The Best Marinated Lentils from "Oh She Glows Every Day"

Oh She Glows Every Day Cookbook by Angela Liddon | photography by Ashley McLaughlin Photography

The big day finally came about two weeks ago. I had been anticipating this day for well over a year, and somehow it was finally here. A project I worked on for 4 solid months, nearly 7 days/week, for one of the most creative, inspiring, thoughtful, meticulous, talented women I know. 

You've probably guessed it by now, but yes, this was the day Angela Liddon's second cookbook was released, filled with well over 100 of my photos inside. The cookbook is called, Oh She Glows Every Day, and it's an absolute stellar followup to Angela's first.

I thought for today, I would talk about the process of photographing Angela's cook, tell you a bit about the recipes inside, and then share one of my favorite recipes with you. This may get lengthy...

Also, be sure and hit up Instagram for a cookbook giveaway starting later today (9/21)!

Photographing a cookbook:

It's hard to know where to start on this topic. First, to have the opportunity to photograph a cookbook for someone, let alone an established and highly regarded cookbook author, was an absolute DREAM. I truly never imagined getting to this point, but it was a goal/dream/hope I had for myself many years ago. There's a lot of trust that goes into a project like this. The author has spent countless hours, days, months, and possibly years coming up with the content for their cookbook and then hires you to capture the vision they have of their recipes. In PRINT. Hello, pressure! 

Angela and I emailed and texted probably hundreds of times throughout the process. We started with trying to nail down the style. Angela wanted to stray somewhat drastically from her first cookbook (style-wise), which made me both nervous and excited. Would her followers love it just the same? I trusted Angela's instinct to try something new and dove right in. The style was clean, bright, and fresh. It was truly meant to capture the beauty of the food and ingredients and to make the recipes feel approachable. This style was something I have always felt drawn to, as you've probably noticed if you've been following the blog for awhile now.

Despite the photos looking quite simple, they were still challenging to style. The recipes really needed to POP and look their best. I had to make sure every single recipe was not only made accurately, but also made in a timely manner so it didn't lose its life as I was photographing. And yes, I made every single recipe in this cookbook at least once! Also, with over 100 recipes and each one needing a photo, I couldn't take any "passes" on recipes that might not be the most photogenic. I had to get creative with things like marinated tofu, lentil-walnut taco "meat," shepherd's pie, etc. It really pushed me as a photographer, and I'm so grateful for the entire experience. 

During the process there were definitely days and weeks where I felt strong and super productive and other times when everything felt off. I'm learning it's part of the creative process, but it can surely be frustrating when you're going through it. You feel like you should just be able to keep moving on with the work, but sometimes your mind gets the best of you and you need to take a step back. The tough part is when you feel like you're getting nothing done, and you're stressing that you're getting nothing done, then your creativity plummets even further. I'm still learning how to be kind and gentle to myself in these times and allow myself a true mental release/break. But I'm always fighting against the voice inside me saying, "If you worked in an office, you wouldn't get these breaks!" So although this job is everything and more than I ever dreamed, it still comes with its frustrating--questioning everything you do, types of days as well. 

Luckily, I had Angela's energy and kindness pushing me the whole way. It was my first time really collaborating with someone on a project (especially of this size), and I truly enjoyed it.

And in the end, it comes with such immense reward. Like with the release of this cookbook!!!!!!!!! 

Here are some behind the scenes images I captured on my iPhone during the process (in our previous house!).

Oh She Glows Every Day Recipes:

Since you just read that I made every single recipe, that also means I ate every single recipe, and I honestly can't say enough good things about them. I remember my eyes lighting up and immediately texting Angela SO many times throughout the process. She truly wowed me with her inventive, flavorful, and manageable recipes. Here's a little detail into each chapter and some of my favorites (seriously hard to choose) from them.

