Recipe Reviews from The Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Liddon

Oh She Glows is a blog I very much enjoy, so I was happy to hear that Angela was developing a cookbook.  My copy arrived a couple of weeks ago and I love reading through it.  It’s a beautiful book with lovely photos and a picture accompanying each recipe.  The Oh She Glows Cookbook has made the New York Times Bestseller List and with good reason: this is simply a gorgeous piece of work!

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You can find ten of Angela’s recipes from her book over at Prevention.com.

I feel incredibly guilty about my photos here.  One of the hallmarks of blog Veganopoulous is the cringey food photography.  And I am so very conscious of making the recipes look unappetising because my snaps are bad.  Please believe me when I say these are fantastic recipes and I absolutely recommend you grab a copy of the Oh She Glows Cookbook yourself and take a look through it, or browse the recipes on the Oh She Glows site.

I’ve made Angela’s overnight oats before from recipes on her blog but I tried the cookbook version, knowing I’d enjoy it.  See what I mean about awful photography?  Try to ignore it and focus on this being a simple, healthy, super recipe and very popular.  I first discovered Oh She Glows because I was reading blogs where people were talking about Angela’s overnight oats, in a manner that made me feel I was waaaay behind the times.  Once I tried the overnight oats I understood why people get hooked:

Oh She Glows overnight oats

The water in the jug is actually fresh.

Arthur sat down with me to flip through the pages.  He noted some good looking breakfast recipes then asked to see the desserts section.  He (we) pretty much drooled over everything and he was mighty excited to see the Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bites in the Power Snacks section.  We had all the ingredients so we (he) decided to make them.  I used one tablespoon of coconut oil instead of the stated 2Tbs.  These are great though incredibly difficult in terms of resisting the temptation to eat half of it before you’ve rolled the balls.  I think this chapter should be renamed Willpower Snacks, because it took all of my willpower not to shove many of these in my gob.  I can’t find my photos anywhere and must have deleted them by mistake, argh.  Fortunately I found an image from the Oh She Glows Cookbook as well as the recipe.  So now there is no excuse for you not to make it!

http://www.prevention.com/food/cook/vegan-recipes-oh-she-glows?s=10

Photo by Angela Liddon, taken from the Oh She Glows Cookbook

I also made the Out-the-Door Chia Power Doughnuts.  First I had to buy some doughnut oven pans because really, they’re so cute.  Anyway, I doubled the recipe so I could share some with my sister and I used a combo of black and white chia seed.  For my first attempt I used buckwheat flour (I loooove buckwheat flour) instead of oat flour, only because I hadn’t washed the blender so I couldn’t make oat flour.  The batter was quite thick with the buckwheat flour and Angela’s recipe with the oat flour says the batter is very runny.  So I added a considerable amount of extra non dairy milk.  I had to work quickly when spooning the batter in to the doughnut pans because it started thickening up with all that lovely chia.  As this was my first time filling doughnut pans, I did it all messy and the holey bits were covered in the final product and I had to cut holes with a sharp knife.  The doughnuts were great, not too sweet which I looooove and I served them with the suggested Coconut Lemon Whipped Cream… which I turned in to Coconut Lime Whipped Cream, cos I was out of lemons.  Which really wasn’t whipped cream at all because I accidentally used a can of low fat coconut cream which I ended up using as a dipping sauce:
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For my second attempt, the blender was washed and dry (ha!) so I ground up some oat flour.  Boy do I love my Blendtec blender.  Anyway, the oat flour version produced lighter doughnuts.  This time I used a can of full fat coconut milk in the fridge overnight but I didn’t have lemon juice so I just sweetened it with maple syrup and added some maple extract:

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More sweet treats: the Gluten-Free Almond-Chocolate Brownies.  Made with almond meal and brown rice flour, these are easily the best brownies I have ever tasted.  I don’t usually like brownies as I’m not much of a chocolate fan, but I am so embarrassed about how much of this I ate in twenty four hours.  I even took a plate outside for walkies:

