Angela Johnson-Brings Us New Music and New Recipes

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By Staff

Greetings, Angela. It has been a minute since we connected. 
Welcome back to Heart & Soul.

Thank you!

This last year has been challenging for most of us. First, how are you and your family doing now that we are over a year into this pandemic?

My family and I are doing well. It’s been somewhat of an adjustment, but we’re grateful to be in a safe, healthy space, mentally and physically.

What have been the biggest challenges for you as a wife, mother, daughter and entrepreneur in the last year and what adjustments did you have to make in your normal routine? 

As a wife and mother, I find that keeping even keeled throughout this experience helps everyone in the household. If I did feel anxiety or worry, I really tried to keep it to a minimum. We helped each other by spending a lot of quality time together, watching TV shows or movies. We tried to keep life at home regular as possible.

As a daughter, it has been tough. I haven’t been able to see my father (who had suffered from Covid-19) in over a year. He lives four hours away. When he was ill, the thought of not being able to care for him weighed heavy on my mind. All I could do is communicate on the phone with my sister who lives there. He’s better now, but I don’t know when I’ll be able to see him or my beautiful grandmother, who is doing really well.

Like many entrepreneurs in the music business, I’ve suffered some loss. It’s a good thing that I don’t solely rely on touring and live performances. I miss it dearly, but much of my work is accomplished at home. It has been a blessing.

We know that you and your family have been vegans now for almost 2 decades, can you share with us a couple recent (last 6 months) breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes and recipes with us that you enjoy and recommend. 

We’re not big on breakfast, but on Sundays we have brunch. For the sweet part, I rotate between pancakes, waffles, biscuits, French toast, and Crepes. For the savory part, I’ll make a chickpea omelet and fill it with sauteed onions, peppers, mushrooms, and vegan cheese.

Chickpea Omelet

½ cup chickpea flour

1 tbs nutritional yeast

½ tsp onion powder

½ tsp turmeric powder

¼ tsp baking powder

¼ black salt (to give it that egg-like taste)

½ unsweetened nondairy milk (I use unsweetened almond milk)

Shredded vegan cheese (any kind)

1.   Heat up a skillet and spray it with a nonstick oil spray.

2.   In a small bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients and then add the nondairy milk. Mix well and let the chickpea batter sit for a minute as it thickens.

3.   When the skillet is hot enough, pour the chickpea batter into the skillet. Quickly spread the batter out thin as if you’re making a crepe.

4.   While the chickpea omelet cooks, quickly sprinkle a layer of your favorite shredded vegan cheese.

5.   Next, add the sautéed veggies, (sometimes I’ll add raw baby spinach and slices of tomatoes) onto one half of the omelet.

6.   Use a spatula to fold over the cheesy side of the omelet when it’s ready. (The omelet should bubble like a pancake when it’s ready).

7.   Once folded over, flip the omelet onto the other side to make sure the cheese is melted on both sides.

8.   Try not to overcook the omelet. It can burn or come out a little bit on the dry side. Serve with sliced avocados, fresh sliced tomatoes, or grits and vegan sausages!

I keep it pretty light for lunch. I usually make avocado toast and eat a small green salad.

Avocado Toast

1.   Cut in half, remove seed, and scoop out the avocado into a bowl or dish.

2.   Mash up the newly ripened avocado (I like it chunky) and add seasoning like garlic powder, black pepper and pink Himalayan salt to taste.

3.   Toast your bread of choice and spread the mashed avocado over the toast. You can add sliced tomatoes and fresh basil on top. It’s delicious!

As far as dinner goes, I make sure that we have a salad to go with every meal. The main meal would consist of sauteed zucchini, with red peppers, onions, and chopped tomatoes, coconut curried lentils over white quinoa. The lentils are one of my family’s favorite dish. I don’t normally use measurements when making this dish, but this is pretty close. Tailor it to your taste.

Vegan Coconut Curried Lentils

1 cup red lentils (sorted, rinsed, and drained)

½ large yellow onion, chopped

½  tbsp oil, (virgin coconut oil suggested)

1  cup of water

½ vegan vegetable bouillon cube

½  cup canned coconut milk

½  tbsp curry powder

1 tsp garlic powder

Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

1.   In a large skillet, over medium heat, sauté onions in oil until translucent and soft.

2.   Next, add curry and garlic powder. Stir to keep spices from burning.

3.   After a minute, add water and vegetable bouillon cube.  When cube has dissolved, add the coconut milk and stir.

4.   Reduce to low heat, add red lentils and stir.

5.   Cover with tilted lid and simmer gently for about 15 minutes (or until desired tenderness is reached). Salt and pepper to taste.

Wow, Those recipes sound not only healthy but delicious 

Warning though, sometime in the very near future we will be requesting a cooking video of you in action showing your skills for all of us to see. Our readers would love this.

Okay, that would be interesting! It’s not always pretty. Lol…

Congratulations on your brand new single. The Sol Brown remix of your hit single with Darien Dean “All In Me.”

Thank you so much!

We loved the original a decade ago, what made you decide to do this remix, which by the way is awesome. 

“All In Me” has been one of my most requested songs to perform live. It had so much success around the world. We already have a reggae version of it and I thought it would be great to have a danceable remix. Sol Brown was the right producer to give it that soulful house sound.

You have been extremely and increasingly more active in the house music world in the last year, did this just happen because of demand or is it a strategy or a combination of both. Yes we notice everything about the artists we admire. 

I appreciate your attention!  House music has been a big influence in my life, since the late 80s. Little did I know, that I would become an artist in this genre of music. It started out with remixes of songs I recorded during my years with the band, Cooly’s Hot-Box. Not long after, I had been sought out for collaborations and as a featured vocalist with many established and well-known DJs/producers from around the world. Years of these wonderful, collaborative efforts earned me the number 4 spot on Traxsource.com’s “Best of 2020, Vocalist Of The Year.” I was so honored! I’ve found a space in this genre of music where I can be as creative as I’d like. No judgement, no ego, no age limitation. People of all backgrounds can enjoy this music. It’s so inclusive!

Really love that “no judgement, no ego, no age limitation” 

Last year we saw you on IG doing a basement performance of a Brand New Heavies Classic. Will you be doing more of that and how did that come about. To be perfectly honest, we are used to seeing you behind the keyboards. So to see those dance moves we were like Nice, nice very nice another side of Angela.

Oh, thank you! I LOVE to dance and whenever I get the opportunity, I’ll take it! I like to incorporate in my live shows every once in a while. It’s freeing. Dance is a form of expression and it connects me to the music even more. It relieves stress and gets the body moving. More than anything, it spreads joy! I’ve never seen anyone unhappy while dancing!

Angela. thank you for sharing your new single with us. Could you tell what can we expect from you in the next 3-6 months in addition to the cooking video for us (smile) 

You can expect more music, for sure. I’ve recorded a lot of dance music last year that will soon be released by international DJ/producers. During the pandemic, I’ve also been stretching my skills as a film composer.

Thank you so much Angela for spending here time with us at Heart & Soul and we look forward to hearing your film composing work

 Film Composing is something I’ve been interested in for a long time, but I’ve finally found the courage to dive in and get the experience. This is a new chapter that I can’t wait to be written!

 We know it will be a great chapter, Angela.  

Check out Angela Johnson’s new single. The Sol Brown Remix of “All in Me” featuring Darien Dean