Vegetarians in Paradise

Vegan for the Holidays Cookbook


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Yes, the Thanksgiving through New Years season is just ahead, with warm, happy gatherings with friends and family forever enriching our lives with sweet memories.

The Vegan for the Holidays cookbook can play a special role in bringing delicious foods to our holiday tables. But did you know that Vegan for the Holidays can continue to bring dining pleasure throughout the year with its multitude of non-seasonal recipes?

Dishes like Yin-Yang Thanksgiving Paté and Stuffed Tomatoes with Edamame Paté make sensational presentations at appetizer time. Sesame Appetizer Balls are the perfect non-messy appetizers and are ideal conversation starters at the buffet table.

Throughout the book you'll find soups like Curried Kabocha, Lemony Carrot, Curried Pumpkin-Peanut, New Year's Resolution, and White Bean and Root Vegetable that are hearty and delicious no matter which holiday you bring them to the table. They look inviting, taste heavenly, and scent the air with tempting aromas.

So many of the side dishes featured for the holidays are focused on seasonal ingredients. Imagine serving Orange-Ginger Glazed Carrots to brighten up your Thanksgiving plate or the serving platter on the buffet. Red Cabbage and Apple Stir Fry, packed with nutritious goodness, is a quick and easy-to-make vegetable dish to complement any main dish.

You won't want to put the Vegan for the Holidays cookbook on the shelf to collect dust. Instead, you'll be planning dishes like Garlicky Chestnut Butter, Savory Sourdough and Wild Rice Stuffing, and Pistachio Sweet Pea Torte for Thanksgiving!

Start the Christmas party with a Jolly Green Christmas Tree appetizer. Then, begin the preps for Shiitake Tornadoes in Cashew-Ceam Sauce, a knock-out main dish. And, don't forget to make some Panforte to give as sweet treats for special peeps on the gift list.

For Hannukah, Potato Latkes with Tofu Sour Cream and Applesauce are a must. They would be perfect with Raisin-Nut Cabbage Rolls with Sweet and Sour Sauce! The finishing touch--Cranberry Apple Strudel, of course.

Feast on a hearty bowl of African Pumpkin Stew and Mustard Greens with Tempeh Bacon to celebrate Kwanzaa, and poke your fork into a delicious slice of Sweet Potato Pie for dessert.

Celebrate the New Year with warming bowl of delicious chili--choose the hearty Old Fashioned Chili, the unique Sicilian Chili, or or the spicy Barn Burner Chili to bring the year to a warming close.

And when the holidays are over, don't put the cookbook on the shelf! You'll be able to enjoy the recipes all year long with simple seasonal substitutions. Many of the recipes contain no holiday-season ingredients at all. Some of the recipes that do contain items like pomegranates or persimmons can be substituted with various fruits or berries as they come into season.



Here's a holiday appetizer that puts yuletide spirit on a plate and unveils your hidden talent as a scultptor. Using nothing more than a spoon you'll be able to turn this delicious dip into a dazzling sculpted Christmas tree or Christmas wreath that flaunts colorful ornaments you can eat. Make it mildly spiced or crank it up to muy picante with extra jalapeno chiles and a pinch of cayenne.

Jolly Green Christmas Tree

JOLLY GREEN CHRISTMAS TREE

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

    Dip
    1 pound (453g) frozen peas, thawed
    1 (15-ounce/424g) can cannellini or Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
    1/2 cup (120 ml) coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves
    2 tablespoons organic sugar
    2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
    1/2 to 1 jalapeno chile, seeded and coarsely chopped
    1 teaspoon salt
    3/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
    1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/2 teaspoon onion powder
    1/4 teaspoon chili powder
    Pinch cayenne (optional)

    Ornaments
    1/4 red bell pepper, finely diced
    1/2 carrot, finely diced
    1 green onion, white part only, sliced
    1 whole star anise, or 6 whole cloves

  1. Put the dip ingredients in a food processor. Process until smooth and creamy, stopping occasionally to scrape down the work bowl.
  2. Spoon the mixture onto a large platter and use the back of a spoon to form the mixture into the shape of a large Christmas tree. Decorate the tree with the bell pepper, carrot, and optional green onion. Place the star anise at the top or arrange the cloves into a radiating star. Serve with baked tortilla chips, bean chips, toasted pita wedges, or your favorite crackers.