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Arthur liked the look of the Maple-Cinnamon Apple & Pear Baked Oatmeal.  I’m always up for a baked porridge!  The recipe calls for half a cup of unsweetened applesauce which I didn’t have.  Usually I make my own in the blender but it was late at night and I couldn’t switch the blender on.  I decided to leave it out but as I had an open can of coconut cream in the fridge, I used the leftovers along with some soy milk.  I definitely should have added more liquid, or perhaps took it out of the oven sooner as it dried out a little.  I really liked it regardless but when it comes to porridge, Arthur and DeeW prefer the usual sort I make.  I think I will incorporate the flavourings and apple-pear in to their regular porridge, as this is such a good recipe and I’d hate to see it go unused because my family don’t go for baked oats:

Oh She Glows Baked Oatmeal

 

The first recipe I made from the book was a soup, because I had loads of veggies to use up.  I confess that I always skip over Soup chapters and come back to them last.  Not this time.  The Soul Soothing African Peanut Stew was made first, though I added in more veggies and also a cup of leftover cooked burghul because they all had to be used up.  Delicious!  I’m looking forward to trying more of the soup recipes, usually unheard of for me.  No photo, it seems to have disappeared  😦  But I’ll be making this again asap and will be posting more recipe reviews so come baaaaack.

From the Oh She Glows blog, I made the Homemade Mocha Nutella spread, minus the mocha/coffee.  Angela’s recipe mentions the (food) processing time and I definitely think you should stick to it.  I didn’t, because it was evening and I had to hurry up and get DeeW ready for bed so I cut corners here.  I don’t think my coconut sugar blended enough as a result because you can feel the grittyness, though perhaps I should have used the smaller bowl of my food processor to really moosh things up.  I also began with using only half the coconut sugar stated as that’s just a thing I do in case a recipe is too sweet for me, but in the end I added the whole amount which was exactly what I had left of coconut sugar.  I would make this again to give out as a gift, with more care and time spent on the processing part.  Patience, grasshopper:

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So far I have loved every Oh She Glows recipe I’ve tried.  I started bookmarking pages with little scraps of paper then gave up because I was bookmarking every page.  I now have the very painful task of selecting which two recipes I will make next.  I’m limiting myself to selecting two only, because otherwise I will do a mega blowout and bookmark everything again!

Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, 2014

Yesterday my mum and I went to the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show.  Mum loves all things flowers and gardens so off we went.  Our plan was to spend a few hours there, then walk down to Shakahari in Carlton for lunch but alas, time flew too quickly as we tiptoed through the tulips (remember: I was told I looked like Tiny Tim when I was young…. tiptoeing through tulips has been traumatic ever since) and we had to leave at 2pm.  As expected, there were zero vegan food options from the food outlets that were set up so I took along some chia muffins that kept me full.  There was a place serving soups and perhaps may have been vegan but I wasn’t in a soup mood so I didn’t bother asking.

This is mostly a photo heavy post.  It was a lovely sunny day and I was so pleased to see leaves are already changing colour because I love autumn.  The event was held at the Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton gardens:

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Kale!!!

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I loved this hanging basket full of herbs n stuff.  I’ve been playing around with ideas for my own herb garden but I might go hanging baskets instead:

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This was my favourite.  I wanted to steal it:

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My kind of Easter egg:

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We walked around for hours admiring so much beautiful stuff.  I bought some some plant based soaps (five decent sized bars for $15) made with sustainable palm oil.  I also bought some lavender that can be used in cooking.  Mum bought a few plant cuttings.  She had a good day and got to meet one of the presenters (Jason, who does the landscaping) from Better Homes and Gardens.  I took a photo, I think she’ll make it her desktop wallpaper now.

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The Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show is on until March 30th. Vegans: take your own snacks!  http://melbflowershow.com.au/

Vegan Black Metal Chef, Isa Chandra M, Terry Hope R and dinner at the Corner Hotel in Richmond!

Plenty of vegans around the country are super pleased right now because we have just been bombarded with vegan chef amazingness.  All in the form of Vegan Black Metal Chef, Terry Hope Romero and Isa Chandra Moskowitz.  In fact, some interstate vegans are super pleased enough that they traveled to Melbourne for tonight’s vegan cooking demonstration and Q&A, held at the Corner Hotel in Richmond.

