When I came first became vegetarian I had no idea what I was doing; my initial motive was driven by a desire of losing weight, but as the years went by it turned into a lifestyle driven by a concern of how unsustainable our current food system is. As well as general concern with the increase industrialization of our food system; this concern was further reinforced when I read Michael Pollan book The Omnivore's Dilemma: A NaturalHistory of Four Meals, a fantastic book that provides a critically look into our food industry.
I an cannot say precisely when I turned vegetarian I might be now 11-12 years now, but it does not matter to me anymore because is sorta a life style to me now. But this is not to say when I started it was easy, it was hard particularly trying to find the perfect meal that's easy for me to cook without depending on my mother.
This finally changed when I finally got bought my first vegan book; Easy Vegan: Simple Recipes for Healthy Eating by Vatcharin Bhumichitr, this is an excellent book for new vegan or vegetarian it provides more than 100 easy recipe that anyone can cook regardless of your cooking abilities. You can try the soup recipes that include Butternut Squash with Allspice and Toasted Pine Nuts; Zucchini, and Miso with Ramen Noodles and the classic Stir-fried Vegetables. For those who love salad, but not just simple plain salad you have the option of choosing from Couscous Salad with Chickpeas and Artichokes; Black Rice Salad with Chile Greens; Herb, Red Onion, and Quinoa Salad with Preserved lemon; and Roasted Sweet Potato and Macadamia Nut Salad. This is just the few first chapters and there is more; this is a book i strongly recommend for new vegetarian/vegan or even those who just want a healthy lifestyle of eating healthy.
My second favourite cooking book is Pure Vegan: 70 Recipes for Beautiful Meals and Clean Living by Joseph Shuldinar, this is another fantastic cooking book that appeals to all regardless if you are vegan/vegetarian or meat eater. The cook consists of different sections that include breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. My favourite part of the book that many books lacked which I think is just shear genius is late-nigh snacks sections that include chocolate truffles and herbal cocktails, for night owl life myself this the book for us.
After years of following her blogs I was extremely happy that she finally came with a book; The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Over 100 Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out by Angela Liddon
"The Oh She Glows Cookbook features a treasure trove of more than 100 mouth-watering, wholesome recipes—from revamped classics that even meat-eaters will love, to fresh and inventive dishes –all packed with flavor. From rich and hearty entrées like the Crowd Pleasing Tex Mex Casserole and 15-Minute Creamy Avocado Pasta to decadent desserts like the Chilled Chocolate Espresso Torte with Hazelnut Crust and Angela’s famous Glo Bakery Glo Bars, there is something for everyone. Featuring over 100 stunning full-colour, full-page photographs shot by Angela herself, there is mouth-watering inspiration throughout! This cookbook also includes many allergy-friendly recipes–with over 90 gluten-free recipes–and many recipes free of soy, nuts, sugar, and grains too" The Book - Oh she Glows
This is another one of my favorite book, while it does not have recipes it provides an excellent rule on eating which I think anyone can follow even if they are meat eaters; Food Rules: An Easters Manual by Michael Pollan. This is a book that I always go back to every now and then when I find that my eating habit is going down a bad road, and just remain myself some of the rules that Pollan provided. The book offers 64 rules on eating that anyone can follow, but it wouldn't be a true Michael book if it didn't provide a critical look into the American diet, which in this book he defines as the diseases of affluence which is the "western Diet" of processed meats and food products. The 64 rules are solutions to these diseases of affluences.