Please give me ideas for a good Secret Santa gift for a vegan?
December 15, 2017 4:22 AM   Subscribe

My secret Santa recipient at work is a vegan and I'm thinking I'll give them some good spices and other things for a gift. What would you recommend? I'm in Brisbane, Australia.
posted by h00py to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Vegan cookbooks? “Isa Does It” is my favourite.

Nutritional yeast and raw cashews are staples in my vegan diet.
posted by backwards guitar at 5:25 AM on December 15, 2017 [4 favorites]

"Curry Powder" is a mix. Getting individual herbs allows you to make each curry a little different. I don't really like fenugreek, so I like making my own curry powder. Recipes abound

Typical ingredients include ground coriander, cumin, turmeric, ginger, dry mustard, cardamom, cayenne pepper, chilis, clove, ginger, fennel seed, cinnamon, nutmeg, and fenugreek, if you like. These are in rough order of amounts used, but there's so much variation.
posted by theora55 at 6:23 AM on December 15, 2017

I'm vegan. I don't know how hard it would be to find in Brisbane, but I am in love with the Ethiopian spice berbere. If you can find it, you can include this recipe.

I have fantasies about buying a portable spiralizer. A high-end kitchen store might have one.
posted by FencingGal at 7:14 AM on December 15, 2017

Spice mixes would work for non-vegans too, for the record - but since "vegan" frequently includes forays into more "international" cuisine (some regions of the world have more of a tradition of vegetarian and vegan eating than others), this is something you can have a lot of fun with. Mixing up spice blends often leaves you with a LOT of leftovers, so you may be able to knock out some other gifts this way (or sample things yourself!).

In addition to the berbere recipe FencingGal links to above, I found this recipe for Raz el Hanout (a Moroccan spice blend - that page says it's for "lamb tagine", but it gets used in WAY more than that), an Indian masala-influenced blend, a Cajun seasoning blend, a chai spice blend (that page even talks about using coconut milk for the chai, which actually sounds REALLY good), a North African blend called dukkah that uses toasted almonds in addition to the spices, and zaatar, a Middle Eastern blend.

Upon studying that - a container of the Indian spice blend, a container of the chai spice blend, and a packet of good-quality tea would be a lovely combination. Or just a container of the chai blend and a nice mug.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:55 AM on December 15, 2017 [3 favorites]

Hit "post" too soon - if you go with the chai spice blend and the mug, maybe tuck in a print-out of the recipe from this page (it is dairy-free, and says to use the sweetener of one's choice).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:57 AM on December 15, 2017

Za'atar is my favorite gift spice blend right now because you can just cook plain beans (maybe with rice) or something else (baked tofu, a Quorn cutlet, kale) and sprinkle it on at the table or when serving. As much as you want! It doesn't have to cook with the item!

If you make your own: recipes usually call for salt as part of the mixture, but I prefer making it without salt. The acidity inherent in the sumac is plenty flavorful, and people can always add salt separately. If salt is part of the mixture, then it can't be added to something that's already salted.
posted by amtho at 8:29 AM on December 15, 2017

I like getting spice mixes that are maybe not things I would have put together myself (e.g., contain loads of different spices). Just make sure that whatever you get is specifically designed for a vegan/vegetable meal.

These people sell spice mixes designed for particular meals, which come with a recipe. Some of their options are vegan (chickpea bhaji, dal and spinach soup, kashmiri mushroom curry, others). The mixes are stocked everywhere here in Canberra, but it seems there are also stockists in Brisbane.

There are other sellers of similar spice blends with stockists in Brisbane: screaming seeds, the spice trading company.
posted by neatsocks at 12:18 PM on December 15, 2017

Thanks for all the suggestions! I just remembered that they are gluten-free as well so suggestions with that in mind would be good too.
posted by h00py at 4:27 PM on December 15, 2017

How about some kind of gourmet vegan cheese? That's the kind of thing that's still a bit too expensive to be a staple in many vegans' diets, so it can really feel like a luxury to receive.

Some other options would be fancy nut mixes with macadamias, vegan pesto, "raw" energy bars made of nothing but fruit and nuts, or indeed a nice spice mix—ras el hanout is amazing!
posted by datarose at 1:33 AM on December 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

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