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I rocked up on my own and because I was way early, I decided to get a meal there at the Corner Hotel.  To be honest nothing on their online menu really appealed to me but I grabbed a menu from the bar anyway.  I’m so glad I did (I had been thinking of walking around a bit to find something), because there was this fantastic vegan menu for the night (I think it was just for tonight, that’s what I overheard someone saying).

Straight away, one meal jumped out at me: the roast vegetable soba bowl.  The description to me seemed like they were making Isa’s exact recipe from Isa Does It.  This really appealed to me because I have made it before but mixed up ingredients and it didn’t turn out like I’d hoped.  Purely my fault of course.  Anyway, I figured that if this indeed was Isa’s recipe, then I best try it because it was made by a real live proper chef person.  The other options were a black eyed pea burger with mango salsa and wedges; vegan Southern style fried chicken and a vegan shepherd’s pie.

You guys.  I am SO GLAD I chose this.  The dressing sauce was fantastic and I think… I think I now love the miso-tahini combination.  I neverrrr thought I’d be saying that, not this year at least. Previously, the miso-tahini combination kinda brought on the vommies a little. As soon as I go and buy some cauliflower, I’ll be making this following Isa Does It exactly:

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After hanging out taking my time reading newspapers and stuff, I noticed people going up to Isa and Terry to sign their books.  Isa and Terry were a few tables away and I talked myself out of asking them to sign.  Because having social anxiety can really suck.  But I had taken along Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World and Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, hoping to get them signed for DeeW and Arthur respectively seeing as they looove those books.  When I finally did go up, Terry wasn’t there but Isa kindly signed the books for my vegan cupcake lovin’ cookie scoffin’ kids.  My claim to fame for the night is that I was the only person in the audience to have visited Omaha, where Isa now lives and will be opening her restaurant.

 

Once inside, the stage was set up for Black Metal Chef who was up first.  I feel like such a dork now, because I’m not sure if I correctly remember what everyone cooked!  Black Metal Chef made a spinach potato curry, followed by a dish with udon noodles, seitan, mushrooms and capsicum:

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Yes, he really does cut with this:

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Please forgive the crappy quality of my photos, by the way.

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VBMC signed my guitar pick and took a photo with me.  The photo was for Arthur, he really likes watching VBMC’s videos.  Then Arthur walks around in a deep scary voice saying stuff like “Mummy… cook the tofu… be careful not to burn it…”:

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Terry Hope Romero was up next, making a lovely sounding cashew dressing for her to-be-released-soon cookbook called Salad Samurai.  She also cooked up some tofu which smelled amazing.  I had a seat front and centre, best spot in the house:

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Isa made her red pepper Mac and Cheese recipe, one I am determined to make very very soon.  She also made some breaded tofu which was torture, because by that time I was getting hungry again and the divine smells weren’t helping:

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I had a great night, got that ooooh lovely bass-pumping-out-of-your-chest from the live music, and of course I got to meet Isa and Black Metal Chef (not Terry, waaaah).  I’d say I did pretty well!

 

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Sliiiight skinnying of the arms…

St. Patrick’s Day Colcannon Puffs and Dilly Stew with Rosemary Dumplings

Every year I try to incorporate days of celebration in to our family life.  Although we do not celebrate based on religion, it’s still a good opportunity to explain to Arthur and DeeW why people celebrate a certain day or occasion and we learn about different cultures, countries and beliefs.  We watched some short clips about Ireland online and borrowed some library books.

Husband and I visited Ireland back in about 2001.  A relative was staying in Howth so we arranged to meet up, as Husband and I were living in Amsterdam at the time.  Unfortunately we didn’t get much time there and we only had two full days in Dublin so we opted for day long bus tours which took us to Newgrange.  Newgrange was built in about 3200BC so it’s older than Stonehenge and the pyramids.  Amazing stuff and we really enjoyed the tour.  My photos are all stored on backups somewhere but I found this old-camera-that-was-great-at-the-time picture of the view from our bed and breakfast in Howth.  It’s the St. Mary’s Church and graveyard:

St. Marys church howth

Naturally, green food was on the menu for today.  I didn’t make anything sweet and the shamrock cookie cutter will stay in the drawer for another year.  We’ve had our share of sweet things recently and really didn’t need more cake or biscuits.

