Thug Kitchen

The folks behind Thug Kitchen have issued a wake-up call to America. They tell us that the average American eats 270 pounds of meat annually, more than twice the recommended protein allowance. It makes us four times more likely to die of cancer – and 74% more likely die of any cause – than a whole foods plant based diet. They also claim that we spend 42% of food budget outside the home, where who-knows-what ingredients/chemicals find their way into our bodies.

The Thug Kitchen Cookbook is an invitation to elevate our nutrition and kitchen game. The authors want eat more fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, prepare our own food, and have a bit of fun while we’re at it. And just in case you think that only high-brow, elitist snobs or hopelessly earthy granola types eat this stuff, Thug Kitchen chefs have the tattoos and potty mouths to change your mind.

It’s a good cookbook if you’re just starting out with this style of eating. The authors help you stock up on supplies (staples, herbs, spices) and equipment. They provide cooking basics for beans and grains, and the recipes are easy to follow. They also provide these words of wisdom:

  • Read the recipe all the way through so that you can be prepared for what you’ll be asked to do. It saves a lot of stress mid-cooking.
  • Pay close attention to required quantities. To that I’d add: Go easy on hot sauces, cayenne pepper, etc. You can always add some heat; you can’t take it away!
  • Change the recipe to suit you. Just don’t add weird ingredients or leave out major ones.

As this cookbook was our tenth exploration, we did not feel the need to make every recipe in the book. We opted out of desserts as well as most of the bread- and pasta-based dishes. We also passed on several been-there, done-that recipes. The remaining options proved to be some of the best recipes we’ve tasted on our cooking adventure. We will definitely make them again!

It was nice changing things up a bit for breakfast. The Basic Maple Granola is very good and quite easy to make. The Breakfast Greens and Tofu Scramble Tacos work well for starting the day or ending with a light dinner.

Quinoa Oatmeal
Quinoa Oatmeal
Mixed Veggie and Tofu Chilaquiles
Mixed Veggie and Tofu Chilaquiles
Basic Maple Granola
Basic Maple Granola
Breakfast Greens
Breakfast Greens
Tofu Scramble Tacos
Tofu Scramble Tacos
Brown Rice Bowl with Edamame
Brown Rice Bowl with Edamame
Cornmeal Pancakes with Strawberry Syrup
Cornmeal Pancakes with Strawberry Syrup
To-Go Breakfast Bars
To-Go Breakfast Bars
Oat Flour and Griddle Cakes with Blueberry Syrup
Oat Flour and Griddle Cakes with Blueberry Syrup
Fruit Salad Smoothie
Fruit Salad Smoothie

There are lots of good options for sides and snacks here. Though not pictured, Thug Kitchen provides three recipes for tofu marinades that are quite good (Ginger-Sesame, Smoky Maple, and Sweet Citrus). We’ve used them several times to flavor crumpled tofu and then stir-fry the whole mixture with braised greens. The result is really healthy and really delicious.

Spiced Chickpea Wraps with Tahini Dressing
Spiced Chickpea Wraps with Tahini Dressing
Moroccan Spiced Couscous
Moroccan Spiced Couscous
Roasted Broccoli and Millet Pilaf
Roasted Broccoli and Millet Pilaf
Lemon-Mint Quinoa
Lemon-Mint Quinoa
Roasted Potato Salad with Fresh Herbs
Roasted Potato Salad with Fresh Herbs
Braised Winter Cabbage and Potatoes
Braised Winter Cabbage and Potatoes
Roasted Beet and Quinoa Salad
Roasted Beet and Quinoa Salad
Barley-stuffed Peppers
Barley-stuffed Peppers
Sweet Corn and Green Chili Baked Flautas
Sweet Corn and Green Chili Baked Flautas
Apple Baked Beans
Apple Baked Beans
Creamy Peanut Slaw
Creamy Peanut Slaw
Yellow Spilt Pea and Green Onion Lettuce Wraps
Yellow Spilt Pea and Green Onion Lettuce Wraps
Wilted Greens
Wilted Greens
Baked Spanish Rice
Baked Spanish Rice

The Pozole Rojo is the most flavorful way I’ve found to prepare tempeh to date. A great recipe! The Minestrone and Tortilla Soup get honorable mentions.

Lemony Lentil Soup
Lemony Lentil Soup
Pozole Rojo
Pozole Rojo
Minestrone
Minestrone
Summer Squash Soup
Summer Squash Soup
Pumpkin Chili
Pumpkin Chili
Tortilla Soup
Tortilla Soup

Quite a few taste treats here for cocktail hour. Our latest Zoom call drew quite a bit of interest in the Roasted Sriracha Cauliflower Bites with Peanut Dipping Sauce.

Cumin-Spiked Pinto Bean Dip
Cumin-Spiked Pinto Bean Dip
Creamy Black Bean and Cilantro Dip
Creamy Black Bean and Cilantro Dip
Baked Zucchini Chips
Baked Zucchini Chips
Spicy Pickled Carrots
Spicy Pickled Carrots
Quick Pickled Cucumbers and Onions
Quick Pickled Cucumbers and Onions
Pine-Apple Guacamole
Pine-Apple Guacamole
Roasted Sriracha Cauliflower Bites with Peanut Dipping Sauce
Roasted Sriracha Cauliflower Bites with Peanut Dipping Sauce
Watermelon Hibiscus Coolers
Watermelon Hibiscus Coolers
Ginger-Lime Sparklers
Ginger-Lime Sparklers

The Lentil Tacos with Carrot-Jicama Slaw and Sweet Potato, Squash, and Black Bean Enchiladas have already found their places in our regular rotation of favorites. Delish!

Black Bean Torta with Coconut Chipotle Mayo
Black Bean Torta with Coconut Chipotle Mayo
Lentil Tacos with Carrot-Jicama Slaw
Lentil Tacos with Carrot-Jicama Slaw
Vegetable Pad Thai with Dry-Fried Tofu
Vegetable Pad Thai with Dry-Fried Tofu
Sweet Potato, Squash, and Black Bean Enchiladas
Sweet Potato, Squash, and Black Bean Enchiladas
Mango Curry
Mango Curry
Roasted Chickpea and Broccoli Burrito
Roasted Chickpea and Broccoli Burrito
Quick Lime and Cilantro Slaw
Quick Lime and Cilantro Slaw
Tempeh Peanut Noodles with Blanched Kale
Tempeh Peanut Noodles with Blanched Kale
Root Veggie Fries
Root Veggie Fries
BBQ Bean Burritos with Grilled Peach Salsa
BBQ Bean Burritos with Grilled Peach Salsa