There was a time in my life when almost all of the books on my bookshelf were fictional stories – The Babysitter’s Club, Ramona, Goosebumps, anything by Roald Dahl or Judy Blume, and of course, an extensive collection of Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Fast forward to my 20s and you’ll now find that almost all novels have been replaced with these:
Cookbooks. You could say I’ve got a bit of a thing for them. I’ll admit that I have a few whose recipes I’ve never made, but still love because they have pretty pictures and ideas that make my tummy start to growl. (They also get me thinking things like “what could I swap for that to make it a bit healthier?” and “something like this would look so beautiful on my blog!”) If asked to pick a favourite, I don’t think I could do it. But recently yet another one has made its way into my home and it’s sitting right at the top of the charts.
One of my favourite things about being a blogger is the friendships that I’ve developed with so many other wonderful like-minded foodie friends. Oh She Glows was one of the first blogs I ever found, and Angela, the kitchen goddess behind it all, was one of the first bloggers I ever met.
My life would be quite different if I hadn’t met Angela. For starters, I’d probably still be taking photos with my camera in auto rather than manual mode, because Ange and her husband Eric taught me pretty much everything I know about photography (and helped me realize that it’s actually a lot of fun!) I also might not know about the gorgeous waterfalls and hiking trails that we have so close to home, which she and Eric introduced me to a couple of summers ago.
Without Ange, I may not have been able to stroke “See Oprah in real life” off of my bucket list, because she was super speedy and jumped on getting tickets for the Lifeclass Tour stop in Toronto in 2012.
Had I not met Angela, I’d probably be walking the aisles of Whole Foods for hours on my own because none of my other friends consider that a fun Saturday afternoon/evening activity. My blog might not even exist today if I hadn’t received the encouragement and helpful tips that she’s provided me with over the (almost) 4 years that Eat Spin Run Repeat has been alive.
The day Ange told me that she’d just signed a book deal, I was beyond excited. Now that her gorgeous book is hot off the presses and entering the homes of her loyal followers, I get shivers up my spine because I’m so proud of her! It’s absolutely stunning, full of recipes for breakfast, smoothies, juices and teas, appetizers, salads, soups, entrees, snacks, and desserts. And of course, in true Oh She Glows fashion, the book is full of stunning photos that will make your mouth water.
I recently did a quick Q&A with Angela about her cookbook, and here’s what she had to say:
1. What’s your favourite recipe in the book?
Oh boy, I knew I was going to be asked this question! It’s tough to choose, but I think I’d have to say it’s my Life-Affirming Warm Nacho Dip from the appetizer chapter. I haven’t met a person who didn’t like this cheesy, oil-free dip and it’s always a huge hit at parties and pot lucks. People will actually hunt you down for the recipe!
2. As many food bloggers would likely agree, there are times when recipe ideas flow like crazy, and other times when it’s impossible to think of something you haven’t already made. Where do you get your inspiration from?
Oh I can so relate to having those periods when nothing seems to inspire an idea! I go through that once a week probably,haha. I usually get my inspiration from reading my massive cookbook collection (I think I have over 100 cookbooks!), reading my favourite blogs, watching cooking TV shows, going out to restaurants, traveling, and reading food magazines.
3. In all of your years of blogging, what has been your biggest kitchen disaster?
It was a pecan pie I made last year. I popped it in the oven, set the timer, and walked away. Well, wouldn’t you know I came back to a pie that had EXPLODED all over the bottom of my new oven (and I didn’t even have a liner down). It was hysterical, so I couldn’t really get mad. I had to wait until the sugars cooled and hardened before I could chip it all off!
4. Do you have a favourite food photography prop?
I have some old barn boards that I love to use for a surface. I’d say it’s my most authentic prop and I love how it looks in photos. The only problem is the wood is dusty and I think it bothers my allergies! So I keep them in the garage most of the time. I also have this super retro electric beater (it’s PINK!) that I picked up from an estate sale. You can see it in my Seductive Raw Chocolate Walnut Fudge post.
5. What’s up next for Oh She Glows? Any surprises you can let my readers in on?
Well, we’re still working hard on our first app! My husband Eric is creating it from scratch so it’s been a huge process. We will have it ready sometime this year and it will feature tons of recipes from my blog (with new recipes added each week), a grocery shopping list, and more. Other than that, we’re working on some exciting business ideas, but I have to keep that under wraps for now!
Want a taste of one of the recipes from the Oh She Glows Cookbook? Angela and her publisher (Penguin in Canada, Avery in the US) have graciously allowed me to share The Empowered Noodle Bowl, which comes with 2 sauce options: Thai Peanut and Orange-Maple Miso. I chose the Thai Peanut one because I’ve got a thing for Thai food, but the Orange-Maple Miso would make for a great nut-free option.
Empowered Noodle Bowl with Thai Peanut Sauce
Thai Peanut Sauce:
- 1 large clove garlic
- 2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 3 tbsp natural smooth peanut butter or almond butter
- 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 3 Tbsp fresh lime juice, plus more if needed
- 2 Tbsp plus 1 tsp low-sodium tamari
- 1 to 2 tsp granulated sugar
- 4 oz gluten-free soba noodles
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 16oz bag frozen shelled edamame, thawed
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 seedless (English) cucumber, diced
- 1 carrot, julienned
- 4 green onions, chopped, plus more for serving
- 1/4 cup, fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
- sesame seeds, for serving
- Make the Thai peanut sauce: In a mini or regular food processor, combine the garlic, sesame oil, peanut butter, ginger, lime juice, tamari, sugar, and 2 to 3 tablespoons of water. Process until combined.
- Make the salad: Cook the soba noodles according to the instructions on the package. Be sure not to overcook them – they should only take 5 to 9 minutes, depending on the brand. Drain the noodles and rinse them under cold water. Transfer the noodles to a large bowl and toss them with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil (this prevents them from sticking together).
- Add the edamame, bell pepper, cucumber, carrot, green onions and cilantro to the bowl with the noodles and toss until well combined.
- Pour your desired amount of the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.
- Portion the salad into 4 bowls and garnish each serving with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and some green onions. Serve any leftover dressing on the side.
This recipe was super easy to make, and just as I’ve come to expect from all of Angela’s recipes, absolutely delicious. If you’re looking to incorporate more plant-based meals into your diet, or if you’re just looking for a little healthy inspiration in the kitchen, you will most definitely find it in the Oh She Glows cookbook.
So tell me…
- Have you got your hands on Angela’s book yet? If so, what recipes have you made?
- Whether you’re a blogger or not, where do you get your recipe ideas from?