Friday FAQs: Carrot cake inspiration, high-protein pasta, grain-free flours, and more





http://ohsheglows.com/2018/01/19/friday-faqs-carrot-cake-inspiration-high-protein-pasta-grain-free-flours-and-more/

We’re baaaaaack! Thanks for all of the Friday FAQs love last week. It was so exciting to see your enthusiasm for the return of this series. Please keep those questions (and answers) coming! And we’ve got even MORE fun news to share with you…next week will mark the return of another series—Things I’m Loving Lately! I’ve received a lot of requests for this series to be brought back and I’m absolutely thrilled to be rebooting it in 2018.

Q1. I love your Fail-Proof Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Buttercream! I would love a recipe for a classic carrot cake with cream cheese frosting! Do you have one? I love all your recipes :) 

A. Hi Jenny, Thank you! Oh man…I can’t even tell you how many vegan carrot cakes I’ve attempted over the years! I’m so picky and don’t like to share anything I’m not 100% sold on, but I’ll keep working on it. I do have some great carrot cake-inspired recipes you can check out in the meantime though: Whole Grain Carrot Cake Loaf with Lemon Glaze, Vegan Carrot Spice Muffins for Grandpa, Heavenly Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal, and Itty Bitty Carrot Cake Cookies. 

Q2. Thanks for helping me discover that vegan cooking can be so easy and delicious. I’m giving this Cumin Lime Black Bean Quinoa Salad a try for lunch this week and can’t help noticing that the lemon-tahini dressing has no lemon in it but instead lime. 

A. Hey Kim, Thank you so much for the kind words! The Lemon-Tahini Dressing listed in the ingredient list is actually supposed to link to the dressing recipe in my Lightened Up Protein Power Goddess Bowl! It’s wonderful drizzled on top of this quinoa salad. I’ve now added the link to the Cumin Lime Black Bean Quinoa Salad ingredient list so you can access it more easily. Thanks for mentioning it! 

Q3. Are you still using the Cuisinart Food Processor? I need to buy a new processor and I am sure that you use a good one. 

A. Hi June, Yes, I’m still using the Cuisinart 14-Cup Food Processor, but sadly I don’t recommend it as mine has broken in two different places after only about a year of use. I don’t know if the brand’s quality has diminished or if I just got a dud! I’d LOVE to hear from fellow blog readers who might have a food processor recommendation for us!

Q4. Angela, This Friday FAQs redesign is so fresh and clean—love it! Do you have any tips for substituting oat flour in your gluten-free recipes? Sadly, I can’t even do GF oats due to cross-contamination, and grains are out, too. Thank goodness I love veggies! I bought your first cookbook for all my sis-in-laws and BFF and they bought the app and OSG 2.0. We are all happy OSG households. 

A. Hey Kathy, Thank you so much for the cookbook and app love!! And for gifting them too. :) I’m so honoured! A few grain-free flours that I stock in my pantry are: almond flour, coconut flour and cassava flour, as well as a variety of starches like arrowroot and tapioca. You might be able to experiment with a combo of those flours/starches in recipes calling for oat flour, but generally it takes some patience to get the right ratios (and it would vary depending on the recipe). I’ve tried using straight-up cassava flour as a 1:1 sub for regular flour in several recipes and I haven’t been pleased with the texture/flavour so far (I’m thinking a combo of grain-free flours may work better, but I’m also super picky with my baked goods!). Is there an oat flour-based recipe you’d like to try first? I’m always up for a little experimentation, so if you have one in mind feel free to chime in and I’ll see what I can do!





Q5. Does this Golden Beet Salad with Shallots, Parsley, and Orange Miso Dressing hold up the next day? I was thinking of prepping this the night before for lunch at work. Perhaps just leave the dressing off? 

A. Hey Alexis, I love your idea of leaving the dressing off. Quinoa tends to be super thirsty and can diminish the orange dressing’s flavour with time, so it’s a good idea to make the dressing separately and add it right before serving! I’d love to hear how it goes. 

Q6. Yeah…Friday FAQS are back! I usually make homemade marinara sauce and hummus, but do you have a favourite jarred marinara and ready-made hummus brand? It would be helpful to have for a quick one-pot weeknight meal!  

A. Hey Kristen, So glad to hear you’re pumped for the return of Friday FAQs! As for store-bought marinara and hummus, you bet I have a couple go-tos: my fave marinara is the Victoria White Linen Collection Marinara Sauce found at many Costco locations. We’re all obsessed (including my extended family!). I think I have about six in my pantry right now. As for store-bought hummus, I love both Fontaine Sante Organic Classic Hummus and Sunflower Kitchen Classic Hummus+ (both Canadian brands). I mix them together in Adriana’s Fave 10-Minute Pasta recipe and also love the marinara in my Hunky Heartbeet Cabbage Soup—the added flavour is out of this world.

Q7. Why is it called 8-Minute Pantry Dal: “Two Ways”? What’s the second way? 

A. Hey Supriya, Oh good question! The two ways are the two curry powder options that I provide in my recipe tip. If you don’t have a favourite curry powder blend on hand to use (way #1), I suggest a little DIY method for way #2: 1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (or more to taste), and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional). Don’t forget to use the 1 1/2 teaspoons of both garlic powder and minced onion, as well. If you run out of curry powder, this back-up spice mix comes in handy and tastes great. I can’t decide which way is my favourite! 

Q8. Can I throw in some lentils when I’m cooking Adriana’s Fave 10-Minute Pasta? 

A. Hey Lindsay, Oh that’s a fun idea! Your suggestion made me so curious that I just had to give it a whirl myself. I mixed my go-to dry Monograno Khorasan-Kamut Fusilli Pasta with uncooked red lentils. I used red lentils because they cook so quickly. Here’s the method I’d recommend: Bring a pot of water to a gentle boil, then stir in the uncooked pasta and red lentils along with a pinch of salt. For my first attempt I used 3 cups uncooked pasta and 3/4 cups uncooked red lentils. Reduce the heat to medium/high and simmer uncovered until the pasta is tender (simply following the package directions). In my test, the red lentils broke down completely—but that ended up being a happy result as one of my kiddos tends to pick out whole lentils in any dish. They weren’t easily discernible once the sauce was mixed, but do produce a thicker overall texture (which I loved!). I did find that I needed to use more sauce since the lentils dried out the pasta a bit. I’d like to experiment with other kinds of lentils in the future, too! Between this and my high-protein red lentil rice option, I’d say it’s pretty easy to boost the protein and fibre in kid-friendly dishes without impacting the overall recipe too much. #winning!

“Hey Angela! I just wanted to let you know what a great resource your recipes have been to us. Our little guy just turned 1 (man does it go fast!) and he is a huge fan of Adriana’s Fave 10-minute Pasta. I usually make it with lentil pasta for him so it’s packed with protein and fiber. Thanks for the lentil and rice tip as well! I will absolutely be trying it. Red lentils are also great mixed in your Hunky Heartbeet Cabbage Soup to bump the protein and fiber, they don’t impact the taste at all. It’s my son’s favorite soup, although hugely messy! Oh and a note to Jenny: I have made the Whole-Grain Carrot Cake Loaf into cupcakes or even a cake tin and topped with cream cheese icing (the one you use on your Vegan Cinnamon Rolls is great). It is perhaps the tiniest bit denser than a ‘classic’ carrot cake because of the spelt, but absolutely delicious nonetheless.”

