I wrote this gift guide at the same time I am paring down the things I own in an attempt to clear the clutter and extras in my small apartment. I was careful to include what I feel is useful or even essential. Books with reliable and appealing recipes and guides to show us why and how are essential for me, even as inspiration. Calibrated measuring spoons and cups are essential for bakers, while a high-speed blender is very nice to have. (I can’t imagine not having my Vitamix.) Online or classroom learning is a gift that will keep on giving, and there are the confections, with discount codes, from some of my friends. Lastly, you will find the big treats, which are the vegan trips to Alaska and Italy (everyone is welcome). I’d very much like to know what you think of this guide. Feel free to share your own ideas for giving or getting in the comments. Happy, healthy holiday wishes to you all! And by the way, I am giving away two signed copies of Vegan Chocolate and More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts Naturally as my gift to you. Enter to win at the bottom of the post.
But What is Vegan Anyway?
How to Be Vegan: Tips, Tricks, and Strategies for Cruelty-Free Eating, Living, Dating, Travel, Decorating, and More, Elizabeth Castoria
It was time for a book that goes beyond the recipes and Elizabeth did just that with clear advice, excellent graphics and good-natured humor. How does a newbie adopt a vegan approach when it comes to dating, entertaining, decorating, travel, and beyond? Find out in How to Be Vegan.
Learn to Cook without Recipes
The Vegetarian Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity with Vegetables, Fruits, Grains, Legumes, Nuts, Seeds, and More, Based on the Wisdom of Leading American Chefs, Karen Page
To quote the author Karen Page, “If you master a single recipe, you’ll learn how to cook a single dish. If you master the dynamics of flavor, you can make anything taste better.” Emphasizing plant-based whole foods including vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, the book provides an A-to-Z listing of hundreds of ingredients, from Açaí to Zucchini Blossoms, cross-referenced with the herbs, spices, and other seasonings that best enhance their flavor, resulting in thousands of recommended pairings. I’m amazed at what I am learning as I read this book.
Plant Power: Transform Your Kitchen, Plate, and Life with More Than 150 Fresh and Flavorful Vegan Recipes, Nava Atlas
Eating vegan doesn’t have to be about sacrifice, substitutions or hours in the kitchen! Bestselling vegan author, cook, and creator of VegKitchen.com Nava Atlas delivers a beautiful must-have guide to transform your plate, your kitchen and your life with the best nature has to offer, including 125 delicious and versatile plant-based recipes for every day of the year.
Around the World
Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from London’s Ottolenghi, Yotam Ottolenghi
With more than 150 vegetarian dishes – from salads to desserts organized by cooking method and emphasizing spices, seasonality, and bold flavors. A visually stunning collection of inspired recipes, many are vegan and of the ones that are not are adaptable. I wanted to drop what I was meant to do and get into the kitchen and start cooking immediately.
African, Caribbean, and southern food are all known and loved as vibrant and flavor-packed cuisines. In Afro-Vegan, renowned chef and food justice activist Bryant Terry reworks and remixes the favorite staples, ingredients, and classic dishes of the African Diaspora to present wholly new, creative culinary combinations that will amaze vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores alike
Find 100 gluten-free, vegan recipes for fantastic smoothies, meals, and more made quickly and easily in a blender. In addition to the excellent recipes, you will find a great deal of clear and easy to understand information about health supportive ingredients, why and how to use them, charts for making plant milks and much more. See also: The Blender Girl App.
Vegan Casseroles: Pasta Bakes, Gratins, Pot Pies, and More, Julie Hasson
As is the case with all of Julie’s cookbooks, the recipes are simple to make and reliably delicious. Giving up shepherd’s pie, eggplant parm, and cheesy rice casserole was not an option for Julie Hasson, who took on the challenge to recreate flavors she loved, but without the cheese, eggs, butter, and cholesterol. You don’t have to be vegan or vegetarian to love the recipes for old favorites made healthier. As is the case with all of Julie’s cookbooks, the recipes are simple to make and reliably delicious.
Salads and Such
Salad Samurai: 100 Cutting-Edge, Ultra-Hearty, Easy-to-Make Salads You Don’t Have to Be Vegan to Love, Terry Hope Romero
With designations for gluten-free and raw-ready options and recipes that are work-friendly, weeknight-ready, high-protein, and loaded with superfoods, Terry shows us the way of the salad: killer dishes that are satisfying, healthy, and scrumptious.
Raw and Raw-ish
Choosing Raw: Making Raw Foods Part of the Way You Eat, Gena Hamshaw
Find innovative and wholesome meal plans sorted in levels from newcomer to plant-based pro.Gena offers a simple path to health and wellness with over 100 recipes that are clear and appealing, lovely photos and nutritional advice is sound.
For the SOS crowd: No salt, oil, or sugar
The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook: Over 125 Delicious, Life-Changing, Plant-Based Recipes, Ann Crile Esselstyn and Jane Esselstyn
The authors are a mother-daughter team with decades of experience developing delicious, healthful dishes for both their family and Dr. Esselstyn’s many grateful patients. In this much-anticipated cookbook, they share more than 125 delicious and nutritious recipes that make it easy to follow Dr. Esselstyn’s lifesaving dietary advice.
Vegan Holiday Cooking from Candle Cafe: Celebratory Menus and Recipes from New York’s Premier Plant-Based Restaurants, Joy Pierson, Angel Ramos and Jorge Pineda
Because the holiday are almost here! This collection of vegan holiday recipes—the first of its kind from award-winning chefs—elevates plant-based fare to a new level. With fresh, inventive menus for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Lunar New Year, Super Bowl Sunday, Valentine’s Day, Passover, Easter, Cinco de Mayo, and Independence Day, this cookbook blends favorite traditions with a modern sensibility.
