This is “roasted” garlic from a pressure cooker! Amazing! Laura of Hip Pressure Cooking is a bona fide genius. She can make everything in a pressure cooker, and has so many fantastic veg recipes! You know we love pressure cookers, and HPC is a superb resource for making the most of your miracle device.
Ten-minute roasted garlic! I’m hungry and in awe!
The Ultimate Vegan Gift Guide! »
Last week I told you what to buy the omnis in your life, today we shift our focus to what to buy vegans! If you want to make gifts at home, this is not the post for you; but if you want to buy kick-ass vegan gifts for the vegans in your life, you’ve come to the right place! And most of them are gifts that give back in their own way so you can feel good about giving and your vegan can feel good about getting. Wait, did I really say kick-ass? It’s how I felt! That’s how excited I get about buying presents. It’s my favorite thing to do! And here are my top gift picks for vegans:
I totally encourage you to make your own vegan gingerbread house but it is kind of a hassle. And really, besides eating the cookie dough, decorating is the best part. So what if the pieces were already made and ready for you to decorate?! And someone sent you vegan candies and frosting to decorate with?! Why, that’d be the best! You aren’t just giving someone yummy vegan food, you’re giving them the gift of wholesome, old-fashion fun! And it always feels good to patronize team VeganEtsy.
This is a great gift for kids, families, holiday-enthusiasts, craft-lovers, or people who love pomp and circumstance but just don’t have a ton of time.
You can’t really have a vegan gift guide without at least one Matt and Nat product. But Matt and Nat for Apple? Be still my heart! The only snag is this bag only fits the 13 inch Macbook. I don’t have the bitty 13 incher! But if you know someone who does, this is the greatest present. The faux suede lining is made from 100 percent recycled plastic bottles and all their packaging is made from recycled materials. They also say they occasionally donate bags to women’s shelters and donate vegetarian meals to homeless people. That’s nice.
Belts are one of the few accessories dudes get to wear, so they should take them very seriously. Some of them do—and this goes doubly for vegan boys. It is difficult to find the perfect vegan belt! But friends, I may have found it. Not only is the Captain cruelty-free, the Vegan Collection takes great pains to ethically source their products. They visit the factories where the belts are made to make sure they’re on the up and up. They also seek to keep their products as eco-friendly as they can. Kudos! It comes in black as well but I’m partial to brown.
There’s not really a better present in the world than a Vaute Couture coat, but unfortunately, buying a coat for someone else is pretty difficult. What’s not difficult is buying super-cute over-sized sweatshirts! I have this sweatshirt and it rules (Meave and Laura actually got it for me because they are the best and they know how to keep me happy!). It’s like Animal Farm meets Flashdance. It’s also just about the softest thing in the world. And it’s printed on an “Alternative Earth sweatshop free sweatshirt made of eco-heather fleece (recycled polyester & organic cotton) with water based ink in the US.” Sounds good to me!
Everybody needs a wallet. But a wallet is hard to pick and a hassle to find! So if you know someone whose current wallet is on its last leg, a new wallet is a good gift. You took all the work out of it for them and they can just transfer their cards and move on down the road!
This wallet is extra cool because it’s, “handmade primarily of newspapers and plastic bags collected off the streets of Delhi, India. The production of this wallet helps reduce waste in Delhi, provides fair-wage employment, and subsidizes health-care and education for each employee’s family.” That’s what I like to hear! Plus, I like the way it looks. That’s always nice.
Oh and keep in mind: PETA is polarizing within the vegan community so make sure your giftee is a fan before you pick up this wallet.
This is our Rachel’s bid for the perfect present for your vegan: a pressure cooker! I don’t really understand them or know what they are but Rachel says they RULE. We don’t know which brand is best but she thinks you’ll be fine with one of these Presto numbers. Rachel says these things make cooking beans a snap! I just use canned beans. I guess that’s bad for the environment? I mean I do recycle the cans. But there’s less waist if you get them in bulk and cook them yourself.
So if you know a big vegan cook and they are without one of these babies, go ahead and change their culinary world!
We all know vegans love to eat and they especially love sweets. And the harder the vegan alternative is to find, the more they are obsessed with it! So procuring some excellent vegan chocolate is always a good gift. When it comes to chocolate, there is one place that holds my heart: Cocoa V in Manhattan. Owned by the co-founder of Blossom, Cocoa V is a chocolate and wine bar—my two favorite things! But to your good fortune, you can order from them online! What to order? Well, anything. They have all sorts of exciting goodies like Earl Grey caramels and chocolate edamame clusters, but I HIGHLY recommend the vegan Butterfinger. It’s out of control delicious. And while getting your pals vegan chocolate is nice, getting it from Cocoa V makes it a bit more special. In addition, Cocoa V chocolate is organic and fair-trade. Holler!
