Healthy Happy Vegan Kitchen: An Interview with Kathy Patalsky

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on May 3, 2015

Hello beautiful month of May!

Are you as pumped for a new month as I am? I’m looking forward to this month a lot. For starters, I get to celebrate my first Mother’s Day with Adriana, Eric, and my mom who is flying out this week for a visit. I’m so darn excited. Adriana has changed so much since we were there visiting over Christmas. Eric and I are also going on our first date night since becoming parents (!), thanks to my mom babysitting while she’s here. The following week is my birthday which brings visits with friends and family, including meeting our new cousin. Then we’re ending the month celebrating my Grandpa and Diane’s 50th wedding anniversary and another quick visit with my mom and stepdad. It’s going to be quite the festive month! The first 4 months of 2015 have been intense between cookbook creating, parenthood, and trying to find time for writing and sharing on this blog, but I know I can’t keep burning the candle at both ends like I have been. I need this month to replenish, recharge, and reboot. So I figure what better than a birthday month to do so.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost 7 years that I’ve been writing this blog. When I started I was fresh out of grad school and newly married. I truly had no idea what I wanted to do in life, or rather, what would make me the happiest. Even though I haven’t been able to post as much as I’d like to lately due to my second cookbook creation and parenthood, I’m always thinking about those of you reading, ideas for this blog + recipes, and how I can improve this space. I have so many goals for the future of this blog…I just need to find a way to make it happen! It’s also funny to think that there was once a time in my life when I didn’t read blogs (or even know they existed) because now a day doesn’t go by when I don’t check in on my favourites. It’s been super inspiring to follow my favourite bloggers over the years and see them turn passions and hobbies into successful careers. There is nothing better than seeing someone do what they love.


Someone who has always inspired me is Kathy Patalsky from Healthy Happy Life. I’ve been reading her blog for years and I’ve always admired her positive energy and passion for creating colourful and inspiring vegan recipes. Not to mention, she is such a genuine person inside and out. I remember the first time I stumbled upon her site my jaw dropped. Kathy has a talent of creating vivid imagery that hooks you in and makes you excited about a plant-based diet.


photo credit: Kathy Patalsky

Aside from being an inspiring force in the blog world, Kathy just launched her second cookbook this past week, Healthy Happy Vegan Kitchen! She recently took the time to answer some of my questions about the book and her life in general. Read on for the interview!


photo credit: Kathy Patalsky

Congrats on the launch of Healthy Happy Vegan Kitchen! Can you tell us a bit about your new cookbook?

The book is a mix of fan favorites already developed and posted on my blog and also new-to-you recipes. But most of the new recipes are “old favorites” for me, so developing the recipes was not a huge challenge. I really wanted to take recipes that are timeless in MY kitchen and present them to my readers in a book that they can hold, instead of just appearing on my blog.

As a recipe developer, I’ve found that certain chapters come much easier than others. I’m curious which chapter was the most challenging to develop recipes for?

The most challenging part of the book for me was the desserts section. There are always SO many ways you can change up substitutions in a baking recipe, so trying to decide on ONE way to present the recipe was very tough for me. I still read through and think, shoot I should have said you can substitute the silken tofu with mashed ripe bananas in this muffin recipe! Etc. But placing all those subs in a cookbook can get challenging.

I can relate as I often drive myself crazy wanting to test a million and one substitutions! So what’s your favourite dessert recipe in the book then?

I would have to say my Trail Trekker Cookies (I love a nutty, rustic chocolate chip cookie!) or something super indulgent like my Peanut Butter Chocolate Silk Pie with Peanut Cookie Crust or even my Caramel Apple Pie.

You had me at trail…is that weird? Let’s say you’re having someone over for dinner who is very skeptical about vegan recipes. Which appetizer, entrée, and dessert would you serve to win her/him over?

Great question! I love serving vegan newbies comfort food. So I would go with oven-roasted crispy taters with dipping sauces, my 5-step kale salad, sweet potato veggie burgers with avocado (maybe add some tempeh bacon!)  and maybe some classic chocolate chip cookies for dessert.

