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Holiday Gift Guide 2019

Jennifer Hanes MS, RDN, LD

So, who’s started holiday shopping already? We have some, but every year, we struggle to find those last few gifts. This year, we’ve imposed a $50 total limit (meaning total, not per gift, lol) for everyone, with the exception of Roman.

Kids have all the fun.

I figured that since I have this struggle every year, you may as well! That’s why I wanted to create this Holiday Gift Guide.

Not every item on this list is under the $50 limit, mind you, but not every family has the same rules. I’ve included small gifts that you could make a stocking stuffer or Secret Santa gifts to kitchen utensils, subscription services, and more.

Most of these are vegetarian-friendly, so you may consider sharing this list with your family so they have excellent ideas for gifts for YOU! That being said, most of these options can be enjoyed by everybody.

I do have to let you know that the following links may contain affiliate links. For those products, I may receive a small commission if you buy something from those locations at no extra cost to you.  This list is different from my usual recommendations in that I have not used every item on this list. It is super long! I tried to source items that I would love to try, have tried, or that I know could solve some problem for someone else. Enjoy!

Secret Santa/White Elephant/Small Gifts

Wooly Beast Soy Candles

These candles are 100% vegan, come in 6 and 9 oz sizes, and have fun-sounding scents such as Dirty Hipster, Trust Fund Hippy, Tipsy in Willamette, and many more. Don’t worry about the names, each scent has an awesome description, letting you know exactly what you’re going to get.

Yinuo Light Scented Candles

Candles for your more hippy-inclined friends! These are packages of 4 different scents in gorgeous, reusable tins packed in a gorgeous box. The link is the one I think is the prettiest, with the best scents, but there are 4 options to look at.

Foodie Dice

Don’t know what to cook? Let Foodie Dice choose for you!  There are 5 dice, protein (each with a vegetarian alternative!), cooking method, grain/carb, herb, and bonus ingredient. There are also 4 seasonal veggie dice to include in each meal!

Discover your favorite food combos or cooking methods. Imagine how quick it would be to plan out your weekly menu.

Also, see the Do Something Dice, which gives you suggestions for fun when you are bored. Categories include eating, sightseeing, exercise, and nightlife.

Nandy’s Nook Tea Cup Cozy

This is the cutest little gift for those who love coffee and hot tea! The color is gorgeous, and the reviews are awesome.

There are quite a few products by this company, including different colors, and covers for those reusable takeaway cups and for the teapot. One review mentions that the cozy reminds her of her grandmother, who used to knit everything. How sweet is that?!

Eat More Plants Notebook

This adorable notebook would be perfect for any dino-loving vegetarian! It’s marketed to kids, though I think anyone would love to have this notebook for journaling, making lists, or jotting down ideas to take over the world!

I Don’t Eat My Homies Notebook

Another notebook, but this time with a funny quote and an 80’s vintage image. Perfect for those of us who are vegetarian and into nostalgia. Any Stranger Things fans? I bet they would like this one!

Bad Ass Vegan

This last notebook has a classy look to it with an unexpected script! Despite is leatherbound appearance, this is a regular paperback notebook and is 100% vegan-friendly!

Vegan Problems Coloring Book

For vegans that like to color, and are a little snarky. Relax and get your active meditation on to these mandalas with the common questions and statements you get from meat-eaters. The link is to the clean version.

There is also a not safe for work “sweary” version for even more snark!

The Tea Book

A tea company with a corny sense of humor is right up my alley! Fred Tea Mercury, lol. A lot of these do have a political bent to them, but sometimes that makes the gift even better! Just make sure the joke will be taken as such. With a large variety of flavors and sizes, you’ll find something you like here.

And really, the Tea Book itself is a neat idea, making all of your varieties of tea easily accessible.


I Don’t Eat Anything That Farts

This shirt is so stinkin’ cute with the baby pig. And I love the way the shirt describes and depicts how you choose foods you are willing to eat!

It is available in men’s, women’s, and youth’s sizes, as well as a variety of colors.

Vegan Apron

Stop the comments before they start with this sarcastic, vegan-themed apron.