Arthur’s breakfast was a banana-sweet potato-spinach smoothie.  Which is simply called ‘banana smoothie’ in our house, for reasons that will be obvious if you were or have a child who hates vegetables:

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My breakfast was the Cake Batter Smoothie from Eat Raw, Eat Well made with avocado, orange and lemon.  Of course, after drinking it, I realised I forgot to add some leafy greens to really green it up.  But it was still kinda green, though the lighting in the photos is really bad:

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For lunch I made Colcannon Puffs from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen.  I thought they were great, Arthur rated them 60% but the kale was too much for Husband and DeeW taste and texture wise so next time I’ll use peas instead.  I used the baking option.  I think these would be great samosa style with nice curry-esque spices:

colcannon puffs

I wanted to make something along the lines of an Irish stew.  I used the Dilly Stew with Rosemary Dumplings recipe from Isa Does It as it seemed a perfect fit.  To save time I chopped some of the veggies the day before and got a few things ready in advance.  Then once everything was in the pot, I went off to get a can of white beans but ended up having a total Mother Hubbard moment.  As in, no beans.  Whoops.  Still, it turned out okay and Husband is a bit iffy when it comes to beans in a stew.  I used four cups of broth instead of the stated six cups.  Six was way too much for my pot and would have overflowed with that plus the beans I thought I had.  I think the four cups was a good decision in my case because my stew didn’t thicken enough, so I made a Nutellex-flour roux and whisked it in.  Then it thickened up beautifully. I sorta made the dumplings a bit too big…

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Next time I’ll reduce the amount of potatoes and add more carrot as it seemed I was scooping out lots of potato:

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As always, I’m loving Isa Chandra M’s recipes and am looking forward to seeing her, Terry Hope Romero and Vegan Black Metal Chef at their live show in Melbourne soon.  Are any of you guys going to see them here or Sydney?

A really lazy ‘what I ate’ plus a return to Gong de Lin

Again I’ve fallen behind with making notes of what I’ve been eating.  I’ve been kinda sorta ‘good’, and having some raw stuff but mostly in the form of smoothies and juices.  I’ve found that when I make things that are a little more time consuming, I’m the only one that ends up eating them which is not exactly ideal if there are a lot of nuts involved.  Plus once the cooler weather hits I turn in to one of those people who don’t like eating raw in cold weather!

One of my favourite smoothies is the Cake Batter Smoothie from Eat Raw Eat Well.  It’s made with cashew milk, avocado, date, orange, lemon.  I love this smoothie so much:

cakebattersmoothieHusband and I were near Richmond again so we dropped in to Loving Hut for our usual.  Husband gets the spring rolls.  You can see in the photo they look like regular spring rolls, whereas our previous visits gave us the more puffed up lumpy bumpy pastry:

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I was determined to try another dish but in the end I just felt like the tofu puff-veg curry again.  I’ll get something different next time…

tofu puff veg curry Loving Hut

I made the cheesy-onion raw cauliflower popcorn in the dehydrator using this recipe at Little Vegan Bear.  Caeli is right when she says these feel junky but without the junk!  I just wish my family ate it but I’m not complaining that I get it all to myself:

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My mum made a nice roasted eggplant dip and green beans with potato and carrot.  Yes, that’s a chores list that says scrub toilets:

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Mum also gave me some of the burghul she made and this made another hearty meal served up with grilled mushrooms:

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I made up some lentil and bean ‘meat’ based on a recipe from Isa Does It though I added in some mushrooms.  I had this during the week rolled up and pressed in my sandwich grill press thingy, or in a tortilla.  I made Johanna’s Cauliflower Cheese Sauce with some minor modifications (like veg broth instead of soy milk, and I used nooch instead of tahini).  I ended up putting more sauce on my plate so I could use the tortilla as a mop because this cauliflower sauce is yumz:

taco meat cauliflower cheeze sauce

I made Moroccan Chickpea Burgers from Holy Cow! I liked them but the family are really, really fussy when it comes to burgers.  As in, they don’t really eat them:

