With the heightened attention to a Vegan lifestyle, including that of former President Bill Clinton, it’s natural that we will see a bounty of new cookbooks making their way onto our holiday lists. The latest one that should make planning easier for the hectic holiday period is the Vegan Holiday Kitchen by Nava Atlas. Atlas, a well-known author and chef has published numerous vegetarian and vegan cookbooks, but with the concentration on recipes for a holiday celebration, this one is sure to make life easier during the otherwise hectic period.

What makes this book a welcome bookshelf addition and a hostess planning guide is the bounty of recipes that will be welcome additions for any holiday meal. Thanksgiving has come and gone, but this year for the first time there was a considerable amount of newspaper and blog ink devoted to vegan recipes. Clearly an understanding of how many people have made lifestyle changes rather than just thinking of these dishes as a passing trend.

Now the December big ones, Hanukkah and Christmas are quickly approaching. The first holiday would be unthinkable without latkes, potato pancakes, and Atlas has a version that is obviously vegan and with a few minor tweaks can be made soy and gluten-free. She believes that only those who prepare the recipe will notice the shift in ingredients, but everyone will be able to enjoy the finished dish. BTW, she has numerous recipes for the other Jewish holidays that likewise pose a recipe challenge, such as Vegan Matzo Balls!

A large part of the book is devoted to Christmas and what she calls “The Holiday Season.” This, after all, is a time with numerous office parties, neighborhood get-togethers, and an assortment of events that might just require a little hostess gift. If you bring a food for the buffet, then you’ll be assured of having something to eat! Here are some teasers to get you thinking:

Fruit and Nut Chocolate Clusters. Easy to make as no baking is required and they are Gluten and Soy-Free.

“Vegg” Nog. This recipe differs from so many of its predecessors as it is minus the tofu, but the vanilla almond milk and agave nectar combined with cashew butter make a smooth beverage.

Creamy Cracked-Pepper Cheez. Now you can have a spreadable recipe that will highlight a buffet table. If you use gluten-free yeast, then you can appeal to an even wider audience.

Even though the book is divided into holiday sections, there are few recipes that are limited to a particular event. So many creative choices that can liven any meal.

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