Hey Kendra, Aww happy birthday to your little boy! Such a sweet age. I’m so glad he loves the 10-Minute Pasta recipe. I also love to use red lentil or chickpea pasta in that recipe from time to time. And I love your protein-boosting Hunky Heartbeet Cabbage Soup trick! I wouldn’t have thought to try adding lentils in that one, but it’s a great idea. Okay, with all this talk of my Whole-Grain Carrot Cake Loaf, I’m going to have to make it this weekend!!

Update: I made the loaf and it was fantastic! I love rediscovering old blog recipes…so glad you mentioned it. Actually, if you pop over to my Insta Stories today you can see a couple behind-the-scenes action shots! PS…I’m revamping this loaf for the recipe app and blog in the coming days, too!

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Roasted Carrot and Dill Hummus





http://ohsheglows.com/2018/01/17/roasted-carrot-and-dill-hummus/

I just checked the version history of my Roasted Carrot and Dill Hummus Google Doc and realized that I first tested this hummus recipe on January 10, 2015. What the heck? THREE years ago?! #hellotimewarp Better late than never, I say…although I know a few people who are likely baffled by its turtle-paced cross to the finish line! 

My kiddos are hummus fiends (they’ll actually eat it by the spoonful…I have no idea who they got that habit from…), and they gobbled up this roasted carrot version in no time. I like knowing that it’s packing a couple extra veggies—what’s not to love about a sneaky vitamin boost? 

I know what you’re thinking: Ange, is this hummus really worth roasting carrots for? I agree, it’s sort of a big ask for a hummus recipe, but every time I make this version I’m reminded how much I LOVE the flavour combo. The smoky charred carrots just give it that little something-something…not to mention a bit of sweet creamy-dreamy-ness (technical term) alongside a hint of dill—so bright and fresh!

A couple fun tricks: Since I’m already roasting carrots for the recipe, I like to add a few extras along with some other veggies, like broccoli, for dipping into the hummus or layering in a wrap. So throw whatever veggies you have onto the roasting pan and go wild. Or you might even toss on a handful of chickpeas to get in on the roasting party—they’re also great in a wrap, served on salad, or sprinkled as a garnish on the hummus itself. Another trick I use now and then is to roast the carrots before bed and pop them into a container in the fridge overnight. The next day, the carrots are ready to be thrown into the food processor with the other hummus ingredients so it all comes together super fast. 

Before I get to the recipe, I’d also like to mention that The Oh She Glows Recipe App is still on sale for 99 cents in the iTunes Store! (The Google Play Store operates separately from iTunes, and we weren’t able to extend the Oh She Glows app sale any longer with them, unfortunately—we’ll have to do another sale in the near future!) A huge thank you to everyone who has supported our app and left such great feedback! It means the world to us as this has been such a passion project. 

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Roasted Carrot and Dill Hummus
Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free

Roasted carrots and fresh dill lend this creamy hummus a lightly sweet and tangy flavour that’s downright irresistible! This recipe was love at first bite and has since claimed the number 1 spot in my homemade hummus repertoire. Because this version calls for roasted carrots, I sometimes like to make the most of that oven time by roasting a few extra veggies alongside for dipping. This hummus is lovely layered in wraps or sandwiches, paired with crackers and veggies, spread on toast, or served on top of warm veggie bowls or salads—or just eaten with a spoon (you know I do). I encourage you to play around with the amount of dill, lemon, oil, and/or garlic to find your perfect version. I purposely kept the lemon and dill pretty light so that you can tweak to taste. Thank you to She Likes Food for inspiring this delicious hummus flavour!

Yield
2 1/4 cups (560 mL)

Prep time
10 Minutes

Cook time
35 Minutes

Total time
45 Minutes

Ingredients:
For the hummus:1 1/2 cups (200 g) peeled and diced carrots (2 to 3 medium chopped into 1/2-inch pieces)1 teaspoon (5 mL) untoasted sesame or olive oilPinch fine sea salt1 small garlic clove3 packed tablespoons (6 g) chopped fresh dill, or more to taste1 (14-ounce/398 mL) can chickpeas*1/4 cup (60 mL) tahini2 tablespoons (30 mL) fresh lemon juice, or more to taste4 tablespoons (60 mL) chickpea brine or filtered water, or more if needed**1 to 2 teaspoons (5 to 10 mL) untoasted sesame oil or light olive oil, to taste3/4 to 1 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt, to tasteFor garnish:Ground cumin, ground coriander, and/or fresh minced dill (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C) and line a roasting pan with parchment paper. Spread the diced carrots on the roasting pan. Toss them in the teaspoon of oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Roast for 32 to 37 minutes, until carrots are fork-tender and blackened on the bottom. About 5 to 10 minutes before your carrots are done roasting, place the garlic and fresh dill into a large food processor. Process until minced. Drain the chickpeas over a small bowl, reserving the chickpea brine, if using. Next add the drained chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, chickpea brine (or filtered water, if using), oil, and salt. Process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the side of the processor as necessary. When the carrots are ready, carefully transport them to the processor using the parchment paper as a handle to carry. Process the mixture again until smooth. I like to let the machine run for a couple minutes so it gets as smooth as possible. Taste and adjust ingredients as desired. Feel free to add more dill, lemon, salt, oil or water depending on your preferences. Serve the hummus with a sprinkle of ground cumin, coriander, and fresh minced dill, plus a drizzle of sesame or olive oil, if desired. Leftover hummus will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for about 5 to 7 days.

Tips:

* If using freshly cooked chickpeas, please use only 1 cup. For some reason when using freshly cooked chickpeas, this hummus turns out on the thicker side. To keep from throwing off the other flavours, I recommend using just 1 cup of freshly cooked chickpeas in place of the 1 1/2 cups found in a 14-ounce can. This version will also produce a slightly smaller yield.

 

** Chickpea brine (or aquafaba) is simply the liquid found in a can of chickpeas. I find using aquafaba yields a creamier hummus, but the difference is slight. Feel free to use regular ol’ water if you wish!

Here’s a little behind-the-scenes action for ya! My photography studio is slowly being taken over by toys!! Send help. 

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Friday FAQs: Nut-Free Peppermint Patty Slice, high-fibre rice hack, and more

http://ohsheglows.com/2018/01/12/friday-faqs-nut-free-peppermint-patty-slice-high-fibre-rice-hack-and-more/

Surprise! I’m so excited to let you know that Friday FAQs are officially back in action! I hope you’re as pumped as we are to see this series rolling again. I’ve also given the Q&A a bit of a playful makeover to kick off the new year! What do you think?  PS: The intro image above is from 2015—note to self: update photos! If it were current, there’d be lukewarm (but very strong) coffee in that mug; two kids fighting in the background; toys scattered everywhere; and food smashed into my shirt. No big deal. Lol.

If you’re not familiar with our Friday FAQs series (which admittedly came to a screeching halt when I became a mama of two!), I’ll share a bit of background: Each Friday on the blog, you’ll find featured questions from our amazing Oh She Glows community (that’s you!) along with my thoughts and replies. These are questions I’m asked on the blog, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, as well as by email or even in the grocery store—you name it! I reply to oodles of comments and questions each week, and in these roundups I try to highlight those I receive most often and ones that I think will be helpful to others too. 

As always, if you have a question, please feel free to leave it below and I’ll put my thinking cap on. Who knows—it may even be featured in a future Friday FAQs post. And of course, you can always chime in on the questions with your own two cents, or any specific feedback about the series. My goal is to make these posts as helpful as possible, so I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Q1. Hi Angela, I forgot to write down your high-protein and high-fibre rice idea for the kids. Do you mind sharing it again?

