December 04, 2011

Celebrate Vegan — Book review and giveaway




If you follow the Urban Vegan blog (and you do, right?), you know that Dynise Balcavage provides her readers with clever, beautiful and delicious recipes that are usually surprisingly easy to prepare. You can cook the recipes for every day meals, but feel perfectly comfortable serving them to dinner guests. In her second cookbook, Celebrate Vegan: 200 Life-Affirming Recipes for Occasions Big and Small, Dynise shares her collection of elegant but (mostly) easy, vegan, seasonal recipes, for celebrating special events from around the world. She's covered everything from the most typical U.S. celebrations to holidays like Timkat, the Ethiopian Epiphany, for which she provides recipes for Ethiopian collards, mini injeras and spiced lentils. Accompanying each recipe or group of recipes, is a short, informative discussion about the holiday, as well as chatty, personal anecdotes that weave Dynise's vibrant personality into the menus.

I was one of the lucky recipe testers for Celebrate Vegan, so I can tell you first hand how good the recipes are. I made the three Ethiopian dishes mentioned above, and they were great. Here are photos of some of the dishes I've tried, and the holidays associated with them.


Cinnamon-date scones - Snow Day (Hey, why not treat a snow day as a holiday?)


Paté aux champignons éxotiques - Bastille Day


Cecina - World Vegetarian Day


Mushy peas (OK. This one wasn't my favorite, but my husband liked it.)


Hot and sour carrots and lentils - New Year's Day


Tofu with broccoli and black bean sauce - Chinese New Year


Mega-Israeli salad - Hanukkah


Spicy tomato-lemon dressing - Girls' Night In

(You can find recipes for the hot and sour carrots and lentils, and the tofu with broccoli and black bean sauce in the sneak peek feature for Celebrate Vegan on Amazon.)

To make your recipe choices especially relevant to your needs, Dynise has coded the recipes as fast, frugal, kid-friendly, make ahead or omnivore-friendly, and marked them with icons for easy identification.

If you'd like to win a copy of Celebrate Vegan, leave a comment on this post, and I'll randomly choose a winner Dec. 11.

UPDATE: This contest has ended and a winner has been selected.

Full disclosure: I received two free copies of the cookbook from the publisher, and I'm giving one away. I earned my copy by participating in the recipe testing. I was not required to write a review. I am not an affiliate of this company. All opinions are my own.

45 comments:

  1. I want, I want!! :) This looks really great. Love the cinnamon date scones idea AND the Ethiopian food!!

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  2. looks yummy! my mouth is watering now!
    http://veglov.com/

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  3. The tomato and lemon dressing looks great!

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  4. This book looks fantastic! :)

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  5. OH my goodness, everything looks delicious! I always love a new cookbook :)

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  6. Oh wow, based on the photos, I'd be celebrating Chinese New Year about 355 days of the year! YUM!

    I haven't entered a giveaway in a dog's age, so I'll happily toss my hat into the ring.

    Speaking of a dog's age, how is sweet Buffy doing?

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  7. Wow, count me in! I'm planning to make Israeli Salad tonight anyway!!!

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  8. Laloofa,
    Buffy is hanging in there.

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  9. this book looks amazing and yummy!

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  10. Give her a kiss from me!

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  11. This cookbook sounds interesting.

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  12. Thank you for hosting this contest Andrea (and obviously, I don't need another cookbook. I got a whole box of them in my living room ;)

    Hope all is well with you xo

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  13. Sounds like a great book! I'd love a copy so I can try all the dishes from other countries' holidays. :)

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  14. wow! what a great review you did!! I LOVE that you cooked so many recipes from the book, that's amazing! also, I love that she has so many different holidays and celebrations in the book. How fun and festive.

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  15. I've got to get in on this recipe testing thing...all the food looks awesome! I love mushy peas, but can understand that it wouldn't be everyone's favorite thing. :D. Thanks for the head's up on the Urban Vegan blog...I'll definitely check it out.

    I feel like I already have too many cookbooks though, so I'll sit this one out. :)

    Glad to hear Buffy is hanging in there...I've been thinking of you guys.

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  16. May I take this opportunity to wish you a happy holidays.

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  17. You had me at Ethiopian Epiphany.

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  18. I just made the Millet Crusted Mushroom Leek Pie from her first cookbook and it was a raging success. I really want to try those Hot and Sour Carrots and Lentils! Damn.

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  19. ohgoodgolly that Tofu with Broccoli and Black Bean Sauce looks so amazingly delicious! Yes I would like to serve this for Chinese New Year...thanks for the giveaway!

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  20. I would love to be entered in the draw. Thank you! :-)

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  21. What a great cookbook to be a tester for! Such variety and everything Dynise makes is delicious! I would love to win a copy!

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  22. This looks like an amazing book! Thanks for the chance to win...*fingers crossed*

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  23. The Tofu with broccoli and black bean sauce looks amazing. Yums!

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  24. Oh I'd love this book!!

    Snow days DEFINITELY count as a holiday! =)

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  25. What fun! Holiday cooking is the best, no matter what holiday it is. I'd sure love to win a copy of the book!

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  26. Those scones look delicious, and I love black bean sauce! I'm jealous that you got to test for this one :)

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  27. Wow, everything you made looks great. I'd love to win a copy of Celebrate Vegan. :o)

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  28. This has been on my wishlist since I first heard about it. Sounds like a really fun book with inventive dishes. Now we can be celebrating all year around by eating all the different countries' festive dishes!

    http://coconutandberries.tumblr.com

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  29. I'm always looking for a good Ethiopian collards recipe. This book sounds/looks great!

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  30. What great looking dishes! I'm going to head over to Amazon to check out those recipes. :-)

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  31. Beautiful meals! I'd love a copy of this cookbook. Thanks for sharing too.

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  32. The pictures look delicious! I'd love to win!

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  33. Did I win. I'll trade you a tee shirt :) Finally a beautiful book that will help me celebrate my Chinese, Ethiopian French Israeli girl heritage.

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  34. Looks amazing! As a new vegan, it would be awesome to win!

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  35. All of those photographs are making me hungry and I just ate dinner! I love the Urban Vegan cookbook and I imagine Celebrate Vegan is just as amazing.

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  36. Oooh sign me up please! I really haven't cooked much ethnic-y food and every one of those recipes just sound fabulous.

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  37. Oh wow--everything looks so good!

    Courtney

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  38. I am keeping my fingers crossed! I am brand new to eating this way. I am still getting used to saying, "I'm vegan." This book would be super helpful, I must say:)

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  39. I hope I'm lucky just this one time, because I really want to make those scones!

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  40. I love to entertain! I need new inspiration- and ive got a tough crowd of omnis to impress this holiday season...

    Ttrockwood@yahoo.com

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  41. Bummer, I missed the giveaway. I know I saw this and meant to come back to comment ages ago. I like how you included dishes that aren't the "main" celebratory holidays. We love to have reasons to celebrate around here, so you've given me ideas.

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  42. Oh wow! those recipes look so interesting and tasty. I want you to start a restaurant here in St. George, Utah with all of those options on the menu, so I can come try everything. Well, if I get your cookbook, I can try making some fun dishes for my family.

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Thanks for visiting Andrea's easy vegan cooking. I love, and read, all of your comments! Please share your thoughts.

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Note: ALL THE IMAGES FROM THIS BLOG WERE ACCIDENTALLY DELETED ON 1-21-12. I'M RESTORING THEM, POST BY POST, BUT IT WILL TAKE A LONG TIME. Recipe pages you visit may be missing photos, but all the text in intact. If you find a post without images, let me know so I can fix it. Thanks!

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