On this page in past months we featured these exciting dishes from Vegan for the Holidays:

  • Williamsburg Pumpkin Pie
  • Cranberry and Winter Fruit Relish
  • New Year Log in Spicy Pecan Gremolata
  • Butternut Squash, Beet, and Apple Soup
  • Okra Creole
  • Old World Vegetable Goulash
  • Sweet and Sour Cabbage Borscht
  • African Pumpkin Stew
  • Apples 'N' Cream Pie
  • Tomato Pinenut Pie with Sweet Potato and Nut Crust
  • Spiced Cranberry Nog
  • Savory Lentil Terrine
  • Apricot, Date and Hazelnut Sticky Pie
  • Pumpkin Apple Nog
  • Eggplant with Beet Horseradish Cream Sauce
  • Almond Thumbprint Cuties
  • Holy Moly Posole
  • Chocolate Truffle Mousse with Cranberry Splash
  • Cinnamon Peanut Butter Torte
  • Sicilian Chili
  • Golden Squash Concerto
  • Tangy Cranberry Soup
  • Shiitake Tornadoes in Cashew Cream Sauce
  • Stuffed Tomatoes with Edamame Pâté
  • Christmas Carrot Wreath
  • Pear Walnut Compote with Choco Wafers
  • Yin-Yang Thanksgiving Pâté
  • Sweet Potato Puffs with Asian Mustard Sauce
  • Spinach Salad with Beets and Pomegranates
They are all pictured below. In future months we will spotlight more recipes from the cookbook everyone is talking about--Vegan for the Holidays.

Williamsburg Pumpkin Pie Cranberry and Winter Fruit Relish New Year Log in Spicy Pecan Gremolata Butternut Squash, Beet, & Apple Soup Okra Creole Old World Vegetable Goulash Sweet and Sour Cabbage Borscht African Pumpkin Stew Apples 'n' Cream Pie Tomato Pinenut Pie with Sweet Potato & Nut Crust Spiced Cranberry Nog Savory Lentil Terrine Apricot, Date, and Hazelnut Sticky Pie Pumpkin Apple Nog Eggplant with Beet Horseradish Cream Sauce Almond Thumbprint Cuties Holy Moly Posole Chocolate Truffle Mousse with Cranberry Splash Cinnamon Peanut Butter Torte Sicilian Chili Golden Squash Concerto Tangy Cranberry Soup Shiitake Tornadoes in Cashew Cream Sauce Stuffed Tomatoes with Edamame Pate Pear and Walnut Compote with Choco Wafers Christmas Carrot Wreath Sweet Potato Puffs/Asian Mustard Sauce Spinach Pomegranate Salad Yin Yang Thanksgiving Pate


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What They're Saying
About Vegan for the Holidays

" Zel's imaginative recipes bring elegance and flavor to the festive table. Vegan for the Holidays, with its delicious creations all garnished to the max, makes Thanksgiving through New Year's joyfully memorable. This is the go-to holiday cookbook not only for savvy vegans, but also for everyone with a desire to eat healthier." -- Rory Freedman, author of Skinny Bitch, Skinny Bitch in the Kitch, and Skinny Bastard

"Fabulously festive, Zel's recipes add a pleasant and surprisingly broad array of flavors and creativity to the typical holiday fare. With her intensive attention to detail and healthy decadence, she will enrich your celebrations with this plethora of delicious and highly nutritious possibilities!" -- Julieanna Hever, MS, RD, CPT; author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition

"As a longtime fan of vegan celebration occasions, I just adore Zel's brilliant focus on the winter holidays. With Vegan for the Holidays, you'll have years' worth of inspiring recipes right at hand, all in her warm and inviting style." -- Nava Atlas, author of Vegan Holiday Kitchen and Wild About Greens

"An exceptional banquet of cholesterol-free, whole-foods vegan dishes created for grand dining during the holiday season makes this an outstanding cookbook everyone can appreciate." -- Hans Diehl, DrHSc, MPH, FACN; clinical director, Lifestyle Medicine Institute, Loma Linda, CA; author of Health Power: Healthy by Choice, Not by Chance

"Vegan for the Holidays is a treasure-trove of creative, delicious, and seasonal recipes. With this book in hand, there's no reason to hesitate to invite even the most confirmed meat eaters for holiday feasts." -- Reed Mangels, PhD, RD; nutrition editor, Vegetarian Journal; co-author of Simply Vegan and Vegan & Vegetarian FAQ.


