Get Your Plants On (and a give away!)
Remember how I said I’m not buying anymore cookbooks? And that I would instead cook my way through the books I already have? Well, that was a lie. My heart was in the right place when I said it. Despite our culture of continual consumerism, I’ve been working hard to use and appreciate what I already have. Read the books on my shelf. Wear the clothes in my closet. Smear the last dollop of miracle cream under my eyes before falling prey to the claims of tomorrow’s youth-preserving serums.
But in this journey of enough-ness and in-the-momentness, I have found that many of my cookbooks are filled with foods I don’t want to eat on an every day basis. Like so many enthusiastic home cooks, I own every volume of Ina Garten’s beautiful cookbook collection. They are filled with reliably delicious recipes. Who doesn’t love Ina’s food? What I don’t love is the butter (often listed in pounds!), the salt, the sugar and the flour. These are the ingredients I try to limit. Cookie Monster would call these “sometimes foods.” I discovered a real hole in my cookbook collection – books featuring natural foods with an emphasis on vegetables, plant-based proteins and foods I’m happy to serve my kids and enjoy with gusto myself. This is the way I cook 80 percent of the time, though just 20 percent of my cookbook shelf reflects this truth.
Enter The Oh She Glows Cookbook. I had visited Angela Liddon’s pretty website a few times and tried a smoothie or two. Ms. Liddon is a vegan writer, photographer and recipe developer who adopted a whole foods diet five years ago after a decade-long struggle with eating disorders. She wanted to create a book of vegan recipes that would appeal to omnivores and vegans alike. The book, which came out this spring, received big buzz (not to mention a load of pre-orders!) long before its release date. I broke down and bought a copy, reasoning that I needed more inspiration for plant-based meals that would satisfy the meat-loving palates of my very hungry boys. Of course, I also enjoy the occasional juicy steak, but in trying to tip the balance towards more plants I needed some fresh inspiration.
I’m the kind of person that will curl up in bed with a cookbook. That’s exactly what I did when this book arrived. So many dishes jumped off the pages and caught my attention. I put tabs on maple-cinnamon apple & pear baked oatmeal (page 39), sweet potato & black bean enchiladas (page 147), portobello “steak” fajitas (page 185) and Indian lentil-cauliflower soup (page 133). And I rushed right downstairs the following morning to whip up the gym rat smoothie (page 63) and later that same day, the classic green monster (page 57). But what you’re looking at throughout this post is the creamy avocado-potato salad (page 107), which I’ve tweaked slightly (still vegan! still delicious!) and detailed for you right here. It was so smooth, creamy and full of bold flavor that you’d never guess it’s vegan. The salad makes a nice lunch, tastes even better after a few hours in the fridge and pairs nicely with fish (try this one) or chicken for those who’d like a little meat at dinner. Next up? Angela’s classic glo bars (page 215). I’ll let you know how they turn out!
Is your mouth watering yet? Are you hoping to add more healthy, plant-based meals to your rotation? You may be in luck. I’m giving away a copy of The Oh She Glows Cookbook to one lucky reader. Just write a comment below to enter. I will use a random number generator to determine the winner on Friday, May 9.
Before I sign off, a message for fellow barre3 fans – this book is perfectly timed for the spring challenge! Not only are the recipes vegan, more than 90 are also gluten-free. You can bet I’ll be referring to this book frequently for ideas over the course of the challenge (my first! #nomoreexcuses).
5.12.14 Drum roll, please…we have a winner! The Oh She Glows Cookbook goes to Katie Lovell (lucky #6). Congratulations, Katie! I hope you enjoy the book as much as I have.