A. Hi Susan, My kids love rice and I came up with this trick for boosting the protein and fibre: I mix uncooked rice (usually white basmati since it cooks quickly) with uncooked red lentils (again, these cook quickly!) in a pot and cover them with a couple inches of water. Bring to a low boil, reduce the heat, and simmer uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes, until both the rice and lentils are tender.  Then I drain off the water in a colander and add the drained rice-lentil mixture back into my pot. Next, I’ll stir in some marinara sauce, hummus, garlic powder, and Herbamare for flavour. You can flavour it any way you like, of course. My kiddos love rice prepped this way, and Adriana can’t detect the added lentils—let’s just say she has a complicated relationship with regular lentils! I love knowing they’re getting a huge protein and fibre boost. You can play around with the rice-to-lentil ratio too…I don’t tend to measure it when I make it.

Q2. Your New Year Glow Smoothie Bowl looks great! Do you have any suggestions on what to substitute for the spinach? I can’t eat spinach, and I find it’s used so often in smoothie recipes. 

A. Hey Julia, I’ve had great success using baby kale in this smoothie. I love baby kale because it has a delicate flavour that isn’t as overpowering in recipes as regular kale, but you could try stemmed full-size kale in the smoothie bowl too. I also wonder how romaine lettuce would taste, but haven’t tried it out yet.

Q3. Thanks for this Bread-Free Stuffing Balls recipe! I can’t wait to try it. Quick question – my husband has a walnut allergy. Any recommendations for replacing the walnuts?

A. Hey Beth, I think chopped pecans or pepita seeds would work fine as a sub for walnuts. I’d probably opt for pecans because I can see the flavours pairing well. I can’t wait to hear what you think!

Q4. Hi, I have both of your books and the app. Love your recipes! Do you have any good substitutes for almond, almond meals, and almond butter in the recipes? I’m allergic. 

A. Hey Justina, Thank you so much for the book and app love! I hope you’re enjoying them. As for subbing almonds out, it can often be done successfully, but I find that advice depends on the recipe. If you have any specific recipes you are thinking of swapping them in, I can try my best to troubleshoot for you below. Swapping the almond butter for roasted sunflower seed butter can work in many recipes, such as my Ultimate Flourless Brownies in Oh She Glows Every Day. Sometimes you can swap almond meal for ground cashews or other nuts and seeds depending on the dish. In the meantime, I’d suggest checking out the nut-free sections in the app and on the blog here and here. If you have any specific recipe questions, I’m always happy to help!

Q5. I’m allergic to cashews. Any other nuts I could replace cashews with? This Vegan Peppermint Patty Slice looks yummy and I want to try it. 

A. Hi Lise, I’ve successfully swapped the cashew butter for 3/4 cup (115 g) soaked raw sunflower seeds. The flavour changes a bit, but it’s still a good nut-free option! A reader also said almond butter worked nicely.

Q6. What kind of apple would you suggest for this Carrot Apple Ginger Soup? I never know which flavours work with what. Thanks! 

A. Hi Nicole, I like Granny Smith apples in this soup because their tart flavour balances the carrot’s sweetness quite well. But I really think it would work fine with just about any variety you like!

“OMG, I have to tell you that the best banana bread I had ever eaten was my wonderful (now deceased) mother-in-law’s!! After I made your Vegan Banana Bread recipe, I cut a small piece for my husband and, in his words: “My mother would be proud. Delicious.”

Hey Linda, This means so much to me to hear, thank you! I’m so happy the recipe was such a hit with you and your husband. Our loaf never lasts more than a couple days. All the best to you both in 2018!

Last but not least, I’d like to share some super fun Oh She Glows Recipe App news! It’s currently on sale for 99 CENTS for the next few days in celebration of the new year! Whohoo. When you download our award-winning app you’ll receive over 130 plant-based recipes (including over 105 gluten-free), plus a FREE cookie lover’s bundle! You can find it on iOS/iTunes and Android/Google Play.

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Light and Energizing Recipes to Kick Off 2018

http://ohsheglows.com/2018/01/09/light-and-energizing-recipes-to-kick-off-2018/

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been taking my sweet ol’ time easing into 2018! After our family’s holiday adventures, I knew I needed to slow down and approach the first week of the year rather gently. This meant extra-cozy evenings spent baking cookies, cancelling morning workout classes, nighttime lounge sessions watching hockey, and sleeping in as long as the kids would allow (spoiler: not very long, lol). Now that things are settling back into a routine, I’m looking for a little healthy recipe inspo and thought I’d share what I have in mind. Please let me know below if there’s anything I didn’t mention here that you plan to make in the coming weeks! I hope this post can serve as healthy plant-powered recipe inspiration for your start to the new year as well. Oh, and in case you missed it, don’t forget to check out my first recipe post of 2018! It’s a refreshing one!


1. 8-Minute Pantry Dal
2. Cozy Butternut, Sweet Potato, and Red Lentil Stew
3. Soul-Soothing African Peanut Stew — The Oh She Glows Cookbook, p. 129
4. A Simple Roasted Butternut Squash Salad
5. Hunky Heartbeet Cabbage Soup
6. Metabolism-Revving Spicy Cabbage Soup — Oh She Glows Every Day, p. 139

1. Reset Button Green Smoothie — Oh She Glows Every Day, p. 25
2. Metabolism-Boosting Green Citrus Tea — The Oh She Glows Cookbook, p. 73
3. Pink Power Detox Smoothie
4. Flu-Fighter Sunshine Smoothie — The Oh She Glows Cookbook, p. 65
5. Morning Detox Smoothie — Oh She Glows Every Day, p. 11
6. New Year Glow Smoothie Bowl

1. Sun-dried Tomato, Mushroom, and Spinach Tofu Quiche
2. Carrot Cake Oatmeal 
3. Flourless Thumbprint Breakfast Cookies
4. Coconut Chia Seed Pudding — Oh She Glows Every Day, p. 67
5. Feel Good Hearty Granola Bars
6. Apple Pie Oatmeal 

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New Year Glow Smoothie Bowl

http://ohsheglows.com/2018/01/03/new-year-glow-smoothie-bowl/

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Happy 2018, friends! If you’re still recovering from New Year celebrations (and/or a whole lotta holiday travel like us!), I have just the recipe to kick off your January. It’s refreshing and light with an immune-boosting bonus—something I think most of us could use right about now! I know I could.

We had a fun whirlwind of a holiday week! How did yours go? The four of us took a road trip to see Eric’s parents, then headed west to visit my family in Alberta. Since our stay at my parents’ house was only four nights, we opted to keep the kids on eastern time. I have to say this strategy worked out so much better than the last visit. Both kids slept well (aside from one night) and were pretty happy during the day!! If we were staying longer, Eric and I would’ve gradually shifted them to mountain time, but for this visit we didn’t see a need to. It felt like a huge win. Parents, how do you handle changing time zones with your kiddos in tow? I think this was the first small success we’ve had. (Still worth celebrating, though! Ha.)

Now about those flights!! Oh man. Arlo is now 15 months old and very active, so he was our biggest challenge on the four-hour flight to Alberta. Nothing kept him happy for long, and we tried everything: toys, snacks, iPads, nursing, walks, etc…. He just wanted to move and get off that flight! Who can blame the little guy?! Arlo definitely inherited his “can’t-sit-still” gene from his mama.

We also had an eventful trip home, to say the least! First, our carry-on bags were flagged going through security (they said it was due to some small baby food pouches—apparently their texture can trigger the alarm even when removed from the bag), so the screening officers pulled us aside and spent about half an hour going through everything (and I mean everything…they opened every single marker cap, searched Eric’s wallet, and asked us additional questions for their documentation.). Even poor Arlo was patted down. At that point I was starting to feel emotional, but tried to hold it together because we needed to focus on making our flight. I have a lot of respect for the security process, but this threw us for a bit of a loop. We made it to the gate just in time!