Reviews of Vegan for the Holidays on Amazon


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 table.

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.
-- J. Mitchell www.amazon.com, July 18, 2012


What do you eat for Thanksgiving?

What do you eat for Thanksgiving is the first thing I am asked when someone finds out that I am vegan. Now I can direct them to this book.

The recipes are easy to follow and the ingredients are easily found in any store. Included in this book are a variety of different options you can use for family members and/or guests who might be a little reluctant to try something different but I can guarantee you that they will be coming back for more. From the main menu to the desserts, you will be glad you made the choice to add this book to your collection.
-- C. Summers www.amazon.com, July 17, 2012


If everyday Vegan tasted like Zel's cooking, no one would ever miss meat

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 at Kaiser Hospitals amazon.com, July 30, 2012


Too good to wait for the holidays

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 www.amazon.com, July 28, 2012


Move over Norman Rockwell

The recipes are simple, easy-to-make, delicious and enjoyable all-year round (not just for the holidays). Also, you don't have to be vegan to appreciate these mouth-watering dishes. Most of my friends are not vegan and they've loved every dish I've prepared, thus far, from this cookbook...they're always asking me for the recipes. Well, they'll be pleasantly surprised, come December, when they receive this cookbook in their stockings...shhhh, our secret. ;) --Tim www.amazon.com, July 24, 2012


Great for the holidays and everyday!

Zel Allen has written a wonderful book! The recipes are not only delicious but easy to follow. Most of them are oil free which is a real plus and can be made all year round. The Posole rocks as do all of her delicious salad dressings!
--Abbie Jaye "Chef AJ" www.amazon.com, July 27, 2012


Vegan for the Holidays

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. -- saul www.amazon.com, July 15, 2012


This is a fun and delightful recipe book to add to my collection

I am a foodie vegetarian. I love to grow vegetables, cook and eat, but I also like to stay thin. So I am really enjoying all the many recipes in this book which satisfy my needs, both for taste and for health. Eggplant, beets, mushrooms, nuts - so many new and interesting ways to prepare them! The pictures are beautiful and informative but there are not too many of them, a feature I like. After all, I collect recipe books for their recipes, not their pictures! There is also a brief but informative glossary.
--Sue in Tallahassee www.amazon.com, August 1, 2012


A wonderful resource for the Vegan cook

Zel Allen's newest cookbook is a great addition to a kitchen library. This compact book is filled with innovative and healthy recipes that incorporate flavors and ingredients from many cultures. The book is beautifully presented and the instructions are clearly written. There is plenty of variety with recipes for appetizers, salads, festive drinks, main dishes, sides and deserts. I especially like the Savory Chestnut and Fruit Stuffing and the pie recipes in the Thanksgiving section. Start your own family traditions with these wonderful offerings of vegan fare.
-- Fay Kahn www.amazon.com August 7, 2012


A Diverse Collection of Vegan Recipes for the Holidays--and Every Day

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?
--T. Houghton "Sunset Sam" www.amazon.com September 14, 2012


Zel Allen has done it again ...

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)!
-- F. B. King "EarlyGirl" www.amazon.com September 6, 2012


Festive, Fun & Delicious!!

Food is always a great way to bring everyone together. I love creating and trying new recipes, and the Holidays are a good time to do this. I am a big supporter of whole, plant-based foods and my biggest goal is to make it taste delicious and familiar as the memories I grew up with. I have enjoyed making a lot of the recipes in Zel's book. They are simple, pure, and healthful! The chapters in her book include: Thanksgiving Gone Deliciously Vegan, Christmas Spirit Is in the Air, Hanukkah: A Celebration of Lights, Latkes, and Dreidels, Reflections on a Vegan Kwanzaa, Happy New Year Soup and Chili Bash.

