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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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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.
As for the healthiness of the book, I would consider most of the recipes pretty indulgent. Almost every recipe has oil and added sugar. I wish there were more salad recipes and fewer cashew-based creamy dishes. I also wish some sections were more varied. For example, the breakfast section has multiple different oatmeal recipes (all of which I've created my own variations of on my own in the past) but no simple/healthy pancake or waffle recipes. The dessert section has two chocolate tart recipes but not enough fruit tarts (or fruit-based recipes for that matter). The savory sections have a gross-looking nacho dip, tex-mex casserole and "fiesta bites" (all of which are heavy on the oil and processed ingredients) but few simple vegetable-rich dishes.
Overall, I am not unhappy that I bought the book, but I expected more from it. I love her blog and I've gained so many fantastic recipes from her blog. I'm sorry to write such a critical review, but I hope it can help others who are considering what they want from a vegan cookbook.
I read a couple of the negative reviews out of curiosity, and I couldn't disagree more. One person said that her estimated cooking times were inaccurate. I found them to be pretty darn accurate. Another person complained that her recipes are complex and take a long time to make. I find this one particularly confusing, because one of the things I love about this book is that the recipes are quick to make!
Overall, I think you'll like this book if you want to eat healthier without counting calories, and if you want recipes for familiar foods that are healthier but still incredibly satisfying.
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