Vegan Hoodie

Your vegan friend gets cold. This cute hoodie proudly proclaims their veganism without the snark or preaching seen so often in vegan-themed clothing and products. This comes in sizes XS to XXL and in 4 different colors!

Eat Fruit Not Friends

This is a cute baseball tee that would work for both vegetarians and vegans. It comes in multiple colors so your veggie friend will be sure to like one!  According to the reviews, this shirt tends to run a little large, so plan accordingly.

Powered by Plants Racerback Tan

This is a simple activewear top. It only comes in one color, but it’s a pretty flattering one! I really like the simplicity of this tank. You could wear it with anything.

This tank top seems to run smaller than expected according to most of the reviews.

Herbivore Shirt

Another plain shirt, with only 1 color available. However, the lettering is cute, and the simplicity allows for multiple different styling choices. 

The reviews on this shirt are good, and mention that the shirt is a little longer than expected, perfect for you taller friends!

For College Students

The College Vegan Cookbook

145 fast, cheap, and vegan recipes. All with no fake meat! Perfect for someone who is limited to a hot plate, but can also be utilized in a full kitchen.

Per the reviews, the basics section is pretty detailed, which can be very helpful for a population that may not have much experience shopping for and preparing food.

Plant-Based on a Budget

This book isn’t geared specifically to college students, but the premise of quick, cheap, and easy meals should appeal to them all the same. The pictures in the sample are pretty but simple, so they shouldn’t intimidate beginner cooks.

Ultimate Dining Hall Hacks

This is such a neat idea!

This book teaches college students how to make awesome meals with foods obtained from their meal plans. It has a stellar rating of 4.9/5 stars. The reviewers state that the recipes are good and are appropriate for a variety of cooking skills, which is helpful.

Note that this is not a strictly vegetarian cookbook, but could still be a helpful resource.

Tortilla Blanket

Who doesn’t love burritos? This super cute blanket comes in 5 different styles, plus 2 waffle and 2 pizza styles! They also come in 4 different sizes, so you’re sure to get the right fit. 

Bed Shelfie

Perfect for a small dorm room or shared bedroom. This extra shelf can hold breakfast or even act as a side table holding a laptop, alarm clock, or phone.

This may take some questioning, though, as the different products are meant to attach to the bed with different bases.

Kitchen Starter Set

For the students moving out of the dorms. All the cookbooks in the world won’t help if they don’t have something to cook with or eat on!

This set has 83 pieces, including knives, pots and pans, plates, bowls, measuring cups, and more!


Grammarly Writing Support

I used this constantly after discovering it halfway through grad school, and I use it extensively now that I write all the time for my website.

Grammarly is a very elaborate spelling and grammar checker, in a sense. It can tell you meant there, and not there, even if they’re both spelled right! 

I never realized how often I wrote in the passive voice until Grammarly. It can catch dangling modifiers, stylistic errors, repetition, and more. It even has a plagiarism checker!

For Foodies

For The Gourmet

This is a sort of online grocery store, stocking only gourmet and hard-to-find items. It is not strictly vegetarian but has some neat things a vegetarian could utilize.

Think game steaks, smoked soy sauce, specialty cheeses, novelty dessert flavors, and baby vegetables. They have special diet sections such as gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, organic, and sugar-free.

Psychedelic Salad Kit

For the hands-on foodie. This is essentially a garden starting kit but with seeds tailored for making an awesomely colorful salad. If you like the idea but not the salad, this company has many other kits to choose from!

Root Mushroom Farm

If any of my family is reading this, here’s a hint! I love mushrooms, and this looks like a fun experiment for Roman as well!

Amazon is full of mushroom farms, including shiitake, morel, and oyster mushroom farms of various colors. I didn’t even know oyster mushrooms had different colors!

Snuk Foods

I love this site so much. I spend a lot of time looking up recipes for whatever random culture or country is on my mind at the time. This means I see recipes that contain items I’ve never heard of before, and can’t find at my regular grocery store.

Enter Snuk, an online global grocery store. You can shop by collections (i.e., condiments, preserves, snacks, dry goods) or regions (i.e., North African, Mediterranean, South Asia).

