Post-MoFo Giveaway: VEGAN Holiday Kitchen

Post-MoFo Giveaway: VEGAN Holiday Kitchen

The winner of Vegan Holiday Kitchen is commenter #87—Cara! Congratulations! Be sure to check your email so we can get your contact information and send the book off to you.


I was thrilled to receive a copy of Nava Atlas’ gorgeous new book VEGAN Holiday Kitchen to review, and even more excited to be able to give another copy away to one lucky reader of the MoFo blog. The photos in this review are courtesy of fellow MoFo organizer Amey, who posted a review on her own blog, Vegan Eats and Treats. I chose an un-photogenic beige soup, and am too embarrassed to show the internet my attempt at braiding challah dough, so Amey graciously agreed to let me use her alluring photos!

Mixed Greens with Green Apples, Beets & Pistachios

The book is stunning—hardcover, full-color, with plenty of photography done by Susan Voisin of FatFree Vegan Kitchen, and boasting more than 200 recipes. This is the kind of book you take straight to the couch with a cup of tea, a warm blanket, some bookmarks (or if you’re a slob like me, your dog-earing fingers), and a pen and paper for grocery lists. One thing I immediately noticed and loved about VHK is that there is no lengthy intro taking up a huge chunk of the book where recipes could be! Instead of spending ninety pages explaining what agave nectar and nutritional yeast are and touting their health benefits, Nava simply includes pertinent ingredient information as sidebars next to the recipe that contains it. The book focuses on major (and mostly Western world/US) holidays; Thanksgiving, Christmas, Passover, Rosh Hashanah, Hanukkah, Easter, Independence Day; and there is section at the end for potluck, brunch, and party appetizer dishes. I had an extremely difficult time deciding what to make first, and eventually settled on the Creamy Wild Mushroom Soup from the Thanksgiving menu, along with the Vegan Challah from the Rosh Hashanah menu.

A wild mushroom devotee, this particular recipe both attracted and worried me due to the intriguing addition of silken tofu and white beans blended into the soup after it has simmered, to add the creaminess. The recipe also called for the mushrooms to be simmered in water separate from the soup’s base rather than being sautéed , which is something I’ve never done in my many years of cooking mushrooms, and I wasn’t sure if it would do justice to the beautiful locally foraged shiitakes and oyster mushrooms I was using for the recipe. Fortunately, I opted to trust Nava’s every direction, and ended up with silky, earthy, and slightly tangy (due to some white wine, which pairs gorgeously with mushrooms) soup. My boyfriend isn’t a fan of mushroom soups and I’d even bought him a frozen Amy’s pizza in case he hated it, but after he got over his initial textural issues, we polished up the eight servings in an obscenely short amount of time.

Having never had non-vegan challah before but being certain I love the vegan version after making it several times, I was drawn to Nava’s recipe, which uses pureed squash as both an egg replacer and to make the breads a subtle shade of orange. Breads are not my specialty, but I had had kind of crappy go of life last week and punching and kneading dough on Sunday afternoon suited me just fine. The dough rose enthusiastically, and there was surprisingly little hands-on time required, just a couple of long rising times during which I caught up on terrible television shows and made the soup. The two loaves came out soft yet dense, with a subtle sweetness and a crispy crust. Will make again, and often.

Other recipes I have dog-eared: Baked Thanksgiving Risotto; Hearty Lentil and Mushroom Shepherd’s Pie; Lemony Spinach and Chickpea Soup; Marinated Mushrooms, Asparagus and Artichokes; New World Wassail; and pretty much everything Amey made, especially the Three Sisters Stew.

Three Sisters Stew
Asian-Flavored Tofu & Cucumber Platter

To win your very own copy of VEGAN Holiday Kitchen, simply leave a comment telling me what your favorite holiday dish is, to either make or have someone else make it for you. This particular giveaway is open to people with addresses in the US and Canada, and I will pick a winner at random on Thursday, December 1st at 10am PST.

I’ll start! My favorite (finicky) holiday dish is a pull-out-all-the-stops seitan roulade. I haven’t done one yet this year, but am planning it for some time at the end of December when I’m visiting family in freezing cold Alberta, where kneading and simmering seitan is the only way to keep warm.

