I know a lot of you are tempted to say it, I myself am even leaning towards the yes camp, but we're not going to mention that contentious four letter f-word here just yet. Although we're really close, guys. Can you feel it? Instead, we're going to bask in all the glory of late summer while she's still with us for another couple of weeks. This time of year the air begins to change and with it, so do the scents that waft in from still open windows. Gone are the sweltering warm days of July that carried scents of tomato greens and Coppertone, giving way to the heavy notes of rain on dry earth or the wild smell of crisp leaves and dried golden grass.
Two Sundays ago, the heat broke and the sky opened up and with it came a torrential rainfall that washed away the summer heat from the earth. Like a baptismal that brought rebirth, the world begin to feel new again. The heavy white fog that followed blanketed the land in a vail of mystery, and like clockwork I begin to turn inwards. To reflection, re-centring and refocusing on the important things I let slide during the warmer months. Days like these have me planning and nesting like no other. With the air now colder, I seek coziness. I'm once again curling up in our big arm chair, rifling though my extensive cookbook collection, dog-earing the pages along the way and excited that cooking can once again be a joy and not a hot kitchen mess.
One of my most anticipated cookbooks this year (seriously, I'm the pre-order on Amazon months in advance kind of lady) is Oh She Glows Everyday, the new one from the ever inspiring Angela Liddon. This is Angela's second book yet it is filled with just as much love and passion as her first. Each page is brimming with vibrant and elegant recipes, gorgeously photographed by the sweet Ashley, that will have me bookmarking about every darn page. What I love about this book is how totally user friendly it is. I've found in the last little while, some vegan cookbooks have been a little far reaching with odd ingredients or labour intensive recipes, but as this books name suggests, it's the perfect for everyday meals.
Beyond having a stunning recipe section with seriously mouth watering dishes like Protein Power Rainbow Quinoa Salad, Roasted Garlic Basil Pesto Potatoes with Arugula, and the Marinated Portobello Mushroom bowl (which looks like a warm hug in comfort food form), the book is broken down into to very visual and practical sections. The first section is the pantry section which wonderfully illustrates all the essential ingredients as well as how to select, store, and prepare them, followed by a huge section of homemade staples from Tahini Dressing to BBQ Sauce and everything in between.
I chose to share this Golden French Lentil Stew with you because it's just the type of meal I like to make this time of year. It's bright and flavourful with turmeric and coriander, uses summer veggies like carrots and chard, and is the perfect nourishing bowl to transition into these colder evenings. Next up for me to try are the High-Rise Pumpkin Cupcakes and Shepherds Pie and a little more nesting in anticipation of you know what. I have a feeling like this will quickly become my most used book of the season.
The lovely folks at Penguin Random House will be giving away one copy of the new Oh She Glows Every Day: Quick and Simple Satisfying Plant-based Recipes to a lucky WHE reader. To enter, simply comment below with your favourite quick and simple plant based dinner to make. Contest open only to residents of Canada and the United States of America. Contest will close on Wednesday September 14th. Best of luck! <3
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. Photography credit: Ashley McLaughlin.
GOLDEN FRENCH LENTIL STEW
Serves 4, Print Recipe Here
½ cup raw cashews, or ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons raw sunflower seeds
2 cups water
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large yellow or sweet onion, diced, or 2 leeks, cleaned and thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
4 large cloves garlic, minced (2 tablespoons)
1 to 1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt, to taste, plus a couple pinches
2 medium carrots, diced (1 heaping cup)
2 stalks celery, diced (¾ cup)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 ½ teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 (14-ounce/398 mL) can of diced tomatoes, with juices
¾ cup uncooked French green lentils, picked over and rinsed
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
3 cups stemmed and chopped Swiss chard or kale leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar, to taste
1. Begin by placing the cashews or sunflower seeds in a bowl and cover with a couple of inches of water. Soak for 1 to 2 hours or overnight. I used the quick-soak method and covered the sunflower seeds with boiling water for about 1 hour. Once the seeds have soften, drain and rinse them and add to a high-speed blender along with ½ cup of the water. Blend on high until super smooth and creamy. Set the nut cream aside.
2.In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and a couple pinches of salt, and sauté until the onion is softened, 4 to 6 minutes.
3. Stir in the chopped carrots and celery, and cook for another few minutes or so. Stir in the cumin, thyme, and turmeric.
4. Add the diced tomatoes with their juices, along with the lentils, broth, and remaining water. Turn up the heat to high and bring the mixture to a low boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for 30 to 35 minutes, until the lentils have softened.
5. Once the lentils have cooked, stir in the nut cream and chard. Season with salt, pepper, and vinegar to taste. Cook for a couple of minutes over low-medium heat, until the chard is wilted. Serve alongside some crusty bread.