Vegan Holiday Kitchen by Nava Atlas

Last month I reviewed Nava Atals’ wonderful vegan cookbook called Wild About Greens. (Link: When I asked for one of her cookbooks, I received two, so now I have the wonderful opportunity to experiment with her holiday recipes.

In her Introduction, the author tells us about her earlier book, 20 years ago, called Vegetarian Celebrations. The Vegan Holiday Kitchen is not actually a revised edition of this earlier work, since the earlier book covered many more holidays and (I think) was not all vegan. The landscape of vegetarianism has changed greatly in the last 20 years, and many vegetarians have made the leap to veganism. This book addresses the vegan diet and also includes allergy and celiac issues, so I feel the newer book provides a broader palate/palette. However, as Atlas notes, she has included some the guides from the earlier book that are relevant to the newer book.

What I would like to do is post two recipes today, one for Passover and one for Easter, since they both occur this week-end. Then, when another holiday crops up I may post another recipe from Nava’s book suitable for that holiday. However, Chapter 6 is entitled Brunches, Appetizers, and Potluck Dishes, so then look goes beyond holidays and when I am not on a deadline for a holiday, I can explore Chapter 6.

Finally, the photos throughout the book are fantastic, thanks to photographer Susan Voison. If you are new to vegan cooking, having photos is almost a necessity to prove that vegan dishes can be just as inviting as non-vegan dishes, which is especially helpful when introducing these dishes to die-hard carnivores. Happy holidays!

Mock Chopped Liver
(Cashew, Onion, and Mushroom Pâté)

Gluten-Free    Soy-Free

Author’s Notes: Makes About 2 cups: This look-alike (though not taste-alike) of the classic Jewish pâté is very often favored over “the real thing” as an appetizer. Serve it with raw vegetables and matzoh crackers.

2 tablespoons olive oil or other healthy vegetable
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
1 cup sliced baby bella or cremini mushrooms 
2/3 cup toasted cashews
1 tablespoon lemon juice, or to taste
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Finely minced fresh parsley for garnish

1. Heat the oil in a small skillet. Sauté the onions slowly over medium heat, stirring frequently until nicely browned. Add the mushrooms and continue to sauté briefly until wilted.

2. Combine the onion mixture with the cashews and lemon juice in the food processor. Process until smoothly pureed, scraping down the sides the work bowl as needed. Season with salt and pepper and additional lemon juice if desired, and pulse on and off to work in the mixture.

3. Transfer to a serving dish and cover until needed. If making ahead of time, store in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving. Just before serving, sprinkle the top with paprika and parsley.

Spring Greens with Citrus Dressing

Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Nut-Free

Author’s Notes: 8 servings. This delightful salad benefits from a double dose of orange flavor and the surprising anise lilt of fennel.


Juice of one orange (about 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 to 3 ounces mixed baby greens,or as much as desired
1 bunch watercress leaves
Handful green sprouts, such as pea shoots
3 to small small oranges such as clementines,peeled and sectioned
2 to 3 tablespoons toasted sunflower of pumpkin seeds, or as desired

1. Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together.

2. Trim the tough stalks away from the fennel, reserving some the feathery leaves for garnishing the salad. Trim the bottom of the bulb, halve lengthwise, then slice thinly.

3. If the baby carrots are thick, quarter them lengthwise, and if thin, halve them lengthwise. Combine the carrots and fennel in a serving bowl with the remaining ingredients and toss together.

4. Just before serving, add dressing as needed to moisten the salad (you’ll use most or all of it, depending on how much of the greens you use) and toss together. Sprinkle some of the reserved fennel leaves over the top and serve.


The beautifully written and illustrated Vegan Holiday Kitchen is published bySterling Publishers and costs $24.95. Also, check out Nava Atlas’ website:

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4 Responses to “Vegan Holiday Kitchen by Nava Atlas”

  1. Mary-Lou Meyers says:

    Thanks for the great recipes, interesting to note, two of my grandchildren are celebrating Easter,
    and two are celebrating Passover so both of these recipes are valuable. I’m certain there are many mixed
    families with many different traditions.

  2. barb schiltz says:

    I MUST try the vegan chopped liver!!! i really enjoy her Greens cookbook too!

  3. I just made the mock chopped liver for a Seder. Very good! es

  4. Very ecumenical! es

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