Holiday Gift Ideas From The Veggie

Vegan chocolate bars, dreamy cookbooks and more small luxuries to give this year, as well as some ideas for your Thanksgiving leftovers.

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By Tejal Rao

If you’re looking for ideas for what to do with Thanksgiving leftovers, be sure to read to the end of the newsletter. And if you’re looking ahead to the holiday season, here are a few ideas for veggie-friendly gift ideas with notes on prices at the time of publication:

Before I moved to Los Angeles, I used to live down the street from the Raaka Chocolate factory in Red Hook, Brooklyn, and I still like to buy a stack of their excellent vegan chocolate bars this time of year (three bars, $17).

A bar of good chocolate makes for a small but truly luxurious present, and it works for almost everyone. I can bring a bar to my nephews or to a colleague, or tuck one into a neighbor’s mailbox with a card.

For a tea drinker, Diaspora’s chai set is a magnificent gift that includes the shop’s own black tea, chai masala to season it and jaggery to sweeten it to taste, as well as a handmade mug and a steel strainer ($75). For a cook with a bit of counter space, this versatile molcajete from Masienda ($95) could be really special.

If you know the person you’re shopping for well enough to go for clothing, consider this cool cotton T-shirt from Yolélé Foods ($32) that celebrates some essential West African ingredients (fonio, egusi, baobab, dawadawa and okra), as well as the ingredients themselves (prices vary).

My antidote to holiday-shopping stress is to spend time in a local bookshop, the only place where I know I can find things for everyone in one go without feeling too overwhelmed.

This year, take a look at “The Vegan Chinese Kitchen” by Hannah Che ($35) and “Plant-Based India” by Sheil Shukla ($30). While the recipes in Ruby Tandoh’s “Cook As You Are” ($35) aren’t all vegetarian, the cookbook is extremely vegetarian-friendly and one of my favorites of the year — ideal for a household with many kinds of cooks and eaters!

It’s always fun finding vintage food books: Take a look at Omnivore Books or Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks for ideas. And don’t forget, you can find great vintage kitchen pieces and good deals on places like Etsy — right now I’ve got my eye on some enamelware and Brabantia bread boxes.

I’m a little embarrassed to admit it, but I do like to shop a bit for my sweet, coddled dogs! If you find yourself looking for a dog toy, this rubber artichoke ($11.90) which you can stuff with a few treats, has seen a lot of play this year. And this squeaky pea pod dog toy with detachable peas ($11.27) is irresistibly cute.

For kids: this rainbow-colored fruit and vegetable puzzle from Pieceworks ($16.80) is a fun choice.

Finally, I love the hand-dyed tenugui from Toiro ($17), particularly the rice grain pattern. And a set of basic reusable cloths from Baggu (three for $26) makes for a super practical host gift — you can give them just as they are, or use them to wrap a bottle of wine, a bunch of flowers or, ahem, a few good chocolate bars. 💝

P.S. Last year’s Veggie gift guide is this way if you want to revisit it for notes on beans, caramel-filled vegan chocolates, fruit boxes, vegan cheese subscriptions, books, block-printed napkins, clay pots, vintage cookware, reusable bags and more.

Vegan Pumpkin-Cinnamon Rolls With Cranberry

Go to the recipe.

Stuffing Panzanella With Cranberry Dressing

Go to the recipe.

Sweet Potato and Toasted Pecan Grilled Cheese

Go to the recipe.

One More Thing: Thanksgiving Leftovers

Leftover cranberry sauce? Season with a touch of sugar and vegan butter to make Chloe Coscarelli’s vegan pumpkin cinnamon rolls, which are filled with sweet-tart cranberry sauce and drizzled with maple icing. It’s a project, but it’s the kind that you can work on quite leisurely while everyone’s watching a movie you’ve already seen.

Leftover stuffing? Fry the stuffing in olive oil until it’s nice and crisp, then mix it with shaved radish, fennel or other juicy, crunchy vegetables you can eat raw, as well as some crisp greens like endive and radicchio to make Sohla El-Waylly’s stuffing panzanella with cranberry vinaigrette.

Leftover mashed sweet potatoes? A generous smear of mashed sweet potatoes acts as a sweet condiment inside Tara Parker-Pope’s grilled cheese sandwich with fried onions (use extra from your green bean casserole, if you have them!), pecans and chile powder.

Thanks so much for reading The Veggie, and see you next week. And if you’re not already a subscriber to NYT Cooking, today is the last day to get 50 percent off your first year!

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