Friday FAQs is a new series on Oh She Glows featuring your questions about OSG recipes, substitution ideas, cooking methods, ingredients, and tools. My goal for this series is to share what I’ve learned in my kitchen over the past 8 years, and hopefully inspire you to try new plant-based ingredients, cooking methods, recipes, and more! Feel free to shoot your questions my way via social media or the blog and I’ll select a handful each week to feature. See my first Friday FAQs post here.
Happy Earth Day, everyone! I hope this week’s Friday FAQs inspires you to whip up some plant-based meals in honour of Earth Day. Today’s feature is jam-packed, so let’s get right to it!
Q1: I just bought your cookbook and my very first recipe is your veggie burgers. I am doubling the batch…with the extra, do you prefer to cook them and freeze or freeze the patties then cook them?
A: Hi Laurie, Oh how exciting! I prefer to freeze the cooked and cooled patties. Once the cooked burgers have cooled completely, I wrap each burger individually, then place them all into a large freezer-safe zip bag. I press out as much air as I can, zip it up, and freeze for up to 4 weeks. You can thaw individual burgers in the fridge or on the counter and then reheat in a skillet. If I know I’ll be freezing the burgers, sometimes I’ll cook them a few minutes less just to ensure they don’t dry out during the freezing/reheating process. I hope you enjoy the cookbook—let me know how you like the burgers!
Q2: I just recently got put on a diet and it is gluten-free/paleo. I am struggling with finding recipes for snacks that are not sweet. I love sweets and chocolate, but that is all I have been eating lately because those are the recipes that I am finding. Do you have ideas for salty snacks? Also, I recently bought chia seeds and other than having them as oatmeal with almond milk and fruit, I have no clue what to do with them.
A: My go-to savoury snacks are hummus with crackers or veggies, avocado toast, or roasted chickpeas (such as my Salt and Vinegar Roasted Chickpeas). As for chia seed recipes, I recommend trying out my Endurance Crackers for a super easy (and paleo-friendly) recipe that packs in a ton of chia seeds. They are great with dips or simply topped with sliced avocado and pink salt! For non-savoury options, you could try making my (Almost) Instant Chocolate Chia Pudding, Raspberry Chia Seed Jam, or Chia Fresca.
Q3: Hi Angela, I was wondering if I could go out on a limb and ask a huge favor. I am getting married in August and my family is helping with the food. I would really like all or most of the side dishes to be vegan but with the price of food lately I also want to be budget conscious. There will be around 150 guests. I’m wondering if you could suggest a few of your recipes that might suit my requirements? I know you are very busy so I will totally understand if this is not doable for you. Thanks for sharing all of your wonderful recipes in the blog and your cookbook.
A: Congrats Michelle! It’s so great that your family is helping out with the food for the wedding. In terms of choosing budget-friendly vegan sides, my best advice would be to stick with dishes featuring in-season produce: fruits and veggies are often a bit less expensive when they’re in season, so it’s a great way to save a little on the cost of ingredients. Since your wedding is in August you can take advantage of having so many local vegetables and fruits in season! Also, if there are ingredients you know you’ll need and that you can stock up on further in advance, keep an eye out for coupons and sales. A few recipes I’d recommend are my Creamy Avocado Potato Salad (p. 107 from The Oh She Glows Cookbook), Long Weekend Grilled Salad (p. 115), The Best Shredded Kale Salad, Mashed Potatoes with Easy Mushroom Gravy (p. 207), and Crowd-Pleasing Vegan Caesar Salad. You could also roast and season vegetables, like in my Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Fingerling Potatoes and Rosemary recipe, or my Roasted Rainbow Carrots with Cumin-Coriander Tahini Sauce (p. 191)—but some of those might get tricky, depending on oven space. Also, don’t forget the simplicity (and great flavour!) of a homemade gazpacho. You can definitely make that one ahead. I’d imagine that some of the side dishes can be made in larger batches to accommodate the size of your wedding, and can be partially prepped in advance (for example, the salad dressings and vegan parm can be done ahead) so there’s less to do day-of. I hope this helps get the wheels turning! Have a great wedding.
Q4: Hi Angela, I’m having trouble keeping the Glo Bars together. I don’t have brown rice syrup, so I’ve been using maple syrup. Is that why they won’t stay together?
A: Hi Lisa, Unfortunately maple syrup doesn’t work great as a binder in this recipe (I’ve tried it many times using different combos…oh how I wish it did!). The only binder I’ve had success with is brown rice syrup. Its super thick and sticky consistency really helps the bars stick together. I hope you enjoyed the Glo Bar pieces anyway! I sure wouldn’t pass them up if I saw some crumbles on a tray. ;)
Q5: What is nutritional yeast? Is it the same as yeast for bread?
