Category Archives: Cookbook

‘Oh She Glows Every Day: Quick and Simple Satisfying Plant-based Recipes’ by Angela Liddon


When Oh She Glows came onto my kitchen table, I was thrilled to have a cookbook which I could feel confident using if I had vegan guests coming over, but I could also use these simple and wholesome recipes everyday, as is, or by adding a bit of meat, cheese, or milk. I loved this cookbook immediately and have gotten quite clever about locating things in my grocery store like almond flour and sorghum and nutritional yeast. Grocery stores have caught on and are making Bob’s Red Mill products widely available and offer handy ‘health food sections’ where the ingredients can be found. I didn’t know how much I would use this cookbook when I got it, but it has become my ‘go-to’ right alongside Looneyspoons!

I was excited to learn that Angela Liddon has another cookbook out with an ‘everyday’ focus, and thanks to my children and Mother’s Day, I have been able to start enjoying this book as well, though I find everyday things in both of these books. It’s just more of her recipes and there are some really good ones in it. Love the salads, the Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies recipe, interesting things for breakfast like Apple Pie Overnight Oats and a vast selection of smoothies. There is a large section featuring ‘Homemade Staples’ like 9-Spice Mix and Lemon Tahini Dressing that might be handy to keep on hand. Healthy eating couldn’t be easier!

If you are a fan of Angela Liddon you probably already subscribe to her blog, but did you know she has an iPad and iPhone app? Cook from Oh She Glows using your favourite device! Check your meal ideas on the train on the way home before you stop off at the store!!  Special search options and features of the app include the same elegant photography as in the books, listing capabilities, an anti-lock feature keeping your screen from going dark while cooking, and the ability to cross off ingredients from the list as you include them in the recipe!!

‘Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life around the Table with Recipes’ by Shauna Niequist

“The heart of hospitality is about creating space for someone to feel seen and heard and loved. It’s about declaring your table a safe zone, a place of warmth and nourishment.”

You don’t have to be a great cook of fancy food in order to have people over for a meal…trust me, I’ve been doing it for years! Even though I don’t love cooking like some people do, I have always been committed to the family dinner because it works like glue in our lives. There’s something about breaking bread and sipping wine and enjoying conversation with family, friends, or colleagues that is more than the sum total of its various parts. Whatever age your children are, whatever your home looks like, whatever you can or can’t cook (Uber eats?), being committed to at least one meal together everyday as a household and having guests often, will bring tremendous blessing to your life. Hospitality in my mind has always been about being welcoming and real and being ‘present over perfect’ which also happens to be the title of Niequist’s next book (Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living). I think I will read it but the title is almost enough already.

Shauna Niequist brings a down-to-earth perspective in her book Bread and Wine. She makes herself vulnerable with the funny and honest stories she tells about her own life with themes of hospitality, spirituality, community, food, friends, family, infertility, love, and shame, AND there is a recipe included at the end of every chapter! I loved this book and read it slowly, trying out her comforting and easy recipes along the way, many of which have already become favourites and are simple enough to memorize and/or tweak to your own tastes.

Pull up a chair, pour yourself a glass of wine, and enjoy the conversation at Niequist’s table!

‘The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out’ by Angela Liddon

Oh She GlowsstarstarstarstarIt’s always good to know if your dinner guests have any dietary restrictions. I think we have become quite comfortable dealing with the gluten free and vegetarian diets, whether those are health related choices or medical restrictions. But the word “vegan” still strikes fear in my heart, and maybe yours too, wondering what on earth I could cook with a no-animal-products-whatsoever consideration!

Blogger, self-trained chef, and food photographer Angela Liddon comes to the rescue with a creative and lovely cookbook brimming with great ideas and recipes using wholesome plant-based foods. Click on her name to see her blog. In addition to being meat and dairy free, Liddon’s recipes are also mostly free of gluten, soy, and processed foods. What’s left you might ask? Well, how do these recipe names grab you:

Spa Day Bircher Muesli
Out-the-Door Chia Power Doughnuts
Cheerful Chocolate Smoothie
Mushroom-Walnut Pesto Tart
Glowing Strawberry-Mango Guacamole
Festive Kale Salad with Sweet Apple-Cinnamon Vinaigrette & Pecan Parmesan
Crowd-Pleasing Tex-Mex Casserole
Lentil-Walnut Loaf
Sweet Potato & Black Bean Enchiladas with Avocado-Cilantro Cream Sauce
Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes with Easy Mushroom Gravy
Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bites
Raw Pumpkin-Maple Pie with Baked Oat Crust
Chilled Chocolate-Espresso Torte with Toasted Hazelnut Crust
Homemade Yolos

This cookbook begins with a helpful introduction and discussion about  non-dairy milk, sweeteners, fats/oils, salt, herbs and spices, nuts/seeds, beans/legumes, vegetable broth, soy products, acids, and chocolate. I think this section is important to take the mystery out of whole foods and encourage the cook to shop well and take advice on how to stock the pantry in order to tackle vegan dishes without much fuss. I think we have been bamboozled by the fast food industry into thinking that only unhealthy foods are quick and easy.  There is also a helpful section on tools and equipment.