I know, it’s a terrible picture, but you get the idea. Do you have a lovely Jewish vegan in your life? This is the perfect gift! Chocolate dipped marshmallows in Hannukah shapes (I don’t know if that’s how you spell Hannukah but that’s how they spell it so I’m keeping it consistent). And you’ll be happy to know that Sweet and Sara is on the “chocolate we feel comfortable recommending” list over at the Food Empowerment Project. A happy Hannukuh indeed!
This is a nice gift for a cat-owner or if you are looking for a present for your little kitty. Actually, lots of dogs like grass too. It aids in digestion! And pet grass is great if someone is having problems with their cat eating houseplants. They have the natural instinct to eat plants and maybe they will stay away from houseplants (that could be poisonous!) if you give them nice grass to chew on. My cat LOVES this stuff. And it’s so cute to watch them eat it because they cock their little heads and do that funny squinty chew. Hilar.
It’s always nice to get a pet-lover a present for their pets because it lets them know that you care about what matters to them. And this 100 percent organic kitty grass is good for the kitty’s health so that is an extra little bit of consideration! Plus, if you buy the kitty garden through the link above, proceeds go to the Humane Society. Good for you!
This is a nice present for the vegan dog or the vegan dog-owner. I got these for my dog and he loves them. I don’t even know if he likes the way they taste actually; mostly he just carries it around the house with him and then chews it down very slowly. But he sure loves to carry them around! It’s very cute. He’s very proud.
I have to warn you, there’s a small chance that these aren’t vegan. I’m positive they’re vegetarian but nothing is telling me they’re vegan. BUT there’s a British version that appears to be the same company that I KNOW is vegan. I think they are the same but if you don’t want to risk it, you can order from Veggie Pets in the U.K. Shipping will be more expensive but peace of mind isn’t cheap! And veggie chews are hard to find. That’s exactly what makes this a nice gift, there are almost no vegan dog chews and not many people are aware of this brand. And chewing is good for dogs! It relieves stress! So your vegan dog-owner will be pleased you searched the world for the perfect chew for their sweet pup.
Know a tiny vegan? Turn them into a superhero with this 100 percent organic cotton, fair-trade shirt from the super-ethical Autonomie Project! And this shirt is extra special because it raises funds for Farm Sanctuary.
This is nice because it makes a celebration out of being vegan. Superheroes are special and so are vegan kids! So vegan kids are essentially superheroes! Don’t check my math. But you know what I mean, it is special to be a vegan kid but it can be good special or bad special—try to make it good special!
This is a no-brainer. Vegans love food and surprises are the best—so surprise snacks every month are great! And remember, if you are one of the first 50 to use the “VEGANSAURUS20” coupon code when you purchase a gift subscription (note: it only works for the gift subscriptions!), you will get 20 percent off your purchase!
This present works for the new vegan, the bored vegan, the acquaintance vegan, the bff vegan—pretty much all vegans. And maybe they will share with you! Surprise vegan snacks for all.
I wrote about John Bartlett and Tiny Tim previously, and I still love them. And this limited edition Fair Isle sweatshirt is dope! Good for the boy or girl in your life or any pal who likes tripods or rescue dogs. These eco-friendly shirts aren’t just adorable, they raise money for animals saved from high-risk shelters.
I especially like this for dudes because dudes are super cute in sweet animal stuff. It’s like ironic but not at all. If I saw a dude in this sweatshirt? Wham bam! I’d be all over that. And then he could tell me all about the Tiny Tim Fund and I’d be like, “OMG let’s get married as soon as I believe in marriage!”
This makes a useful, fun, inexpensive gift that also happens to be adorbs. What’s better than good-looking people with cute dogs? Not much. Chako has got you covered for the hunk-loving pit bull fan and Pinups for Pit Bulls has the ladies.
A calendar can be kind of not awesome as a present but it is awesome when it’s something cool and benefits a good cause like saving pit bulls. Calendars are corny gifts when you’re just getting someone ANY calendar just to have something to give them. But these are more like collector’s items! And if you know a pit bull-lover, they will like this. And they will like it all the more when you tell them it helps pit bulls too.
Another thing to note is that this is kind of the only time of year you can buy someone a calendar. So you might want to take advantage of that.
I have to confess to you that I love “of the month” clubs. I always did. I just love surprises! And it’s like instead of one gift, you get one every [other] month! So do you have a vegan in your life who’s less of a foodie and more of a wino? How about a vegan wine of the [every other] month club! Every other month (for as long as you have the membership), the Organic Wine Company will send your giftee three organic vegan wines. They can get good and sloshed, organic style!
I don’t know why it’s the Bob Linden wine club but that seems like a good sign. I looked into the fair-trade options and boy, that’s a bag of confusion! It seems that the U.S. isn’t very fair-trade wine savvy. I resorted to looking up the individual wines on the Organic Wine Company’s site but of course there’s no comprehensive fair-trade wine list because they get certifications in different countries, etc. etc. etc. BUT of the ones I looked up and was able to find info on, a lot were fair-trade. For many of them, I couldn’t find any info. However, like I said, several on the Organic Wine Company’s vegan list are certified fair-trade by one source or another. But if you don’t want to risk it! I found this online store from the U.K. that lets you order mixed cases (yee-ha!) of vegan, organic, fair-trade wines. Remember though, those prices are in GBPs. Baller.
Another gift from team VeganEtsy! I just fell in love with this silly pillow as soon as I saw it. It comes in small too but go big or go home, right? So if you know a tofu-enthusiast (or a pirate-enthusiast I guess) this is a super cute present. It could be a good gift for a kid, too. It’s fun, sweet, and comfy. And you can feel good knowing you are supporting a vegan business!
Vegans are some biking motherlovers. Not all of them but I think the percentage of vegan bikers runs higher than your average demographic. They are also a farmers market-loving people, no? Then this vegan grocery pannier is the perfect vegan accessory! And this handsome bag is made from salvaged banner vinyl so it’s very environmentally friendly. Plus, North St. Bags is a member of Trillium Artisans, “an innovative, green, nonprofit community economic development program that empowers artisans and actively connects them to markets.” Holler!
This concludes the Ultimate Vegan Gift Guide! I hope I gave you some good present ideas. Like I said last week, gift-giving should be a pleasure, not a chore! So go forth and make your loved ones happy in the way only materialism can!
Best popcorn recipe ever, you’re welcome »
One of my favorite late-night snacks is salty popcorn damp with melted “butter;” don’t even talk to me about kettle corn, or we are not friends. Once I was no longer able to enjoy prepackaged microwave popcorn (even SmartPop has dairy, NOT SO SMART AFTER ALL), there was a void in my life. Oh, sure, I tried to fill it by air-popping bulk popcorn in the microwave; this technique never really worked right, instead causing melted plastic bowls, wasted brown paper sacks, burned kernels, kitchen fires, and so forth.
So I migrated my popcorn operation to a giant pot on the stove top. I’d dump in some oil or melt some Earth Balance at the bottom of the pan, toss the kernels in, and try not to burn my hands while shaking the pot vigorously. This inevitably resulted in burnt and unpopped kernels, not to mention a huge mess if the pot lid flew off.
Last night, I discovered something that savvy internet users have apparently known for some time: Making popcorn in the pressure cooker. It’s the BEST: no risk of the lid flying off while you’re shaking the pot, no burnt kernels, very few unpopped ones, salty and buttery popcorn, and just general awesomeness stuck between your teeth for days. There are many great reasons to own a pressure cooker, and I use mine all the time, but this is what truly made the acquisition worth it for me. Try it!
Pressure Cooker Popcorn
2 Tbsp. Earth Balance (or olive oil, if you’re healthy and shit)
1/4 cup popcorn kernels
You can make more, but be sensitive to your pressure cooker’s size, and use a 1:2 oil-to-popcorn ratio.
Put your pressure cooker on the stove, and heat it on high. Melt your Earth Balance if using. Meanwhile, remove or open the steam vent-thing or whatever keeps the pressure inside your cooker.
Throw three popcorn kernels in the pot and monitor them, but not too closely; you don’t want to lose an eye. When they pop, you’re ready to pour the rest of your kernels in. Shake the pot to distribute them evenly along the bottom. Fit the vented lid on top.
I know your arms are tired, but you’ve got to keep shaking the pot from side to side while keeping it on top of the burner. Trust, it will be worth it. Listen to the happy noise of popcorn popping. Remove the pressure cooker from the heat as soon as you count five seconds in between pops.
Pour your finished popcorn into a bowl, and marvel at its perfect beauty. Ruin it by dumping salt or nutritional yeast all over it. Shove into your facepiece by the handful. Be fat ‘n’ happy.