A: Great question! The two types of yeast are actually quite different: The yeast used in bread is what’s known as “active” yeast, and it works as a leavening agent (helping your baked goods to rise and become lighter); nutritional yeast, on the other hand, is “inactive,” dead-form yeast. Nutritional yeast is great for lending a cheesy, nutty flavour to vegan recipes, and is often fortified with B vitamins. I love adding it to sauces, gravies, and dressings, or sprinkling it on popcorn or garlic bread. A few of my favourite recipes using nutritional yeast are my Luxurious 7-Vegetable and “Cheese” Soup, Life-Affirming Warm Nacho Dip (p. 83 of The Oh She Glows Cookbook), and Broccoli & Cashew Cheese-Quinoa Burrito (p. 159).
Comments of the week:
“To be honest, I’ve been struggling a bit with your blog as of late. What I love about my favorite blogs (which used to include OSG!) is that it feels like having a friend in your life with all sorts of interesting stories, pictures, or recipes. The ones that truly stick with me have a presence in my life and it’s a fun ride to tag along as life changes.
I bought the first cookbook and will probably buy the second cookbook but I feel as though I’ve really lost my connection here. You were updating the blog through being pregnant and moving and releasing a cookbook, even updating monthly when you had your daughter, lately it’s been basically silent.
I hate to admit it, but I’m really disappointed. I knew you were working on this app and that was a big reason it was so quiet. After all the waiting, I can’t even buy the app because I’m an Android user. I know you have a lot going on in your family and I’m excited for the next step for your family, but I feel as though this community has taken, not even a backseat, but like the spare car left at home. I’m hoping that isn’t the case, but it certainly doesn’t feel like the connection I used to feel to the plant based community here.
Good luck with all your endeavors, I’m glad to have been a part of it for awhile and truly wish you well!”
Hi there, I can tell from your comment that you care a lot, and I really appreciate your honesty. I have to be honest with you too; I felt a rush of guilt, sadness, and embarrassment as I read your comment. I think the hard part is that it’s impossible to see someone’s entire life and what they are going through from a blog or social media.
I can tell you one thing I’ve realized over the past few years: I’m not perfect at juggling big life changes/demands and work projects, especially when they happen all at once. Creativity is a funny thing at times; I can pour everything into a single project when I need to, but then I feel burned out in other areas. I’m not very good at switching back and forth among several demanding creative pursuits.
I can, however, promise you that every day, I’m trying my absolute best and putting 100% into everything I do. Is there room for improvement? Absolutely!! I know this more than anyone; I’m incredibly tough on myself and strive for progress daily. I certainly don’t have all the answers, and know I’ve dropped the ball in various areas of my life as I’ve tried to balance motherhood, writing and completing a second cookbook, creating an app, a second pregnancy, blogging, and starting up a newsletter over the past 1 1/2 years. If I can’t give 100% into a blog post, I will not post, because I want to give everything I can into each post and recipe, even though it may mean my content slows. I never publish something “just to get a post up” or to meet a quota.
I totally agree with you that the blog has had to take a backseat at various times (just like other things have in my life too), but I didn’t have another solution at the time. As I mentioned, sometimes I have to focus all my creative energy into one project to meet deadlines. It’s just how my brain works the most efficiently. Trust me that no one feels as much conflict over this as I do. I do think that I can develop better strategies in the future, though!
As I reflected on your comment this week, I also had a bit of an epiphany. I realized that I never give myself credit for all of the things I am doing successfully. Eric mentioned that I never once stopped to appreciate or celebrate the things I accomplished as a new mother. All I could think about each time was how behind I was with other things. How many of us don’t stop to reflect on all that we’ve accomplished and how far we’ve come? I bet it’s a lot of us.
I also feel like our community has spread far beyond the blog. I connect with thousands of readers a week on social media, reply to dozens of comments and questions daily, share behind the scenes on Snapchat, and more. I hope anyone who subscribes to my newsletter also sees the passion I put into it. I write a personal letter in each issue (among other content such as a Q+A and recipe flashbacks) talking about what’s going on in my life. I’m always trying to connect with my readers in diverse ways, even though I may miss the mark at times!
Despite the conflicting feelings I’ve had in recent years (and probably should’ve talked about more openly, but I feared it would come across as ungrateful), I’ve never once regretted pursuing new projects, taking risks, and especially, taking the time to focus on my family these past 19 months. Many times, I’ve delayed blog posts or other work in favour of spending time with my daughter and I’m more than ok with that. I have one shot at my time here and I have to trust my heart, even if it doesn’t work out perfectly in the end or please everyone all the time.