Vegan mac and cheese, vegan mashed potatoes or a vegan Philly cheese sandwich – also big faves for skeptics I have encountered!

I don’t think you can ever go wrong with comfort food! Good call. Which recipe do you feel is the most creative/unique in the book?

I have to be honest, I wasn’t going for super unique for this book! I really wanted to fill the pages with go-to classic vegan and (veganized!) favorite recipes. But if I think hard, I would say my white velvet roasted soup. It might sound ordinary, but using a sticky sweet oven-baked white sweet potato for this thick and velvety soup is soooo good and unique. If you are a sweet potato fanatic like me, give it a try.

Another creative recipe is my Pesto Chickpea Bowl which includes pesto smothered skillet chickpeas with fresh tomato garnish. Served with rice. Super yummy for pesto lovers.

Both of those recipes sound amazing but I have to disagree with you – I think your recipes are super creative! This is your second cookbook (your first being 365 Vegan Smoothies), what has been the most surprising thing about writing cookbooks? The most difficult thing?

Surprising: how many rounds of edits need to occur!

Difficult: staying organized. I have a creative spirit and when it comes to creating content I love freedom, but when you are writing a cookbook you really have to break out your virtual or real chalkboard and set a game plan and stick to it!

Oh yes, the multiple rounds of edits. It’s not for the faint of heart. Any words of advice for others looking to some day write their own cookbook?

I actually wrote an awesome blogpost for my friend Heidi of blogger babes! You can read my answers here.


photo credit: Kathy Patalsky

Great post. Let’s get to know you a bit better. What are three things about you and your life that your fans might not know?

I feel like lately I try to be an open book on my blog, but I like this challenge! Let’s see..

1. I was in high school when Britney Spears came on the scene, so I have a serious love affair with dancing around my living room to Britney and any other 90’s pop I can sneak onto my iTunes. And yes, I know all the moves to “oops I did it again.” Also of that era, my fave movie is Titanic and if I ever meet Leonardo DiCaprio I will probably faint. KiddingNotKidding.

2. My healthy lifestyle hasn’t always been perfect. As I have recently spoken out about on my own blog and Gena’s blog (choosing raw) I struggled with a pretty severe eating disorder and self esteem issues all through high school and even college. It is something that I think needs to be shared because I never thought I would “get better” but the place I am now is beyond any happiness I could have envisioned for myself way back then.

3. I was painfully shy growing up. I was that girl in class that was always friendly and had loads of friends but was mostly quiet and shy in class. But then I would join drama and sing in choir and become a completely different person. Totally open and free. I like to think my shyness is mostly gone and now I am just free. I used to care way too much about what others thought of me. Over that! And much happier for it. My best advice to young people ever is to stop comparing yourself to others and start focusing on getting to know YOU and develop your own personality and unique shiny spirit.

Love your honesty Kathy. (And now I’m feeling super nostalgic for the 90’s too). Where do you see yourself in 5 years time? Any plans for the future you’d like to tease us with?

I see myself happy. No matter what path I take, I will always put my happiness first. I have to. I love writing books but I do not have one planned for a while. I want to give myself a little break on that front. I hope my other website FindingVegan has grown even more! I love that site so much and I love working on it. I will still be blogging in five years, for sure. I also still see myself in California. I would love to start a family but who knows if that will happen. Life is so full of surprises so I am just happy to see what adventures await me around the next turn in my path. And of course sharing those journeys on my blog and social media is something I will continue to love doing.

I think that’s a great note to end on – making happiness a priority. Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions and also for sharing this inspiring collection of vegan recipes with the world! Congrats again on all of your success with Healthy Happy Life, FindingVegan, 365 Vegan Smoothies, and now Healthy Happy Vegan Kitchen!

Let's get social! Follow Angela on Instagram @ohsheglows, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest

Previous Posts

{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

Anne May 3, 2015 at 8:28 am

Love this! I adore you both!