There is nothing fancy or unpronounceable in the things Liddon mentions for use. The ingredients are simple and available, especially in whole food stores. And if you are not actually vegan yourself, you could use non-vegan ingredients to make the same recipes. You can substitute cheese for nutritional yeast (an inactive, dead form of yeast not to be confused with brewer’s yeast which lends a cheesy, nutty flavour to vegan recipes), or throw in some meat if you want.

What I love about this book is the creative food combinations and gorgeous photographs. My daughter gave the book to me (Thanks Kristin!) and she says the recipes that she tried were simple, wholesome, and accessible. I am excited to road-test and experiment with them myself!

‘The Looneyspoons Collection’ by Janet and Greta Podleski

Reposting is not something I’ve ever done…until now! Here is the original post with an introduction and some additional stuff thrown in.

Eat Shrink and be MerryCrazy PlatesIt’s been 2 years since I posted on the Looneyspoons cookbook and since then I’ve realized just how valuable it is. In our family we each have a copy of the original Looneyspoons Collection and even now we are still regularly ‘What’s Apping’ each other to pass on great finds in the book, complete with pictures of the meal and page references! So four family units must be a definitive study right? None of us has ever made a recipe in this book that we didn’t love. Every recipe always works out, is easy to make, is attractive, uses simple nutritious ingredients, and instantly becomes a family favourite. The recipes are full of fibre and protein without a lot of fat and salt and they’re still tasty! Now that’s worth reposting! Here’s an interview with these Canadian sisters and then the repost.

Good food!
Good health!
Good fun!

LooneyspoonsstarstarstarstarstarThese sisters are dedicated to making cooking healthy and happy using good food, great recipes and lots of punny fun along the way. The book is literally packed with beautiful photos, useful recipes, nutritional information and lifestyle tips. When looking for a recipe in this book, I often get a bit of “ADD” and end up reading a bunch of the sidebars and inserts which have helpful and interesting tidbits, which is not a bad thing! There has been a lot learned about nutrition in the past years, and their recipes focus on including better carbs, better fats, more fiber, less sugar, and less salt, all without sacrificing taste. This book was a gift from a friend and I had never heard of this duo before, but apparently they are on TV and have had their recipes in magazines. Healthy living is a priority for everyone, but this book also includes many recipes for diabetic, gluten-free, and vegetarian diets.

And the recipe and table of contents names will keep you chuckling and make you eager for someone to ask for the recipe or say, “what is this called?”

Become a Beleafer (salads)
Ladle Gaga (soups)
House of Carbs (cakes, puddings, pies)
Satayday Night Fever (scrumptious chicken satay with peanut dipping sauce)
Broccoli Mountain High (crunchy and creamy broccoli coleslaw with turkey bacon)
Salmon and Garfunkel (creamy salmon and corn chowder with dill)
Quiche Me, You Fool! (crustless roasted pepper and potato quiche)
Worth Every Penne (whole wheat penne noodles with chicken, bacon, vegetables and pesto sauce)
Tuna Turner (grilled tuna steaks with a tropical fruit marinade)
Life in the Fast Loin (skillet pork loin chops drizzled with apricot-mustard sauce)
Honey, I Shrunk My Thighs (honey-garlic marinated chicken thighs)
A Bran New World (scrumptious bran muffins with sweet potato and currants)

Alright, alright, enough already….. 🙂 If you happen to be one of my children reading this, don’t buy it…you might find it under the tree at Christmas… recipes complete with “Mommy” jokes, what could be better?

‘The Looneyspoons Collection’ by Janet and Greta Podleski

Janet and Greta
Good food
Good health
Good fun


These sisters are dedicated to making cooking healthy and happy using good food, great recipes and lots of punny fun along the way. The book is literally packed with beautiful photos, useful recipes, nutritional information and lifestyle tips. When looking for a recipe in this book, I often get a bit of “ADD” and end up reading a bunch of the sidebars and inserts which have helpful and interesting tidbits, which is not a bad thing!  There has been a lot learned about nutrition in the past years, and their recipes focus on including better carbs, better fats, more fiber, less sugar, and less salt, all without sacrificing taste.  This book was a gift from a friend and I had never heard of this duo before, but apparently they are on TV and have had their recipes in magazines. Healthy living is a priority for everyone, but this book also includes many recipes for diabetic, gluten-free, and vegetarian diets.

