Great Food Gifts For Your Vegetarian Loved Ones

Red quinoa at Crossroads
Red quinoa at Crossroads
Anne Fishbein

We all have that special vegetarian in our lives, someone we love but don't quite understand (kidding, kind of). Admit it -- teasing them about bacon got old years ago. It's time to show them you fully support their choices, and not just by making a salad on Christmas and grudgingly leaving out the lard from your holiday pie crusts. Here are three gifts for vegetarians they'll thank you for. You might even get a decent meal out of one or two of them.

3. A gift certificate to Crossroads

For many vegetarians and vegans, it's been a very long time since they've been able to walk into a fancy restaurant and order whatever the hell strikes their fancy from the menu. Most veggie-only restaurants tend towards hippy food, and "swank" isn't usually a word you associate with such places. So Crossroads, which has a 100% "plant-based" menu (vegan, in other words), can seem kind of like stumbling into a fantasy-land, one where vegetarians are treated like the stylish, sophisticated diners most of them actually are. Best of all, the food is damned delicious, and the drinks are as well-conceived (both cocktails and wine list) as most carnivorous spots. A $100 gift certificate could buy a lovely meal for two here.

See also: 10 Best Vegetarian Tacos in Los Angeles

2. Eat Your Vegetables by Joe Yonan

This is a great book for someone just starting on the path to vegetarianism, someone looking to eat less meat, a single vegetarian, or someone who lives in a mixed household with one meat-eater and one vegetarian. Written by the food editor of the Washington Post, it tells the story of someone who's whole job is about food but who nonetheless decided that he wanted to live a mainly meat-free life. It focuses on ways to remove meat from your life, and focuses on smaller portions (Yonan's first book, Serve Yourself, was about cooking for one, and this book follows that same format of cooking for a single diner). But more than anything, this book delivers delicious recipes from someone who has built his life around eating well.

1. CSA share

How do you show vegetarians you really love them? Get them a vegetable subscription. Not only will they get weekly boxes of beautiful local produce, but you'll be helping to support the local farm community (even more than shopping at the farmers market -- CSAs allow farmers to know what their future income will be, which is incredibly helpful). There are a ton of CSAs available in L.A. Some deliver, some require pick-up, and they vary in price. Here are a few ideas to get you started: South Central Farmers' Cooperative, Silver Lake Farms CSA, Farm Box LA.

See also: 3 Great Vegetarian Sandwiches in Los Angeles

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