I can’t promise you that my blog will be everything you’re looking for or need, but I can promise that I continue to give 100% of myself into each post and project, even if it’s sometimes hard to see. And of course, I will take your feedback to heart and try to improve. I’ve never for a second thought that I had this whole thing figured out.
I’m sorry that after waiting all winter you were not able to download our app. I can promise you if we had the budget to develop across multiple platforms simultaneously, we definitely would have. Our intent was never to leave anyone out, but to begin this new journey and hope we have the means to grow in the future.
I so appreciate your support for my cookbooks, and even if you don’t continue to read my blog, I’m very thankful that you enjoy my work!
Take care, Angela
“Hello, Ms. Liddon,
I am an interpretive park ranger at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. I prepare lunches for our park’s living history program volunteers once a month during living history day. Since I switched to a completely plant-based diet a few years ago, I started making vegan lunches for our volunteers and staff, normally 15 to 25 people each month. I found your blog and it has become one of my favorite “go to” places for recipes. I didn’t know how the volunteers would react to this change in lunches, as only one of them is vegetarian. It turned out that every one of them loves and compliments the lunches and I’m happy to say that every month there are virtually no leftovers. Thank you so much for being such an inspiration! I’ve told them about your blog.
Peter K., Oakland, CA”
Hi Peter, This is so fantastic to hear! I’m honoured that you use my recipes for your lunches, and even more so that they are such a hit with your group. What a great way to spread the plant-based love. I hope you all enjoy many delicious meals to come!
I wanted to let you know that you are amazing at what you do and your effort and dedication is evident in everything that I have seen. I have been reading your blog for years and we went through a pregnancy together, mine born in Nov 2014, but anyways, you have been such a great motivator/inspiration for me in a lot of ways!! I think you are doing an wonderful job. I am even contemplating switching to an Apple phone just so I can download your app! I’m due for an upgrade so that isn’t totally crazy, right?!?!
Just wanted to chime in that I too felt upset at reading the comment about how you’re blogging lately. As a mom of two with my own business and as an occasional blogger, I know exactly how hard it is to find balance, and the pressure of moms these days to be perfect in all areas. Perhaps the words came across with not the right sentiment as others have pointed out. But sometimes you have more to give to your business and other times you need to give more to yourself and your family. You can’t force a story in a blog post if you’re not motivated – it should be authentic and feel right to you. I’d love to see more women supporting women and not expecting anyone to be perfect. I’m grateful for all the recipes you give us for free, and I think it’s awesome that you’re spending precious time with your family.
Hi Angela! I have been a long time reader and a long time fan of your first cookbook, but for some reason, I don’t seem to get notified whenever you post something new! :( Anyways, I’m glad that you are doing well and I think your response to the first comment of the week was really kind and reasonable. I’m sure that reader meant well but was just being brutally honest with you. It’s comments like those that make YOU a better blogger and entrepreneur because you learn how disconnected you can become from your content and your real life. I’m not saying that you should ever lose sight of reality, but it’s important that you give it your all and I believe that you do that already! :D
I got married back in September and it was entirely vegan, gluten free, soy free, and corn free. Various allergies and food restrictions from a variety of guests. No complaints! Everyone loved the food. Two things that we had that were from Angela was the nacho dip from the cookbook (we tend to add a black beans and pinto beans, then replace the marinara with our favorite salsa and leave out the onion due to the salsa having onion). We also had the black bean quinoa salad with cumin lime dressing. Both were very well received, everyone, absolutely everyone, wanted the recipe for the nacho dip.
I also just wanted to say thank you for having so many allergy friendly recipes. I became vegan just over three years ago and your recipes made that transition easy and tasty, then I started experimenting with soy and found out I had a soy allergy and then developed a wheat allergy after some stomach problems. Anyway, I’m always able to turn to your blog and your (amazing) cookbook to find things that I can eat or easily adjust.
Oh, for the glo bars shouldn’t something like corn syrup work as well. Just something that is really viscous. Honey, brown rice syrup, corn syrup. I try to avoid the last and don’t eat honey, but those would also work I think.
