Vegan Cookbook Challenge: Oh She Glows Everyday (Week 5)

We’re back with Angela Liddon’s Oh She Glows Everyday and this week I tackled five (!!) of her recipes. When I went shopping for this week’s recipes I wanted to create warm, comforting dishes, but then all of a sudden we had a couple of really hot (70-80 degree) days! So I was kicking myself that I didn’t choose some of the more summery recipes that Angela has to offer. As fate would have it we returned to normal fall temperatures and my recipes ended up being just what I knew I needed!

golden-french-lentil-stew

After my love affair with the last soup that I made I was excited to try yet another soup recipe. I love a good lentil stew – my aunt’s recipe holds a special place in my heart as she used to always bring it with her to our house for Thanksgiving. One year, when I went to school in Pennsylvania, I drove up to Massachusetts with my aunt and uncle for the holiday and was so pumped to have a thermos full of warm lentil soup waiting for me in the backseat! This recipe stood out to me because it uses cashew cream to give it a slight creaminess and turmeric to give it its golden color and kick of flavor. I love the French green lentils because they are cute and small and they hold their shape well in the stew. I added a bunch of swiss chard (probably more than I needed to) but I like being able to get a solid dose of greens in this one meal. I shared some with my mom and she agreed that it was a hit! Another great soup recipe to store in my repertoire as the weather gets even colder!

the-ultimate-flourless-brownies

Sigh. It finally happened. After making countless recipes from Angela Liddon’s blog and cookbooks, I finally found one that I really really don’t like. Sad face. I thought that these brownies were going to be a slam dunk – I mean, how can you go wrong with brownies?! But I found myself struggling even as I was making them – it didn’t produce that much batter, and I had to triple check that I put the correct amount of each ingredient in the bowl! So I assumed that the brownies would rise a great deal in the pan… nope! This recipe also called for a loaf pan which I thought was a bit strange, but I went with it. Almost immediately I wished that I had just used a normal pan for these brownies. When I took them out of the oven they were sunken and not that pretty! But I followed the recipe, let them cool, and then popped the loaf pan in the freezer for 30 minutes before slicing them to let them firm up. It didn’t change much. When I finally tasted them they were SO fudgy and underdone in the middle that they were hard to chew. Now, some people might love their brownies like this, but I like a slightly cakier brownie. So I acknowledge that a flourless brownie recipe might not have been for me, but I still expected the whole baking process to go smoothly, and to produce a recipe that looks like her picture, and that just didn’t work out. I think I might just end up crumbling my remaining brownies, baking them until they’re a bit crispy, and then using them as a topping for banana nice cream or something because otherwise it will have been a waste. Booooooo!

magic-no-cook-caramel-sauce

Now one of the best things to come out of making the disappointing brownies is this caramel sauce! Now, I altered the recipe slightly so instead of cashew butter I used a coconut peanut butter and instead of coconut nectar I used brown rice syrup, so I’ll be the first one to admit that it isn’t exactly like Angela made hers. But holy yum!! I want to put this caramel sauce on EVERYTHING. It went on the sad brownies AND I put it on some pumpkin spice frozen waffles with maple syrup (because it’s birthday week and that means I overdose on sugar). This was super easy to make as you just combined everything in a food processor, and I can’t wait to make the original recipe with cashew butter and coconut nectar when I have those ingredients lying around. Yum!

coconut-whipped-cream

Now I’ve made a million versions of this recipe before, and they all end up tasting the same so I don’t have a ton to say about this coconut whipped cream. Check out Trader Joe’s because they sell cans of cocnut cream, which firms up as soon as you put it in the fridge. That way you don’t have to play the tricky game of having to separate the coconut cream from the liquid in the normal cans of coconut milk. I’ve had so many failed attempts at doing it that way that I pretty much only buy Trader Joe’s coconut cream when I want to make vegan whipped cream. I made this to put on the brownies (still disappointed) but now that I still have some in my fridge it’s nice to use it on other things too…

secret-ingredient-chocolate-pudding

Because I had that coconut whipped cream in the fridge I decided that I would give this pudding recipe a try. It’s definitely more enjoyable than the brownies but I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about it. It uses mashed sweet potato as the base, which is kind of weird, but I normally like weird things like that! You pretty much just put the steamed sweet potato in the food processor with the maple syrup, almond milk, cocoa powder, almond butter, coconut oil vanilla, and sea salt and process until smooth. It firms up in the fridge but I think I like it better thinner. My opinion: meh! But better than the brownies.

Love, Brenna

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