They call themselves "carnivores" and "meat aficionados," but there are other names for the vegetable-phobes in your life: "children," "cave dwellers," "people who will probably contract gout or cancer," and possibly "young-diers." Eek!
Look, there is nothing wrong with a good grass-fed steak two or three times a day*, but even a deluxe meat-lover needs to round out his or her diet with something a little more verdant. And you know what? You can help your flesh-chomping loved ones discover the unbleeding bounty of the Earth!
With gadgets! Of course!
Wanna make a vegetable irresistibly delicious? Two words: FRY THAT MOTHERFUCKER. Deep frying makes any vegetable delicious, especially when coated in a tempura batter (Kenji, over at Serious Eats, has a baller recipe.) Is this as healthy as steaming your vegetables in organic water? Absolutely*. To make it even healthier, you can invest in a deep fryer that uses as little oil as possible. Like this pint-sized DeLonghi, which spins up to 2.2 pounds of food through a shallow pool of bubbling oil in its angled basket instead of just dropping everything into a greasy abyss. DeLonghi claims this allows you to use half as much oil and makes food crispier. Two other great features: an air filter that keeps your pad from smelling like a McDonald's, and a spout which lets you easily drain the dirty oil. Into your mouth. Yum. (Please let it cool first.) $100 [DeLonghi]
Question: Does Mr. or Ms. Ihateveggies like *potato chips?* Ha! Thought so. You can fool them by thinly slicing ordinary vegetables, dehydrating them, adding a little salt (or a lot of salt YMMV), and then throwing them in a Cape Cod bag. Dude will idly grab-n-much handfuls of veggies before even realizing that's a dried tomato and not a chip. No fooling! I've done this! OK, I just lied, but it's a good idea, right? Do yourself a favor, though, and don't settle for one of those cheap-ass dehydrators. They are no fun and possibly dangerous. You want dials and displays! You want a sleek design! You want this 6-tray, 530-watt, computer-controlled beauty from L'equip. It looks like a Gehry building and takes the techie approach to drying out food, going as far as to filter the air it uses to desiccate your tubers and such. $170 [Lequip]
How do you get even the most hardcore hunters to enjoy a salad? Enlighten them in the ways of handgun-assisted vegetable preparation. OK, so maybe "handgun" is stretching it, but 30 seconds with a Salad Shooter and no one will be able to resist firing cucumber discs at their intern's face. (What, you don't have an intern? Email Wagner and offer him all the beer he can drink.) After your target is buried in a mound of sliced vegetables, appeal to your buddy's heroic side: "There's no way he can breath under there. We have to save him! Quick, start eating!" BOOM: Somebody just ate a salad. $50 [Amazon]
Little-known fact: Pizza is a vegetable. Sure, in its most basic form it is comprised of grain, fruit, and dairy, but don't you know math? Add all those together, and you have yourself one flat, bubbling, delicious vegetable. Call the Department of Agriculture, they'll tell you. And who can resist pizza? Nobody. Especially not if its cooked in the grandaddy of all outdoor pizza ovens. This propane- or cooking gas-powered beauty cranks out up to 800 degrees of pie-beatifying heat from its dual temperature zones: one on the bottom to crisp the crust, and one in the back that controls more of the air temperature. $6,500 [Kalamazoo Gourmet]
Not even the most stalwart meataholic can say no to a perfectly grilled cob of corn. Or char-grilled pepper cooked to perfection over the wood-fed flames of übergrill. WTF?! He can? Give up dude. Just give up. We've tried everything and this veg-hater is an asshole. Good news though! This grill is an even better present for someone who loves meat. Made from powdercoated, solid 10-gauge steel, this tank of a cooking machine can handle the intense heat of burning hardwood, and the v-shaped slats of its grille help drain the fat into a handy container from which you can drink later. This isn't some caveman tool though: With its a tunable thermometer and adjustable dampers to tame your flame, you can be sure the heat is just right. $1,895 [Grills and Cookers]
We've officially given up on the vegetables, right? Good, because a) vegetables are stupid and b) once your giftee tastes a steak that's been cooked in a water oven to a perfect 130-degree medium rare from edge to edge, he's never going to want to eat anything else ever again. (Unless it's a perfect-rare. That's good too.) Immersion cooking is the hallmark of modernist cuisine and the quintessential intersection of the food and technology. And the Sous Vide Supreme Demi is the most regular-person-friendly immersion cooker available. It fits on a normal person's kitchen counter and keeps its 2.3 gallons at whatever temperature you want for, like, ever, allowing you to do things with food that you never thought possible. $300 [Sous Vide Supreme]
Here's a hard fact to face: A filet may be tender, but, flavor-wise, it's got nothing on tougher cuts laced with fat and connective tissue; while difficult to chew, the stringy parts of the cow's muscle are the most delicious. Expert chefs know how to take these more challenging cuts and make them delicacies. Too bad your carnivorous friend is not an expert chef. That's OK: For $20, he or she can pretend—as well as satisfy the universal desire to wield a fistful of blades. Microplane—the company best known for its excellent cheese graters—has a new spin on the meat tenderizer: Instead of a spikey hammer, Microplane's meat improver is an array of tiny blades that gently break up the tougher bits in your meat. Bonus: It looks like a medieval torture implement, so it has a place on the wall, too. $20 [Microplane]
Speaking of untender cuts of meat, there is no better way to make it delectable than to braise it. And there's nothing more fun than a braising pot shaped like a cow. Because you open up the cow and there's meat inside. Get it? GET IT? OK, never mind... So there are few better braising vessels than the ones made by Staub. The thick enameled cast iron will stand up to a lifetime of punishment, and the German company's thoughtfully shaped pots do a great job of creating moist convection currents that make the most out of your meat. $350 [Amazon]
Ooh, I just had an idea, one last thing you could try: speak to the ego, not the belly. Try daring your buddy to eat a vegetable: The spiciest pepper on Earth. The Trinidad Scorpion Butch T Pepper. OK, technically it's a fruit, but shut up: Clocking in at 1,463,700 Scoville heat units, it's around a thousand times hotter than a jalepeno, and almost twice as hot as the famed Thai ghost peppers. And not even the staunchest meat-minded cave-dweller should be able to resist the challenge of facing one of these down. Just one word of warning: Whoever eats this might start bleeding out of his ass. OK then! $8 [The Hippy Seed Company]
To quote the movie Crazy People: "Metamucil: It helps you go to the toilet. If you don't use it, you'll get cancer and die." If that's true, your buddy is in trouble, what with that rock of protein perpetually bustin' up his or her colon. Bring on the Metamucil, because if Mr. or Mrs. Meat doesn't want to eat fiber, maybe drinking it is an option. One serving of Metamucil has as much fiber as a banana—and it pairs well with prime rib. $12 [drugstore.com]
You can keep up with Joe Brown, the author of this post, on Twitter.
*This statement has not been evaluated by anyone who knows anything about nutrition, science, or medicine.