If you haven’t heard of Thug Kitchen by now, let me sum up their simple message for you: eat your f*cking vegetables. The foul-mouthed team at Thug Kitchen are, in their words, ‘dedicated to verbally abusing you into a healthier diet.’ What sounds like it should be a seriously unpleasant read is actually a witty, well-varied and most importantly, f*cking delicious collection of plant-based recipes, to help you put some sass into your salad.
The book covers the whole meal spectrum, with some snacks and drinks, too, making it the perfect introduction for anyone new to plant-based eating. (Disclaimer: I’m definitely not vegan or plant-based, but I like the food. Sue me.)
Starting with the best meal of the day, they’ve created a pretty impressive breakfast selection, including wholemeal banana pancakes, sourdough French toast and even a vegan take on the Southern comfort food classic, wholemeal biscuits and lentil gravy, for the more adventurous eaters among us.
The ‘Short-Order Shit’ section will never leave you short of options for lunches or light meals, with a whole host of salads, ‘sammies’ and mini meals, and a variety of DIY dressings – roasted carrot and cumin dressing? Uh, yes please. I love the look of the ginger-mushroom summer rolls, which would be perfect for a lunch box or even served as party food. Side note: I just stopped writing mid-post to order rice paper rolls from Amazon, they look THAT good.
Best of all, for this bleak time of year, they have a ‘Big-Ass Cup of Cosy section,’ with some hearty looking soups and stews. I’ve bookmarked the Wedding Soup with White Bean Balls and Kale, Corn and Basil Chowder and Pumpkin Chilli to make some big batches and keep on hand for quick and warming meals.
The section that I see myself cooking the least from is the snack section – not to say the recipes don’t look good, but in all honesty, if I want crisps, there is no amount of swearing in the world that will convince me to cook up some zucchini chips instead of eating a family bag of Doritos. However, one thing in particular did catch my eye in the snack section – Roasted Sriracha Cauliflower Bites with Peanut Dipping Sauce. I will without a doubt be making these because nothing with sriracha or peanut butter in could possibly be bad and would you just LOOK AT THEM.
As for mains – where to begin? BBQ Bean Burritos with Grilled Peach Salsa, Roasted Beer and Lime Cauliflower Tacos, Pad Thai with Fried Tofu, White Bean and Red Lentil Burgers with Root Veggie Fries, Mushroom and Spinach Lasagne with Tofu Ricotta and so, so, so many more. Forget everything you’ve ever heard about a vegan diet being boring, these dishes could make any undeterred carnivore’s mouth water.
Having tried a few recipes, my favourite so far has to be their Blended Earl Grey Latte; a fragrant and sweet smoothie, made with tea infused almond milk blended with ice and banana. It’s a nice change to my usual coffee or matcha latte, but still gives me the caffeine kick I need to function as a human.
This is book is like the encyclopaedia for all things vegan. Thug Kitchen have shown that you don’t need meat or dairy in every meal to whip up something tasty and wholesome – I can’t wait to sample more of the recipes. I would definitely recommend it to vegans, veggies and omnivores alike – Thug Kitchen themselves even say that a lot of their recipes are adaptable to an omnivorous diet, if you’re a die-hard carnivore but still want to include more veggies into your diet.