A listing of my favorite stores, kitchen appliances, foods....
Amazing Grains is a wonderful natural foods store located in downtown Grand Forks. It is a little gem that sells the best bulk items and veggies around! They also have great lunches!
The Happy Herbivore Cookbook - my favorite. So many recipes and all are low-fat plant based. The recipes are simple, call for basic ingredients (most of which I already have in my pantry) but are big on taste. I would recommend this for beginners or experts. The author, Lindsay Nixon, also has two other cookbooks, Everday Happy Herbivore Cookbook and Everday Happy Herbivore Cookbook. They are both basically the same concept as her first cookbook, but filled with new, different recipes. I still think the first cookbook is superior, but have found a few favorite recipes in the new cookbooks, too.
Appetite for Reduction - a great book. A lot of recipes and most meet my "standard" of being low fat. There are some non-traditional ingredients that I don't normally buy or even have access to, so it loses some points for that in my book....but overall it's a great book.
McDougall Quick & Easy Cookbook - of course Dr. McDougall's cookbook is a great resource to have. Tons of recipes and all are healthy. They tend to be a bit bland for my tastes, but that's easily solved by bumping up the spices.
Vegan Lunch Box - all the recipes are vegan, but not necessarily workable for me and my family. She uses a lot of faux meats/cheeses and I'm not a fan of either. There's also a lot of oils/faux margarine that I wouldn't ever use. But there are a lot of adaptable ideas for lunches (especially for little kids). We have the bento box that is featured in the book from Laptop Lunch Boxes. We plan on using this bento box when our daughter starts school.
I check the The Happy Herbivore and Fat Free Vegan blogs regularly when either looking for a new recipe or looking for something specific. The Fat Free Vegan has thousands of recipes - I've yet to not find something on there I've searched for.
Hugo's Grocery Store
Hugo's on 32nd Street has an awesome "Nature's Way" natural food department. They are great about ordering things by request. The Hugo's in East Grand Forks also has a great "Nature's Way" natural food department, but I rarely make it to East Side.
I love my pressure cooker and use it several times a week. It's not only great for beans, but potatoes and all sort of other things too. I have a Fagor Pressure Cooker - it's 6 quarts which might seem large for a family of 3, but it comes in handy for making huge batches of beans!!!
I highly recommend getting a rice cooker/steamer. It makes perfect rice every time - the hardest part is just remembering to start the rice....except with mine I can set a timer and have it start automatically. This rice cooker is like the one I have, only the one in the link is the newer version.
This is by far the most luxurious item in my kitchen. Yes, a blender can be luxurious when it's as awesome as a Vita-Mix. My fabulous brother gave mine to me as a gift when my daughter was born to make preparing her baby food so much easier.....it's definitely worth considering getting one. I've found so many other uses since then that I'd be lost without it.