Thanks for all your lovely posts and recipes, I just have a quick comment regarding Q1, you mention that you wrap each burger individually, then place them all into a large freezer-safe zip bag… are these reusable wraps and bags? I think the greatest part of eating vegan is that you are eating in a sustainable and environmentally conscious manner, however some of that is negated if we double wrap everything in plastic. :)
Ditto the first few comments above! I’ve always loved this blog and continue to do so, although I do miss the more frequent posts. You are accomplishing amazing things and are still always connecting, love your new newsletter & loved this post, thank you for being so gracious, wise, and lovely (as always!). Long time reader & fan :)
I do feel sympathy for the commentor, some of the comments to the comment are also harsh. It was obviously hard to write and as you say came from a place of love. I respect you for thinking about the comment and responding, not an easy thing to do. My favourite thing about the blog was the regular food postings (now is, not was. Friday FAQ sounds regular). I bought the book and the app as a way of supporting the blog. While I understand that you never want to give less than 100% to this blog, sometimes perfection a hindrance and a burden. An 80% effort will still be great post and your readers will get something from it. Finally I wish you all the very best. I’m very glad you’ve pulled back from sharing about your family but a Sketchie update is always welcome (is his health OK?).
I haven’t left a post before but the comment you shared from last week tore at my heart strings and I wanted to personally reach out and tell you I think you are AMAZING!
Like you, I am in my early 30s and this past September my husband and I welcomed a little boy into our life. While not vegan, I am passionate about healthy eating and cooking/baking with real food. I probably make at least one of your recipes a week and have referred back to your weekly/monthly baby posts for comfort as I wade through my first year of motherhood.
Each time I receive one of your blog updates I am truly impressed by all you have managed to accomplish, especially after having your daughter. I love that you are real and that you make family a priority. I like to keep busy too, but since having my son I am finding more and more that I want to slow down and soak up the moments. We have become a go-go-go society and I applaud you for taking the energy to address the post and stand behind your priorities. In doing so you help make it okay for people to choose their families over their work sometimes and achieve balance in their lives.
I’ve been admiring you for so long and still love you and feel like you’re really a supermom and a super woman for getting so much accomplished while taking care your little ones.
And you know what? A little down time shows that you are a real human and you prioritize things like sitting down with your family to eat dinner vs an obsessive workaholic who would eat at the computer while their kids eat in front of the cartoons playing. And I am sure that happens…
Sometimes I wonder how these ‘perfect’ blogger moms really do it? Are they really doing so much with their kids or just styling and shooting content then staying up till 2am to update their blog…?
Basically thank you for being real and honest and putting your family and other life priorities (like growing another human and dealing with hormones, tiredness etc… ) first.
All the best mama – you are doing great!! <3
Angela, WELL SAID on the response to the comment. As a mom of a 2 year old who started my own business this year, I can completely relate. I am constantly struggling to find some sort of balance between being a mommy, wife, professional, friend, daughter, etc. I am so impressed with all you have accomplished, and I’m glad you are realizing it is important to pat yourself on the back…because you ARE successful. We are all just trying to do the best we can, and that’s all we can do, right? Keep it up–we enjoy any post, newsletter, book or instagram photo you choose to share, when you choose to share.
Wow! Such heart and passion. I too have missed your presence here, but like you said, life is a balancing game, and when you’re hard on yourself, can be quite heartbreaking to hear the tough feedback! Rest assured, I know how it goes, and I think we all do! Keep up the amazing progress. You are an inspiration!!
Just love your cookbook and website. I just have a question when you put coconut milk in your recipes do you mean canned or the refrigerator carton kind?
In the last few months I have been trying to eat a more plan based diet. Your first cookbook is amazing and I use it constantly! Loving the app as well! Can’t wait to see what’s in the next cookbook as I do have two toddlers at home so I am looking forward to the kid tested recipes?. Quick question….I saw that you drizzled a hummus and vinegar dressing over your cucumbers, it looks amazing and I would love to know what you used in it!
Thanks again for such awesome recipes!
Hi Lia, Haha – yes I sure love that snack during this pregnancy!! All I do is add a couple big spoonfuls of hummus into a small glass and then add a tiny bit of white vinegar to thin it slightly (be careful not to add too much and make it super runny – you still want a thick-ish texture so it sticks to the cukes). I have to warn you – it’s quite sour thanks to the vinegar, but if you’re craving that flavour there is really nothing better. ;) So glad to hear you’re loving the cookbook and app – thanks for your support!
I’m so grateful to have found your site. Ironically, because I was on a paleo diet and looking for new ways to cook veggies without the default blanket of cheese! I love all the work you put into it, and it’s so clear that you’re one incredibly busy human being. In this day and age, people get so impatient for the “feed” to refresh, and seem to expect constant content, distraction, and entertainment. It’s refreshing and inspiring to me when people are REAL and try to live a full life instead of one that’s for presentation and consumption. It sounds like you’re trying to do just that, and I wish you all the best no matter how much you post.