Smoothies and Smoothie Bowls: I will admit I rarely make other peoples' smoothies recipes and generally pass over them in cookbooks. Angela's smoothies have made me totally second guess my judgement in doing that. I was continually amazed by the flavors she created with these smoothies and remember having them stocked in our fridge, drinking them down for days after. My favs:

  • salted chocolate hemp for two
  • green team lime pie
  • green-orange creamsicle smoothie
  • pear vanilla mint green smoothie

Breakfast: The mix of savory and sweet recipes in this chapter totally speaks to me. I love the savory recipes for the weekend and more oat-type recipes for weekday. The hazelnut milk was such a star, and I'm not even a fan of hazelnuts normally. The vanilla super-seed granola was to-die-for. I kept a bag of that stocked in my fridge for months on end. Her steel-cut oat recipe was also made countless times, and I also made it numerous times for new-mom friends to keep stocked in their fridge. My favs:

  • vanilla super-seed granola with coconut chips
  • coffee shop-worthy hazelnut milk
  • the fastest sprouted steel-cut oatmeal
  • strawberry oat crumble bars (all out obsession with these)
  • roasted breakfast hash

Snacks: Ohhh, the snack chapter. Angela packed this chapter with so much goodness. Some of the recipes even double as breakfast recipes, while others are great to keep on hand for healthy snacking throughout the week. Nothing is overly complicated, but everything is packed with flavor. My favs:

  • roasted hazelnut-almond granola clusters
  • banana bread muffin tops (breakfast!)
  • endurance crackers (SO amazing with avocado + flaked salt as photographed in the book)
  • cookie dough balls 
  • roasted garlic and sun-dried tomato hummus

Salads: What I love most about this chapter, is that all of these recipes can be turned into full-on entrees. It's like an extension of the entree chapter, along with all of her soups! The recipes are nutrient dense and packed full of different textures and flavors. Each recipe really highlights a group of different ingredients, and I love that. One of my favorite chapters for sure! My favs:

  • protein power rainbow quinoa salad
  • spiralized zucchini summer salad (with marinated tofu)
  • hemp heart sorghum tabbouleh (I love sorghum!)
  • crowd-pleasing Caesar salad

Sides and Soups: Like the salads, these soups are chock-full of nutrition and totally dinner-worthy. They're going to be on regular rotation whenever it finally start to cool down around here. And the sides have turned into some of my favorite recipes of all time. My favs:

  • roasted garlic basil pesto potatoes with arugula (have made at least 1 dozen times)
  • the best marinated lentils 
  • marinated Italian tofu
  • cast-iron tofu (crispy tofu!!)
  • metabolism-revving spicy cabbage soup
  • golden French lentil stew

Entrees: I'm about to sound like a broken record with going on and on about my love for her recipes, so here are my favs:

  • oh em gee veggie burgers
  • shepherd's pie
  • chili cheese nachos
  • eggplant parmesan
  • sweet potato, chickpea, and spinach coconut curry
  • marinated portobello mushroom bowl

Cookies and Bars and Desserts: I'm combining these two chapters, both of which I'm fully obsessed with. If you know Angela at all, you know she tests her recipes (specifically baking) to death. So not only can you count on them turning out, but also tasting fabulous and curing all of your sweets cravings. 

  • the ultimate flourless brownie
  • triple almond thumbprint cookies
  • flourless peanut butter cookies (I make these using just 1 bowl, starting with wet ingreds.)
  • secret ingredient chocolate pudding
  • meyer lemon cheesecake with strawberry-vanilla compote (kept small pieces wrapped in our freezer for months!)
  • mile-high black-and-white freezer fudge 

Homemade Staples: You've never seen so many staples in a cookbook before! From how to press tofu, to a shake-and-go balsamic vinaigrette, to the best vegan parmesan, and an absolutely killer "cheese" sauce. This chapter is not to be missed! My favs:

  • all-purpose cheese sauce (carrot + potato based!)
  • 9-spice mix (insane on avo toast)
  • roasted tamari almonds (snacked on these non-stop)
  • lemon-tahini dressing
  • maple cinnamon coconut chips (addicting!!)
  • shake-and-go balsamic vinaigrette (beyond easy, super tasty)
Oh She Glows Every Day Cookbook by Angela Liddon | photography by Ashley McLaughlin Photography
Oh She Glows Every Day Cookbook by Angela Liddon | photography by Ashley McLaughlin Photography
Oh She Glows Every Day Cookbook by Angela Liddon | photography by Ashley McLaughlin Photography
Oh She Glows Every Day Cookbook by Angela Liddon | photography by Ashley McLaughlin Photography
Oh She Glows Every Day Cookbook by Angela Liddon | photography by Ashley McLaughlin Photography
Oh She Glows Every Day Cookbook by Angela Liddon | photography by Ashley McLaughlin Photography
Oh She Glows Every Day Cookbook by Angela Liddon | photography by Ashley McLaughlin Photography

Don't forget to check out the pantry section in the Homemade Staples chapter, too! This may have been my favorite chapter to photograph, and it's loaded with  easy to digest (pun intended) ingredient and cooking information.

