The Veggie Table: Veg-Friendly Foodie Gifts

By: Janel Ovrut Funk

Sure, there are faux-leather belts or wool-free sweater that you think might be perfect for that vegetarian or vegan friend, but you can be more creative than that. If you need some gift ideas for the veggie lover in your life, read on for some of my favorites.

VEGETARIAN KITCHEN ACCESSORIES

Ever since I switched to a meat-free diet, these are gadgets and appliances I can’t live without:

Grill pan - Get great grill marks on tofu, tempeh and veggies without a big bulky outdoor grill. Buy one with a panini press lid and you can make grilled sandwiches, too.

Immersion blender - This hand-held tool makes soups and smoothies super creamy in a snap. Because it's less bulky than a traditional blender, it's a cinch to clean.

Soft measuring cups - Vegan baking involved gooey ingredients -- peanut butter and agave, for example -- that cling to the sides of measuring cups. Soft measuring cups allow you to pop the cup part inside out so you can scrape off the ingredients without losing any.

AeroGarden - This foolproof contraption helps you grow vegetables, herbs and even flowers without dirt (or a green thumb!) year-round.

Food dehydrator - Make your own dried fruit snacks and veggie chips easily; dehydrators work to retain most of the nutrients in your produce while preserving their shelf life.

Rice cooker - Make big batches of whole grains with the press of a button, a definite help for the busy cook. Look for rice cookers that also steam veggies for extra benefit.

Vegetable spiralizer - A spiralizer cuts vegetables and fruits into curly, ribbon-like slices. Try making zucchini ribbons or carrot curls to use in place of pasta or to top your salad greens.

FOR COOKBOOK LOVERS

Read it and eat. These books feature mouthwatering recipes that even carnivores will covet (we can't guarantee all recipes meet Healthy Eats' nutritional parameters, though).

  • Isa Moskowitz's collection -- She's authored several cookbooks, including Vegan with a Vengeance, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, Vegan Brunch and Veganomicon.
  • Dreena Burton's The Everyday Vegan: Recipes and Lessons for Living the Vegan Life or Vive Le Vegan! Simple Delectable Recipes for the Everyday Vegan Family -- This self-taught cook has a simple style that anyone can use.
  • Mollie Katzen's widely popular Moosewood Cookbook includes recipes for easy-to-prepare vegetarian dishes that are natural.
  • Vegetarian Times - This magazine showcases exclusively vegetarian and vegan fare -- plus nutrition and lifestyle information for the health-conscious reader. The gorgeous photographs will make you want to try every recipe!
DIY GIFTS

This may be a budget-savvy option but it's still heart felt to give a gift straight from your own kitchen.

  • Make dry veggie or bean soup mixes and scoop them into mason jars with decorative fabric lids.
  • Create your own spice rubs for grilled veggies or tofu and put them in decorative spice boxes. Attach your favorite handwritten recipes.

For more of my favorite edible holiday gifts, check out my blog post Dine Dish Delish: DIY Edible Gifts.

Wishing you happy and healthy holidays!

Janel Ovrut, MS RD LDN, loves experimenting with vegetarian and vegan cooking. Read her food blog, Dine Dish Delish, and follow her on Twitter @DietitianJanel. Catch up on her previous posts here.

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