Foodie Fridays: Oh She Glows Every Day
As I’m writing this blog post, my house is filled with the aroma of seasoned chickpeas roasting in the oven and my hands have a briney scent to them. I’m making the Crowd-Pleasing Caesar Salad from Angela Liddon’s new and highly anticipated cookbook, Oh She Glows Every Day (although as a note, this particular recipe is actually on her blog too).
Here’s what’s particularly cool. Angela Liddon, the blogger and chef behind the wildly popular plant-based blog Oh She Glows, is not only one of the most recognizable names in vegan cooking, I’d wager she’s one of the best-known Canadian bloggers / chefs / foodies on the planet. Her debut cookbook actually spent weeks on the New York Times bestsellers list and fans were hungry (pun intended) for more. So in between having a baby and promoting her first book, Angela started working on recipes behind the scenes.
So what’s changed between now and then? Well, as I mentioned – Angela’s got a family now, and along with that, a busier schedule. As much as I love, love, love her first cookbook (her Life-Affirming Cheese Dip is amongst my top 5 recipes of all time), I’ll admit, sometimes the time investment was a bit much for me on some dishes. The difference then, is in the title: Oh She Glows Every Day. The focus is on recipes you can use daily, many of which have way shorter prep and cooking times (like Mac and Peas or Green Taco Wraps, which both take under an hour in my experience), with handy shortcuts sprinkled throughout, like boiling your cashews instead of soaking them to get them softened up for the salad I mentioned making.
As you might expect, the recipes are divided into the usual suspects, with chapters dedicated to everything from breakfast (hello Strawberry Oat Crumble Bars and Black Bean Rancheros) to dessert (Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies and Mile-High Black-and-White Freezer Fudge anyone?). A couple of notable inclusions? There’s an entire chapter on Smoothies & Smoothie Bowls – the latter of which were a new concept to me but definitely a fun spin on my morning meal. Get started with the Glowing Rainbow Smoothie Bowl! There’s also a chapter just on cookies and bars. In fact, this book is a bit more tailored towards those with a sweet tooth, with 16 dessert-type recipes, plus the smoothies and breakfasts often dipping into the sugar pool. That’s not a bad thing, but something to keep in mind if you aren’t looking to fix your sugar craving.
I got to trial about a half-dozen recipes over the few weeks I’ve been testing out Oh She Glows Every Day. I opted for recipes from different sections of the book to get a feel for the level of effort involved, as well as the ingredients. When I review plant-based cookbooks in particular, I think it’s really key to highlight the latter, as oftentimes people get overwhelmed at tracking down some more ‘exotic’ vegan recipes. The good news? This cookbook is chockful of homemade staple recipes to simplify the buying process, and I was surprised at how often I’d glance at a recipe and realize all I needed were one or two fresh ingredients, depending on what the dish entailed – it really does capitalize on foods most of us have in our cupboards.
More importantly though, is the taste. The reason why the original Oh She Glows cookbook has been such a staple in my cooking lineup is the flavours each dish is absolutely FULL of. From the 6 Vegetable and Cheese soup that’s a medley of fresh veggies and zip in every bite to the The Best Shredded Kale Salad (not a misnomer) to the explosively flavourful Comforting Red Lentil and Chickpea Curry, there wasn’t a dish in the bunch that was a miss.
So who is Oh She Glows Every Day for? Well for one, Vegetarian / Vegan Awareness Month is coming up in October, so it’d be a swell gift for that. It’s also a great book for anyone that loved the first one and wants to add a little more glow in their lives. In some ways, it’s actually a better book to buy for someone that’s new to vegan cooking and Angela’s methodologies – it’s a little simpler (but not dumbed down) and the quickness of the recipes / familiarity of the ingredients may bring some doubters on board. I love it as a gift for your best gal pal, mom, or sibling – or anyone simply curious about trying out some amazing vegan recipes. Angela Liddon is in a class of her own when it comes to creating tasty, healthy, balanced meals.