Then, about halfway through the flight, Adriana had an allergic reaction. Luckily it wasn’t severe and she’s totally fine now. The concerned cabin crew called a medical emergency over the intercom and told everyone to clear the aisle. A doctor on board the flight rushed to check on her and everyone nearby turned to see what was wrong. He was such a kind man and had a wonderful bedside manner (aisle-side manner, lol?). Boy, an experience like that really makes you appreciate the GOOD people in this world. During all of this, Arlo was super fussy, nursing- and nap-striking through the whole fiasco. And I was SWEATING, lol. At one point Eric looked at me and said, “We are officially that family on the flight!” Bahaha. Travelling with kids is so humbling, isn’t it? If I had a free hand on that flight, you can be sure it would’ve had a drink in it! Needless to say, we are very grateful for all of the kind people who helped us and to have gotten home safely in the end. I hope you all made it through your holidays okay too!

Anyway, I wanted to share our little travel tale to let you know that if you faced your own family adventure over the holidays, you certainly weren’t alone. ;)

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etalkohsheglows

Okay, back to the energizing recipe that kept me powering through our holiday shenanigans! I created this smoothie in December for a fun TV segment with etalk’s Traci Melchor. I’ll be sure to share on social media when the episode is scheduled, so please stay tuned if you’d like to see us in action and catch all the smoothie-making fun! It should be airing this month. I had such a blast chatting with Traci about all things breakfast and OSG. She and her kids are also huge smoothie fans and make one every day. Luckily (and to my huge relief) everyone on set LOVED this bowl—including the cameramen! They were feasting on leftovers after our show. I wish I had a picture of that. It was a proud moment.

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New Year Glow Smoothie Bowl
Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, no bake/raw, nut-free, oil-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free

This creamy, dreamy, tropical green smoothie bowl is perfect for giving yourself a bright boost during the winter months! Mango and clementine add a tangy burst of flavour, and these nutrient-packed fruits are a great way of sneaking in some extra vitamin C during cold and flu season, too. Anti-inflammatory ginger is great for digestion, and avocado lends this smoothie bowl a thick, creamy texture. If serving to kids, you may want to omit the matcha green tea powder (due to its caffeine content) and ginger (which can be a bit spicy for little ones). If you’d like a portable smoothie on-the-glow, feel free to thin it out with more liquid and pour into a thermos for easy drinking. Since there’s no banana in this smoothie, I find that it can be made the night before without impacting overall flavour and texture the next day.

Yield
2 1/2 cups (625 mL)

Prep time
10 Minutes

Cook time
0 Minutes

Total time
10 Minutes

Ingredients:
For the smoothie bowl:3/4 cup (175 mL) water*1 heaping cup (145 g) frozen mango chunks1/3 cup (55 g) packed avocado1/2-inch piece (7 g) peeled ginger, or to taste1 cup (30 g) packed fresh baby spinach1 small (75 g) clementine, peeled1 very large (30 g) pitted Medjool date**3 ice cubes1/2 teaspoon matcha green tea powder (optional)For the toppings:Diced fresh mangoVanilla Super Seed Granola or granola of choice***Raspberries, blueberries, and/or strawberries****Hemp heartsClementines, segmented and chopped

Directions:
Add the water into a high-speed blender followed by the rest of the smoothie bowl ingredients. Blend on high until smooth. Pour into a bowl and add toppings as desired. Serve and enjoy!

Tips:

* Feel free to use coconut water if you like a sweeter smoothie.

** If your blender has a hard time blending dates smooth, you may want to swap the date out for a teaspoon or two of pure maple syrup. It also helps to use a very fresh date as they’re softer and blend easier. You may also be able to omit the date all together and use coconut water as your base for sweetness.

*** You can find the recipe for this granola in Oh She Glows Every Day, p. 33.

**** If fresh berries are out of season, feel free to use frozen or swap them with banana slices for your topping.

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By the way, if you are an OSG App user, you can also find this recipe in The Oh She Glows Recipe App (iOS/Android)!

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Ultimate DIY Vegan Cookie Board

http://ohsheglows.com/2017/12/15/ultimate-diy-vegan-cookie-board/

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This may have been the most epic blog post and photoshoot I’ve ever tackled. It’s my last post before Christmas, and I think it’s safe to say we’re going out with a bang this year! I hope my roundup inspires you to create your own vegan cookie board—big or small—this holiday season. If you make one and share it online, I’d love to see. Be sure to use the hashtags #ohsheglows, #osgcookies, #GETINMABELLY, and #SantaGoesVegan…okay, I suppose the last two are optional.

Yesterday morning, in the throes of a nasty cold, all I could think was: “WHAT DID I GET MYSELF INTO!?” Here I was, buzzing around the kitchen, decorating cookies at light speed while Arlo played quietly with his educational toys screamed at my legs. I wish you could’ve seen me running between my kitchen and photography studio during naptime, pleading with the Nap Gods for five more minutes of photoshoot time. Luckily it all came together with some major hustling.

Check out these two behind the scenes photos! Organized chaos. ;)

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Can you spot the gingerbread escapee below? LOL. It’s like a scene straight out of Shrek.

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As you’ll see in the graphic below, we’re playing around with a new photo feature. Please humour me by hovering over the red dots near each cookie grouping to display a fun pop-up box. I actually find all that clicking around quite satisfying…almost like popping bubble wrap! I’d love to hear whether you like this sort of thing. If so, we’ll do more in the future.

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The Oh She Glows Cookbook, page 235.

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Oh She Glows Every Day, page 219.

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Oh She Glows Every Day, page 199.

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Oh She Glows Every Day, page 231.

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Oh She Glows Every Day, page 205.

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Oh She Glows Every Day, page 217.

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1. Gluten-free Snickerdoodles

Another festive favourite. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and a dash of turbinado after baking. Recipe is online here. Or find the non-gluten-free version here.

2. Almond Butter Rice Crisp Treats

Riffing on the classic Rice Krispie Square, these treats can be iced and sprinkled in advance for a pop of colour. I like to cut them into triangles for “tree” shapes around the holidays. Recipe available on the Oh She Glows Recipe App and on the blog.

3. Eggnog Crunch Biscotti 

A great companion to coffee or a latte, these crispy eggnog biscotti have a wonderful nutty flavour too. If you don’t have vegan eggnog on hand any plant-based milk works in a pinch. Recipe on Oh She Glows.

4. Gingerbread People

What’s a holiday spread without gingerbread buddies? These are fun for kids to help make too. Recipe from the Oh She Glows Recipe App (inside the Cookie Lover’s bundle).

5. Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bites

With a quick prep and 10-minute chill, these bites are perfect for whipping up just before guests arrive. Recipe from The Oh She Glows Cookbook, page 235.

6. Triple Almond Thumbprint Cookies

Kid- and freezer-friendly for easy prep, any leftover cookies are perfect for breakfast the next morning, not that you’ll have any to speak of! Arlo LOVES these cookies. Recipe from Oh She Glows Every Day, page 205.

7. Ultimate Flourless Brownies

Rich and decadent, these gluten-free brownies with an almond butter base will make your kitchen smell amazing before guests arrive. Recipe from Oh She Glows Every Day, page 199.

8. Pillowy Pumpkin Snacking Cookies

Nut-free and kid-friendly, these cookie are a lighter complement to the the board’s richer desserts. Recipe from Oh She Glows Every Day, page 217.

