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The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Over 100 Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out Paperback – March 4, 2014
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“Angela Liddon knows that great cooks depend on fresh ingredients. You’ll crave each and every recipe in this awesome cookbook!”
—Isa Chandra Moskowitz, author of Isa Does It
“Angela has taken her vegan cookbook and shown us how truly delicious, colorful and versatile the recipes can be. So many things I want to make! This is a book you'll want on the shelf.”
—Sara Forte, author of The Sprouted Kitchen
“The Oh She Glows Cookbook proves that vegan is not a four-letter word! Angela’s imaginative, mouth-watering, and totally approachable recipes will motivate everyone to cook healthy, vibrant foods for their whole family.”
—Sarah Britton, creator of the blog My New Roots
“If you can choose only one cookbook this year - Oh She Glows is it! Angela's approach to vegan recipes is fresh, vibrant, and simple... and her connection to her readers honest and real.”
—Dreena Burton, author of Let Them Eat Vegan!
“The Oh She Glows Cookbook is nothing short of a revelation. A brilliant collection of accessible and vibrant vegan recipes—it’s hard to decide which recipe to cook first.”
—Kathryne Taylor, creator of the blog Cookie + Kate
“An amazing thing about Angela’s recipes is that you completely forget that they are vegan. The Oh She Glows Cookbook is filled with indulgent nacho dips, doughnuts and veggie loaves – food we never imagined a healthy, vegan version of. It’s an inspiring reminder that there are no limits to vegan cooking.”
—David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl, authors of Vegetarian Everyday: Healthy Recipes from Our Green Kitchen and creators of the blog Green Kitchen Stories
Oh She Glows is:
“Best Vegan Blog”
“Best Overall Blog” and “Best Veg Blog”
About the Author
Angela Liddon is the founder, recipe developer, and writer behind OhSheGlows.com - an award-winning destination for healthy plant-based recipes, with millions of visitors each month. Her work has been featured in local and international publications such as VegNews,O, The Oprah Magazine, Fitness, The Kitchn, Self, Shape, National Post, The Guardian, Glamour, and Best Health, among others. She has also won several awards, including VegNews Best Vegan Blog for three consecutive years, Chatelaine’s Woman of the Year Hot 20 Under 30 award, and FoodBuzz’s Best Veg Blog and Best Overall Blog. Her first cookbook, The Oh She Glows Cookbook, is an international bestseller. It was selected as Indigo’s Book of the Year for 2014 and appeared on the New York Times bestseller list. Her eagerly-awaited follow-up cookbook, Oh She Glows Every Day, will be published in September 2016. Liddon and her husband, Eric, and daughter, Adriana, live in Oakville, Ontario, Canada, with their cat, Sketchie.
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Top Customer Reviews
I point this out because despite not being able to come up with a single thing about myself that places me in Angela Liddon's target market, this is still a contender for my most favorite cookbook in the whole world...and I've barely scratched the surface.
I first encountered Liddon courtesy of Google; I was hunting for a lentil loaf recipe and Liddon's blog popped up. I distinctly remember almost passing the ohsheglows result by entirely because of the blog's name, which - probably in no small part because I'm neither a she nor the least bit glowy - sounded a little too twee for me.
I made that recipe, and truly loved it - loved it enough that it joined the ranks of my all-time favorites - but it wasn't until I read a review for this very cookbook, accompanied by a different recipe (Thai peanut noodle bowl) that sounded fairly delicious, that I started to consider buying a cookbook new when then only cookbooks I buy ever are used and cheap. (They're hard to justify when the internet is right there, you know?)
I'm really, really glad I bought it. I consider a cookbook a win when I find maybe five recipes worth making more than once. This statement may be a tad premature, but I'm pretty good at judging how well I'll like a recipe, and I have a strong suspicion that this one is going to have a (much) higher success rate.
One thing I've always disliked about buying cookbooks online is how difficult it is to guess what you're going to end up with. You buy a perfectly normal-sounding vegetarian cookbook and end up with 60 recipes using shiitake mushrooms or three chapters of boring salads that are only slightly different from the salads you came up with on your own years ago. So in light of that, here is a breakdown of the recipes.
Breakfast - 10 recipes - including several that sound like they'd be pretty swell at any time of day.
Smoothies, Juice, and Tea - 11 recipes - probably the biggest disappointment for me in the book; I'm not big on smoothies, juice, or tea...and when I want something like that, I don't need a recipe to make it.
Appetizers - 8 recipes - including a nacho dip that sounds bizarre to this non-vegan. Not bad, necessarily, but...there's no cheese! That one's weirdness is offset by a strawberry-mango guacamole that may have possibly made me drool a bit.
Salads - 8 recipes - I'm good with the smaller number of salads included here; I've got salad recipes coming out the wazoo, and never mind that I'm usually pretty good at coming up with a salad all on my own. Some of them are pretty unique, though, and the "Long Weekend Grilled Salad" sounds outstanding.
Soup - 7 recipes - A couple of these sound a bit weird, but there are two for sure that I want to make as soon as I get to the grocery store again.
Entrees - 15 recipes (or 16, depending on your reckoning...the noodle bowl has two different dressings) - I've already been impressed by the two I've made, and several of the others sound really original and satisfyingly hearty.
