Angela Liddon, creator of Oh She Glows, the mega-popular vegan blog that garners more than six million page views a month, hit big with her first cookbook, The Oh She Glows Cookbook. Released in March 2014, the bestselling title now has nearly 300,000 copies in print. Earlier this month, Penguin Canada, and Avery in the U.S., announced that they have re-upped for Liddon’s second cookbook, due in 2016. Liddon chatted about what fans can expect from her next effort and about her life as a new mom, and she shared a few recipes for quick-and-easy healthy eating.
With the first Oh She Glows Cookbook, you took on all of the writing, recipe testing, and photography yourself, which must have been a lot of work. How will the process for creating the second cookbook differ from the first?
Fast-forward 10 months since my first book’s release and I now have a four-month-old baby girl. Even though my stubborn nature would like to think I can do it all, I know it’s not healthy for me to take on such a heavy workload, so I’ve decided to ask for help. I’m probably going to hire a food photographer to shoot the photography for the next cookbook so I can focus on the recipe development. I think it will be fun to collaborate with someone rather than just work on my own all the time. I’ll also be working with a big group of volunteer recipe testers from my blog. I figured, who better to test out the recipes than my very own blog readers?
Will the second cookbook include any new types of recipes, food trends, or new ingredients that weren't featured in the first one?
You can expect to see even more quick and easy recipes to reflect my fast-paced lifestyle as a business owner and new mama. Lately, I’m always looking for ways to simplify recipes without sacrificing flavor or nutrition. As for new ingredients or trends, I’ll have to keep that under wraps for now. You always need a bit of mystery, no?
Reviews of your cookbook often mention your stunning food photography, yet you don’t have any formal training in that area. What equipment and techniques do you use to create your food photography, and to achieve the best lighting, placement, etc.?
My food photography setup is a bit embarrassing! I don’t have room for a dedicated photography space in our house, so I usually just throw an old wooden board on the ground beside the sliding glass door and shoot on the ground. You’ll often find me lying on the ground trying to get a close-up shot — so professional, right?
I’m impatient by nature, so I don’t spend too much time on photography. The food I make tends to be beautiful and vibrant, so it does a lot of the work for me. Back lighting is my favorite way to shoot food — it creates such depth and realism. As for equipment, I use a tripod and my DSLR Canon 5D with a Canon 100mm f2.8 lens.
In October you launched the Oh She Glows Tea Shoppe, featuring organic, fair trade loose leaf teas, via your blog. Do you have any plans for other new ventures?
My husband is currently working on an Oh She Glows app featuring my recipes. He’s developing it from scratch (as well as running the Tea Shoppe business), so it’s been a huge project. We’re hoping it’ll finally be ready to launch sometime this year.
What advice or tips would you give to people considering a vegan diet, or who just want to incorporate more healthy, whole foods into their diet?
Ease into it. Try a new recipe every week or every few days. Pick some quick and easy recipes to begin with so you don’t feel overwhelmed, such as my Classic Green Monster Smoothie, 5-Minute Oatmeal Power Bowl, or 15-Minute Creamy Avocado Pasta. Also, check out the pantry section in my cookbook and make a list of some foods you’d like to have on hand. I always say focus on what you are adding to your diet, such as new foods, recipes, or cooking methods, rather than what you are taking away.