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 © 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!



Vegan Shepherd's Pie

Welp. Our 3 weeks of “spring in winter” came to a screeching halt last week and now we’re back in the thick of winter. This means nothing but protein-packed, comforting meals are coming out of my kitchen.

Hence this recipe for vegan shepherd’s Pie.

vegan shepherd's pie |
vegan shepherd's pie |

This may also have something to do with St. Patty’s day being right around the corner. But mostly the, I need a hot, protein-packed meal in my belly 24/7 because it’s fa-reezing outside, reason.

I’m also working on a new and improved gluten-free Irish soda bread recipe but it’s still got a ways to go. Fingers crossed for that.

vegan shepherd's pie |
vegan shepherd's pie |

I first made this dish just after the new year. My parents were in town and my mom told me she and my dad had recently made and loved this recipe. I changed a few things, adding in rosemary instead of sage, using 1/2 tempeh and 1/2 grated extra firm tofu, and mixing yukon and sweet potatoes for the topping.

Thinking I was going to make super luscious and creamy potatoes for the topping I pureed the cooked potatoes in my food processor. When I went to scoop the potatoes onto the filling mixture they immediately sunk into the filling.

Lesson here. Mash these potatoes and go easy on the milk. The meal was still delicious but it kind of ended up more like shepherd’s creamy potato pie soup.

vegan shepherd's pie |
vegan shepherd's pie |

This time around I lessoned the broth a bit, swapped tempeh and tofu for lentils, added more peas, and threw a few cloves of garlic in.

vegan shepherd's pie |
vegan shepherd's pie |

Anyone who says a vegan meal can’t be filling is oh so very wrong.

I’m getting full just looking at this photo.

vegan shepherd's pie |
vegan shepherd's pie |

Print Recipe!

adapted from: Harvest Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie

Vegan Shepherd's Pie

gluten-free, vegan // yields 4-6 servings

mashed potatoes:

  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 1 1/2 pounds yukon gold potatoes
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • non-dairy milk
  • salt + pepper

pie filling:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons gluten-free tamari, divided
  • 3/4 pound potatoes, cubed - yukon, red, sweet, or a mixture (1/4 – 1/2 inch cubes)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried ground rosemary
  • 2 1/3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 cups cooked green or brown lentils, rinsed + drained
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons arrowroot starch (or cornstarch)
  • salt + pepper
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds (and/or pepitas)

For the mashed potatoes:

Peel (if desired) and cube potatoes. Steam or boil potatoes until fork tender. Mash with a potato masher or back of a fork with the olive oil and a few splashes of milk. Mash until creamy, adding more milk if needed. You want the potatoes very thick, so add milk in tablespoon increments. Add salt + pepper to taste. Set aside.

While the potatoes cooked I also cooked green lentils until they were just tender. Rinse and drain after cooking. You can also use canned.

For the filling:

While the potatoes are boiling heat the oil over medium in a dutch oven (or large, oven-safe pot). Once hot, add the onion, carrots, and 1 tablespoon tamari. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, thyme, and rosemary and stir for 30 seconds – 1 minute, until fragrant. Stir in the potatoes, broth, 1/4-1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and remaining tamari and bring to a boil. Simmer until the potatoes are just tender, about 12-18 minutes.

After adding the potatoes preheat your oven to 375°.

After the potatoes are tender, remove about 3 tablespoons of broth from the mixture and place in a bowl. Thoroughly whisk with the starch until there are no lumps.

Stir into the pot with the cooked lentils and let simmer for 2-3 minutes to thicken slightly. Taste and stir in more salt and pepper if desired.

If you aren’t using a dutch oven or oven-safe pot transfer the filling mixture to a casserole dish.

Scoop 3 1/2 – 4 cups mashed potatoes on top of the filling and gently spread in a ring or covering the entire top. Potatoes should not sink.

Sprinkle with almonds and/or pepitas and place in the oven (uncovered) for 25-30 minutes until bubbly and starting to brown.



  • Dried rosemary is very twig-like and needs to be ground to incorporate most recipes. I used a (wiped clean) coffee grinder. If using fresh, finely chop about 2 1/2 teaspoons.
  • Feel free to use 1 type of potato or use a mixture like I did. I didn’t want an overwhelming sweet potato flavor which is why I cut the mashed potatoes with half yukon gold. For the filling I used yukon, sweet, and red.
  • If you want ultra creamy potatoes be sure to peel them.
  • Do not puree your potatoes in a food processor. They’ll end up too soft and will sink into the filling mixture. (Trust me, I did this the first time around.)
  • The filling mixture will be a bit brothy coming out of the oven but thicken quickly once served and the mashed potatoes start to mix in.
  • Soy sauce can be subbed for GF tamari if you don’t need this to be gluten-free.
vegan shepherd's pie |
vegan shepherd's pie |
vegan shepherd's pie |
vegan shepherd's pie |

I’m pretty sure over half of the country is in a deep freeze right now, which means over half of the country should make this recipe. Pronto.

No Monday complaints with this bowl in front of my face. Have a good one!