Oh She Glows Every Day Cookbook by Angela Liddon | photography by Ashley McLaughlin Photography

And now for that recipe...

Oh She Glows Every Day Cookbook by Angela Liddon | photography by Ashley McLaughlin Photography

This may seem like an unassuming recipe, but it's one you definitely shouldn't miss out on making. You never knew your love for lentils could grow this much. Seriously, these lentils are addicting. I found myself having to hold back from extra spoonfuls because one person should only eat so many lentils in a day. This is a fantastic staple to keep on hand for weeknights when you need to throw together a meal quickly (pair with rice or quinoa, sweet potatoes, avocado, etc.), and also when you're hungry and need a quick kick of protein. Having these lentils on hand might keep you (ahem, me) from digging into that bag of tortilla chips.

Print Recipe!

From Oh She Glows Every Day. Copyright ยฉ 2016, Glo Bakery Corporation. Reprinted by permission of Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited.

The Best Marinated Lentils

gluten-free, vegan | yields 4 cups

  • 1 cup uncooked French green lentils
  • 1/2 cup uncooked green or brown lentils
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced green onions (about 1 medium bunch), dark and light green parts only
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley leaves, minced
  • 1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and finely chopped

Pick over the lentils, discarding any debris. Rinse and drain the lentils and put them in a medium saucepan along with 4 cups (1L) of water. Bring to a boil over medium to high heat, then reduce heat to medium. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes, until tender.

In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, maple syrup, salt, and pepper. Stir in the green onions, parsley, and tomatoes.

Drain the lentil very well. Spoon them into the bowl with the other ingredients (it's okay if they are still warm) and stir well. Season with additional salt and pepper.

Serve immediately, or let cool slightly and then cover and marinate in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight. Stir well before serving. This dish will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week, or you can freeze it in a freezer-safe-zip-top bag with the air pressed out for up to 1 month. After thawing, I recommend adding extra dressing and salt to liven it up again.

Oh She Glows Every Day Cookbook by Angela Liddon | photography by Ashley McLaughlin Photography

That black and white freezer fudge I mentioned in my favorites list? Yep, that's it right there. I know you want a slice.

Thank you all so much for reading (or skimming) this insanely long post. This was such a huge project in my career, and I really wanted to share a lot of the details with you. Also, thank you for continuing to support me and this blog, even though it's been pretty quiet lately. To show my appreciation, I'm going to host a cookbook giveaway on Instagram starting later today. I'll also be creating IG stories making Angela's lentil recipe above. Be sure and check it all out!

xo

Ashley

Peach Almond Bread

Peach Almond Quick Bread | Edible Perspective

This post is sponsored by Bob's Red Mill.

Ohhhhh, peach almond bread.... You gave me a run for my money. I was |thisclose| to giving up on you. But thankfully, on Friday at 4pm, I conquered you and then stuffed my belly full of your peachy, bready goodness. After the photo shoot, of course.

But who am I kidding? I stuffed my belly full during the failed attempts as well. And in all seriousness (this is really serious stuff), this was one of the hardest baked recipes I've ever tried to tackle. There are similar recipes in the archives, but once you throw fresh, juicy fruit in the mix, it changes everything. I was really striving for a dense, but moist, but sturdy loaf. So many of the trials just didn't want to fully bake and were wet in the center. I think it had something to do with the peaches on top, which in a few attempts the peaches were caving in to the loaf after coming out of the oven. In one attempt, I tried adding an extra egg, but that led (I just typed "legg") a noticeable eggy flavor. And no one wants and egg-loaf!

