2016 Vegan Holiday Gift Guide

Fran Costigan's 2016 Vegan Holiday Gift Guide
I’m having trouble figuring out how we got to the winter holidays so quickly, or so it seems to me, but here we are again. And this year, for only the 4th time in the past 100 years, Christmas and Chanukah are falling on the same day. I have assembled vegan holiday gift guide with links to make checking out items easier. Remember that there is a place for handmade gifts, too.


Fran Costigan's 2016 Vegan Holiday Gift Guide - BooksThere are a lot of gift-worthy books, some are new and some are essential classics.

Be Inspired!

Aquafaba: Sweet and Savory Vegan Recipes Made Egg-Free with the Magic of Bean Water, Zsu Dever
The bean liquid we used to throw away turns out to be one of the most astonishing culinary discoveries of the decade. With its amazing egg-replacement abilities, miraculous “aquafaba” can be used as an egg-replacer to make everything from French toast to lemon meringue pie. Aquafaba can be used as a binder in both sweet and savory recipes and is a boon to vegans, people with egg allergies, as well as anyone interested in innovative cooking with a magical new ingredient.

Crossroads: Extraordinary Recipes from the Restaurant That Is Reinventing Vegan Cuisine, Tal Ronnen,  Scot Jones (Contributor), Serafina Magnussen (Contributor) 
Reinventing plant-based eating is what Tal Ronnen is all about. At his Los Angeles restaurant, Crossroads, the menu is vegan, but you won’t find soybeans or  seitan. Tal and executive chef, Scot Jones turn seasonal vegetables, beans, nuts, and grains into sophisticated Mediterranean fare. In Crossroads, Ronnen shares the restaurant’s recipes with us. You’ll need some time to make most of the recipes, but you’ll have the inside track to a Crossroads meal. Gorgeous photos inspire.

How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease, Michael Greger. M.D. and Gene Stone
The vast majority of premature deaths can be prevented through simple changes in diet and lifestyle. In How Not to Die, Dr. Michael Greger examines the fifteen top causes of premature death in America-heart disease, various cancers, diabetes, Parkinson’s, high blood pressure, and more-and explains how nutritional and lifestyle interventions can sometimes trump prescription pills and other pharmaceutical and surgical approaches, freeing us to live healthier lives.

Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking: 101 Entirely Plant-based, Mostly Gluten-Free, Easy and Delicious Recipes, Dana Shultz
Dana Shultz founded the Minimalist Baker blog in 2012 to share her passion for simple cooking and quickly gained a devoted worldwide following. Now, in this long-awaited debut cookbook, Dana shares 101 vibrant, simple recipes that are entirely plant-based, mostly gluten-free, and 100% delicious.

The Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook: Entertaining for Absolutely Every Occasion, Isa Chandra Moskowitz
Gone are the days of stressing over how to please family and friends with different dietary needs. Bursting with knock-your-socks-off, mind-bogglingly tasty vegan recipes for Cinnamon Apple Crepes, Cheeseburger Pizza, Biscuits and Gravy, Churro Biscotti, and so much more, The Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook will make everyone at your table happy-even meat eaters and the gluten challenged.

Vegan Mexico: Soul-Satisfying Regional Recipes from Tamales to Tostadas, Jason Wyrick
Jason’s delicious recipes capture the essence of the moles of Oaxaca, the Mayan legacy of the Yucatan, the smoky chile flavors of Zacatecas,the fruit-centric Southern regions, the Spanish influence of Veracruz, and the street food of Mexico City.

Vegan Under Pressure: Perfect Vegan Meals Made Quick and Easy in Your Pressure Cooker, Jill Nussinow
In Vegan Under Pressure, Jill shows how to use the pressure cookers easily, safely and effectively, while showing us the wide variety of vegan dishes that can be made quickly with the appliance. Recipes include Homemade Hummus, Harissa-Glazed Carrots with Green Olives, Pozole Chili, Farro Salad with Tomatoes and Arugula, Thai Summer Vegetable Curry, and DIY soy milk and seitan.

V Street: 100 Globe-Hopping Plates on the Cutting Edge of Vegetable Cooking, Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby
Chefs Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby bring the greatest flavors of the world to the devoted clientele of their acclaimed Philly restaurant V Street. Now, cooks can experience the same original dining experience at home with these zesty, mouthwatering recipes that whet the appetite and feed the imagination.

