It's truly odd how experiences can change your life. It was a college anatomy and physiology course that put on the road to vegetarianism. Those muscle fiber bundles we were studying looked a little too much like the beef I was serving for dinner that night.
The Compassionate Cook and Cooking With Peta are the best cookbooks I ever bought. They made food fun without requiring me to purchase frozen, premade stuff. They are the cookbooks I turn to again and again. I discovered those cookbooks at a time when everyone was getting tired of my recipe repertoire and they really saved the day. How can you not love a cookbook that gives you a veggie bacon recipe that tastes awesome?
Getting my hands on a copy of the Imcompleat Cheap Vegan zine by Stephanie Scarborough really opened my eyes to simple yet effective ways to save on food. They're yummy too! That zine is avaialable at http://www.retrobugs.com/forknspoon/2005/02/zines.html
Stephanie mentioned the Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyzyn in her zine. I figured it was worth checking out. That book changed the way I thought about spending. Its a great book, one that I reference over and over again, for recipes, gift ideas and creative solutions of all kinds. Its not vegan but the recipes are easily adaptable. Its one of those books you read and think, she's a nut. Later on you find yourself giving stuff a try because it all makes so much sense. Besides, she has a recipe for caramel popcorn in there that's easy and a crowd pleaser.
Next time, what is a food cooperative and is it worth the time and effort?