Want to try one for yourself? I’ve got a preview recipe from Oh She Glows Every Day below, for Roasted Garlic Basil Pesto Potatoes with Argula – a perfect side that doubles as a weekday potato salad. *Drool*
Roasted Garlic Basil Pesto Potatoes with Arugula
This is one of those amazing side dishes that disappears incredibly fast! It’s a fancy, restaurant-worthy recipe that is sure to impress special guests. (If you are serving a large crowd, I recommend doubling the recipe since it only serves four as a side.) If you’ve been skeptical about arugula in the past, I encourage you to give this recipe a try; the spicy, peppery-tasting green pairs beautifully with a bold and bright pesto. If you can’t find baby arugula, be sure to chop regular arugula into bite-size pieces so it’s easier to eat. Hemp hearts add a kick of protein and omega-3 fatty acids for a nutritional boost. This dish is amazing served warm, but the chilled leftovers taste great as well.
FOR THE POTATOES
2 pounds (900 g) Yukon Gold or red potatoes, unpeeled, chopped into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes (about 6 cups/ 1.5 L)
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons (22 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
FOR THE ROASTED GARLIC
1 large garlic head
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
FOR THE PESTO
1 cup (250 mL/3/4 ounce/20 g) lightly packed fresh basil leaves
3 to 4 tablespoons (45 to 60 mL) hemp hearts
1/4 cup (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons (30 mL) fresh lemon juice, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
FOR THE SALAD
3 cups (750 mL) baby arugula, chopped
Fresh lemon juice, for serving(optional)
1 tablespoon (15 mL) hemp hearts, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line an extra-large baking sheet (15 by 21 inches/38 by 53 cm) with parchment paper.
- Make the potatoes Place the potatoes on the baking sheet and toss with the olive oil until thoroughly coated. Spread the potatoes into an even layer. Season with a couple of pinches of salt and pepper.
- Make the roasted garlic Slice the top off the garlic bulb so all the individual garlic cloves are trimmed. Place garlic bulb on a square of aluminum foil (about 8 inches/20 cm square) and drizzle the top of the cloves with the olive oil. Wrap the garlic bulb entirely in the foil and place it on the baking sheet with the potatoes.
- Roast the potatoes and garlic for 20 minutes, then remove pan from the oven and flip the potatoes with a spatula. Return the potatoes and garlic to the oven and continue roasting for 15 to 20 minutes more, until the potatoes are golden and fork-tender.
- Make the pesto In a food processor, combine the pesto ingredients and process until mostly smooth, stopping to scrape down the bowl as necessary. Keep the pesto in the processor because we will add the roasted garlic as the final step.
- Remove the potatoes and garlic from the oven. Carefully unwrap the garlic bulb and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes, until it’s cool enough to handle.
- Turn off the oven and return the potatoes to the oven with the door ajar so they stay warm. (You can also put the potatoes into an oven-safe casserole dish so the dish stays warm when serving.) Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of the bulb. You should have about 2 packed tablespoons (30 mL) of roasted garlic. Add it into the food processor with the pesto. Process until mostly smooth—you can add a touch more oil if necessary to get it going.
- Assemble the salad This is the important part where you need to act fast; I like to assemble the salad very quickly so that it’s warm when I serve it. Grab a large serving bowl and place the arugula in the bottom of the bowl. You can break it up into smaller pieces with your hands a bit. Then, remove the potatoes from the oven and quickly place them into the serving bowl on top of the arugula. Toss the potatoes and arugula with the pesto until thoroughly combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Sometimes I add another drizzle of lemon juice if I feel like the dish needs more acidity. Sprinkle on the hemp hearts and serve immediately.
Tip: On the rare chance that you have any leftovers, I’ve discovered that this side works great as a cold potato salad. Just serve it straight from the fridge!
And last but not least, I’ve got a copy of this amazing cookbook to give away to one lucky reader! Want to win Oh She Glows Every Day? Here’s how to enter:
1) First & foremost: you must be a subscriber to the Canadian Gift Guide to enter this giveaway. It’s as simple as finding ‘The Gift of Gab’ box in the righthand column and dropping in your email or clicking follow. Then, tell me in the comments below by October 12, 2016 – why do you want to receive this cookbook and which recipe that I mention in this post are you most excited to try?
2) Entries are limited to one per person / per email address / per household (or more if you score bonus entries). A random draw will be conducted on or around October 13, 2016 to select the winner, who will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen in their place.
3) Entries are limited to Canadians that have reached the age of majority in their province. Quebec is not eligible for this promotion.
4) Bonus Entry: Share your favourite recipe photo from this post on the social media channels of your choice – including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest – and tag it with #osgeveryday + @ohsheglows. Leave a separate comment with a link back to each social post you share an image on to receive up to four bonus entries into the draw.