They also have a blog and some fantastic-looking recipes that can be narrowed down to vegetarian or vegan only.


Stuck in Glass

These are super cute and really simple. As the name implies, these are glasses with something literally stuck in them. Examples are a bullet, guitar pick, fishing hook, and sand dollar.

They make shot glasses, stemless wine glasses, pint glasses, whiskey glasses, and tumblers. These would make perfect gifts for that person who seems to have everything or those that are hard to shop for.

Wines to Gift

Wines to gift

This site makes wine (and beer and liquor) gift baskets. You can search by occasion, type of alcohol, and pairings. You can also add chocolate, crackers, or cheese to your gift basket. These would make awesome hostess gifts!

Cellars Wine Club

This is a wine of the month club. They have several different monthly programs available ranging in bottles per month and quality of wine to types of wine. The monthly cost starts around $12/bottle, around what you can get at the grocery store. These wines are curated to be the best and come with a 100% guarantee. What’s more, you can pick from several non-profits and Cellars Wine Club will donate 15% of your purchase! 

California Wine Club

This is a more expensive monthly wine shipment. I chose to include it in this gift list because of its Premier series, which focuses on small family wineries. I love to support small businesses when I can. Additional benefits of this club include their wine cellar to help you keep track of the wines you love and VIP winery tours if you happen to be going to California. And their website features wine tips, recipes, and a blog.

Palate Club

This is so cool. This wine club tailors to your tastes.

You start with either a quiz or a blind taste test box and rate the wines on their app. Then, they start sending you wines according to your monthly plan.  You can rate each shipment, and your palate profile gets more and more fine-tuned.

They have a 100% refund policy on bottles you don’t like.


Flaviar is a quarterly spirits subscription. Every quarter, you get a tasting box and a full-sized bottle, with the idea to slowly build your home bar choices. Perfect for those who host the occasional dinner party.

Saloon Box

Saloon Box is perfect for your family member that loves mixed drinks! Every monthly box includes everything you need for 2 people to make 2 different drinks. That’s the alcohol, the mixers, any special equipment, and so forth.

They also have a party kit to help you supply any holiday parties you may be hosting.

This month’s kit includes Texas-based Western Son vodka. The Comeback cocktail includes a cranberry, cinnamon infusion, pineapple juice, and honey syrup. And the Triple Threat is a subtly spiced highball made with Three Chile Syrup, coconut water, lime, and Club Soda.

If you get a chance, look at how pretty the August and September offerings were!


My Family Recipe Book and Cooking Journal

This book will allow you to save cherished family recipes. You can add a picture once the recipe is completed and also tell stories and memories of each recipe.

Also included are basic cooking tips like temperature recommendations and measurement conversions.

Frugal Vegan

This book utilizes foods that are easy to find and relatively cheap to create inexpensive, vegan meals. The reviews are pretty good, and reviewers seem to like the lack of harder-to-find or use ingredients such as aquafaba and jackfruit.

Some reviews indicate the recipes take too long, so this may not be a book for beginner cooks.

The Buddhist Chef

Written by a chef who has been a practicing Buddhist for 2 decades, this book has excellent reviews and gorgeous pictures. The recipes are varied, ranging from General Tso’s Tofu to breakfast burritos to Shakshuka.  

Meat on the Side

This book is for those who identify as “vegetarian-lite” or flexitarian.

It would work for anyone who is interested in decreasing the amount of meat they eat, whether that’s due to cost or health and environmental concerns.

This book moves meat back to where it should be, as a side of an overall healthy plate, rather than the focus or biggest part.

I am concerned that this was written by a Dr. Oz guest, so take any nutrition advice with a grain of salt.  Also, the recipes in this book require a decent amount of cooking fluency. It is not meant for beginners.

World Vegetarian

The recipes in this book have very good reviews, and there are 650 of them!  Written by an Indian chef, this book includes recipes from around the world, all without meat.

Utilizing this book may increase your food cost as you venture out and buy new staples and spices, but it sounds worth it to me. I plan on buying this book myself.

