When you were a kid, did you keep a journal or diary? If so, have you ever gone back as an adult to read what you wrote? Did it make you laugh, perhaps cringe, or shake your head at how things that now seems so minor were SUCH a big deal to you back in the day?
Just like reading old diaries, one of the biggest parts of the blog re-design I’m working on has been going back over old posts, re-testing recipes and and getting rid of some seriously embarrassing food photography. Throughout it all, I was also reminded of some amazing memories from the last 6ish years of life as a blogger. One of those was meeting Angela.
I discovered Oh She Glows around the same time that I started Eat Spin Run Repeat. While I can’t quite remember how I found it, it was clear right away that Ange was kind of a big deal. Her photography was stunning, her vegan recipes made me want to eat my screen, and her writing style made me feel like I was reading a letter from a friend. When I found out that she lived in southern Ontario too (my home at the time), I imagined someday meeting her and becoming friends. Sort of like how 6-year-old me daydreamed about being Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen’s bestie, but this would be better because we’d also be name twins.
Magically, my dream came true. I met Ange at a blogger meet-up in Toronto one summer, and following that day came hikes, lunch dates, attending Oprah’s Life Class in Toronto, trips to lululemon, and evenings spent at Whole Foods and Crate & Barrel, looking for fun ingredients and photography props. I owe a lot of what I know about blogging to this amazing lady. She’s taught me about the importance of natural light, how to use my camera on manual mode, and less-tangibly but even more important, how to persevere doing things you truly love, even if it’s scary.
In 2014 Angela launched The Oh She Glows Cookbook which quickly became a New York Times Best Seller. She’s continued to raise the bar ever since and her latest, Oh She Glows Every Day, was just released on September 6th.
When my review copy landed on my doorstep a couple of weeks ago, I was literally running to the kitchen seconds later to make my grocery list. There are over 100 recipes with 150 full-page photos, and just like everything Angela creates, it is nothing short of stunning. I think many people would agree that Oh She Glows has become one of THE best online destinations for vegans and anyone looking to adopt a more plant-based lifestyle.
Q&A with Angela
Q: You’ve had an exceptionally busy year being a mom, writing Oh She Glows Every Day, writing the blog and launching the Oh She Glows App. Meanwhile, baby #2 is on the way. That’s a TON to take on, but you’ve done an amazing job on all fronts! What have been some of your best tricks for managing it all?
A: That’s really nice of you to say, Ange! And it makes me feel better because I definitely haven’t felt like I’ve had everything running smoothly, hah. A big part of making it work, for me, was realizing that I could no longer do it all on my own. I’m stubborn and thought that I had to do everything myself for a long time. But my husband recently joined our business full-time, and I hired a Content Editor earlier this year.
Starting a small team was the best thing I’ve ever done and I can’t wait to grow even more. Now I’m able to focus more on the things I do best, which feels incredibly powerful and inspiring. Also, becoming a mom has reinforced something I’ve strongly believed in for a while: things won’t go smoothly all the time. It’s not possible or practical to expect that, and any time I start to feel overwhelmed or defeated I just remind myself of this. There will be good days and there will be bad days (hello, family stomach flu!)…it’s just part of the learning process. Whenever I experience a life/business regret, I try to take a lesson away from it to avoid repeating it in the future.
Q: How is Oh She Glows Every Day different to The Oh She Glows Cookbook?
A: While my recipes continue to feature nutritious, whole food ingredients that make you feel energized and satisfied, with Oh She Glows Every Day the focus really shifts toward providing a nice mix of everyday and elaborate special-occasion dishes, as well as recipes that are even more allergy friendly (for example, there are a lot of nut-free recipes in this book since nuts are so expensive and it’s a request I’ve had a lot).
Q: With Oh She Glows Every Day being your second book, I’m sure there are things that were much easier this time around. What have some of the challenges been, and what have you learned in the process?
A: This time around, I’d say one of the hardest parts was juggling my family life and work life. I started the book when my daughter was only 3 months old, and there were many long nights of working on it after she went to bed. It wasn’t glamorous, but I made it work. I’m so grateful for all the amazing people who helped bring this book to life, including a huge group of dedicated recipe testers, as I wouldn’t have been able to do it all on my own…that’s for sure!
Q: What does your morning routine look like now?
A: Our toddler, Adriana, is our alarm clock in the morning, so we’re usually up at 5:30 a.m. She’s hungry right away usually, so I make her breakfast, and then once she’s eating I’ll make my own (usually a green protein smoothie or overnight oats). After we eat and have lots of play time, we’ll usually head outside for a brisk 25-minute walk because nothing is better than a late summer morning! I love starting the day with fresh air; it really sets the tone for the whole day and improves my mood. It’s going to be hard when the snow starts flying again!