Sweet Eats for All: 250 Decadent Gluten-Free, Vegan Recipes–from Candy to Cookies, Puff Pastries to Petits Fours, Allyson Kramer
Each gluten-free vegan recipe is clearly labeled as soy-free, nut-free, or corn-free, and the book dedicates an entire chapter to desserts free of refined sugar. Find popular recipes like German chocolate cake alongside innovative dishes like Chocolate Butternut Squash Pots de Crème, Candies and much more plus find tips, techniques, and common conversions and substitutions.
Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts, by me, Fran Costigan, photos by Kate Lewis
Because chocolate always makes everything better! Anyone – from newbie to pro – can make irresistible chocolate desserts from this book. With gorgeous full color photos by Kate Lewis, the book makes a gorgeous coffee table book gift too!
More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts Naturally, by Fran Costigan,
Because this dessert book from 2006 is the basis of the Costigan Vegan Baking Boot Camp®
The Green and The Red by Armand Chauvel, translated by Elisabeth Lyman
“She’s a vegetarian. He’s a carnivore. Will it be a table for one?” The Green & The Red had me from the cover blurb to the first sentence to the last. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I read some chapters too fast and will be reading it again. The novel delivers on its promise of a fun, engaging story of two people with a mutual attraction who don’t see eye to eye when it comes to food- to say the least.
A SHORT LIST OF KITCHEN TOOLS
Wilton Chocolate Pro Melting Pot Most of the time I melt chocolate using a bowl and pot as explained in my book Vegan Chocolate, but I found this inexpensive chocolate melter to be handy and I do use it much more than expected.
Escali Digital Scale How much chocolate did you chop? Is that cup of cashews really 5 ounces? Get a scale already. You won’t look back!
Norpro Stainless Steel 8 Piece Measuring Spoon Set What makes these measuring spoons so awesome is their shape and the 1/8 tsp measure. I have several sets of these!
Uncoated parchment paper Instead of bleached or coated parchment use this or the following to line cookie sheets, baking pans and cake pans. It’s indispensable. Or use Heavy Duty Half Sheets, 50-count, soy-free, vegetable-based silicone coated; approximately 70-sq. ft.
Hand Blender (Immersion Blender) An immersion or stick blender enables the quick whipping-up of soups, sauces and other soft foods directly in the pan or serving bowl. The blade attachment, sometimes interchangeable with a whisk, snaps onto a long shaft and is sensitive button that responds to gentle pressure. I use my immersion blender often and find it a breeze to clean, but the blades are sharp and the button is sensitive, so it is very, very important that you unplug the blender before cleaning.
Microplane Premium Zester/Grater I used to avoid zesting. Then I found the Microplane grater, which originated as an excellent smoothing tool for woodworkers. With razor sharp teeth that allow for zesting in both directions, you can quickly zest citrus fruits, garlic, ginger and whole nutmeg and chocolate too!
CHOCOLATE AND CONFECTIONS WITH SPECIAL OFFERS
Sweet & Sara
Marshmallows never tasted this good! 100% Vegan. 100% Divine. Vegan Tested. Animal Approved.
Offer: 15% – use code FCVEGAN. Offer expires 12/22/14.
Offer: Free Shipping on orders over $100 (no code needed)
Vegan Cuts has monthly snack and beauty box subscriptions, and gift sets such as the Spa Lover’s Stocking, The Holiday Groomer’s Box, and The Leaping Bunny Stocking.
BIG TICKET, BUT WORTH IT
Own one of these and you will never look back! Get free standard shipping ($25US/$35CN) by calling 1-800-848-2649 and using the code 06-007033
COOKING SCHOOLS: LEARN TO COOK PLANT BASED
Rouxbe Plant–Based Certification Course
Led by world-renowned plant-based chef educator Chad Sarno, this ground-breaking certification course is the most comprehensive plant-based course ever put together.
Natural Gourmet Institute
Give a gift certificate for the Costigan Vegan Baking Boot Camp Intensive®!
Vegan Vacation at Sea Cruise to Alaska
Join me along with Miyoko Schinner, the Vegan Black Metal Chef, and The Vegan Zombie on an unforgettable voyage full of wonderful vegan cuisine, beautiful scenery with private vegan shore excursions available only to our group, and of course… like minded vegan people! We will be sailing on the Holland America Line’s ms Westerdam to Juneau, Glacier Bay National Park, Sitka, Ketchikan, and Victoria B.C. We are focused on one thing: providing an absolutely FUN sailing, complete with awesome vegan cuisine and awesome vegan peeps. You will enjoy the yummy food, you will have fun, and you will meet new lifelong friends…we promise!
Vegano Italiano Festival
Tierno Tours and Green Earth Travel invite you to join me for a one week vegan tour in Italy’s Amalfi coast region.On this tour, you will be taken to Cilento, Vetri Sul Mare, Felitto, the Monastery of Padula,Villa Cosilinum, Palinuro, the Castle of Roccadaspide, the Amalfi Coast, the port of Salerno, Pompeii and Peastum. Attendees stay at one of six B&Bs in the National Park of Cilento – Italy’s second largest national park. Cilento is one of the eight UNESCO World Heritage sites in the area. Historically, the Cilentana diet is hugely plant-based, and organic too. So the area is incredibly vegan-friendly!
MY GIFT TO YOU
Enter to win one of two sets of signed books. Both winners will get autographed copies of Vegan Chocolate and More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts Naturally. Follow the instructions below to enter. Contest ends at midnight eastern standard time on Wednesday, December 17, 2014. Good luck!
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