The No Meat Athlete Cookbook

Another book that comes on the heels of a successful blog. This cookbook is part of an overall “movement,” so to speak.

Their main goal is to teach vegans and vegetarians sports nutrition geared to their dietary needs.  If you have goals of running a marathon or competing in CrossFit games, this book is for you!

Umami Bomb

Umami is a flavor that can be difficult to get on a vegetarian diet.  Generally considered a “meaty” flavor, umami is really a savory taste. Mushrooms are frequently credited as the only vegetarian source of umami, but this isn’t true.

If you feel like your cooking lacks a certain depth of flavor, focusing on umami might be the best way to fix this. Give this book a try!

Eating Animals

This book is described as part memoir, part investigative journalism.

So, you must remember that there are a lot of opinions and personal philosophy in this book. Overall, the reviews are good from both vegetarian and omnivore reviewers. Eating Animals seems like a good read for anyone interested in someone else’s perspective on the vegetarian journey.

Diet and Diet Reform: My Faith in Vegetarianism

Written by Mahatma Gandhi, this book takes on vegetarianism and its connection to religion. 

I couldn’t find any reviews on the book itself, though many articles reference Gandhi as someone that put a lot of thought into his diet and how he discussed his diet with other people. He appeared to be knowledgeable in basic nutrition and willing to listen when his ideals did not jive with good health.

This should be a good read.

We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast

From the author of Eating Animals, this book takes on vegetarianism and its effect on climate. I have written very briefly on this topic on the blog before. Increasingly, we are seeing Millennials and younger citing environmental concerns as their reason for converting to a lower meat diet, ranging from veganism to flexitarianism.

Gift Baskets

Wine Country Gift Basket

This is a Ghiradelli chocolate tower! It looks fabulous, who wouldn’t want a tower filled with variously flavored chocolate squares, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate drizzled popcorn and more? 

The Connoisseur Gourmet Gift Basket

There is such variety in this basket, making it a perfect gift to give to a new neighbor or a hostess gift that will be shared with the family. Filled with teas, small snacks such as olives and crackers, and even some chocolate.

Oh! Nuts Gift Basket

This is a small tray of nuts and dried fruit. This would be an excellent gift for a teacher or for that colleague who’s always snacking!

Vegan Snacks Care Package

Just look at all those snacks! This package could have easily fit in with the gifts for college students, but really, who wouldn’t like a gift full of yummy snacks?

This includes vegan jerky, protein cookies, and both puffy and crunchy snacks. They also have high protein and gluten-free versions.

Urban Accents Foodie Essentials Gift Set

I’ve written about Urban Accents before. I use their veggie roaster seasoning packets pretty frequently. They are amazing.

This gift pack contains a couple of the veggie roaster, but also some dry rubs (meant for meat, but could be really good on grilled portabellos), and other dried seasonings.

This would be good for your grill master uncle or for someone who is just learning how to use various seasonings and spices.


I Want One of Those

This website specializes in quirky, novelty items. They have gadgets, toys, home decor, office supplies, and more. You can find something for those hard-to-shop-for people in your life.

Do it quickly, though! This company is based in the UK, so delivery will be slower than what you’re used to.

Hemp Cheese Kit

Perfect for those do-it-yourself-ers and those who like to experiment in the kitchen. This is a kit that comes with everything you need to make vegan hemp cheese. Note that a blender is required to make this cheese.

Cheese of the World Kit

For vegetarians, this kit is to make dairy cheese. 10 different types, with roots in different parts of the world. The rennet in this kit is vegetarian-friendly, so no worries there. I love cheese, and I’ve heard that certain types, like mozzarella and paneer, are easy to make at home.

Urban Leaf

This is a cute idea. These are little window-sill herb gardens with aerators designed to encourage growth. The kits don’t come with the bottles, but they do have cute ones for sale, too. Or you could go with empty wine bottles or cute little bud vases as well.

Those of you who are crafty could personalize three bottles to go along with the Urban Leaf kit. That would be an awesome gift.

Smiley Face Pancake Pan

Perfect for that person who can’t get enough kitchen gadgets, the antithesis of Alton Brown.  Fun for those with kids. Also available are autumn leaves, snowflakes, holidays, and monsters.

