmas. It was huge, It was supposed to serve eight, I think. That's eight hungry giants, I think. And the ratio of sponge to goop is wrong. Tastes good, but just not hitting the mark. The mushroom pate is also a nicely-flavoured affair, but oh boy does that recipe make a lot of something that doesn't keep for many days. I had to freeze half, and we have yet to see how it will cope with being frozen.
So my overall impression of the book is that it's... clumsy. Clumsy recipe development. Clumsy writing at times - I've come across some less-than-clear instructions. Weird mixing of units of measurement. Failure to define some units - what the hell, for example, is a 'tot' of rum? I had to look that up and got three different answers - so why not give the amount in tbsp?
I understand the motivation behind why this book exists, but I can't help thinking it's missed the mark. However, as a result of buying it, I now have a Kitchen Ninja, and that's making me very happy.
The recipes look great and I'm looking forward to experimenting. I bought the book after seeing the 'beef' centrepiece recipe on youtube and thought I'd like to try something different. I'm an 'old school' vegan and eat vegetables, pulses, nuts and seeds to maintain a healthy diet. I don't think I'll transition to wheat gluten for every meal,because I'm not sure it's very healthy. Once in while, however, like at Christmas (and when you have relatives who don't understand what you eat. Still!) it will be good to try it.
There are also other innovations like his vegan yorkshire puddings. Defo trying them. I haven't eaten one in years. Same with Tiramisu, creme brulee and panacotta, all of which there are recipes for in the book.
Despite the heavy lean towards wheat gluten, I'm liking the innovation and creativity in showing that it's not necessary to harm animals to feed a human being in 2018. It has just taken a bit of time to figure out how to reproduce some of the recipes created with animal products that we have become used to. Good work, Gaz.
my only negative isn't regarding the book, and instead the packaging, the book came with no packaging itself and only a cardboard envelope it was sent in, meaning it looks second hand, and the bottom fold is ripped, i'm a bit worried after some use it'll rip completely.
Another bug bear is a lot of recipes use seitan from other recipes in the book. This means if you can't get the seitan right (which I couldn't) you can't really make half the stuff in the book.
While Gaz is an undoubtedly talented and creative cook, a lot of these recipes are just far too difficult to make for the average person. It doesn't exactly help to counter the argument that a vegan diet is expensive and fiddly.