Q: Ever since I’ve known you (which I think is at least 6 years now… whaaat!?!), one of the things I’ve always noticed is that your skin is absolutely radiant. We all know that the food we put in our bodies is also food for our skin, but what does your skincare routine look like?
A: You are too kind, Ange! (And I agree, how has it been that long?!) To be honest, I’m not super loyal to any skincare brand right now, though I’ve recently been enjoying the Boscia line of cleansers, masks, and spot treatments after a friend recommended them to me. I went through a few weeks with really bad pregnancy breakouts, and the Boscia Clear Complexion line has helped (either that, or my hormones calmed down!). I use their charcoal mask once or twice a week lately. I also love Tata Harper products (and they just feel so luxurious and pure), but don’t buy them as much as they’re pricey.
Q: What recipes are getting you most excited right now?
A: It changes day to day, but some of my favourite dishes in the new book include my Salted Chocolate Hemp Shake, Crispy Smashed Potatoes, Creamy Thai Carrot Sweet Potato Soup (which was inspired by you!), Fusilli Lentil-Mushroom Bolognese, Oh Em Gee Veggie Burgers, and Ultimate Flourless Brownies.
Q: How has your nutrition philosophy evolved since becoming a mom?
A: Becoming a mom has really driven home the reality that it’s not possible or practical to expect healthy eating to be perfect all the time. Sometimes, I have to rely on a bowl of cereal or takeout for dinner. And sometimes, I need to indulge a little in order to stay sane and balanced (leftover pie for breakfast, anyone?). And that’s all totally okay! I simply aim to enjoy healthy, wholesome foods as much as I can, while accepting that every day won’t be picture perfect.
Q: What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned from Adriana?
A: So many things, I don’t think I could choose! So I’ll mention a couple. The first is just how powerful the mother-child bond is. Growing up, I used to think that I didn’t want kids, but having my own child showed me how wrong I was. I would do absolutely anything to see her happy, and I’ve never experienced a love like it. The second thing that pops into my mind is that I’ve learned there is no such thing as “predictability” when you’re parenting a baby or toddler! As someone who craves predictability, this has been a big lesson to learn. I think it’s helping me become a much more flexible person, which is beneficial in all areas of my life.
Q: Favourite plant-based restaurant?
A: My favourite restaurant in the GTA is Fresh restaurant (I know this has a sweet spot in your heart, too! We need to go back together sometime!). Their menu is so inspiring it’s hard to decide on a single dish! Eric and I will often order several things and share. Their quinoa-battered onion rings are not to be missed!
Q: What’s next for Oh She Glows?
A: I’m really looking forward to growing the Oh She Glows Recipe App. I add new recipes every week. We also have plans for a blog redesign, and hope to soon expand our small (but fierce!) team. Lastly, I’m hoping to shoot cooking videos in the future; well, hopefully when things calm down after the newborn phase! The rest of this year is going to fly by, that’s for sure.
One of my favourite recipes from Oh She Glows Every Day so far has been the Marinated Lentils, which have been a regular feature in my take-to-work lunches for the past couple of weeks. Angela’s publisher has graciously allowed me to share the recipe with you, so here it is!
The Best Marinated Lentils
Ingredients (4 cups)
- 1 cup uncooked French green lentils
- 1/2 cup uncooked green or brown lentils
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar, or to taste
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon 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 (I only had dried ones on hand, which I soaked in warm water for 5 minutes before chopping them up)
Pick over the lentils, discarding any debris. Rinse and drain the lentils and put them in a medium saucepan along with 4 cups (1 L) of water. Bring to a boil over medium to 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 very well. Spoon them into the bowl with the other ingredients (it’s okay if they are still warm) and stir well. Season with additional salt and pepper.
Serve immediately, or let cool slightly and then cover and marinate 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 1 week, or you can freeze it in a freezer-safe zip-top bag with the air pressed out for up to 1 month. After thawing, I recommend adding extra dressing and salt to liven it up again.
From Oh She Glows Every Day.
Copyright © 2016, Glo Bakery Corporation.
Reprinted by permission of Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited.
Annnnnnd last but not least, it wouldn’t be at all fair for me to rave about this cookbook without giving you the chance to score one for yourself. One lucky Eat Spin Run Repeat reader will win a copy of Oh She Glows Every Day, and entry is super simple:
- Comment below telling me what your favourite vegan meal is. It can be one you make yourself, one you’ve had at restaurants, or even one of your Oh She Glows favourites!
- BONUS entry: Share this giveaway on Twitter, being sure to tag @eatspinrunrpt and use the hashtag #OSGeveryday. Perhaps something like this:
[Tweet “It’s a great day for an #OSGEveryDay giveaway from @eatspinrunrpt and @ohsheglows!”]
This giveaway is open to residents of Canada and the US, and will close at 7pm PT on Thursday September 15th. The winner will be contacted via email shortly after.