Before Thanksgiving, I was given a copy of Vegan Holiday Kitchen to review. But I couldn't really give it a proper review until I'd tried a few of the holiday recipes, right? Nava Atlas' gorgeous new hardcover book conveniently opens with a chapter of Thanksgiving recipes, but it also contains chapters on Christmas, Jewish Holidays, Easter, Summer Entertaining, and Brunches, Appetizers, and Potlucks.
I put a few Thanksgiving recipes to the test this past week. Last Tuesday, my office had a catered Thanksgiving lunch. Portabella burgers were provided for the vegans and vegetarians, but since the omnis had turkey and all the fixins, a few of us herbivores decided to bring our own vegan Thanksgiving dishes. Hannah brought a Tofurky with gravy and sweet potatoes. Susan brought pumpkin pie brownies from the PPK. And I made a couple of dishes from Vegan Holiday Kitchen. I brought these Agave & Mustard-Glazed Brussels Sprouts:
These were so simple to prepare, just steamed sprouts glazed with a "honey mustard"-like dressing. The natural flavor of the Brussels shone, but they were accented by the tangy, sweet mustard. This may become my new go-to recipe for brussels any time of year.
I also brought this Massaged Kale Salad with Cranberries and Pecans:
It's just a basic raw kale salad massaged with a mixture of olive oil and vegan mayo. I used a mixture of Craisins and raisins because I didn't have enough cranberries. And I substituted the pecans for the cashews called for in the recipe. Both the kale salad and the Brussels went over well with the vegetarians and the omnis on our staff.
A few days later, at my family Thanksgiving, I made these Maple-Pecan Sweet Potatoes:
Growing up, we never had any sweet potatoes or pumpkin at Thanksgiving dinner. My parents didn't think they liked either, but turns out, they've slowly learned to love sweet potatoes (we're still working on their pumpkin problem). My other relatives do like sweet potatoes, and these simple, sweet roasted potatoes met their approval. But most importantly, my sweet tater-phobic parents liked them too.
Vegan Holiday Kitchen is filled with simple, vegetable-based dishes based on seasonal ingredients. And from the looks of most of these recipes, they would please vegans and omnis alike, which is pretty important when we're celebrating the holidays with our non-vegan families. The full-color book is filled with stunning photos from one of my favorite bloggers, Susan Voisin of Fat-Free Vegan Kitchen. I was so excited when I saw her name on the cover because I've been following her blog for years! Plus, she lives just down the road in Mississippi.
I can't wait until Christmas so I can try the Vegg Nog, the Creamy Cracked Pepper Cheez, and the Skinny Figgy Bars. And even though I'm not Jewish, you can bet I'll be celebrating Passover with the Simple Vegetable Soup with Vegan Matzoh Balls and Hanukkah with the Traditional Latkes, Vegan-Style. Hell, I'll even celebrate Easter this year just so I can eat the Spring Vegetable Tart and the Citrus-Roasted Tofu.