If you don’t like the F word maybe don’t read on.
See, the Thug Kitchen book is like nothing I’ve read before. Vegan recipe with bite might be the best description.
Thug Kitchen started their wildly popular website to inspire people to eat some Goddamn vegetables and adopt a healthier lifestyle. Beloved by Gwyneth Paltrow (‘This might be my favorite thing ever’) and with half a million Facebook fans and counting, Thug Kitchen wants to show everyone how to take charge of their plates and cook up some real f*cking food.
Yeah, plenty of blogs and cookbooks preach about how to eat more kale, why ginger fights inflammation, and how to cook with microgreens and nettles. But they are dull or pretentious as hell -and most people can’t afford the hype.
Thug Kitchen lives in the real world. In their first cookbook, they’re throwing down more than 100 recipes for their best-loved meals, snacks and sides for beginning cooks to home chefs. (Roasted Beer and Lime Cauliflower Tacos? Pumpkin Chili? Grilled Peach Salsa? Believe that sh*t.) Plus they’re going to arm you with all the info and techniques you need to shop on a budget and go and kick a bunch of ass on your own.
This book is an invitation to everyone who wants to do better to elevate their kitchen game. No more ketchup and pizza counting as vegetables. No more avoiding the produce corner of the supermarket. Sh*t is about to get real.
This book really took me by surprise. The extreme profanity is woven throughout out the book. It’s a big concept and it’s a lot of fun. It’s definitely found a niche in the market. Yes it might turn some people off, but I liked the contrast because this is a vegan cookbook. I think veganism has a bad rep for being a little, nice? But this takes it to another level. Love it.
The recipes are split into six sections, each with an equally rude name. But basically, we have breakfasts, lunches (salads and sandwiches,) stews, munchies (salsa, snacks) mains, and motherfucking desserts. Yes, it’s actually called that. The recipes are fantastic. Favourites include baked spanish rice, pozole rojo, and creamy ravioli with house marinara.
They are in American cup sizes which can be confusing but a quick google will help.
I love the bowl recipes. The idea is you pick a grain or starch, then add vegetables, a protein, and a sauce or dressing. The book then lists combos from the book, from different sections to help you out (with helpful page numbers and whether it’s a veggie, protein etc.) It’s a wonderful way of making the book more versatile. Yes you could make quick pickled vegetables and serve it with your own recipe, or helpfully you could mix it with sweet citrus baked tofu and make a bowl. The book becomes a lot more personal.
The book doesn’t just do recipes it also breaks down different ways of cooking an ingredient. Tofu is something T and I have struggled to cook at times. The book has two pages that give different marinades, and different ways of baking the tofu. It’s really helpful. There’s also a page on how to make a vegetable broth which is used in numerous recipes. Which again was V helpful .
Additionally any confusing ingredients have a *, (****) depending on how many confusing ingredients there are. It might link to another recipe or explain other ingredients you could use. It’s brilliant. So instead of teaspoon oil you could use coconut/grape seed/olive oil. Wonderful.
It’s a bloody brilliant book. If you’re vegan definitely buy it. If you want to try cut out a little meat definitely buy it. It’s a wonderful book for mixing up what you make in the kitchen!
I read somewhere that you should have one signature dish that you can always whip up.
Writing this I think Hannah Gale wrote in one of her very fab blog posts. The idea being that on a Saturday at midnight, when you’ve missed the last train home, you can still make this recipe. You can perfectly create it every damn time. You don’t need to weigh out 59603059220 different ingredients. You’ve made it so many times it’s inscribed on the cookery book you keep inside your noggin.
For me that did is homemade pizza. It started last year when I oddly had all the ingredients in the cupboard. I then lived off homemade pizza for six months. (Almost.) T and I recently celebrated two years together and I suggested making pizza. T pulled a face thinking it would take 98 hours. But, I whipped it up in half hour or so. So I’m sharing how you can do the same.
Put in your trolley (For the dough.)
200g strong white flour
50ml of lukewarm water (Give or take.)
1tbsp of olive oil
Tomato and basil passata
Deli Chicken (We used chicken tikka, T had quorn.)
Anything else you fancy topping your masterpiece with.
You may have noticed there is not yeast in this recipe. I like very, very thin and crispy pizza bases so I don’t wait for the dough to rise. I’ve done it before and (with yeast and proving,) and found it unsuccessful. (If you were wondering.)
Measure out the flour into a bowl, spoon in the oil. Make a well in the middle and pour in the water bit by bit. I add very little amounts at a time – you don’t want it too sticky. Stir with a spoon until it comes together and then use your hands.
Put the oven on to pre-heat at 200C.
Take the dough from the bowl and knead. Youtube helps if you’re struggling with the motion. Knead until it resembles mashed potato. Then roll out using a rolling pin. (Or a bottle of tomato sauce.) It will spring back, so keep rolling until it’s circular(ish) and the thickness of a pound coin. Liberally sprinkle a baking tray with flour and place the dough on-top.
Top with the passata (quite a lot) and then add your toppings (minus the egg.) We added a mixture of the toppings featured but just use your favourites. Mushrooms, olives, artichoke – whatever you fancy. Pop in the oven and cook for 7 minutes.
Once the base is cooked – give it a prod, crack the egg on top and then whip back in the oven. T likes his quite cooked so he put his on a couple of minutes earlier. Once egg is cooked take out, slice and devour.
Numbers (if you’re bothered.)
Depending on how many toppings you use this comes to between 450 – 500 calories which is higher than a lot of the recipes I’ve been posting. But compared to ordering a large dominos you’re onto a winner. It’s a brilliant way to treat yourself without ruining your healthy eating mission.