Laura ~ Raise Your Garden May 4, 2015 at 6:10 am

Loving this interview, I’m most intrigued about the Vegan Mac N Cheese, Mashed potatoes and Philly Sandwich, those are the exact types of foods that I feel like it’s toughest to give up on a plant based diet. Now that I’m hoping (fingers crossed!!!! to get some very good news on Mother’s Day…double fingers crossed! I’m trying to up my eating to a more plant based diet to help more than just myself. Congrats on your first Mother’s Day! So exciting. We’re going hiking to the Eternal Flame and I’m packing a picnic lunch =)


Susanne May 3, 2015 at 9:05 am

Great interview. It’s always fascinating to read about how others have found their passion and happiness and made a career of it. Thanks for sharing so many resources.


Tiffany May 3, 2015 at 9:35 am

Hi Angela, I love this post! Congrats Kathy!

By the way, the recipe index on your blog is missing. I use to be able to search by ingredient.


Angela (Oh She Glows) May 4, 2015 at 8:39 am

Hey Tiffany,

Do you mean the “Recipage”? If so, we removed the link from the blog header as I hadn’t updated Recipage in years (when you search on there it only will show you older recipes, not my new ones). Sorry about that! I recommend using the “recipes” tab at the top and navigating by category. I can also look into creating a “search by ingredient” function for the blog. If you do want to access the old Recipage you can find it here hope this helps!


Tiffany May 4, 2015 at 9:10 am

Hi Angela,

Thank you so much for your reply! I absolutely loved the recipage! It wasn’t just about looking by ingredient but the layout was amazing. You could scroll through so many recipes quickly and search by keywords. Right now going through the links at the top makes it tough because you have so many recipes and I can’t narrow it down if I remember a particular one with a special ingredient. Thank you so much for taking the time to respond, welcoming feedback, and providing me with the link. I’ve tabbed your new recipes in feedly but I love to revisit your older recipes too. Can’t wait for OSG cookbook #2! Xoxo


Angela (Oh She Glows) May 4, 2015 at 9:13 am

No problem, happy to help when I can!
We’re currently looking into giving our recipe organization a huge overhaul. I really hope it’s something we can do in the near future because I agree, there is a lot left to be desired when it comes to quickly locating recipes. In the meantime, the google search on the sidebar works pretty good for quickly pulling up a search term, although I know not ideal.


Cassie May 3, 2015 at 10:28 am

Great story! I love that she overcame her eating disorder and shyness. I deal with the same introverted characteristic!


Tammy Root May 3, 2015 at 10:32 am

Just ordered Kathy’s cookbook! Thanks for “introducing” her to me. :)


Anna May 3, 2015 at 12:53 pm

love this!!!! thanks for sharing


Fanya @ Bliss half FULL May 3, 2015 at 1:04 pm

What a wonderful interview, thanks for introducing us to Kathy, she seems like a wonderful person and another amazing blogger to follow.


Ceara @ Ceara's Kitchen May 3, 2015 at 4:56 pm

What a great interview and I can’t wait to get my hands on adding Kathy’s cookbook to my collection! Love her recipes and blog! :)


Ceara @ Ceara's Kitchen May 3, 2015 at 4:57 pm

to add to my collection** lol!


Senna May 4, 2015 at 1:08 am

Welcome back! It’s been a while since your last post, and I figured you’ve been swept away with parenthood and the new cookbook. I was also worried if you had lost any confidence due to any negative comments/viewers per one of your last posts. Keep feeding that inspiration by following your favorite bloggers and just know that you inspire me and thousands of others the same! Hope you have an excellent birthday month full of festivities, family and love!


Angela (Oh She Glows) May 4, 2015 at 8:31 am

Thank you for thinking of me! I think 3 weeks was my longest break from blogging ever…hah. I’ve been swamped with cookbook work (trying to get as much done before summer as I can so I can enjoy my summer!) so any time I’d have for blogging was lost over the past few weeks. Hope to get back into a regular schedule again though!