146 thoughts on “Post-MoFo Giveaway: VEGAN Holiday Kitchen

  1. My girlfriend makes an amazing roasted pumpkin stuffed with pumpkin cornbread bread crumbs, apples, cranberries, Daiya, garlic, onions, and thyme. Delicious!

  2. My favorite holiday dish will probably always be my mother’s rosemary rolls. She makes them from scratch for the family. Since I became vegan a few years ago, she has veganized them for the entire family. Her support and love means a great deal to me and I think that is what the holidays are about. Translating that into food, something that is supposed to nurture us physically as well, it always incredible.

  3. I have a few favorite things to make for the holidays but i am afraid they are all sweets (my recipes are limited) : pumpkin tofu cheesecake. Gingerbread cookies. And i love to make an assortment of spiced pumpkin and/or gingerbread cupcakes with cream cheese frosting! Think i might try an eggnog inspired sweetie this year 🙂

  4. This is my first holiday season as a Vegan, and I thought i could really be sad about all the traditional food my family makes for thanksgiving, or i could totally reinvent it for my own family, so instead of turkey and dressing and pumpkin pie or some kind of vegan version of these, we did mexican food, with rice and beans and lots of fresh veggies and salsa. My favorite holiday dish was probably the dinosaur shaped mojito popsicles–I will be making those again!

  5. My favourite would probably be stuffing. My mom is nice enough to make a vegan batch for me and my husband and me when we go home for thanksgiving and Christmas. She uses her mother’s recipe and alters it a bit by using vegetable stock and vegan margarine. So good!

  6. The family always asks for candied yams, which I veganized from my mother’s recipe. I remember waking up to the smell of brown sugar on holiday mornings and am glad to be able to share that with my family now. And now that my daughter is learning to cook, it’s even more fun! 🙂

  7. Every year for New Year’s, my family makes pierogis. And there must be lots of sauerkraut involved for good luck! It’s definitely my favorite family/holiday food tradition.

  8. Vegetarian Times’ Thanksgiving Potpie, Veganomicon’s Cashew Ricotta Spinach Lasagne and Vegnews’ Mac and Cheese are holiday favorites around here,

  9. I absolutely love my mom’s bread stuffing, which I have veganized and make every Thanksgiving, though Nava’s Cranberry Orange Sauce is up there too!

  10. My favorite holiday dish is my mom’s sweet noodle pudding. We eat it as part of the meal, but with the fruit and all of the brown sugar, it certainly could be dessert.

  11. Favorite holiday dish is sweet potatoes – anything sweet potatoes and especially pie.
    Digging the last of the season’s crop from my backyard garden today.
    Later, I’ll make the sweet potato hand pies from VPITS – love the new book!
    Looking forward to Nava’s new book to add more to my vegan holiday recipe favorites.

  12. My favorite is roasted brussels sprouts. I finally made some for my family this year and they loved them! I think it will become a new Thanksgiving/holiday tradition!

  13. Brussels sprouts with chesnuts! I adore brussels sprouts and during the holidays, I enjoy adding festive mix-ins such as cranberries, chesnuts, etc. and love experimenting 🙂

  14. My favorite holiday dish is Bhindi Masala. We started a Thanksgiving tradition of cooking tons of Indian food and now no matter what we cook for Thanksgiving, I will always crave Bhindi Masala on that day.

  15. Woah, vegan challah with squash?! MUST make! I used to love Challah, I could eat a whole loaf on my own. I also love anything with sweet potato on Thanksgiving, my aunt made a pomegranate and walnut mix this year that is a new favorite and I love gingerbread flavored anything. Was I allowed to pick more than one? There’s plenty more!

  16. I don’t know if I can choose just one! The thing I eat only at holidays and never any other time is stuffing, so maybe that’s my favorite holiday-only food. 🙂

  17. This is my very first holiday season as a vegan (was full on omnivore this time last year!) For Thanksgiving I made a butternut squash mash with wild brown rice, apple, walnuts, sauteed mushrooms, onions, garlic and paprika. It turned out really well.