9. Lightened Up Magical Coconut Bars

Lightened up without butter and using unsweetened coconut, these bars still feel totally indulgent. Recipe on Oh She Glows.

10. Chewy Molasses Spelt Cookies

A holiday classic. I like to dip half in white chocolate and decorate with chopped candied ginger to punch up colour on the plate. Recipe is on the blog and in Oh She Glows Every Day, page 219.

11. Chocolate Macaroon Truffles

Rolled in matcha, these truffles add a sweet festive look to the board. For a more traditional macaroon flavour, you can stir shredded coconut into the truffle mixture. Extras make a lovely host gift too! Recipe on the blog.

12. Chocolate-Almond Espresso Cookies

Rich and perfect for dunking in after-dinner coffee or tea. Dip cooled cookies in melted vegan white chocolate for the ultimate treat. From Oh She Glows Every Day, page 207.

13. Peanut Better Balls

Peanut Butter Balls were a Christmas treat in my house growing up, and this lightened-up freezer-friendly version is perfect for making ahead before putting together your board. Recipe on the blog and in Oh She Glows Every Day, page 231.

14. Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

My twist on the classic peanut butter cookie. They’re gluten-free and freezer-friendly, too. From Oh She Glows Every Day, page 213.

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Cookie board styling ideas:

If you’re looking for some festive styling ideas for your cookie board, feel free to play around with some of the following: fresh cranberries, clementines (bonus points if they have green leaves attached!), greenery (such as lacy cedar), or hand-written labels.

This post wouldn’t be complete without a shout-out to Nicole, OSG’s recipe tester extraordinaire, for all of the baking help. You should’ve seen the truckload of cookies she delivered this week! #cookiemotherlode

Well friends, I won’t be posting again until the new year as I’m working away on the blog redesign and also preparing for a couple TV segments next week (one of which is live on Your Morning on December 19th!). Be sure to follow me on Twitter and Insta Stories for all of my riveting day-to-day updates…heh. And if you have any recipe questions for me, I’ll be on stand-by to help troubleshoot, as always!

Last but not least, I want to wish you all a fantastic holiday season! I’m so grateful for your continued support, friendship, and enthusiasm for what I do. With love and immense gratitude,

Angela xoxo 

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Vegan Peppermint Patty Slice

http://ohsheglows.com/2017/12/07/vegan-peppermint-patty-slice/

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Who’s ready for an easy vegan holiday dessert? I know I am! I’ve had this one in my holiday recipe holster since first creating it this past summer, and have been dying for the right time to share it.

A quick note about this recipe: The pictures make it look HUGE, but it’s actually a small dessert with fairly dainty portions. I use a small 4×8-inch loaf pan. If you use a standard-size (9×5-inch) loaf pan, the dessert will have less height (but no less delicious flavour!). Hey—I’ve never complained about dessert in any shape or form, but I wanted to mention it so you don’t find yourself puzzled over a smaller-than-expected finished product.

Be sure to read my tips in the headnote and at the bottom of the recipe. You know I love to give you flexibility in your own kitchens, so this recipe is bursting with my testing notes and modifications. I actually had to cut myself off from writing more!! #nerdalert

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Vegan Peppermint Patty Slice
Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, no bake/raw

This peppermint patty is a showstopping dessert that’s coloured naturally with spinach—though only you and I will know its nutritious secret! As an added bonus it’ll only set you back 15 minutes of prep. The filling calls for at least 4 hours of freezing time, so I like to whip it up before bed to pop in the freezer overnight. This way, all I have to do the next day is add the ganache on top and freeze it for another 10 minutes. If you’re making this dessert around the holidays, it’s delightful served with a crushed candy cane topping. My standby, year-round topping is raw cacao nibs, which also add a lovely (and nutritious!) crunch. The crunchy topping really completes the dessert, so I don’t recommend skimping on it, and be sure to serve additional cacao nibs or crushed candy cane on top of each slice before serving. Lastly, it’s important to use a very small loaf pan so the dessert has height. I use a 4×8-inch loaf pan by Baker’s Secret. You could also try making individual servings by filling a silicone cupcake mold.

Yield
10 small slices

Prep time
15 Minutes

Cook time
0 Minutes

Chill time
4 to 5 hours

Total time
15 Minutes

Ingredients:
For the filling:3/4 cup (225 g) raw cashew butter*1/2 cup (125 mL) pure maple syrup, room temperature1/2 cup (125 mL) virgin coconut oil, melted6 tablespoons (90 mL) almond milk, room temperature1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons (5 to 7.5 mL) pure peppermint extract, or to taste**1 cup (30 g) packed baby spinach***Pinch fine sea saltFor the chocolate ganache:1/2 cup (90 g) non-dairy chocolate chips2 tablespoons (30 mL) full-fat coconut cream****Dash fine sea salt1 1/2 tablespoons raw cacao nibs or crushed candy cane, plus more for servingFresh mint leaves, for garnish (optional)

Directions:
Line a small (approximately 4×8-inch) loaf pan or 6-inch cake pan with plastic wrap so the slab will be easy to lift out after freezing. Add all of the filling ingredients (cashew butter, maple syrup, melted oil, almond milk, 1 teaspoon peppermint extract, spinach, and salt) into a high-speed blender. Blend on high until smooth. Make sure no chunks of spinach leaves remain. Taste and add more peppermint extract if desired. Pour the filling into the prepared pan. Place the pan on a flat spot in the freezer and freeze for 4 to 5 hours, until the filling is solid. There’s no need to cover it unless you plan on keeping it in the freezer longer than 8 hours. When the filling is solid, prepare the ganache topping. In a medium pot, combine the chocolate chips, coconut cream (make sure water is drained before adding), and salt. Melt the chips over the lowest heat setting, stirring frequently, until smooth.  Remove the filling from the freezer and, gripping the plastic wrap as a handle, lift it out of the pan. Flip the filling onto a large plate and peel off the plastic wrap. Pour the ganache over top of the solid filling, starting in the centre, and allow it to cascade down the sides a bit. Immediately scatter the crushed candy cane or cacao nibs all over the ganache. Return it to the freezer, uncovered, and freeze for about 10 minutes, until the ganache is firm. Slice and garnish with fresh mint, if you’re fancy! Sprinkle additional cacao nibs or crushed candy cane on top of each slice and enjoy immediately. Return leftovers to the freezer right away as the dessert does soften as it sits.

Tips:

* Instead of cashew butter, you can use 1 1/4 cups (180 g) of soaked raw cashews. Soak them in boiled water for 1 hour, rinse, drain, and add them into a high-speed blender (such as a Vitamix) along with the rest of the ingredients. If your blender has a hard time blending nuts smooth, I suggest that you use the raw cashew butter version instead. You can also use homemade raw cashew butter. To make your own, simply process raw cashews in a heavy-duty food processor until smooth. I don’t recommend using roasted cashew butter as it gives the slice a strong nutty flavour.

** The intensity of peppermint extracts vary by brand, so 1 1/2 teaspoons is intended as a guide—please add it slowly to taste.

*** I only recommend using spinach if your blender is good at blending leafy greens smooth. If your blender tends to leave spinach chunks in smoothies, I would suggest omitting the spinach in this recipe just to make sure you aren’t going to find spinach chunks in the slice. Or see my tip about using a food processor below.

**** Coconut cream is the solid white cream in a can of full-fat coconut milk. Chill the can overnight before using to ensure the coconut cream is solid. I like to open a mini can (160 mL) of full-fat coconut milk for this recipe; this way, there isn’t a lot left over to use up. The remaining amount is just perfect for throwing into your next smoothie!