Chemist Spice Rack

Is anyone in a science field? This cutesy gift could make their day! This spice rack has 14 pieces, including larger ones for oil and sugar and a carrying tray. 

Thirty-six stickers allow you to choose which spices to display. I don’t have the counter space for this. Otherwise, I’d strongly consider getting one for myself.

Protesting Vegetables Pillow

Who doesn’t need more throw pillows? This cute little pillow would easily fit in with most decor.

Kitchen tools and small appliances

Maxam Vegetable Chopper

I saw a similar product for $400 at a “cooking demo” that was actually a sales booth for pots and pans at the Texas State Fair. This honestly looks the same as that product and is significantly cheaper, with a lot of really good reviews. 

This comes with 5 different cones for different cuts. I hope to buy one for myself next year.

Ninja Food Processor

I have a Ninja 2-in-1 food processor that appears to be discontinued now.

I’ve had it for about 3 years, and it still works really well. This version appears pretty similar to the one I have, with some upgraded features. This is perfect for smoothies, sauces, and purees such as hummus.

Smore’s Maker

How nostalgic is this? Who didn’t love smores made over a campfire as a kid? This indoor-safe version makes them available all the time (not that we should eat them all the time…).

Watch the video for new twists on this classic dessert.

Yogurt Maker

Yogurt makers are pretty trendy right now and Amazon has a large variety of models for sale. This model has a ton of good reviews and is reasonably priced. There were some that were triple the price and appeared huge in comparison.

I think these would make a neat science experiment for the kiddos.

Bamboo Charcuterie Platter

I love cheese plate night, and how pretty is this board? I have a board that is similar to this, with the slide-out utensil drawer, but I really like the groove around this one.

It’s perfect for crackers or even rolly things like small tomatoes or grapes off the vine. This would be a good gift for the perpetual hostess in your life.

Subscription Boxes


Urthbox is a monthly subscription box of healthy snacks. The boxes range in size from 7 snacks to 27, so you can get what fits in with your household. Discover new items you may not have otherwise come across.

Choose from classic, gluten-free, vegan, or diet options. The snacks that come in this box are full-sized packages, and they occasionally add in an “extra.” Something they think you’ll like that isn’t a snack!

Bean Box

Bean Box is a coffee subscription service.  You can choose from a Coffee of the Month (12oz) or a Sampler (4 1.8oz packages).

You can customize your coffee based on the preparation method and roast preference.  Gifts from this site can range from subscribing for another person to larger sample packs with a huge variety. This subscription service also has an app, making it super convenient to work with them.

German Food Box

This company was founded by a German immigrant who lives in Florida. Each box contains 6-8 products as well as traditional recipes.

Please note that these boxes are not vegetarian, although they appear to regularly ship products that are appropriate for vegetarians. This would be perfect for a family like mine. We could make a German meal out of the box and sub in vegetarian sausage for a bratwurst, for example. 

Really, that kind of thing is why I created this blog!

California Tea House

This is a monthly tea subscription box. They also have a regular store with a varied selection of teas, including something called a Blooming Tea that I’ve never heard of before. Check them out!

Piquant Post

This is a monthly box of spice blends, perfect for someone who loves to experiment in the kitchen. They actually buy spices and herbs in small amounts, then process them themselves, making the product you receive super fresh and full of flavor.

Because these are spice packages, their product is appropriate for all diet types.  Their site even has a recipe spot, though not all recipes are vegetarian-friendly. You could certainly take ideas from them, though!


That was quite a list! I hope that you find something there to solve that difficult gift-giving dilemma you’re dealing with. Or even head off a problem before it becomes one! 

Happy shopping!

Jenn in a grey and white half sleeved shirt in front of a beige wall and a abstract city painting

Jennifer Hanes MS, RDN, LD is a registered dietitian, mom, wife, and vegetarian in North Texas. She has dedicated Dietitian Jenn to be a source of information, ideas, and inspiration for people like her, vegetarians that live with people with different dietary beliefs and/or needs in a multivore household.

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