First, I speak french so it is possible that i make mistakes in my writing (maybe a lot of mistakes!). I will do my best. I found out about your book and your blog 2 years ago and since, I’ve never find another blog/book that I love so much (and there are soooo many good cookbook/blogs!!) You’re such an inspiration for me. I’m not happy in my career and my only dream would be to do exactly what you do for a living. I just don’t know where to start. I love cooking plant based recipes but I don’t know nothing about building one or come up with new ideas and turn them into dishes. I don’t know the basics to make sauces or healthy meals. I read that you thought yourself all of it. My question for you is how did you do it? There’s no courses in vegan cooking in my area and I really don’t know where to start. It would mean the world to me if you respond to my question because I really need help to start :(
Thank you very much for reading my comment. I hope I did not make too much mistakes :) Continue your EXCELLENT work!! Have a good day!
You ARE doing enough! My only thought was; is she ok? :(
I am a “senior citizen” and don’t know how to correctly ask a question on Friday FAOs. So, I am hopeful this will work!
My question is: what is a “tasty” vegetable broth? I always go back to chicken broth because the veggie ones do not taste very good.
Hi Barbara, this definitely works! :) I use Imagine Organic Low-Sodium vegetable broth. If you haven’t tried it before, maybe it’ll be a winner!
I’m not sure my original comment posted. So hello Angela! I LOVE your recipes!! Mmm they’re delicious. I have your book and use it almost every day, and I have a ton of cookbooks. I was wondering if you could help me create a gf vegan pizza though. It seems like I’ve tried everything, and nothing has really been all that great. So I used spelt flour, and it was GOOD. However, I’m trying to eliminate gluten from my diet, and pizza is one of my favorite meals so I eat it at least once a week. So I’ve started buying Daiya’s pizza and have given up on the idea of making a vegan whole grain gluten-free pizza, but not entirely. Using Daiya’s pizzas as a point of reference because clearly their ingredients are listed on the label, what measuring amounts would you suggest I use? Their pizzas are gf whole grain V and great, so I was wondering if you had any recommendation regarding the ratio of ingredients to one another. Or, do you have any thoughts on how I could make one with oat flour? I’ve tried so recipes many I discovered online,but they’re not so good. Please help!!
Hi Amanda, Hmm…you could try my Gluten-Free Almond & Buckwheat Flour Pizza here . It may at least give you a starting point to experiment with! Let me know if this is the type of thing you’re looking for. :)
Thank you! I looked. I guess I just missed it haha.
Hi Angela! Thank you for answering so many questions. You should never feel guilty about putting yourself and your family first. To be honest, I’ve been going back and forth thinking if I should say something as well. Usually giving advice when nobody asked for it doesn’t sit well with most people so i didn’t say anyhting so far. But I do feel like that commenter did. And that’s totally okay, you don’t owe us anything. My decision to mention it is really because I care. Your readers are what has gotten your blog so popular and I don’t want to see you lose readers. So absolutely, do what feels best for you. I hope you can see that we’re just looking out for you and you never have to defend yourself :) Please take it as the compliment it is, we love your blog!!
Hey! You have written very nice post. Thank you for giving very good tips and recipe. We are also providing recipes tips to make your food healthy.
Congrats on your pregnancy! I have a soon to be 8 month old and just wondering if you have any baby food recipes/snack ideas you could share or any ideas for 1st birthday party/cake. Thanks so much!
Hi Jenna, Thank you! Congrats on your little one too. :) I haven’t published anything yet, but I will certainly keep the request in mind!
Concerning the question about maple syrup not keeping the glow bars together. Since I am not a fan of the taste of rice syrup and I try to reduce the risk of arsenic (from rice) in my kids food I use a combination of date syrup, maple syrup and brown rice syrup. The bars stay together nicely. I can’t taste the rice syrup and they are not as sweet as if I only used date syrup.
I’m so aggravated for you! The commenter who complained about the frequency of your posts should be ashamed of herself. Her lack of awareness is astounding. Although a post may take her less than 10 minutes to read, it takes hours to prepare.
I truly don’t know how you are able to juggle all that you do – while providing a quality blog, cookbook, etc. I have prepared several of your recipes and everyone has been a success.
Just thank you.
Love your recipes. Love your blog. Only so many hours in a day to get everything done, so don’t sweat the smaller stuff. Your job as a mom is the most important one you have!
Congrats on all you’ve done this far.
From a mom of 3;-)