When Angela Liddon started her food blog in 2008, she could barely cook a potato. But as part of her recovery from an eating disorder she’d battled since age 11, she wanted to learn about cooking, and a blog seemed like a good way to chronicle her journey. Oh She Glows began as a hobby, then quickly became a passion.
Readers responded with encouragement and enthusiasm to Liddon’s posts, which read like emails from a close friend sharing a recipe and a snippet of her day. She perfected her techniques, and as her audience grew, she became more open to trying new foods and experimenting with ingredients.
She eventually discovered a love for vegan cooking, which has become her primary focus. Liddon switched to a plant-based diet in 2009 after learning more about nutrition, animal welfare, and the environmental impacts of factory farming.
“It all led to what my blog is today, which is a celebration of my love for food,” she says. “My goal is to show healthy, unprocessed, and animal product–free recipes that I create to keep myself and my family inspired about tasty, good-for-you food.”
Now the mom of two young kids, Liddon has turned her attention to creating meals that are kid-friendly and convenient, as well: breakfasts you can prepare in advance, grab-and-go lunches, and dinners you can whip up in about 30 minutes.
The following recipes are excerpted from her newest cookbook, Oh She Glows Every Day. Enjoy!
Green-Tea Lime-Pie Smoothie Bowl
If you’ve never tried matcha in a smoothie, prepare yourself for an energizing kick. Matcha is a natural source of caffeine, and it’s rich in disease-fighting antioxidants. It has a slightly bitter, toasted flavor, but you won’t detect so much as a hint of bitterness when you blend the powder into a sweet, refreshing smoothie.
Makes 2 cups
Prep time: 10 minutes
- 1/2 cup coconut water
- 1 cup packed fresh baby spinach
- 1 large frozen banana, chopped
- 1/4 cup avocado, packed
- 2 tsp. lime zest
- 1 tbs. plus 1 tsp. fresh lime juice
- 2 or 3 ice cubes, as needed
- 2 tsp. pure maple syrup, or to taste
- 1/2 tsp. matcha green-tea powder, or to taste
- Toppings of your choice
- In a high-speed blender, combine all the ingredients except toppings and blend on high until smooth. Taste and adjust the sweetness, if desired.
- Pour into a bowl and add your toppings. Enjoy with a spoon!
Tip: Give your smoothie bowl a nutritional boost by topping it with granola, melted coconut butter, large-flake coconut, or hemp hearts.
Tip: To make this more kid-friendly, omit the matcha powder and reduce the lime juice.
Everyone who eats a plant-based diet needs a quick, satisfying, versatile, and protein-heavy dish to rely on at a moment’s notice. Liddon created this lentil recipe when she wanted something she could throw together in about half an hour and store in the fridge for the whole workweek. It’s delicious on top of salads, stuffed into Bibb lettuce cups, tossed into wraps or pitas, or served as the main protein source for any meal.
Makes 4 cups
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 to 25 minutes
- 1 cup uncooked French green lentils
- 1/2 cup uncooked green or brown lentils
- 2 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 1/2 tbs. red-wine vinegar, or to taste
- 1 tbs. fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 tsp. pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp. fine sea salt, or to taste
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced green onions (about 1 medium bunch), dark- and light-green parts only
- 1/3 cup fresh parsley leaves, minced
- 1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and finely chopped
- Pick over the lentils, discarding any debris. Rinse and drain, then put them in a medium saucepan along with 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes, until tender.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, maple syrup, salt, and pepper. Stir in the green onions, parsley, and tomatoes.
- Drain the lentils. Spoon them into the bowl with the other ingredients (it’s OK if they are still warm) and stir well. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
Tip: Let the lentils cool slightly and then cover and marinate them in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight; stir well before serving. This dish will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week, or you can freeze it in a freezer-safe zip-top bag for up to one month. After thawing, add extra dressing and salt to liven things up again.
Tip: For the best texture, cook lentils from scratch. Canned lentils tend to be mushy.
Sweet Potato, Chickpea, and Spinach Coconut Curry
The coconut milk in this thick, stewlike curry pulls everything together, mellowing and integrating the spices while adding a light sweetness that pairs well with the sweet potato. Because the recipe moves quickly once you’ve started, be sure to have your ingredients prepped and ready to toss into the pot as they’re called for.
Makes six servings
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
- 4 tsp. virgin coconut oil
- 1 tbs. cumin seeds
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 3/4 to 1 tsp. fine sea salt, to taste
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 4 tsp. grated fresh gingerroot
- 1 tsp. ground turmeric
- 1 tsp. ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp. red-pepper flakes, or to taste
- 3 cups diced, peeled sweet potatoes
- 1 14-oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed, or 1½ cups cooked chickpeas
- 1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes, with juices
- 1 14-oz. can light coconut milk
- 1 5-oz. package baby spinach (about 8 cups loosely packed)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- In a large saucepan, heat oil until a cumin seed sizzles when tossed into pan.
- Add cumin seeds and toast for about a minute, until fragrant and slightly darkened. Be careful not to burn them. Immediately stir in the onion, add a pinch of salt, and cook for three to five minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent.