 

No blender? No problem! If you have a heavy-duty food processor you can make the filling in the processor, just be warned that the spinach doesn’t break down fully (my version had some very fine green speckling resembling mint sugar), and you’ll want to run the processor for a good while to help the spinach break down as much as possible.

 

If you don’t have cacao nibs or crushed candy cane on hand, feel free to top the ganache with finely chopped dark chocolate.

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My make-ahead vegan holiday recipes plus handy tips!

http://ohsheglows.com/2017/11/22/my-make-ahead-vegan-holiday-recipes-plus-handy-tips-and-tricks/

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Before we dig into today’s juicy post, I want to share that, starting tomorrow (Nov. 23), the new Oh She Glows Boxed Set is 50% OFF! Whoa baby. The sale will continue until Tuesday, November 28th, so plenty of time to take advantage. Mine arrived last week, and I gotta say they’re b-e-a-utiful. A “glam shoot” soon followed, lol.

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Every morning while sipping my coffee, I respond to your questions and comments that have come in since the previous day. It’s one of my favourite relaxing morning rituals…right up until the kids realize “Mommy’s in the office!” and BUST THROUGH THE DOOR UNLEASHING TOTAL CHAOS. How do they always know? And how do I clean baby fingerprints off my camera lens? Anyway, I’ve been receiving a lot of holiday meal prep questions, and while I always try to troubleshoot your questions immediately, I’m often left needing some time to try out my ideas. So, this month my recipe tester Nicole and I have been busy tackling make-ahead versions of my most popular holiday recipes!

Last year, Eric and I hosted two big holiday meals while juggling a newborn and toddler (we didn’t want to travel so everyone came to us which was so nice), and looking back I REALLY could’ve used these tricks and tips then. I felt pretty frazzled. Oh well, I’m here today to help take some of the guesswork out of your preparations—from mains and sides to breakfast and dessert recipes too. Even if you walk away today with one new idea or trick up your sleeve I’ll consider it a holiday WIN. I realize this post is probably too late for American Thanksgiving tomorrow, but for those of you who cook holiday spreads in December like we do, I hope it’ll be helpful.

Oh and please feel free to share your tips and tricks because the more the merrier when it comes to simplifying this time of the year. Do you have a game plan? Are you being treated to a meal or are you hosting this year? Be sure to let me know if you have any lingering questions. I’ll try my best to help.

I’d like to wish my American readers a fun, safe, and delicious Thanksgiving! If you make any OSG recipes, please tag your photos with #ohsheglows and @ohsheglows. I’d love to see them! Cheers, friends.

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Make Ahead Mains & Sides

1. Butternut Squash Casserole
Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, nut-free option
Prepare up to 2 days in advance
Prepare entire casserole (do not bake it yet). Wrap the unbaked casserole and place in the fridge for up to 2 days. Remove casserole from fridge and unwrap, setting it aside while the oven preheats. Bake as directed.

2. Thanksgiving Panzanella
Vegan, nut-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free
Prepare up to 2 days in advance
Follow recipe directions which include detailed make-ahead instructions.

3. Shepherd’s Pie
Vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free option, grain-free option
Prepare 1 day in advance
Recipe found in Oh She Glows Every Day, p. 167
Prepare entire casserole as directed, but do not bake. Wrap the unbaked casserole and place in the fridge one day before you intend to serve it. Day-of, remove wrap, sit casserole on the counter while the oven preheats, and bake as directed.

4. Sweet Potato Casserole with a Crunchy Nut Crumble
Vegan, gluten-free, soy-free
Prepare up to 3 days in advance
Prepare entire casserole (do not bake it yet). Wrap up the unbaked casserole and place in the fridge for up to three days. Remove wrap, sit casserole on the counter while the oven preheats, and bake as directed.

5. On The Mend Spiced Lentil and Kale Soup
Vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, grain-free
Cook up to a month in advance
Also found in The Oh She Glows Cookbook, p. 131
Cook the soup as directed. Pour into freezer-safe containers leaving an inch for expansion. Cool the soup, secure lid, and freeze up to one month before serving. Thaw in the fridge or at room temperature and transfer to a pot. Reheat on the stovetop over medium heat.

6. Lentil Mushroom Walnut Balls with Cranberry-Pear Sauce
Vegan, gluten-free, soy-free
Prepare cranberry sauce 1 to 2 weeks in advance; lentil balls 1 to 2 days before serving
Cranberry-Pear Sauce: Cook the cranberry sauce as directed. Cool and transfer to a freezer-safe container. Freeze one to two 1 to 2 weeks before. Thaw overnight in the fridge.
Lentil Mushroom Walnut Balls: Prepare the lentil balls (do not bake yet), and place the unbaked balls on a plate. Wrap the plate and refrigerate for 1 to 2 days. Remove wrap and place on a lined baking sheet. Bake as directed.

7. Ultimate Lentil-Walnut Loaf
Vegan, soy-free
Prepare 2 to 3 days in advance
Prepare the loaf as directed (do not bake yet). Cover the loaf pan with wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 3 days. Uncover, sit pan on the counter while the oven preheats, and bake as directed (you’ll likely need closer to 60 minutes since it’s baking straight from the fridge).

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Make-Ahead Brunch Recipes

1. Vegan Cinnamon Rolls
Vegan
Prepare Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting 3 to 5 days in advance; cinnamon rolls up to 18 hours before serving
For the frosting: Prepare frosting as directed and place in an airtight container before refrigerating 3 to 5 days in advance.
For the rolls: Simply follow the recipe until you complete the second rise. Place the wrapped dish in the fridge overnight. In the morning, remove the dish from the fridge, flick on your oven light, and let the rolls sit in the unheated oven with the light on for about 20 minutes. After that, remove the dish from the oven and preheat to 350°F (180°C). Remove the plastic wrap and bake as directed.

2. Vegan Banana Bread
Vegan, nut-free option, refined sugar-free, soy-free
1 to 2 weeks in advance
Prepare and bake the loaf as directed. Cool it on a cooling rack, and then wrap it tightly with plastic wrap, followed by a layer of tinfoil. Alternatively, place the cooled loaf into a large freezer bag with the air sucked out. Freeze. Thaw in the fridge overnight.

3. Heavenly Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal
Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, soy-free
Up to 24 hours in advance
Prepare the oatmeal (do not bake yet), wrap up the dish, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. In the morning, unwrap, sit casserole on the counter while the oven preheats, and bake as directed. Serve with Coconut Whipped Cream (make-ahead option below).

4. Maple-Cinnamon Apple & Pear Baked Oatmeal
Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, soy-free
Up to 24 hours in advance
Found in The Oh She Glows Cookbook, p. 39
Prepare the oatmeal (do not bake yet), wrap the dish, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. In the morning, unwrap and set dish on the counter while the oven preheats. Bake as directed. Serve with Coconut Whipped Cream (make-ahead option below).

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Make-Ahead Dessert Recipes

1. Chilled Chocolate-Espresso Torte with Toasted Hazelnut Crust
Vegan, gluten-free
1 to 2 weeks in advance
Found in The Oh She Glows Cookbook, p. 241
Prepare the torte as directed (hold off on the Coconut Whipped Cream until serving). Freeze as directed, 1 to 2 weeks in advance. Let it sit at room temperature for 10 to 20 minutes before slicing. Serve with Coconut Whipped Cream.

2. Raw Pumpkin Pie with Baked Oat Crust
Vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free option
1 to 2 weeks in advance
Found in The Oh She Glows Cookbook, p. 247
Prepare the entire pie as directed. Freeze as directed, 1 to 2 weeks in advance. Let it sit at room temperature for 10 to 20 minutes before slicing. Serve with Coconut Whipped Cream.
Tip: for a nut-free version, make my Mini Pumpkin Pie Tarts with a Sunflower Cookie Crust.

