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Vegan Holiday Cooking from Candle Cafe, Joy Pierson, Angel Ramos, Jorge Pineda (Ten Speed Press, 2014)

Vegan Holiday Cooking from Candle Cafe - review by

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I was so excited to get this book and couldn’t wait to try recipes from it before the fall/winter holidays began!  This is a gorgeous hardback book with lovely photographs.  It contains menus and recipes for ten holidays throughout the year including a wide variety of holidays and events.

This is not a book for beginners and each recipe often includes several recipes within it.  At times, the work involved in creating the recipes did not seem equal to the end result.  Don’t let that dissuade you; there are interesting and unique combinations and do remember that you can mix and match recipes from and within this book as well as using them in the presented manner.

We tried these recipes:  Miso-Ginger Braised Tofu over Bamboo Rice Pilaf; Pumpkin Seed-Crusted Tempeh with Roasted Ginger-Maple Sweet Potatoes & Cranberry-Orange Relish; Maple-Roasted Kabocha Squash & Pickled Lotus Root; Polenta, Mushroom & Kale Casserole; and Molten Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Coulis.  We had varying reviews of the different dishes.  Our favorite was the Maple-Roasted Kabocha Squash & Pickled Lotus Root for both taste and unique combinations of textures.  The Polenta, Mushroom & Kale Casserole was also the best recipe of this nature that we have tried.

For those wanting nutritional analyses with recipes, you will not find that in this book.  However, the ingredients are solidly based in plant whole foods; there are not “gimmicky” or heavily processed ingredients in the dishes.  Kudos to the Candle group for using real food.

If you have enjoyed the earlier Candle Café cookbooks (Candle Café Cookbook and Candle 79 Cookbook) then you will enjoy this addition to your collection.  Even if you haven’t tried the earlier cookbooks Vegan Holiday Cooking by Candle Café offers unique and interesting recipes and combinations of flavors and textures.

Justina Walls (11/10/2014)