Jessica @ TwoGreenPeas May 4, 2015 at 6:58 am

Kathy’s cookbook is definitely on my shopping list this week! Looking forward to your second cookbook too Angela, everything you’ve posted on instagram looks delish :)


Anna Lee May 4, 2015 at 11:28 am

I love Kathy! Her cookbook had been on my wishlist since I found out she was writing a second one! And I absolutely cannot wait for your second one. Those instagram teases are just cruel haha


Marissa May 4, 2015 at 11:45 am

This is a great interview! I’ve been following Kathy’s blog for a long time, and I think it’s so great that she has another cookbook out. I love that her recipes (like the ones here on Oh She Glows) appeal to everyone, vegan and nonvegan. Also, can I say how much I adore her answer to the “future plans” question? Such an amazing attitude to have!!


Svetlana May 4, 2015 at 1:05 pm

Hi Angela! So good to hear from you again :) …My little guy is just two weeks older than Adriana, so I can imagine how swamped you must be with the second cookbook and taking care of Adriana! I must say I admire you, it’s NOT easy! Happy first Mother’s day and birthday!


Ana @ Ana's Rocket Ship May 4, 2015 at 2:49 pm

I love the interview! And happy Mothers Day and Happy Birthday!!!!!!!!!! I hope you have a really great month!! (and that it gives you lots of inspiration so you come back with lots of yumminess for us :P )


Jennifer Harmon {Peppers and Peaches} May 4, 2015 at 3:22 pm

I love this interview. You and Kathy have the first blogs that I remember ever looking at. Now you two are my go-to bloggers and my main inspiration for starting my own blog in August of 2014. While I am very small time, you guys have motivated and brightened many of my days with your positive attitudes and healthy plant based recipes. I will die happy if I can reach even half of the people you guys have. Keep it up ladies! You are a couple of amazing women!


Christine (The Raw Project) May 4, 2015 at 6:20 pm

Thanks for the great interview, always wonderful to read what inspires others to the plant based lifestyle!


marion May 4, 2015 at 7:21 pm

Wow, thanks for sharing this interview. I now have another wonderful blogger to follow, and some more scrummie recipies to try. Already planning to cook up those chickpeas and make a burger!


Kara May 4, 2015 at 9:10 pm

Thanks for this post! I adore your cookbook and will definitely check this one out. Thank you for your dedication to the plant based journey!


Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat May 4, 2015 at 9:33 pm

I love this interview, and Kathy’s recipes too! The two of you are both bloggers I’m inspired by and I’m pretty sure Kathy’s cookbook is another one I need to add to my wish list. When I moved out here to Vancouver I had to pare down my collection and leave some in storage at my mums (yours, Ange, was the first one in my suitcase to come out west!) but I’m feeling the need to get Kathy’s book now too! I love her honesty, the vibrant photos, and her ‘make-happiness-a-priority’ philosophy. Great post!


Sara May 4, 2015 at 10:17 pm

Does the cookbook have lots of gluten and soy free recipes?
(I’ve been trying to find another vegan cookbook that I love as much as OSG! :)


Angela (Oh She Glows) May 5, 2015 at 1:16 pm

Hi Sara,

I’m not sure of the exact break down, but there are many recipes containing gluten and soy. So you might find it a bit challenging in that regard, unless you are willing to try your own substitutions. Thanks for your kind words about my cookbook!


Stacy @ Nourishing Health May 5, 2015 at 11:14 am

I love this interview! I’ve had such a great time “getting to know” Kathy through her blog recently and am having the BEST TIME trying out all the new recipes in her book. They’re fabulous and most certainly creative and unique! Delicious!


Angela @ Food Angel May 5, 2015 at 4:22 pm

I’m not familiar with Kathy- thanks for introducing us to her! I’m excited to check her blog out. I hope you get to relax a little this month- you deserve it!! :-)


sandra B May 5, 2015 at 5:40 pm

I can’t wait to try out your new recipes. I am a serious food lover and refused to get cook books for the last 5 years, but I bought your first book. I thought it worthy of owning, and I have shared so much of it with many others. Thanks!!!