- Add garlic, ginger, turmeric, coriander, and red-pepper flakes. Stir and sauté for a couple of minutes, until garlic softens.
- Add sweet potatoes, chickpeas, tomatoes with their juices, and coconut milk. Stir, then cover and simmer over medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes, until potatoes are fork tender.
- Stir in spinach and cook until wilted. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
- Serve alone or on a bed of cooked grains, garnished with cilantro and coconut. If desired, offer lime wedges for squeezing over the curry. Store cooled curry in an airtight container in the fridge for four to five days, or in the freezer for up to one month.
Tip: Chopping the sweet potatoes into small pieces will help them cook more quickly.
Creamy Thai Carrot-Sweet Potato Soup With Roasted Tamari Almonds
Red curry paste — an authentic Thai ingredient you can find in many grocery stores as well as specialty shops — works wonders in this soup, creating rich and full-blown flavor in an instant.
Makes four servings
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 20 to 25 minutes
For the soup
- 1 tbs. virgin coconut oil
- 2 cups diced sweet onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbs. fresh gingerroot, minced
- 2 tbs. red curry paste
- 4 cups vegetable broth, plus more if needed
- 1/4 cup raw almond butter
- 3 cups diced, peeled carrots (½-inch dice)
- 3 cups diced, peeled sweet potatoes (½-inch dice)
- 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt, plus more to taste
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Cilantro, minced
- Squeeze of fresh lime juice
For the roasted almonds
- 1/2 cup finely chopped raw almonds
- 1 tsp. tamari or coconut aminos
- In a large pot, melt coconut oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and ginger and sauté for five to six minutes, until onion is translucent. Stir in curry paste.
- In a small bowl, whisk together some of the broth with the almond butter until smooth. Add mixture to pot, along with remaining broth, carrots, sweet potatoes, salt, and cayenne. Stir until combined.
- Bring soup to a low boil over medium-high heat and then reduce to medium-low. Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until potatoes and carrots are fork tender.
- Blend the soup in batches with the blender lid slightly ajar to release steam. Start on low and slowly increase speed until soup is completely smooth. Alternatively, you can blend directly in the pot with an immersion blender.
- Return soup to the pot and season with salt and black pepper. Thin the soup with a bit more broth and reheat if necessary.
- For the roasted tamari almonds, toss the chopped raw almonds with the tamari or coconut aminos; roast on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet at 325 degrees F for nine to 12 minutes. Allow to cool on sheet.
- Serve soup in bowls garnished with the -almonds, minced cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice. Refrigerate for up to a week, or freeze for one to two months.
Tip: Make this soup soy-free by preparing the roasted tamari almonds with coconut aminos instead of tamari
The healthy fats in the chia, sunflower, sesame, and pumpkin seeds in these crackers will keep you satisfied and energized for hours after you eat. The crackers are also extremely light and crispy, which makes them easy to transport and nibble on any time of day.
Makes 25 to 30 crackers
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 60 to 70 minutes
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- 1/2 cup raw hulled sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- 1/2 cup raw white sesame seeds
- 1 cup water
- 1 large clove garlic, finely grated
- 1/4 tsp. Herbamare or fine sea salt, or more to taste
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine the chia seeds, sunflower seeds, pepitas, and sesame seeds.
- Add the water, garlic, and Herbamare or salt. Stir with a spatula until combined. Allow the mixture to rest for a couple of minutes until the chia seeds absorb the water. Stir the mixture; after it has rested, you shouldn’t see any water in the bottom of the bowl.
- With the spatula (and a hand, if necessary), spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet in two small rectangles, each about 12 x 7 inches and 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle additional Herbamare or salt on top.
- Bake for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and carefully flip each rectangle with a spatula. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes more, until lightly golden around the edges. Watch closely near the end to make sure they don’t burn.
- Allow to cool on the pan for 10 to 15 minutes; then break the rectangles into crackers and let cool completely on the pan. Store in an airtight container or jar on the counter for up to two weeks. If the crackers soften during storage (this can happen in humid environments), toast them in the oven at 300 degrees F for five to seven minutes, then let them cool completely.
Reprinted from Oh She Glows Every Day: Quick and Simply Satisfying Plant-based Recipes by arrangement with Avery, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, a Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © 2016 Angela Liddon.
About the Author: Angela Liddon is the founder, recipe developer, photographer, and writer behind OhSheGlows.com, an award-winning site featuring energizing, plant-based recipes. Her latest cookbook, Oh She Glows Every Day, is a follow-up to her first book, The Oh She Glows Cookbook.
Why No Numbers? Readers sometimes ask us why we don’t publish nutrition information with our recipes. We believe that (barring specific medical advice to the contrary) if you’re eating primarily whole, healthy foods — an array of sustainably raised vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, meats, fish, eggs, whole-kernel grains, and healthy fats and oils — you probably don’t need to stress about the numbers. We prefer to focus on food quality and trust our bodies to tell us what we need. — The Editors
This article originally appeared as “Everyday Veggies” in the April 2017 issue of Experience Life.