Book Review: The Oh She Glows Cookbook

book review: the oh she glows cookbookThe Oh She Glows Cookbook: Over 100 Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out, by Angela Liddon (Penguin Group 2014)
Reader, I married a vegan. I am not vegan. How am I going to be able to feed my precious new husband delicious and healthy vegan meals?
Thankfully the Oh She Glows Cookbook arrived in my life recently and I have been able to serve up some amazingly delicious vegan meals. I've made salads, entrees, appetizers and soups that were such a hit that I gained confidence and a new identity as a vegan cook! Here's how it happened and my review of the book. 

My cooking challenge
I face 2 barriers when it comes to feeding my new vegan husband: I am not vegan and I can't cook. Yet. Let's just say that my kitchen skills are incredibly weak given my lengthy life as a single woman and my gym junkie lifestyle where my feeding rituals always involved a blender or blender bottle.  I am quite clueless how to nourish without tubs of powder and a colorful mosaic of capsules. I already do eat a healthy, mostly plant-based diet but my experience in the kitchen has been minimal and sit-down family meals don't go over so well when all you serve is green smoothies.  Rice crackers with hummus only go so far and stir-frys lose their appeal pretty fast. Can delicious savory entrees even be made without butter, cream and chicken stock? 
How I heard about the Oh She Glows Cookbook. 
My sister recently told me about her success with the Soul soothing African peanut stew recipe she just made from the Oh She Glows Cookbook. It wasnt the first time I'd heard of it. I'd read an article here and there by author Angela Liddon. The popular and award winning blogger from the Oh She Glows blog crossed my social media path several times over the recent years. We started our blogs around the same time, she in 2008 and me in 2009. I had to have the cookbook, 2 days later it arrived.
About the author
It's so much more meaningful to buy a book and follow the recipes of someone who put alot of time, passion and energy into her own healing and life journey. An eating disorder fueled Angela Liddon's early writing and she documented her quest for a more aligned relationship to food.  Her ramblings about her exploration in the kitchen and her path to a vegan lifestyle just happened to become a New York Times best selling book.  
My guide
This beautiful cookbook came at just the right time in my life. As I set out to make the kitchen mine I needed some guidance on how to stock my pantry with staples, tools and equipment.  A helpful shopping list at the beginning of the book features everything I needed to prep for my vegan cooking adventures.
These two sections helped me out and will surely help out anyone starting their journey to a healthier and more plant based diet.
My natural foods pantry
Liddon provides detailed descriptions of the healthy basics under the following categories:
  • whole grains & flours         
  • non-dairy milk
  • yogurt & cheese
  • sweeteners
  • fats/oils
  • salt
  • herbs & spices
  • vegetable broth/bouillon Powder
  • nuts/seeds
  • beans/legumes
  • soy products
  • chocolate
  • acids
My favorite kitchen tools & equipment
Thankfully my kitchen had almost everything so I didn't have to invest a lot. Liddon describes her favorites: Food processor, blender, jars, knives, graters, baking sheets, dutch oven, skillets, peelers/spiralizer, pastry roller, scoops, and a sieve.
The recipes
The cookbooks covers recipes from the following sections:
  • breakfast
  • smoothies, juice & tea
  • appetizers
  • salads
  • soups
  • entrees
  • sides
  • power snacks
  • desserts
  • homemade staples
  • A basic cooking chart

My favorite recipes so far

I am 13 recipes into the cookbook. So far every one is a repeat-for-sure recipe and I can't wait to make the rest.

  • Out the door chia power donuts "I could eat these every day" said my husband
  • Glow bar A hit with kids and no cooking needed. 
  • Taco fiesta potato crisps Walnuts. An amazing taco meat alternative. Who knew?
  • Soul soothing African peanut stew A house guest told me the soup was amazing at least five times over dinner. 
  • Summer harvest tortilla soup The lime is optional but do it, it makes it over the top delicious and so full of goodstuff.
  • 10-spice vegetable soup with cashew cream I fooled several creamy soup lovers with this one.
  • Eat your greens detox soup Delicious and so healthy.
  • Empowered noodle bowl with Thai peanut or Orange-maple Miso or This is my new staple potluck dish, I'm taking it everywhere. 
  • Roasted rainbow carrots with cumin coriander tahini sauce Spice combinations I never would have come up with on my own.
  • Roasted brussels sprouts with fingerling potatoes and rosemary So simple, I'm so glad potatoes are cool again.
  • Salt & Vinegar roasted chickpeas Get your crunchy fix.
  • Cauliflower mashed potatoes with easy mushroom gravy Best gravy ever. 
Other features I like
It's a beautiful book.  Large colorful images of each recipe is the only way I choose my recipes and this book is full of them. 
The recipes are simple. A bit of chopping and measuring is all it takes. There are few steps or complexities. 
I purchased a few spices and a few basic fresh items and now I find that I often have sufficient ingredients around to pull together last minute meals.  
Things to think about
Picky eaters might be instantly scared by all the concoctions. Children often like simple and these recipes feature lots of 'green things' and possibly too many ingredients for the one-color food eater.
There are a few things that require overnight tasks like chilling or soaking. Read the full recipe before assuming dinner will be good to go tonight. 
Don't try to fool your meat loving pals with a veggie burger or convince them that tofu is  a comparable alternative to a steak or chicken filet.  It's not and never will. 
Happy cooking, 
Get your copy from Amazon.

Author: Shari Zisk

Shari Zisk B.A., has been a fitness professional for over 20 years. She was born, raised and spent most of her fitness career in British Columbia, Canada. She now lives in the United States splitting time between Los Angeles and Atlanta. Shari writes full time about how to sweat, nourish and glow!

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