The Barn-Burner Chili on page 124 is now a family favorite. You would never believe it was so packed with vegetables. I loved that it had kidney, pinto and black beans in it. Super yummy recipe. This is a great book to add to your Holiday collection.
--The Health Seeker's Kitchen www.amazon.com September 25, 2012


Transform your holiday table

Zel Allen is known to many vegans as the co-publisher, along with her husband Reuben, of Vegetarians in Paradise Internet magazine and author of a previous cookbook The Nut Gourmet. After four years of creating and testing holiday recipes, she has now released her latest offering, and what a gift to vegan cooks it is!

Reading her acknowledgments, I was impressed with Zel's tenacity--she remarks that she kept working on one recipe even after it failed four times. Reading her recipes, I was impressed with her skill in putting together unusual combinations of tastes while still keeping within the framework of the dishes traditionally associated with these holidays. For instance, butternut squash is ubiquitous on Thanksgiving tables, but Zel combines the squash chunks with beets and cranberries, roasting them in a little oil and salt and serving them up with a maple syrup, miso and orange sauce. For a Christmas appetizer, she transforms Brussels sprouts like this: after blanching them, scoop out the centers and stuff with a puree of almonds, artichoke hearts, kalamata and green olives, shallot and garlic, then sprinkle with vegan parmesan. Or finish off a New Year's dinner with Hazelnut-Cranberry Bread Pudding with Creme Anglaise.

Page after page features such wonderfully creative ideas to delight friends and family members. Serving Zel's innovative and delicious dishes will transform your 2012 holidays and beyond.
--Kate Lawrence, author of The Practical Peacemaker www.amazon.com September 23, 2012


Sublime Vegan Entertaining Holiday Ideas

Ms. Allen stays true to the flavors and pairings traditionally associated with Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year celebrations. Between the covers you will find unique, elegant and often bold recipes of varying complexity for appetizers, starters, graceful comfort foods, sensuous mains and sides, irresistible desserts and treats, and even beverages to suit the occasion. The innovative offerings are made with ingredients that are accessible to most cooks and you'll be pleasantly surprised how easy and straightforward the recipes are to prepare. The grace and distinction that characterizes each dish will leave everyone satisfied. Equally important is that the food is presented with a view to healthful eating, so you needn't feel too guilty if you find yourself over-indulging. This is a book that will have you counting your blessings rather than your calories.

Vegan for the Holidays is a festive guide to help you create your own special meals that will be sure to impress everyone present. Vegans surely won't be disappointed, carnivores won't miss the meat, and vegetarians won't miss their dairy. Ms. Allen certainly demonstrates that vegan food is far from boring. I will be cooking from this book all year long, no matter the occasion. Don't be surprised if your non-vegan friends start asking you for recipes after trying some of the fare.

As a vegetarian for over 20 years, I will be cooking from this book all year long, no matter the occasion. The recipes are that good!
--Lisa www.amazon.com September 25, 2012


Have the Most Delicious Holidays Ever
You are having party guests, house guests, seeing Uncle Harry for the first time in two years. You fret about what to serve, something traditional and yet unique, delicious and loved by all. You want your guests to clamor for seconds, but you don't want to spend all day cooking either.

Enter Zel Allen with her original, satisfying, healthy recipes in Vegan For the Holidays. These whole food, plant-based holiday recipes that will satisfy everyone who tastes them. Plus your meals will serve the gift of health, the greatest gift of all any time of the year.

After a short discussion of each seasonal holiday, Zel offers a variety of ideas for a complete meal, from appetizers and soup through main dishes, side dishes, and dessert. Her use of spices is masterful. She includes suggestions for pretty garnishes to make the dishes visually appealing. Pages of beautiful color photos of many of the recipes show better than any words how stunning this food is.

Whether you are already vegan or vegetarian, or just looking for a healthy and compassionate alternative for your holiday parties and meals, this is the book that will meet all your needs.
--Janice Stanger, author The Perfect Formula Diet www.amazon.com September 30, 2012


Excellent Book!

Vegan for the Holidays is packed with recipes for holiday feasts from Thanksgiving through New Year's Day with Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanza in between, but these dishes are so delicious that you don't need to wait for a holiday to make them! The recipes are easy to follow and don't contain any crazy ingredients, so those new to cooking will have no problem finding something to make in Vegan for the Holidays, but there's enough variation and creativity that seasoned cooks will enjoy it as well.