3. Coconut Whipped Cream
Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, no bake/raw, nut-free, oil-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free
Prepare 1 to 2 weeks (if freezing) or 2 days (if refrigerating) in advance
Freezing: Prepare the coconut whipped cream as directed. Transfer to a freezer-safe bag and press out the air. Seal the bag and freeze for 1 to 2 weeks. Thaw overnight in the fridge, and whip with a whisk before using, if needed.
Refrigerating: Prepare the coconut whipped cream as directed. Transfer to a dish and cover. Refrigerate for up to a couple days before using. Whip with a whisk before using, if needed.

4. Chewy Molasses Spelt Cookies
Vegan, nut-free, soy-free option
Prepare 1 week in advance
Found in Oh She Glows Every Day, p. 219, similar here
Make the dough. Shape balls of dough and roll in turbinado sugar. Place unbaked balls into a freezer-safe bag, seal, and freeze. If baking balls from frozen, add an extra 3 to 4 minutes to baking time. Or you can thaw the balls at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes day-of and bake as directed.

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Cheesy Lentil Bolognese Casserole + Celebrating 9 years!!

http://ohsheglows.com/2017/11/10/cheesy-lentil-bolognese-casserole-celebrating-9-years/

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Oh She Glows just celebrated her 9th birthday! Can you believe it? (I know, I know, where is the cake? I didn’t plan this very well, did I? I promise you today’s recipe is a keeper even if it’s not covered in frosting. Do you think cheese-covered will do the trick?!)

Many moons ago, in October 2008, Eric looked at me and said, “Ange, you need a hobby!” I was hunched in front of my computer poring over research. We’d just returned from our honeymoon, and I was already stressed out over all the catch-up work that was waiting for me at home.

At the time, I was a master’s student wrapping up my thesis, and also working full-time as a researcher. To say I was feeling burned out is an understatement. I definitely hadn’t been making time for fun. When Eric asked me what hobbies I had, I honestly couldn’t think of anything outside my daily gym sessions. “I’m not sure if working out counts….” he’d say. My only downtime was a weekly night out at a local bar—hardly restorative, though it did feel that way briefly! So I took Eric’s advice (a rare occurrence, he says), and that same week hit publish on my very first Oh She Glows blog post!

This blog became a place for me to have fun, explore, write my heart out, try new things, and just get out of “research mode” for a bit. Still, I expected that I would blog for a couple weeks and grow tired of it, but I tapped into something that had been hiding deep below the surface for many, many years…my creativity! OH, HELLO. I couldn’t recall the last time I had really allowed my creative self to flourish. Once I’d awoken the creative beast inside, there was no stopping me. (Eric, did you have any idea what you’d be getting yourself into?!)

Soon it became clear that this unsuspecting hobby had grown into a full-fledged passion. I found the courage to write about my journey with disordered eating and how I was working on a positive relationship with food. By practicing every day, I taught myself how to cook and photograph my food (so I could inspire you to make it too!), and eventually became confident enough to experiment with my own recipes. Nine years later, one of my favourite things to do is cook and try new things in the kitchen. I always joke that I rarely follow my own recipes because I have too much fun playing around with them, and so they’ll often turn out differently each time. To me, that’s when it gets really fun! That said, there are some recipes I like to follow to a T…like my favourite cookies. I take my treats very seriously. Bahaha.

So, thanks Eric, for seeing all those years ago that I needed to give myself some time for creativity. I can’t imagine my life without this space, and all of you. The connections and friendships I’ve made through Oh She Glows have been the happiest surprise of all.

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending Taste Canada’s annual Awards Gala, where I was honoured to receive two gold awards for food writing (one for Health and Special Diets Cookbook of the year for my latest cookbook, Oh She Glows Every Day, and a second recognizing Oh She Glows as best Health and Special Diets Food Blog 2017). Thinking back over the past 9 years, it all feels surreal. I had so many inspiring conversations and left that evening even more grateful for this community and what I do.

Thank you for coming on this journey with me. Here’s to discovering new hobbies, chasing dreams, and, hopefully, another 9 years!!

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Cheesy Lentil Bolognese Casserole
Vegan, soy-free

Our family is in love with this cheesy, creamy, and hearty casserole! Traditional bolognese is made with a meat-based sauce, but my version uses lentils and mushrooms for a high fibre, immune-boosting twist. It’s great served with a simple salad of marinated greens (for a quick homemade dressing, try my Shake-and-Go Balsamic Vinaigrette from Oh She Glows Every Day), sautéed kale, or my Crowd-Pleasing Vegan Caesar Salad and some crusty fresh bread. Divine! Here are some time-saving tips: if you’re looking for a head-start on meal prep, the cheese sauce can be made a couple days in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container. You can also prepare the entire casserole in advance: simply follow the recipe through step #9 (stop before baking!), wrap it up, refrigerate, and then cook as-is one to two days later as directed in step #10. Imagine coming home to this casserole ready to bake at the end of a long day! Nothing is better. This recipe is adapted from my Fusilli Lentil-Mushroom Bolognese in Oh She Glows Every Day.

Yield
8 servings

Prep Time
35 Minutes

Cook time
20 Minutes

Total Time
55 Minutes

Ingredients:
1 batch All-Purpose Cheese Sauce14 ounces (400 g) fusilli or rotini pasta (about 4 1/2 cups dry pasta)2 tablespoons (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil1 medium sweet onion, diced (about 2 cups/280 g)3 large garlic cloves, minced1 (8-ounce/255 g) package sliced cremini mushrooms*1 teaspoon dried oregano**1 teaspoon dried basil**1 teaspoon dried thyme**3 cups (750 mL) chunky marinara sauce***One (14-ounce/398 mL) can lentils, drained and rinsed (about 1 1/2 cups)2 tablespoons (30 mL) runny tahini1/4 to 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)1 to 2 cups (40 to 80 g) stemmed and finely chopped kale (optional)Paprika, for garnishCashew-Garlic Parmesan, for garnish

Directions:
Oil a very large casserole dish (approx. 10″ x 14″) and set aside. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Prepare the cheese sauce. While the potatoes and carrots simmer for the cheese sauce, start on steps 3 and 4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package instructions. Be sure not to overcook it. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, in a large dutch oven or pot (about 5 quarts), add the oil, onion, and garlic. Stir and add a pinch of salt. Sauté over medium heat for about 3 to 5 minutes, until the onion is softened and translucent. Stir in the mushrooms, oregano, basil, and thyme, and cook for another 7 to 9 minutes over medium-high heat until the water cooks off. Add the marinara sauce, drained lentils, and tahini. Stir until combined. Now add the cooked pasta and continue stirring until it’s coated in the lentil-veggie mixture. Taste and season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes (if using). Stir in the kale, if desired. Turn off the heat. Spoon all of the pasta mixture into the prepared casserole dish and spread it out evenly. Pour the cheese sauce over top and spread it out with the back of a spoon until it covers the entire surface. Garnish with paprika (it adds a beautiful pop of red), more herbs, and black pepper, if desired. Bake the casserole uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes, until heated through. (If you’re baking the casserole straight from the fridge, bake it for 25 to 30 minutes as it’ll take longer to heat up). Serve immediately with a generous sprinkle of Cashew-Garlic Parmesan on top of each portion. Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days. The leftovers are just as delicious chilled!