My go-to baking mix as of this year is a mix of oat flour, sorghum flour, and almond flour. I used to use buckwheat instead of sorghum, but I wanted the more subtle flavor of sorghum flour in this loaf. I've found they bake very similarly, at least in my tests so far. I also chose almond flour instead of almond meal for a lighter texture and color. Almond meal contains the ground skins of raw almonds as well as the almonds, whereas almond flour is ground from blanched almonds. I love adding almond flour to my baked goods because it lends moisture and a delicate, soft texture to baked goods (due to the fat content). 

It's so convenient that you can go to most grocery stores now (not just natural food stores) and find the eye-catching display of Bob's Red Mill flours in the baking aisle. I feel like they've really changed the flour-game and offer so many options for gluten-free and gluten-filled bakers. They've been my favorite flour (and grain) supplier for awhile now, and a large part of that is because of the variety they offer, and of course, the quality. I've been using BRM flours for years + years now (hello, doughnut cookbook!), so it only made sense that I'd partner up with them this year to show you all just how much I love them. 

Don't forget to read the notes under the recipe, which will help guarantee your baking success!

Peach Almond Quick Bread | Edible Perspective
Peach Almond Quick Bread | Edible Perspective
Peach Almond Quick Bread | Edible Perspective
Peach Almond Quick Bread | Edible Perspective
Peach Almond Quick Bread | Edible Perspective

Print Recipe!

adapted from my: banana bread + triple chocolate quick bread

Peach Almond Bread

gluten-free/dairy-free, yields 1, 8x4/9x5 loaf

  • 3 medium peaches (just starting to ripen and slightly soft to the touch)
  • 1 cup gluten-free oat flour
  • 3/4 cup sorghum flour
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax meal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed muscovado sugar (or brown sugar), plus 1 tablespoon for dusting
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk (or soy/whole milk)
  • 1/3 cup applesauce 
  • 3 tablespoons refined avocado oil (or other baking oil)
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • sliced almonds, to top

Preheat your oven to 350ยฐ F. Place one strip of parchment in an 8x4 or 9x5 pan that overhangs the wide sides of the pan. Grease the short ends of the pan. 

Dice 1-2 of the unpeeled peaches into 1/4-inch cubes and measure 3/4 cup. Take another peach and cut 4 large pieces around the pit. Place cut side down and make about 16, 1/8-inch slices (no larger). 

In a large bowl whisk together the flours, flax, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Set aside.

In another bowl, whisk the eggs until the whites are completely dispersed (30sec). Whisk in the milk, applesauce, oil, vanilla, and almond extracts. Pour the wet into the dry and stir until you no longer see dry flour. (Batter will be thick.)

Fold in the diced peaches until evenly dispersed. Pour/scrape batter into your loaf pan and spread evenly. Place sliced peaches in 2 pinwheel patterns, trying not to overlap the peaches too much. Make sure to leave open space on top of the loaf. Sprinkle almonds in open areas and then dust the top of the loaf with about 1 tablespoon muscovado sugar.

Bake for 55-65 minutes (9x5 may take slightly less time) in the center rack of your oven. Toothpick test for doneness. You want the toothpick to be slightly moist (not fully dry or sticky). Let cool in the pan for at least 30 minutes, then carefully pick up by the overhanging parchment and let fully cool on a wire rack. Once cooled, gently slice with a sharp bread knife on a cutting board. Loaf holds together best once fully cooled. 

Keep stored in a sealed container at room temp (or in the fridge) for about 4 days.


Notes:

  • Sub flours at your own risk. 
  • Do not sub flax-eggs for the eggs.
  • Avoid adding more than 3/4 cup diced peaches to the bread or it will have a hard time cooking through.
  • If peaches are too ripe, they will not allow your loaf to cook properly. If peaches are rock hard, they won't have much flavor.
  • Avoid fully covering the top of your loaf with sliced peaches.
  • Melted coconut oil will work in this recipe. Best if other wet ingredients are at room temp when you whisk in the coconut oil.
Peach Almond Quick Bread | Edible Perspective

Summer isn't over until you've eaten at least 2 dozen peaches and made this loaf. Plenty of time left!

Thank you for all the LOVE on my last post. You are all the best! Happy Wednesday!

Ashley

Today's post is sponsored by Bob's Red Mill, and I received compensation + product for writing this piece. Opinions are always my own. If I didn't love it, you wouldn't hear about it. Thanks for your continued support!