Helen May 6, 2015 at 1:36 pm

After you post. I decided to order the book. Can’t wait for it to come. I will update on each of the recipe that I cook and give a review.


Roy Hansen May 6, 2015 at 10:56 pm

Since switching to a vegan regimen I have to say that I’ve been feeling so much better, have so much more energy, skin seems to glow, and there’s no skin breakouts at all. Food is cheaper and I can feel how much healthier it is.


Stacey May 7, 2015 at 9:20 am

Hello Roy! I am also feeling the same thing and people really notice it. They say that I have this certain glow that they couldn’t explain. I told them that I just changed my diet :)


Kim Adams Morgan May 7, 2015 at 2:14 pm

So glad I found your website. My husband and I do a mix of vegan/vegetarian with gluten free. It always includes organic and non-GMO foods. It is wonderful how much better you feel once you start eating healthier. Love the interview. I’m a coach/consultant and blogger and I help people turn their passions into businesses. I’m so glad to see you highlight it here. Your work should be what you love to do.


Christina May 7, 2015 at 10:31 pm

I hope you have new recipes coming soon, it’s been awhile!


Erin May 8, 2015 at 8:51 am

I love the interview! I’ve been following both blogs for a while now, and it’s wonderful to see them intertwine. Keep the tasty recipes coming!


Caitlin M. May 8, 2015 at 4:44 pm

Great post! Ordering to stash next to my OSG cookbook!


Brenda May 8, 2015 at 9:03 pm

Angela — I have two children who are anaphylactic to dairy and all kinds of nuts, so last fall I purchased your cookbook. I have found in the past that vegan cookbooks are a pretty good source for new ideas on feeding them. I had never heard of your blog (I must have been living under a rock), so I wasn’t familiar with you or your recipes. After paging through, I was so bummed because many of your recipes contained nuts. Sadly, I returned it. A couple of weeks ago, my kids had a routine visit to their allergy specialist. We had expressed interest in almonds, pecans and walnuts, so he did the skin test on both of my kids and they passed with flying colours! (Unfortunately, they still cannot have peanut, cashew or pistachio… or dairy..) We (me, especially as I do the cooking), were so excited that to celebrate we stopped at the bookstore to buy treats. My kids each picked out a book, and I re-purchased the Oh She Glows cookbook! I have made your granola, the Oh She Glows Bars, and a variety of other things too. I cannot wait until your new cookbook is finished. I do have one quick question for you — have you ever tried to make “Cashew Cream” with different nuts, such as almonds? My son is still allergic to cashews, so I was wondering if you could sub in a different nut? Thank you so much! I myself, am enjoying eating almonds, pecans and walnuts again. I have to say that I am forever hopeful that they will outgrow their other allergies. As a mother who has seen her children alienated because of their allergies, I totally appreciate your approach on how you are choosing to raise your own child. Bravo to you! Thanks again!


Angela (Oh She Glows) May 11, 2015 at 8:09 am

Hi Brenda,

Thank you for your kind words. In my Layered Raw Taco Salad I made a version with Macadamia nuts. You would want to make sure that would work with your childrens allergies though.


Gena May 10, 2015 at 6:25 am

Wonderful interview!! I love Kathy’s blog, and her new book. She brings such color and heart to vegan cooking, and I appreciate that she shares a realistic vision of what healthy living looks like — with all of its ups and downs and twists and turns and ultimate triumphs.


kristy May 11, 2015 at 9:49 pm

I love this interview! I want to buy her cookbook even more!


Ruth B May 13, 2015 at 1:54 pm

I just bought this cookbook and I love it! I feel like I could live off of your cook book Angela and this new gem! :)


Tziporah Roseberger May 13, 2015 at 5:15 pm

Looking forward to checking out the cookbook! On a side note i find it fascinating how many people find healing from eating disorders in vegan diets.


Detox Girl May 29, 2015 at 7:58 am

thanks for this :)
Kathy seems like a great girl


Cancel reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: