If you have an awkward, fussy vegetarian/vegan like me in your life; I am here to share some magic tips on what to buy them. This can apply to all foodies; both aspiring and seasoned… from new-release cook books to local hampers and cookery classes; hopefully this blog post will give you some inspiration for the foody in your life; in the run up to Christmas or for any special occasion.
Hampers – Buy a vintage picnic hamper and create one yourself from locally-sourced produce, or order them in. Make sure any booze you buy is veggie or vegan. You’d be surprised how much booze is drained through sheep stomach. Yum! Locally to Cardiff, Foxy’s Deli does a vegetarian hamper complete with a nut roast for Christmas Day. Try your local deli or health food place for inspiration. Manna do all sorts too.
Cook Books – There have been many a wondrous veggie cook book released over the years, and you’ll find a few of my favourites mentioned on this blog. Here are some of the new release books that have come out in 2012.
- Veggiestan, The New Middle-Eastern Vegetarian: Modern Recipes from Veggiestan.
- I don’t know what the meat/fish/veggie ratio is like in this new Yottam Ottolenghi (and Sammi Tamimi) book, but he’s usually pretty good. You can get a signed version of the book from his restaurant Nopi if you’re a complete geek. The new book is called Jerusalem.
- Prashad Cookbook: Indian Vegetarian Cooking. I love Indian food and it lends itself very well to being a vegetarian. I’m very much looking forward to trying out some recipes from this one.
- Nobu’s Vegetarian Cookbook.
- Food by Mary McCartney (daughter of Sir Paul). I was a little disappointed by Meat Free Monday. I’m hoping this will impress.
Smellies – Remember when buying for your Vegan and Veggie loved-ones, that very few toiletries are completely cruelty-free. Look for the BUAV sign, which means nothing has been near an animal; not any of the ingredients or the product itself. Superdrug and Marks and Spencers own don’t test on animals and the products are pretty lovely. I love M&S Rose perfume and my friend Helen texted me last night to say that the damask rose face pack from Superdrug is delicious. Health Food stores often stock cruelty-free brands too and there’s no better way of shopping than to buy locally. I love these products and she has a special offer on at the moment; Heavenly Organics
Cooking courses – If you want to splash out a bit more, cookery courses are a wonderful way to do that. Do a Google search if you want to go local. I’m going on a lush looking baking course in the new year with One Mile Bakery in Cardiff.
Demuths Vegetarian Cookery School in Bath do amazing cookery gifts and courses. I love these guys. and http://www.vegetariancookeryschool.com/about/introduction/
We all love Ottolenghi http://www.ottolenghi.co.uk/blog/category/cooking-classes – if and when they are planned, they will be here.
Leiths http://www.leiths.com/– from food writing and styling to evening classes to professional courses; these do not come cheap! I would love to have a spare £20,000 to do their professional diploma.
Cordon Vert http://www.cordonvert.co.uk/cv08/cv.aspx?page=3 – Vegetarian and a bit old-fashioned looking; but ina good way!
Sutra Kitchen http://sutrakitchen.co.uk – Just off Carnaby Street in Kingly Court; this place caught my eye a week or so back when I was in London. It wasn’t open, so I could have a nose; but it looked pretty ace. London’s first vegetarian and vegan cooking school. They also do raw.
General Kitchen stuff – Kitchens is one of the best high st stores for inspiration if you prefer to shop offline. TK Max actually does some amazing housey stuff for foodies and there’s no better place than to shop at local festive/craft/boutique fairs for chutneys, jams, hand-made oven gloves, tea towels and my own personal favourite; a vintage pinny.
I hope this has helped inspire you. Now you have two weeks to make the magic happen and make your vegetarian and vegan homies feel special. Happy Shopping!