Culinary Fundamentals – The Classics

The Homemade Vegan Pantry: The Art of Making Your Own Staples, Miyoko Schinner
Studded with full-color photos, The Homemade Vegan Pantry celebrates beautiful, handcrafted foods. From ice cream and pizza dough, to granola and breakfast sausage. Miyoko Schinner guides readers through the techniques for making roasted tomatoes,cheeses, sauces, pastas and much more, and all without special equipment. Her easy methods make “slow food” fast, and full of flavor.

How Baking Works: Exploring the Fundamentals of Baking Science, Paula I. Figoni
The essence of baking is chemistry, and anyone who wants to be a master pastry chef must understand the principles and science that make baking work. This book explains the whys and hows of every chemical reaction, essential ingredient, and technique, revealing the complex mysteries of bread loaves, pastries, and everything in between.

More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts Naturally, Fran Costigan
Because this dessert book is the basis of the Costigan Vegan Baking Boot Camp Intensive® and still absolutely relevant.

The Pastry Chef’s Companion: A Comprehensive Resource Guide for the Baking and Pastry Professional, Glenn Rinsky and Laura Halpin Rinsky
With more than 4,800 terms and definitions from around the world plus ten appendices filled with helpful resources, The Pastry Chef’s Companion combines the best features of a dictionary and an encyclopedia.

Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts, 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! (Friends outside of the United States, note that Vegan Chocolate has been published in German, French and Italian.)

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.


Fran Costigan's 2016 Vegan Holiday Gift Guide – Kitchen ToolsHere are some essentials for making desserts. I’ve included links so that you can have visuals of the items.

Escali Digital Scale
How much chocolate did you chop? Is that cup of cashews really 5 ounces? Get a digital scale already. You won’t look back!

Norpro Stainless Steel 8 Piece Measuring Spoon Set  
What makes these measuring spoons so awesome is their long necks, which makes scooping from small jars easy. You’ll appreciate the 1/8 tsp measure too. I have several sets.

Nesting Measuring Cups for Dry Ingredients
No fancy shaped cups please! Get 1, 2, and 4 cup liquid measuring cups too! I like these for home and traveling.

Indispensible 1/4 cup Liquid Measuring Cups
I carry these with me to schools and on trips.

Commercial Half and Quarter Sheet Pans
These are the hardest working pans in the kitchen! They’re great for toasting nuts, seeds, containing spillovers while pies bake, as cookie sheets, make sheet cakes, and more

Parchment Paper to Line Sheet Pans
Buy the half sheet size and cut for the quarter sheets. These ship flat.

Parchment Paper Rounds to line cake pans 
Sure, you can cut parchment to fit your pans, but I find having a stack of these precut  8-9- and 10 inch rounds handy. Make sure you have some parchment sheets to line your baking pans too.

Cooling Racks

Cupcake Boxes
I just started ordering these boxes for gifting mini cupcakes and Gluten-Free Brownie Bites. The packaging is flat, the windowed box makes an attractive presentation.

Whisks, Ballon

Whisks, Flat

Silicone Spatulas
I like mini ones too. Get more than you think you need, because you will need them.

Heatproof Mixing Bowls 

Flexible Cutting Boards
These make transferring chopped chocolate easy.

Culinary Torch
A torch is essential for working with meringue, that’s aqufaba!

Hand Blender 
An immersion or stick blender enables you to puree soaked prunes (for making brownies), as well as make soups, sauces, and much more directly in the pan or serving bowl. The blade attachment, which in some models is interchangeable with a whisk, snaps onto a long shaft. You press a button and blend.  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 extrememly important that you unplug the blender before cleaning.

Lemon and Lime Squeezer
Amazing little gadget gets all the juice out of lemons and limes, strains the seeds, fits into small places for storing.

Microplane Premium Zester/Grater
I used to avoid zesting until I found the microplane. With razor sharp teeth that allow for zesting in both directions, you can quickly zest citrus fruits, garlic, ginger and whole nutmeg–chocolate too!

Electric Spice-and-Nut Grinder
Spice and nut grinders are always helpful in baking.

I recommend Tribest Sedona Express, which has digital displays, a glass hinged door, and metal trays.

Because high-speed blenders are pricy big ticket item, I’d say technically this is a of nice to have instead of essential. But honestly, I can’t imagine not having my Vitamix in the kitchen. I know it saves time and utimately money too. I was tired burning out standard blenders. Want a Vitamix? Be very good, and let Santa know. Get free standard shipping ($25US/$35CN) by calling 1-800-848-2649 and using the code 06-007033

Food Processor
Don’t bother with a mini processor. They don’t work.