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March 14th was Pi Day.  I didn’t make anything on the day, but the day before I made a sortof pie in the form of an apple rhubarb crumble.  I believe North American peeps call this a crisp:

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I was mostly happy with the two person banquet at Gong de Lin recently (we were not served the baby corn soup) so when I got home I’d purchased another two person Scoopon.  I took my sister to Gong de Lin last week and the soup came out straight away.  We had the same entree of steamed dumplings and spring rolls, but these dumplings had a different filling than last time and were bigger too.

For our two main meals the sweet and sour mock pork came out but instead of the spicy mock chicken, we had a mushroom dish.  I thought it was good taste wise but anything other than button shaped mushies make me nervous.  My sister is braver than me in this respect and polished it off. The downside here is that we waited for rice to come out but none appeared.  Flagging down the waitress was pointless because other tables were getting really impatient and beginning to call out.  Besides, my sis and I were really full by this point that we said mehhh don’t worry about the rice:

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I had talked up the dessert course T and I had last time.  This time however, we were given the same ‘dumplings in clear broth’ though the broth again seemed to be water with sugar.  As for the marble sized dumplings, I must report these were a massive let down.  They were plain balls of unsweetened dough with no flavour.  We ate one each then pushed it aside.  Mega disappointing:

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My sister and I walked around a bit to ease our full stomachs.  We stopped in at the Organic Food and Wine Deli in Degraves Street for some cake.  The vegan options were lemon poppyseed (my sister got  that).  I went for the chocolate cherry cake.  Both tasted nice but were a little on the dry side.  I took a photo of my sister’s slice of cake but it was too blurry (this photo isn’t much better):

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I should point out The System my sister and I use.  When we go out to eat, we never order the same thing.  We pick two menu items we both like and we share.  Husband doesn’t get this.  He belongs to the school of “if you want something, just order it”.  Alas, he hates it when I pick from his plate.  In my defence though I must state that this ‘picking’ is always me taking a sample from his plate before I’ve used my cutlery and he’s welcome to try some of my meal.  Ditto for my sister or others who follow The System.  You don’t double dip of course.  But Husband does not understand this amazing System.

My sister and I had gone in to the Manchester Unity building:

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We got in the lift and were snapping photos of ceilings and so on then got told off by the people from some of the businesses there.  Had we seen a ‘no photography’ sign we would have respected it.  It’s silly they don’t have signs up, I know people who go around to old buildings like this snapping pics of the interiors.

Husband and I have been enjoying watching Veronica Mars.  We had the final tv season put aside years ago and have just watched them all.  We’re definitely going to watch the movie.  I never thought I would enjoy a program set in high school (then college) but it’s a great show.  I especially love the interaction between Veronica and her Dad, always fantastically played:

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Another show we’re loving right now is Outrageous Fortune.  OF is a show produced in New Zealand about ten years ago.  I would love to work as a set or wardrobe stylist on a show like this.  I burst out laughing when Pascalle wore the trashy white boots with her bridesmaid dress:

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I swore I wouldn’t buy any more cookbooks… a blog I follow is Angela Liddon’s Oh She Glows.  Angela has just released her Oh She Glows cookbook and my copy arrived today.  Wheeee!  I really liked her introduction and I’m looking forward to trying out some of the recipes as they all look brilliant. Each recipe has a photo and it’s a pleasure to read through. Another book that arrived is Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day by Tamasin Noyes and Celine Steen.  I’ve had my eye on this one for ages but always said no because I wanted to avoid eating bread.  But the truth is I do love a good sandwich and I’m not very creative when it comes to my own sandwiches.  Plus some of the recipes in this book look fab.

I’ll leave you with one of my favourite songs from when I was young.  One year in the early 80s, probably 1982, I received my first record: one of those compilation albums with a bunch of hits from that year.  May I present Grandmaster Flash and Furious Five for your viewing pleasure!