And the recipe and table of contents names will keep you chuckling and make you eager for someone to ask for the recipe or say, “what is this called?”

Become a Beleafer (salads)
Ladle Gaga (soups)
House of Carbs (cakes, puddings, pies)
Satayday Night Fever (scrumptious chicken satay with peanut dipping sauce)
Broccoli Mountain High (crunchy and creamy broccoli coleslaw with turkey bacon)
Salmon and Garfunkel (creamy salmon and corn chowder with dill)
Quiche Me, You Fool! (crustless roasted pepper and potato quiche)
Worth Every Penne (whole wheat penne noodles with chicken, bacon, vegetables and pesto sauce)
Tuna Turner (grilled tuna steaks with a tropical fruit marinade)
Life in the Fast Loin (skillet pork loin chops drizzled with apricot-mustard sauce)
Honey, I Shrunk My Thighs (honey-garlic marinated chicken thighs)
A Bran New World (scrumptious bran muffins with sweet potato and currants)

Alright, alright, enough already….. 🙂 If you happen to be one of my children reading this, don’t buy it…you might find it under the tree at Christmas… recipes complete with “Mommy” jokes, what could be better?

‘Quinoa: The Everyday Superfood’ by Patricia Green & Carolyn Hemming

First things first, it’s pronounced KEEN-wah (or maybe kee-NO-wah). Secondly, I have not gone dotty on cooking lately, that is not the reason for yet another cookbook post. I dislike cooking, but I enjoy eating and I love having people over for dinner – thus I need good cookbooks with easy recipes that still allow me to spend less time in the kitchen and more time in the sewing room, at the gym, or reading in the armchair. This book has tasty, easy recipes, many of which can be prepared in advance and served hot or cold.

Quinoa is a remarkable grain and everyone seems to be talking about it. And if you haven’t heard about it, well, now you have, and you can happily enter the conversation if it does come up.  Quinoa is easy to cook.  It is a little pricy but anything trendy usually is. Because it has protein it’s a wonderful choice for vegetarians and gluten free folk. The book begins with an introduction which gives a great overview of everything from nutritional value to a history of the grain. It was created with a bitter coating which originally protected it from being eaten by birds or insects. But we humans found a way to rub off the coating, that’s probably why it is a little more expensive. But when you compare it with the cost of meat and cheese, it’s actually pretty reasonable, and it doesn’t have cholesterol or trans fats.

This cookbook will be really useful to you for the summer when you are looking for interesting salads and quick dishes to cook up to round out the bbq meal. It cooks just like rice and actually triples itself, so it could be more economical in the long run. Because it is so good for you, you could even cook a little to keep in the fridge and sprinkle over a salad or add to a thin soup or stew. Presto! Healthy meal!

There are some interesting and unique dishes in this book, many of which could also be done with rice instead of quinoa, and vice versa. Any of your own rice or couscous recipes could be made by substituting quinoa. There is a substantial dessert section in the book, some of which looks so good, I might be tempted to cheat and substitute regular flour. And if you have babies or grand-babies, there’s even a section on baby food.

‘Anne Lindsay’s Lighthearted Everyday Cooking: Fabulous Recipes for a Healthy Heart’

There are two people who give me recipes that end up being my favourites. One is a sister-in-law and the other is a friend. One day the sister-in-law recommended a cookbook to me. I ordered it immediately! It was fabulous, so on impulse I bought it for the friend and guess what? She had it already!!  Duh, I should have known. Well, that told me something about this cookbook and that is why I want to share it with you. Here is why I like it so much.

The recipes:
– are tasty (why else would I make them?)
– are easy (I don’t bother with complex ones, too busy for that)
– call for available ingredients (no obscure or brand name stuff)
– are heart healthy and wholesome (I’m over 50 and so is my husband)
– are EASY (did I mention that?)
– have pictures which are “eat off the page” gorgeous
(aesthetics, but I also steal presentation ideas!)
– do not require complex tools I don’t have (small kitchen)
– don’t have words or foods I don’t know or can’t pronounce
(my beef with Jamie Oliver)
– are EASY (did I say that already?)
– have both ‘cups’ and ‘ml’ listed (handy if you live in UK)
– come with a nutrition chart (if this excites you that’s good, you should read labels!)
– have simple directions (read: EASY)

Now, I know what you are thinking. “I already have 50 cookbooks, do I really need another one?” The answer is yes. But, you must be ruthless and weed out every cookbook you have not glanced in for 5 years. I know you have some, we all do. They are probably the ones you picked up at a rummage sale. Bring them back to another rummage sale and you won’t feel guilty for ditching them. It’s the circle of life. Then, voila!,  you have room for a nice new shiny one. This one you will use or I will eat my words. Bon appetit!