Stand Mixer 
Nice to have, especially if you are into working with aquafaba or making vegan buttercream. You can also use an Electric Hand Mixer and patience.

Large Stand Mixer
If you’re working with larger batches or bread, a 6 quart mixer is helpful. This is the one I have.


Fran Costigan's 2016 Vegan Holiday Gift Guide – Food Gifts

Lagusta’s Luscious 
Founded in 2003 by a passionate vegan chef, Lagusta’s Luscious artisanal chocolates combine a deep commitment to social justice, environmentalism and animal rights with the love of bold flavor of a true foodie and the obsessive commitment to artisan techniques of a chocolatier. Use code weheartfran at checkout  for 10% discount.

Rescue Chocolate
Rescue Chocolate has just come out with scrumptious new curated collections for cat-lovers, fruit-lovers, white chocolate-lovers, and creamy dessert-lovers. All of their chocolate bars and truffles are vegan, fairly traded, organic, non-GMO, handcrafted in Brooklyn NY, and kosher. And, all profits are donated to various animal rescue organizations. Use code hello at checkout for a 15% discount.

Gone Pie
Order brownies, pies, macaroons, or peanut butter caramel cups – everything is vegan and gluten-free.

Miyoko’s Kitchen
From delicate and creamy to pungent and hard, Mikoyo’s Kitchen makes a wide range of vegan cheeses made nuts.

Vegan Cuts Snack Box Subscription
This subscription service sends a box of vegan snack straight to your door each month.


Fran Costigan's 2016 Vegan Holiday Gift Guide – Vegan Fashion

Gunas is an independent high fashion label with a cause! Started in 2009 by designer and animal lover, Sugandh G. Agrawal.  They are committed to being a 100% vegan brand, and they make fashion-foward cruelty-free handbags and shoes.

Vaute is the world’s first vegan fashion brand, founded with a mission of taking animals out of the fashion equation, by creating something better, using innovative, high-tech, sustainable textiles, cut and sewn in NYC’s garment district. Voute originally started as a vegan coat company, but they’ve since expanded to clothes, shoes, and accessories. They make men’s clothing, too. This week only use the code WELOVEKINDMEN to get $50 off a men’s coat or sweater, plus free shipping.


Fran’s Essential Vegan Desserts Course with Rouxbe
Learn to make vegan desserts like a pro, whether you are a newbie or a pro, on your own schedule. This is an online course based on my popular NYC basedVegan Baking Boot Camp ®. It’s a 90-day course that focuses on essential techniques and recipes so you can create quality vegan desserts with confidence.The next course starts on February 2nd, and space is limited.

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. Read what Dianne Wenz had to say of her Rouxbe experience.


Fran Costigan's 2016 Vegan Holiday Gift Guide – Gifts that Give

Farm Sanctuary
Farm Sanctuary’s mission is to protect farm animals from cruelty, inspire change in the way society views and treats farm animals, and promote compassionate vegan living.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
The Physicians Committee is leading a revolution in medicine—putting a new focus on health and compassion. The Physicians Committee combines the clout and expertise of more than 12,000 physicians with the dedicated actions of 150,000 members across the United States and around the world.

American Civil Liberties Union
For almost 100 years, the ACLU has worked to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

Environmental Working Group
The Environmental Working Group’s mission is to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. With breakthrough research and education, we drive consumer choice and civic action.

Coalition for Healthy School Food
The Coalition for Healthy School Food is a nonprofit that introduces plant-based foods and nutrition education in schools to educate the whole school community.


East Coast meets West Coast on Vegan Cruise to Alaska

Franci and Curtis Kettman are the Vegan Cruise Planners. 2015 found me in awe of Alaska as I cruised with 110+ vegans and vegan curious thanks to VCP. I did a cooking demo, as did other vegan cookbook authors, and YouTube sensations. New lifelong friends were made and long time friendships were celebrated. 2016, found me again on a Vegan Cruise, this time to Panama and it was as exciting. The 2017 destination has not yet been announced—and I will be returning! Check this link for the news as it happens.

Dear friends, I am truly interested to know what you like to give and to get as gifts, so please let me know in the comments section.  I’m sending my sincere wishes to each one of you for a happy, healthy holiday season. May there be peace on earth for all.


CookbooksAs my gift to you, I have two holiday giveaways. One winner will receive a copy of Vegan Chocolate and a signed bookplate, and another will receive a copy of More Great Good Dairy Free Desserts. Follow the instructions below to enter. Contest ends at midnight eastern standard time on Tuesday, December 13, 2016. U.S residents only, please. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway



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