  18. I’m allergic to potatoes (random, right?), but I always punish my mouth terribly during the holidays with the most decadent mashed potatoes possible: caramelized onions, fresh chopped herbs, roasted garlic with a crispy top and a secret seasoning blend. I wouldn’t even taint’em with gravy! Soo worth the pain!

  19. This holiday my boyfriend and I made homemade green bean casserole and miniature Icecream cakes. All vegan of course. Yum! ^_^

  20. Wow! VHK looks amazing! My fave holiday dish is traditionally Canadien and called Tourtière (French for meat pie). It’s made with a mix of meat, a few potatoes to soak up the moisture and has a slight cinnamon/nutmeg flavour. Since it’s traditionally a meat pie, I love making this one myself – I’ve found a way to vegan-ize it using mushrooms and brown lentils to replicate the meat filling. My Grandmother is intrigued, my Dad says it’s sacrilege. All the same, it’s amazing!

  21. Mm my favorite holiday foods always seems to be sweet…Thanksgiving can’t happen without pumpkin chocolate chip cupcakes! But there is nothing like an earthy lentil salad or lentil soup for pre-dessert 🙂

  22. I just made a coconut cream pie and bread pudding for Thanksgiving. Both were awesome and will become a tradition for the holidays!

  23. My favorite right now is warm pumpkin cupcakes. I took some to work and didn’t tell anyone they were vegan and now that is all they want me to bring in for pitch ins.

  24. Food made from the heart, prepared with love and joy!

    … Especially if that food is a piece of pumpkin cheesecake.

    Or roasted brussels sprouts.

    Or vegan macaroni and cheese…

    The thing is, since going vegan, I find I have many, many favorites. Food is so flavorful, and most of my life I never knew it!

  25. This is really weird but as a kid, I super looked fwd to the holiday snacks that would be out during parties–french onion dip with chips, those weird wine cheese balls with the nuts on the outside, crackers, codfish cakes, my mom’s buche de noel–none of which I can eat now! LOL! Now, I think I just look fwd to mashed potatoes and stuffing. Anything carby that I don’t normally eat

  26. Hands down rosemary and olive oil mashed potatoes!!! I can eat them for days and days! Red potatoes, olive oil, rosemary, vegan butter, and almond milk.. Gahh in love!

  27. Two years into being Vegan (after 31 as vegetarian), I am still reworking my favorites. I did make the worlds most AMAZING stuffing and butternut squash/apple dishes this Thanksgiving…. I think they have made it into my favorites list (and my carnivore husband and son really enjoyed them both as well.. yup keepers). Still I can ALWAYS use some vegan inspiration.. so come to mama bookie 🙂

  28. The holiday food I’m in love with is stuffing. My Mom has all of the leftovers from this year though but I think I ate more than my fair share.

  29. I love “stuffing”. My omni mom makes me my own little dish of vegan stuffing every time she makes a turkey dinner, and it makes me the happiest girl in the world!

  30. She always makes way too many, but I love that my aunt makes vegan tamales for my sister, niece and I. Her son was vegan and quit it after a few years so I thought that meant our tamale days were over but she still made them for us last year. Pretty much anything anyone else makes for me is much appreciated since I am the main cook for my sister, niece and I. I would love for someone else to take over the holiday baking, but then I would complain that it wasn’t all from scratch.

  31. My favorite holiday dish is Christmas Morning Cinnamon Buns. I put them in the oven before we open gifts and the house fills with the mouth-watering aroma of cinnamon and other spices. Melt a little vegan cream cheese frosting on top…mmmm….I don’t know if I can wait a month for those puppies!

  32. Mashed Potatoes and cranberry sauce. I make a variety of vegetable dishes year-round, but since fresh cranberries are only sold this time of year and mashed potatoes aren’t the healthiest, this is the one time of year I indulge in both. When the mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce make an appearance, you know it’s the holidays!

  33. I made Nava’s Hearty Lentil and Mushroom Shepherd’s Pie on Thanksgiving from post on the fatfreevegan blog. It is definitely a new favorite! I would love the opportunity to try more of Nava’s recipes.