Tips:

* If your sliced mushrooms are on the thicker side, dice them up before adding to the pot—they’ll cook faster. The same is true if you’re using whole mushrooms: the smaller you slice them the quicker they’ll cook. If you are a big mushroom fan like I am, you may want to consider doubling the amount listed above.

 

** If using fresh herbs, measure 2 teaspoons (10 g) of each.

 

*** If the casserole is going to sit in the fridge for a couple days before you cook it, feel free to stir in an extra 1/2 (125 mL) to 3/4 cup (180 mL) of marinara sauce. This isn’t absolutely necessary, but helps counteract any moisture loss while sitting in the fridge.

 

Make it gluten-free: use gluten-free pasta and cook as directed.

 

Make it kid-friendly: process the mushrooms in a food processor until minced. The mushrooms will be virtually undetectable, but your meal will still retain their immune boosting benefits!

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You can also find this casserole recipe (including the cheese sauce and vegan parmesan) in The Oh She Glows Recipe App (iOS and Android). Happy cooking!

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Make-Ahead Roasted Butternut Squash Casserole

http://ohsheglows.com/2017/10/27/make-ahead-roasted-butternut-squash-casserole/

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I posted this story and make-ahead technique to my Instagram account recently, only to be cut off part-way through when I exceeded the word limit. As Stephanie Tanner would say: How rude, lol. Did you even know that Instagram has a word limit? I guess it wasn’t designed for Chatty Cathy’s like me. That’s when it hit me: I should post this on the blog so I can go a bit more in-depth! So read on, my friends….

The other weekend I decided it had been way too long since I had made my beloved roasted butternut squash dish, complete with vegan parmesan…kale…and lots of garlic. Have you made it? Oh my, it’s a show-stealing side I tell ya. (This dish makes all its other dinner companions give the side-eye, heh. #BUTTERNUTPLEASE!)

Here’s a little summary of comments I received when I served it to the fam:

Eric: *Burns mouth.* “Holy sh*t, that’s hot!!!” (He never learns.) Then: “Butternut squash is so much better than pumpkin.” (Lol…so random…I die.)

Adriana, three years old: “NO THANK YOUUUUUUU” (as she skips away with Arlo’s favourite toy in her grasp). Spotted 10 minutes earlier: downing a box of “circle crackers” (sigh).

Arlo, one year old: *Screams and beats his hands in protest because he has to wait for the squash to cool* then proceeds to inhale it. He was nice enough to smash the leftover squash into his hair, and even tossed some over his shoulder for good luck.

Me: *Scream and beat my hands in protest because I have to wait for it to cool* then enjoys two big servings.

You know the saying…as far as anyone knows, we’re a nice, normal family. Bahaha.

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MAKE IT AHEAD!

You may have noticed lately that I’ve been on a crusade to create as many time-saving recipes and make-ahead tips as I can. In recent posts, I shared Adriana’s Favourite 10-Minute Pasta, 8-Minute Pantry Dal, and Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Panzanella, to name a few. Last week, I came up with a make-ahead version for one of my favourite side dishes: Roasted Butternut Squash with Pecan Parmesan and Kale! I’m so excited to share how I tweaked the original recipe to minimize day-of prep time. Now that we’re getting into all kinds of holiday celebration meals, my goal is to share as many time-saving tricks with you as I can. It’s making life much less hectic in the Liddon household.

I discovered that this dish can be prepped and stored in the fridge two to three days in advance—and no one will be the wiser! This is a fun trick for holiday meal prep when sanity reaches an all-time low (or is that just me?).

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Here’s what you do:

1) Combine the chopped squash, minced garlic, parsley (not shown in the photo!), oil, and salt in an extra-large casserole dish. Pro tip: if I’m really short on time, I’ll occasionally buy fresh pre-chopped squash to save the hassle of peeling and dicing a large one! Sometimes you just gotta live your best life, ya know?

2) Stem and chop the kale, then place it into a zip bag or container.

3) Make the vegan parmesan, and place that into a separate fridge-friendly container.

PREP WORK DONEZO.

When you’re ready to roast this beauty either later that day or as many as two to three days later, proceed with the recipe as usual…maybe while giving an evil cackle about how you outsmarted the original instructions. I won’t mind.

One thing’s for sure, I’ll be using this trick for all of my future holiday meals, and even busy weeknights! It’s so handy to have everything prepped and ready to go. I hope this tip helps streamline your own holiday meal planning as well. If you’re looking for more crunch-time holiday inspiration, don’t forget to check out my Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Panzanella recipe—it has had some great feedback so far. Oh, and let me know in the comments if you have any make-ahead recipe requests! I’d love to hear them.

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Make-Ahead Roasted Butternut Squash Casserole
Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free

This is a handy make-ahead version of one of my all-time favourite fall and winter side dishes showcasing the best of cold weather produce. See my tips below on how you can prep the casserole ingredients a couple days beforehand, so they’re ready to come together effortlessly at meal-time (just be sure to leave yourself about an hour to cook it, though). Sometimes, when I’m feeling wild, I like to double the vegan parmesan because it’s just so good! This recipe is adapted from the original in 2012—back when I had a little more time in the kitchen, pre-kiddos!

Yield
6 side servings

Prep Time
20 Minutes

Cook time
55 Minutes

Total Time
1 Hour, 15 Minutes

Ingredients:
For the roasted squash:1 medium/large (2 to 2 1/2 pounds) butternut squash2 large cloves garlic, minced3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley1 tablespoon (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt2 cups (75 g) stemmed and finely chopped kale*For the Almond-Pepita Parmesan:1/4 cup (40 g) whole almonds**1/4 cup (40 g) roasted pepita seeds**1 tablespoon (15 mL) nutritional yeast1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt1 teaspoon (5 mL) extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:
Grease an extra-large casserole dish with oil and set aside. Peel the squash. Thinly slice off the bottom and top and then slice through the middle lengthwise to make two halves. Remove seeds with a spoon. Chop the two halves into 1-inch chunks and place into the oiled casserole dish. (Time-saving tip: buy a couple pounds of pre-chopped fresh butternut squash from the produce section of the grocery store. This was a major game-changer in the Liddon household, let me tell ya!.) Add the minced garlic, parsley, oil, and salt into the casserole dish and toss with squash until combined (hands or a spoon both work well for this step!). Do not add the kale yet. Cover the casserole dish with tinfoil and pop it into the fridge. Place the chopped kale into a tightly sealed zip bag (being sure to squeeze any air out beforehand) or a small airtight container and refrigerate. For the parmesan: Place all of the Almond-Pepita Parmesan ingredients into a mini food processor and pulse together until coarsely ground. Transfer the mixture into a zip bag or small container before placing it in the fridge. All three casserole components can be stored in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. When ready to cook the casserole, remove all prepped ingredients from the fridge. Poke a few air holes into the tinfoil covering the casserole dish. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Place the covered casserole dish in the oven and bake for about 45 to 50 minutes, until the squash is fork tender. Carefully remove the squash from the oven and reduce heat to 350°F (180°C). Remove the tinfoil (be careful as some steam might escape from the dish as you do). Stir the chopped kale into the squash until combined. Sprinkle all of the parmesan over top of the squash. Bake for another 6 to 10 minutes, uncovered, until the nuts are lightly toasted and the kale has wilted. Watch closely so you don’t burn either the nuts or kale. Serve warm, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Leftovers will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for about 5 days. To reheat, simply scoop the squash into an oiled skillet and heat over medium, stirring frequently, until heated through. Season to taste, and enjoy!

Tips:

* I doubled the original amount of kale for extra green power!

** Feel free to swap in any nuts or seeds you prefer! There are endless possibilities. Pecans (which are used in the original version) are lovely, too.

 

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