Since holidays are the times that people gather around food, these recipes are very omnivore friendly - in fact, I doubt people will even notice that the meat is missing from the table if you load it with dishes made from this book! Vegan for the Holidays is an excellent gift for non-vegan family members, especially those you spend the holidays with. Not only will they eat healthier meals if they're cooking the book's recipes, but they won't stress over cooking vegan dishes for you when you join them for dinner!
--D. Wenz www.amazon.com October 8, 2012


Layers of Flavor

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!
--bbtuscany www.amazon.com October 30, 2012


Perfect for your vegan holidays and everyday

Zel Allen has brought comfort foods from the holidays and made some new vegan holiday favorites! What a joy it is to have such fabulous recipes like Thanksgiving Phyllo Pie, Savory Lentil Terrine with Mushroom-Wine Sauce, Tangy Cranberry Soup, or Holy Mole Posole. The list goes on and on. Zel has got you covered for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and New Year's! This is such a nice collection of recipes to have that they are sure to become part of your family's vegan tradition and even impress your non-vegan family and friends. Bonus! Bravo to Zel Allen for a different and new twist for vegan holiday cooking!
--J. Paschal www.amazon.com November 1, 2012


A Great Vegan Holiday Cookbook

Whether it's crowd pleasing Christmas dinner recipes, holiday appetizers, or holiday dessert recipes, you'll find them in Zel Allen's cookbook, Vegan for the Holidays.

It was hard to pick just two recipes to represent this book, when the natural urge was to pick six or eight, make them all, and put on a feast. Half the pages now have corners turned back!

Zel's holiday recipes have straightforward real world directions and work well. Most are easy to make, and you can cook them with confidence.
-- Savvy Veg www.amazon.com November 4, 2012


Wholesome Dishes for Celebrating

Zel Allen's "Vegan for the Holidays" is brimming with creative dishes that can make any day a special occasion. Her edamame pate enriched with a touch of tahini was delicious, and so were her sesame seed-coated appetizer balls made of walnuts and green olives blended with tomatoes, onions and garlic.

The enticing tomato pine nut torte (in the chapter called Christmas Spirit is in the Air), filled with tomato slices, vegan Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, garlic and green onions, would be an appealing main course for any holiday. Some cooks use sweet potatoes to make pie fillings but Allen makes them into a pie crust for the torte, with ground almonds for added flavor and texture.

Allen's valuable experience in teaching cooking classes is evident in her easy-to-follow recipes. For example, in the recipe for spiced pumpkin-pine nut cookies, she reminds readers baking the cookies on two baking sheets to switch the pans between the top and bottom racks half way through the baking time so they bake evenly.

For non-vegans it's hard to imagine making desserts without eggs but Allen's treats prove otherwise. Her pistachio paradise cookies are flavored with saffron, cardamom and rose water. I can't wait to try them, as well as her almond thumbprint cuties, with their filling of dates pureed with almond butter.

Faye Levy, Food columnist and author
-- Foodfaye www.amazon.com November 9, 2012


Vegan Holidays

Vegan Holidays is a great recipe book for vegans, vegetarians, and carnivores alike. It is packed full of healthy recipes that everyone can enjoy. People who have turkey and ham as the center of their winter holiday get togethers will still find lots of recipes to add variety to their menu. And many people cook for a people who don't eat meat and using the delicious looking recipes in this book will allow everyone to enjoy something special at your feast.
--Library Lady www.amazon.com November 17, 2012


Planning to use this book for Thanksgiving

I'm not regularly vegan but these are recipes anyone could love. I plan on making some of these recipes for my holiday get-togethers this year. The recipes look delicious and easy to make. Highly recommended!
--Gregg A. Allen www.amazon.com November 18, 2012


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 (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.
--shelfishness ww.amazon.com November 22, 2012


Stands out from the pack of holiday cookbooks available. Enticing and delicious recipes

Yes, there are numerous vegan holiday-centric cookbooks out there, but busy party-throwers don't often have time to mess with elaborate recipes or multi-step meals. Zel's new book presents recipes that will wow your guests but won't leave you exhausted. Brilliantly blending innovation with tradition, Zel's holiday dishes are simple enough for novice cooks but impressive enough to satisfy bona fide foodies.

