Friday FAQs: High-protein recipes, sunflower seed butter troubleshooting, freezing aquafaba, and more!

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This week was a bit of a grab bag and I’m pretty anxious to unwind this weekend. We had two random basement leaks (thanks to a water softener and laundry machine both bursting within days of one another), lots of work deadlines, and some setbacks with our renovation plans. There’s promise of a gorgeous weekend though, and I can’t wait to soak it up. I’ve made some fun Father’s Day plans, and we’re hitting up the St. Lawrence Market in Toronto too. I can’t recall the last time I went to the St. Lawrence Market—probably years and years!—so I’m anxious to check it out (let me know if there are any “must-see” vendors to visit). With any luck I’ll be able to find some plant-based foods to satisfy my non-stop hunger of late. I hope you all have a great weekend. Happy Father’s Day!

ps- My 25 weeks pregnancy update is now up on the Baby blog.

Q1. Angela—this mayo recipe looks really great! Have you (or any of your readers) had any luck freezing the chickpea liquid and then thawing and using it in your recipes? It seems I always open a can of chickpeas when I don’t need the brine, or need the brine when I have no cans of chickpeas. I’m hoping storing the brine (possibly as ice cubes?) for can-less days might be the solution. Any thoughts, anyone??

A. Hi Tia, I haven’t tried it personally yet, but I’ve read that you can in fact freeze aquafaba! Using an ice cube tray (I like using silicone ice cube trays because they’re so easy to pop out) is a great idea for storing, because then you’ll have easy-to-grab, ready-measured amounts available for use in recipes. (My advice is to measure how many tablespoons one cube holds so you know.)

Q2. Hi Angela, Can you recommend the best substitute for hemp in your Crowd-Pleasing Vegan Caesar Salad (specifically, the Nut and Seed Parmesan Cheese)? It’s actually illegal to ingest hemp in Australia (crazy I know…)!!!!!! thanks

A. Hi Alecia, Since the parmesan only calls for a couple tablespoons of hulled hemp seeds, I’d probably just swap it with a couple more tablespoons of cashews! Easy that way. :)

Q3. Angela, Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe! I just made your Golden Red Lentil Dal tonight and the flavors were unbelievable! I have also tried your Crispy Smashed Potatoes with Avocado Garlic Aioli and loved those too! May I ask something though? The dal dish had a slightly grainy texture when it was finished. I’m unsure if it was from the spices or something else. I prepared it exactly as the recipe stated and measured precisely. Any advice on how to fix that would be lovely! Again, wonderful blog and site! I look forward to trying many more of your recipes!

A. Hi Mandy, I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed these recipes! With respect to the dal, it sounds like you did everything right with the recipe! I think the texture you’re experiencing may just be the natural texture of the red lentils. Red lentils break down a lot when they cook. If you’re a fan of the dal’s flavouring but not so much its texture, you could try black or French green lentils, which hold up a bit better and don’t break down as much. I hope this helps, and thank you so much for the kind words!

Q4. Hi everyone, I’m not sure where my sunflower seed butter went wrong? Mine didn’t turn out anything like the pictures at all. I didn’t have coconut sugar so I used stevia. Please help!

A. Hey Jessica, Oh I’m so sorry that happened to you! I’m wondering what kind of food processor you use? I find some machines just can’t "butterize" nuts and seeds as they aren’t powerful enough. I absolutely love this machine. Also, I haven’t tested this recipe with stevia before so that could’ve been the culprit. It’s also very important that the sunflower seeds are roasted beforehand (I’ve had zero luck using raw sunflower seeds in this recipe). Lastly, did you use the coconut oil? That’s really important to help thin it out. I hope this helps, and let me know if you try it out again! It’s such a tasty alternative to nut butter.

Q5. Hi Angela! Big congrats to you and your growing family! My girls are 20 months apart (now 8 mos. and 2 1/2) and it is wonderful and chaos and all the things that make for a happy family. :) I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind listing your favorite protein-packed recipes? I am getting back in the gym and trying to get some muscle definition back in my life and some extra protein is in order! Thanks so much!

A.  Hi Abbey, Thank you for the warm congrats! Getting back to the gym after time away can be such a challenge—but delicious, protein-packed foods can help make that transition so much easier. For a super quick post-workout option, an apple spread with 2 tablespoons of almond or peanut butter will pack in about 7 to 9 grams of protein. If you’re a green smoothie lover like me, I recommend checking out my Green Warrior Protein Smoothie. My Protein Power Goddess Bowl, Energizing Broccoli Dal, Spiced Red Lentil, Tomato, and Kale Soup, Chickpea Salad, and Glowing Spiced Lentil Soup are also filled to the brim with high-protein goodness, as are my Super-Power Chia Bread (page 229 of The Oh She Glows Cookbook) and roasted chickpeas (try the ones on page 220 of the cookbook and on the blog here, or Salt & Vinegar Roasted Chickpeas on page 221) for a “snackier” option. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a sweet snack to grab on the go heading to or from the gym, there’s my Super Seed Chocolate Protein Bites or Two-Layer Raw Chocolate Brownies (which have about 4 grams of protein per square…not bad for a dessert). Who doesn’t love a sweet treat after killing a workout? All the best to you and your family!

Comments of the week:

“Hi Angela! I started the shift toward a vegan diet almost a year ago and have been loving your blog for meal inspirations and recipes! I have your app and also your cookbook and have to say that I have never made one of your recipes that did not turn out fantastic. The rest of my family is not vegan at all and they also love every recipe of yours that I have made. I love making your dishes and sharing them with other people to show that a vegan diet can be delicious and satisfying. I have made this avocado pudding bowl three or four times now and absolutely love it! My most recent time making this recipe I whipped up some coconut whipped cream and mixed it with the pudding and it turned out as a chocolate mousse. I would definitely recommend this method as it worked very well. Thanks for doing what you do, I really look up to you!”

Hi Alexis, I’m so happy to hear that your shift to a vegan diet is going so well, and that you’re inspiring others with the recipes too! Your chocolate mousse spin-off sounds fantastic. I’m working on a mousse recipe that involves aquafaba (of all things, I know!) and hopefully I can share it on the blog if I can get it just right. Thanks for taking the time to write me such a lovely note.

“I’m enjoying all of your recipes so much, thank you! I was never one for working from a cookbook before, but you’ve got me inspired, and I’ve gifted your book several times over, all to very grateful recipients. I used to dance around the edges of a health food store, eager but mostly unsure about how to mix what with what… This weekend I’m headed to an enormous VegFest (a celebration of all things vegan, natural, joyful and healthy!) And Oh She Glows was my introduction. So, thank you. Your enthusiasm and work is appreciated – big time!”

Hi Janey, I’m so happy for you, and also super thankful for your support. It sounds like you’re having so much fun with this new lifestyle which is so, so important. Have fun at the Vegfest this weekend!!

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