Sides - 9 recipes - some of these feel a bit like cheating (baked fries needed a recipe?), and I admit, nothing here really spoke to me, but we'll see.
Power Snacks - 9 recipes - two roasted chickpea recipes is probably pushing it, but I possibly would have bought this book just for the peanut butter cookie dough bites. The chia pudding parfait is getting made forthwith, BTW.
Desserts - 11 recipes - some of these seem like an awful lot of work when I'm perfectly satisfied by boxed brownies, but every last one sounds delicious.
Homemade Staples - 27 recipes - this chapter almost made me knock the book down to four stars - it's totally cheating to call things like oat flour and roasted garlic "recipes," and by my count there's only 88 recipes before this chapter, not "over 100" - but I think the others made up for it.
You're no doubt getting as sick of reading this as I am of typing it, so just a few other random comments about the book: First, the photography is breathtaking. There are lots of pictures (possibly one for each recipe, I didn't keep track), and every last one is colorful and artful and makes the food look delicious. Second, there seems to be a minimum of weird ingredients. It's clear Liddon has a fondness for chia seeds (never tried them, but now I'm curious), but the fact that I can make a good number of these things without making a trip to a specialty store gets points from me. Third, the recipes I've made - and, from the way it looks, most of the ones I haven't - have a terrific balance of flavors. This stuff may be simple, some of it, but definitely not bland! Fourth, while there aren't any nutrition facts provided - a disappointment, since figuring it myself is so putzy - each recipe has notes in the header with things like "gluten free" and "nut free." And finally, each of these recipes is obviously easily adaptable. I already tweaked the lentil loaf recipe to one that's a bit less of a pain to make (but retaining the deliciousness), and since I'm not vegan, it's pretty clear how I can incorporate real dairy or whatever. (Sorry, but I shall never ever give up cheese. I would rather die. And I'm only being a little facetious.) At the same time, these recipes all look straightforward enough and flavorful enough that I may very well try some of them exactly as written.
Now that you've grown old reading this, I'll just summarize by saying that although I haven't made all the recipes in this book, the ones I've made all deserve five stars...and I'm looking forward to trying most of the rest of them. This book has inspired me to cook in a way that I haven't been inspired in a really long time.
TL;DR: Buy this. For real.
The recipes are unique--they are not the usual "boil up some lentils and strew them on lettuce." The author really seeks out the deep flavors in vegetables and tries to bring out their best flavor with methods you might not have tried. For example, her potato salad uses avocado for the creaminess--that makes sense. But she roasts the potatoes instead of boiling them and this serves to caramelize the sugars and make the flavor very rich. She includes asparagus rather than the traditional celery--so you can see how the flavors already have been built from the ground up, in a way, and not dependent on a highly seasoned and creamy dressing alone. That's the kind of brilliance that makes "Oh She Glows" such a valuable addition to any kitchen, even if you are not a strict vegetarian or vegan.
Liddon also changes traditional Caesar salad, which uses a semi-cooked egg and anchovy traditionally as the base of the creamy dressing. Instead of egg or Parmesan cheese, she purees raw almonds to make a milky, protein-filled dressing. This is right out of the vegan playbook, where raw cashews and other nuts are used to make "cream"--the protein and fat of nuts working well to create the taste and feel of dairy cream. Unfortunately, for those of us who are allergic to nuts, many vegan recipes are out of reach, and I wish people would suggest substitutes, or even include them in recipes where nuts work to create that flavorful "umami" component of cheese and meat. For example, you can sometimes use sunflower or pumpkin seeds, or hemp seeds, which puree into a milky cream.
My favorite recipe of the entire book is creamy mashed potatoes and cauliflower with a mushroom gravy. It's way lighter than the traditional holiday version and it's one of those comfort foods you can indulge in here with less guilt and worry about calories and fat. Add some roasted vegetables on the side and you have a great winter meal. They also solve the problem of having a holiday feast when you are entertaining people who are vegan--these recipes let you recreate an almost-traditional meal minus the turkey. Frankly, I like Thanksgiving dinner more for the side dishes, and the versions in here are quite good--there is a recipe for butternut squash that goes really well with the potatoes.
The book also has recipes for snack bars including her famous "Glo-Bar." This is a great recipe. You can substitute peanut or sunflower butter for the almond butter and the rest of the ingredients are gluten-free, oil-free and soy-free. You can make these up, wrap them, freeze the extras and have a quick snack that really is a huge improvement on the granola bars you buy in the store. I'm not a fan of granola bars--to me, they are cookies pretending to be better than they are, but Glo Bars really do have something to offer as a power snack.
Re missing nutritional data: true, calories, etc are not noted here. It's a daunting task, I'll bet. I use the Weight Watchers site as I am a member, and plug in my recipes not only to get nutritional data but "points" because though vegetable-based foods are lower in calories in general, they still count, especially starchy carbs. I believe "Sparkpeople" which is a free site also has a recipe calculator. If you are worried about these numbers, you have a way of incorporating the info into your food journal, though including this info would have been more convenient.
Summary: if you want to try vegan cooking, this is a great book to use, as Liddon really works on getting great flavors from her ingredients.