Friday, March 02, 2012

Book Review: Celebrate Vegan!

When I heard that Dynise/Urban Vegan wanted a few bloggers to review her newest book, Celebrate Vegan, I jumped at the chance. I love holidays so much, it's positively dorky. I love learning about obscure holidays in other countries and celebrating them for the fun of it. I love celebrating our own made-up holidays. I love the traditional holidays. Basically, I am always up for some holiday fun.

So, the first thing I love about Celebrate Vegan is the wide range of holidays that it covers - in addition to all the usual suspects, there are also fun holiday menus for celebrations such as Diwali, NoRooz (yeah! my favorite!), Sick Day (LOVE IT), World Vegetarian Day, and many more. It's so fun. Plus. Look at that beautiful cover. And, I love the title. The book is really nicely laid out - recipes are easy to follow, and there are even symbols for frugal meals, quick meals, kid-friendly, and omni-friendly meals. Very cool!

Also, most importantly!, the recipes I tried were great. First up, I made the Smoky Zucchini Bean Dip (from the World Vegetarian Day menu). It was easy to whip up, which is always nice for a weeknight dinner, and was really tasty - sort of an unconventional hummus - plus it features two of my all-time favorite spices: smoked paprika AND sumac! Sold! I loved the pale green hue... very elegant.

Next up, I made a batch of Pumpkin-Maple Muffins (from the Christmas Day menu). One word: LOVE!!! I think these are some of my favorite muffins ever. Spicy, moist, pumpkiny, full of flavor and joy. I also added the optional pecans and dried cranberries, which was a very good idea. Also, they are pretty low fat (the whole batch only has 1/4 cup of oil), which I always appreciate. These muffins are so great, and I can't wait to make them again.

Last, but not least, I made the Tofu Dijon (from the Bastille Day menu - you knew Dynise the Francophile would include Bastille Day!). I am not always a fan of big thick pieces of tofu, but I had faith in the Urban Vegan and forged ahead with this recipe... and thank goodness! It was amazing!! Plus, I finally bought my first jar of Herbes de Provence for this recipe (you know I need more spices). Man, this was really delicious. I loved the crunchy and delicately spices crumb coating, held on with a garlicky dijon sauce... a perfect compliment to a big hearty piece of tofu. We both really loved this dinner, and honestly, I've been thinking about it ever since. I'm gonna have to make it again soon.

Just to give you an idea, here are some of the other recipes I have bookmarked:
~ Ramen Noodle Bowl
~ Sticky Rice with Mango
~ Savory Harvest Crumble with Figs, Squash, and Celeriac (hello!)
~ Island Style Tempeh
~ Crepes with Bananas and Gianduja
... and that's not even all. There are a few vegan holiday-cooking books out these days, and this is definitely a valuable contribution to the genre. But really, even if you aren't a holiday dork like me, and you just want to celebrate the joy of eating vegan, Celebrate Vegan is a really great book!

News Flash!
My pal Julie Hasson also posted a review of this great book, only she also included a recipe (for Baked Polenta Fries) and she's doing a giveaway, so you can score a copy for yourself! Go check it out and good luck!


  1. Awe, love you blog!! I am new to my blogger, I just started a blog. I just followed you and hoping you'll follow back. Thanks in advance!

  2. I love the idea of celebrating more holidays - if it means you get to cook and eat all new types of vegan loveliness, then I'm all for it. Muffins in particular get props!

  3. Wow I must buy Dynise's new book. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I loved loved loved her first cookbook and can't wait to get my hands on this one next time I head back to the states. She sure picked the perfect person to review a holiday themed book, your holiday posts are always the best!

  5. Celebrate vegan recipies are awesome and I also liked the great book which you share.


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