  34. It is so difficult to pin down any ONE favorite …..everything calls for another…sweet potatoes..greens..stuffing….guess my all time favorite…anything with pumpkin in it. Am going to have to try 2 Christine’s post above of roasted pumpkin with pumkin cornbread crumbs..apples..and more! Reading through all the above posts…oh, how my mouth waters! So very many yummy sounding Thanksgivings! 🙂 Would so love to win the book! Thanks for the chance!

  35. My favorite holiday dishes are the ones containing either potatoes or pumpkin. Scalloped potatoes are a seasonal must-make, but this will be the first year that I attempt to do them without cheese (subbing the milk isn’t hard, but the no-cheese has me worried — will it still be delicious?).

  36. Reading through all the above favorites is making my mouth water! Topping my list of favorites are vegan stuffing, pecan pie, and a vegan Waldorf Salad that my kids gobble up!

  37. Oooh! I LOVE my Mom’s stuffing recipe, which I tweak to make it vegan. And mushroom gravy! Oh! and mashed potatoes! Cranberries! Sweet potato casserole made with orange juice and maple syrup! Impossible to have just one favorite, so I will say each one of these is my favorite until I’ve eaten it off my plate and them I move on to the next favorite!

  38. I love a creamy vegan cheesecake topped with sliced apples and a crumble of oats and honey. Lots spice and it’s the holidays!

  39. I made a vegan shepard’s pie for Thanksgiving and that is my new fave. Even the meat-eaters loved it–it was gone in a blink of the eye! This will probably be a holiday staple from now on.

  40. My favorite holiday dish are pierogies. My mom and I veganized them several years ago and she’d make them for me every Christmas. We would stuff them with mashed potatoes, broccoli, sauteed mushrooms, or a combination of those. I moved out of state last year and will be missing those pierogies again this year.

  41. My favorite holiday dish is the French-Canadian tourtiere we have on Christmas Eve. We eat it while sitting under the soft glow of the Christmas tree lights. Traditionally it is made with meat, but I am making two versions–one with meat for the non-vegetarians and one with TVP for vegans. It has unusual spice combinations and is delicious!

  42. My favorite holiday dish has been a family tradition for years and years. The recipe originally came from an old family friend and was easy to veganize. It’s a pasta salad (I like tri-color rotini) with diced green peppers, shredded carrots, and a creamy/tangy sauce made from Vegenaise, homemade sweetened condensed soy milk, a touch of vinegar, and spices. So tasty!

  43. I have a few favorite holiday foods. I love Funeral Potatoes (Utah Fav – potatoes, cheese, cornflake casserole – veganized), ‘hot punch’ – we usually have this with pie. It’s an orange juice, lemon juice, vanilla, almond, sugary hot punch. So good! I also love mashed potatoes and gravy, or course!

  44. My favorite holiday dish is gingerbread men, veganized from Joy Rombauer’s The Joy of Cooking.
    My sister, who is not vegan, makes these with me and my daughter every year on Christmas Eve and the rest of the family gets in on the decorating on Christmas day–gingerbread men, gingerbread cats, gingerbread Christmas trees!

  45. My grandmothers stuffing and chocolate pudding pie (both pre-vegan days. still attempting to perfect both recipes without butter and eggs.)

  46. My favorite holiday dish would definitely have to be my mother’s sweet semiya, it’s basically a vermicelli dish in milk & sugar. She makes it with soy milk for me, which is Divine! Sliced almonds with a bit of cherry juice drizzle over the top is the perfect festive garnish for it.

  47. My favorite holiday dish is a Filipino dessert served in the Philippines only during the holiday season. Yes, only around the holiday season. I’m not sure exactly why but I thought maybe because the ingredients were seasonal. Without further ado, the dish is called Putubumbong (poo-too-boom-bohng), made of glutinous rice, purple yam, and mascuvado sugar. YUM!

  48. My mum, sister and I always spend Christmas day together in the kitchen cooking up a vegan smorgasbord. Mum’s homemade cranberry sauce (packed with red wine) is the absolute greatest! 🙂

  49. I love the eclectic table filled with potato and chive perogy’s, buckwheat cabbage rolls, and pared with Spicy Thai Pumpkin Coconut Curry soup!

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