When VegNews recently listed The Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Liddon as one of their 15 Most Anticipated Cookbooks of 2014, I was far from surprised. Angela’s blog by the same name is incredibly beloved with consistent recipes, beautiful photography, and a warmth that matches her real life persona. In fact, I had a chance to meet Angela briefly at Vida Vegan Con last year. Her sweet, gentle spirit is palpable, and it comes through loud and clear in The Oh She Glows Cookbook.
I recently received a copy of the book from her publisher and was taken right away with the large, gorgeous color photographs spread throughout the book. It’s a book that one could set out on the coffee table, except I don’t know who could stand to have it anywhere other than in the kitchen getting loads of use. (FYI: The Canadian printing has a different but equally lovely cover with a parfait on the front.)
In the opening of the book, Angela writes about her own journey with food, along with how and why she started her blog. In this section, I loved what she had to say about her adoption of a vegan diet:
“A vegan diet is the way I aligned what’s in my heart with the food on my plate. My compassion for others – and, most surprising, for myself – grew in many ways.”
There’s a section for stocking your natural foods pantry and a list of her favorite kitchen tools. I knew she was a woman after my own heart and had to laugh when she said, “Just like shoes, you can never have too many glass jars…” I actually have a much easier time fighting the urge to buy shoes. Glass jars are irresistible!
Then it’s time for the recipes. There are over 100 of them and each one gets a large color picture, which makes all of them that much more enticing.
From the breakfast section, I made the Loaded Savory Oatmeal & Lentil Bowl. Even though I’d heard of savory oatmeal, I had never tried it myself. Instead of the toppings one would typically think of for oatmeal like blueberries, bananas, or cinnamon, savory oatmeal is cooked with vegetable broth, shallots, and garlic. In the OSG version, red lentils are added for extra protein and staying power.
Then you can cover it with your choice of toppings like hummus or avocado. I made a quick salsa and added it to the top along with cilantro and a dollop of baba ganoush (eggplant dip). This is one I’m sure I’ll be making again and playing with different toppings for variety.
As I’m still feeling the effects of the snow boot and shoveling season, I was especially drawn to the soup section. I made the hearty Indian Lentil Cauliflower Soup.
I also made Cream of Tomato Soup with Roasted Italian Chickpea Croutons. Roasted chickpeas have been one of my favorite snacks for years now, and cream of tomato soup was in my regular rotation for many years before I went vegan. In fact, I used to turn to cream of tomato soup multiple times a week for something cozy, comforting, and fast. However, after I went vegan, I curiously forgot about tomato soup and stopped eating it altogether.
That has changed now. Angela’s soup took me back. This cream of tomato soup was so much better than the one I ate again and again many moons ago. Blended raw cashews give it creaminess, and it has a huge smack of tomato flavor from canned tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, and tomato paste.
It’s then topped with chickpea croutons that have a taste reminiscent of sour cream and onion potato chips. They balance the soup nicely – giving extra crunch and flavor. (I noticed that Matt posted this recipe on No Meat Athlete on his review of the book. If your copy hasn’t arrived yet, check it out there!)
There are all kinds of gorgeous desserts in OSG, and I couldn’t stop myself from making a batch of Homemade Yolo’s (like vegan Rolo’s). Rolo’s used to be one of my favorite candies, and so I think it’s awesome that Angela has made such a natural and mouthwatering version that’s quick and easy to make at home. Plus, you’ve got to love the play on the phrase You Only Live Once. The caramel is made with Medjool dates and nut butter, which is then coated in chocolate.
It’s noted that the Yolo’s taste best straight from the freezer, and I completely agree. When served that way, the chocolate has a snap that reminded me of the Magic Shell I used to eat on ice cream cones growing up. The crack of chocolate then gives way to the chewy caramel inside.
They didn’t take long to make, and it was fun having them in the freezer so I could just pull out one or two for a little something sweet. My husband also loved them and was sad that there were oddly only a couple left by the time he got to them… So strange. I have no idea how that happened.
In addition to all of the aforementioned, there are also sections for smoothies, juices, and teas, salads, snacks, staples, and appetizers. Speaking of appetizers, once summer fruit season hits, I’m eager to make the Summertime Cherry-Basil Bruschetta and a generous batch of Glowing Strawberry Mango Guacamole. I think I could eat it alone with a spoon!
One of the things I like best about The Oh She Glows Cookbook is the way that it uses accessible, plant-based ingredients that would be familiar and unintimidating to any eaters – vegan or non-vegan. I could see serving any of these recipes to people in my life who might be suspicious of dishes heavy in seitan or tofu. Plus, they’re the kind of whole foods based recipes that just make you feel good, especially at this tail end of winter.
Avery Publishing has allowed me to share a recipe with you today from the book. I’m sharing this entrée, the Empowered Noodle Bowl. There are recipes to make it two ways – either in a Thai Peanut sauce or an Orange-Maple Miso sauce. I made the peanut version, but both look terrific.
The publisher has also generously offered one copy of the book to a reader of Cadry’s Kitchen for a giveaway! (Sorry, United States residents only.) Please use the form below to enter. Best of luck!
Disclaimer: I was given this book to review but the thoughts and opinions are totally my own. This post contains Amazon affiliate links.