I’m not going to suggest reading for this one. Pop on Project Runway with a glass of diet coke and while the evening away. Perfection.
I love slow-cooking. Throw a load of ingredients in a pot and leave for 7 hours – end up with a very good meal.
However, not EVERYTHING works in slow cooker form. I’ve made soups that haven’t been quite flavoursome enough and a pasta dish that tasted like mush. (I ended up getting stuck in London and it over-cooked.) So, having a book to come back to is very helpful. What did I think of The Slow Cooker Solution? Read on to find out.
The great advantage of a slow cooker is that you can set it and forget it. Throw the ingredients in, leave them to cook and then return home to a delicious meal.
Slow cookers are also economical to run, can be packed with vegetables and also suit less expensive cuts of meat. The deep-flavoured dishes can be created with your favourite vegetables. From carrots and turnips to kale and cauliflower. As well as healthy beans and grains. What is more, when you just don’t want to cook you won’t have to resort to a fast-food fix because they’ll be a tasty meal waiting for you at home.
I was actually bought this book and a slow cooker when I moved to London. Since then I have used it weekly and the book almost as much. First thing – the book has both English and American measurements. So helpful. Cup sizes are easy to google but it’s nice to have both. All the ingredients have been easy to find which is a plus.
The book has 6 sections. The introduction (full of really helpful tips) nourish, load and leave, comfort, global and wow factor. I love that the sections are so diverse. The wow factor section is a lot more complicated but perfect for dinner parties. The wild mushroom lasagne (in the slow-cooker) is a revelation. I’ve used the load and leave section a lot more – but there’s something for every cook.
Many of the recipes I tend to create just require the slow cooker. With this book even the load and leave recipes sometimes require a little more. For example the boston beans need to be boiled first and onions fried. It’s to produce the best results and flavor but it’s something to note. The book does include calorie counts. Some are very reasonable but I know there are corners that could be cut if you wanted to make the recipes more low-cal. (Which I have done.)
What I really like, is how this book has stretched my knowledge of what you can cook in a slow-cooker. The cavolo nero, goats cheese and sun dried tomato frittata for example. Or the strawberry cheese-cake, it’s quite exciting to be able to use the slow cooker for more that soups/stews.
Favourite recipes include pork with stuffed apples and new clam chowder. Both are wonderful.
This book is fantastic for newbie slow-cooker chefs or more experienced home-cooks. I loved how this book stretched my repertoire. It’s made me a better cook and helped me get more out of my slow-cooker.
I love Tzatziki,
Shit didn’t I say this two weeks ago.
MY insistence on eating the same thing. Or a tweak on something I like A LOT is becoming apparent on MLBB. I love to read food blogs, but some days I think HOW. How did you have the time to make 7 individual dishes that week.
I use My Fitness Pal most days and each of those days tends to be a take on the day before. Breakfast might have an egg included one day, the next I might hard boil it and have it with lunch. It’s good to mix it up.
This week I wanted tzatziki chicken for breakfast, but I wanted an egg also. So that’s what I did. Some days I might have pasta/pizza/cake for breakfast. That day I will share it with you. Today I used my tzatziki recipe to make a good bladdy breakfast and I’m going to share it with you. (Relatable AF.)
Put in your trolley
50g Greek yogurt
cucumber, grated (about 2 inches long)
lemon wedge (ready to be squeezed.)
3 sprigs fresh dill, chopped
garlic powder (if you have any hanging about.)
salt and black pepper, freshly cracked
Two Chicken Thighs
Two Eggs (Do I need to tell you – free range.)
Two slices of toast (I use weight watchers because two slices equals one regular slice. I can’t tell you what it will do to your insides though.)
20g of red onion
PRE RECIPE NOTE: I recommend making the tzatziki chicken before and keeping in the fridge and then using when you so fancy. IE the pitta’s I made or a breakfast recipe! The recipe above is a guesstimation of how much I make at a time for two but it might be wrong so don’t hate me!
Pre-heat the oven to 200C and pop in the thighs. Bake for 20 minutes then check by slicing open/slide in a skewer. You could use deli meat instead or pre-cooked chicken but I keep these in the freezer most of the time. Take out the oven, chill and shred.
Once again I have included measurements for the Greek yogurt/mayo but I tend to double/triple the recipe and use it all week. But you could just make one serving. Today I’ve used a good 50g of each. Once you’ve added them together, grate the cucumber into the bowl and squeeze in a lemon wedge. Add the chopped dill and a sprinkling of the garlic powder, salt and pepper. Do this to your personal taste.
So this is where we stray from my chicken pitta recipe. Mix the chicken and the tzatziki and set aside. Chop up the birdseye chilli, and the garlic and gently fry in a pan. Add onion and fry for another couple of minutes. Add a big dollop of the tzatziki and chicken mix and keep the heat gentle.
Due to being V lazy I just cracked the egg straight into the pan and then stirred with a wooden spoon. If you’re not lazy you could mix in a cup and then add. Stir until the egg cooks into the mess in the sauce pan. Pop in the bread to toast. Whip of the eggs thirty seconds or so before they are done and dollop onto the toast and add hot sauce.
Numbers if you’re bothered
This comes to a perfect 270ish calories. If you’re looking for a hearty recipe you could double it and still be in line for a very healthy day. Or you could just add another egg. This recipe is quite protein heavy so it will definitely keep you full till lunch.
I recommend reading – The Big Sur by Jack Kerouach. I’m just getting through it and it’s brilliant. GO read, it’s classic.