Though it's billed as featuring recipes fit for every holiday between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, I can tell I'll get use out of Vegan for the Holidays all year long. Right now, the Pistachio-Edamame Salad (with persimmons, mmm!), Chestnut-Smothered Brussels Sprouts, Savory Chickpea Yule Log, Sicilian Chili Two Ways, Brandied Holiday Nog, and Apricot Hazelnut Date Sticky Pie are calling my name.
--Amber Shea "chefambershea .com" www.amazon.com December 7, 2012


This book was very helpful for preparing our thanksgiving dinner for 10 vegans

I like lots of big pictures and easy to read recipes.
I was inspired to try several of the new dishes.
--Karen McFarland www.amazon.com December 1,.2012


Delicious and healthy without meat and dairy for the holidays or any day

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.
--Layers of Thought www.amazon.com December 14, 2012


Vegan yes, Ornish no!

I follow the Dr. Dean Ornish heart disease reversing diet and lifestyle. This entails more than vegan, as it is an extremely low fat diet. While this book made no promises of being low fat, but simply vegan, I had no preconcieved notions of anything other than that. So, given that caveat, I am totally satisfied with the book as is, though there is a strong bent toward making traditional jewish dishes vegan, when in my own culinary experience, they were nothing to write home about in their original form. My disappointment was that so very few of the recipes will meet my dietary desires, though I can tweak those that look interesting to meet my needs. The pictures of the food are mouth-watering for sure!
--Craig R. Kern "cooknman" www.amazon.com December 18, 2012


Thanksgiving

I used this and two other cook books to make up my Thanksgiving Dinner this year (2012). It was my first all vegetarian Thanksgiving and it went very well. I am looking forward to doing it again.
--BB www.amazon.com February 20, 2013


Great Book!

I love this cookbook!!!!!!!!!! I received it a couple of days ago.I made the pumpkin pine nut cookies and they came out perfectly.Everyone loved them!!!! I plan on making the pistachio paradise cookies soon.There are so many good recipes in this book.The layout of the book is clean and organized.All of the ingredients are on the left and the instructions are on the right.I like this cookbook layout much better than the instructions being under the ingredients (common cookbook layout).This book has enough recipes to cover entire holiday dinners.I would definitely recommend this author!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
--Carla Shiver www.amazon.com November 19, 2013


Nice Book

Always looking for new things to cook. I think the whole vegan experience lends itself to exploring new things....Get this book to expand your horizons.
--Eve www.amazon.com January 9, 2014



REVIEWS FROM VEGAN BLOGGERS

The internet is brimming with vegan bloggers who love to share their passion for vegan food, recipes, and vegan cookbooks. The following bloggers have had the opportunity to prepare and taste recipes from Vegan for the Holidays and share their enthusiasm for the festive recipes. Visit these links to see striking photography and detailed impressions of recipes they enjoyed.

Cobi Kim blogs at Veggietorials

Bianca Phillips, author of Cookin' Crunk, blogs at Vegan Crunk.

Debbie Walton blogs at Health Seeker's Kitchen.

Sam Houghton blogs at Quantum Vegan.

Kate Lawrence blogs at The Practical Peacemaker.

Morgan Anger blogs at Little House of Veggies.

Lisa Turner blogs at Lisa's Kitchen.

Leigh Matthews blogs at the Tasty Vegan.

Janice Stanger, author of The Perfect Formula Diet blogs at The Perfect Formula Diet.

Nicole Abramowski blogs at Vegan Nom Noms.

Judith Kingsbury blogs at Savvy Vegetarian.

Carrie Forrest blogs at Carrie On Vegan.

Jill Paschal blogs at VegCookin.com

VRG Blog Editor blogs at Vegetarian Resource Group Blog.

Carla Kelly blogs at The Year of the Vegan

Melissa blogs at Veggie Fitness

Kim blogs at Kim Cooks Veg 4U

Allyson Kramer blogs at Manifest Vegan

Jessica Almy blogs at Vegbooks

Stephanie Mangino blogs at GoodVeg on squidoo

Lisa Turner blogs at The Bay Observer

Sara Novak blogs at Serene Kitchen

Shellie blogs at Layers of Thought

Amber Kelly-Anderson blogs at Generation CAKE

Madelyn Pryor blogs at Scribd.

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Vegetarians in Paradise