Thug Kitchen Cookbook

Is this racist? Can a vegan cookbook even be racist? I found myself asking that question earlier this week as I thumbed through my latest amazon.com acquisition.

You see, in an effort to shake up our vegetarian cuisine routine in the kitchen, my husband purchased the #1 New York Times Bestselling cookbook, Thug Kitchen: Eat Like You Give Fuckbecause it came highly recommended and we do indeed give a f%@k about what we eat.

A few years back, an anonymously written BLOG called ThugKitchen, featuring vegan recipes and healthy eating tips, where “you can be verbally abused into a healthier diet,” became poplar, prompting the spin-off of a series of cookbooks. Hence, our new cookbook and this BLOG post.

So what is racist about it? Well, the anonymously written content suggests a black male humorously intimidating the reader into preparing a healthy meal. As it turns out, a young white couple living in Los Angeles is standing behind the counter at Thug Kitchen.

This revelation came to light in 2014 prompting the debate: is this harmless inauthenticity designed to encourage healthier living or is it cyber blackface for profit? Is it wrong for two white people to pretend to be black people writing about food?

I’m not going to take a formal position; people can make up their own damn minds. And, while the concept of the cookbook does raise an eyebrow (unless you Botox), it also serves up some really stellar information and recipes in favor of healthy eating for everyone, no matter who you are.

So while the Internet debates just HOW racist this cookbook is, we have decided to try some of the recipes.

Warning: if foul language offends some of your more delicate sensibilities, this cookbook, including the recipe below, is not for you. Turn back now.

TEMPEH PEANUT NOODLES WITH BLANCHED KALE  

DSC_7779
Our notes: This cookbook offers simple recipes that don’t require obscure ingredients, take forever to prepare, or trash your kitchen.

PEANUT SAUCE
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter*
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons lime juice
2 teaspoons soy sauce or tamari
1 teaspoon maple syrup or agave syrup
1 teaspoon chili-garlic paste or Asian-style hot sauce (optional**)

NOODLES AND VEGGIES
12 ounces noodles***
6 cups kale, sliced into bite-sized pieces
1 teaspoon grapeseed or refined coconut oil
8 ounces tempeh (Tempeh is not our thing; next time we will use sprouted tofu)
1 teaspoon soy sauce or tamari
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup sliced green onions

* Don’t buy peanut butter that has anything other than peanuts, a little oil, and salt listed   as ingredients. Anything else is unfuckingnecessary.
** Optional but you should suck it up and do it.
*** Soba, udon, spaghetti, whatthefuckever.

1–First make the peanut sauce. In a medium glass bowl, whisk together the peanut butter and water until it looks creamy. Add all the other ingredients and keep stirring until everything is incorporated. Simple shit.

DSC_7783
Our notes: We used our stick blender to mix this sauce because that is the only way to emulsify anything in a reasonable amount of time.

2–Now cook the noodles according to the package directions, but use a larger soup pot than usual. In the last 30 seconds of cooking the noodles, add the kale to the pot and stir it into the water to make sure it’s all covered. After 30 seconds, drain the pasta and kale and run it under cold water to stop the cooking process and keep the kale green. That’s called lazy-ass blanching. Some people might say to do that shit in separate pots, but those are usually the motherfuckers who don’t wash their own dishes, so fuck them.

DSC_7782
Our notes: This is a picture of lazy-ass blanching and it is our new favorite kitchen hack. This cookbook paid for itself with this one tip. Sorry for the crappy picture; I’m not a photographer, I work for an insurance company, and I don’t know how to photograph steam.

3–Grab a big wok or skillet and heat up the oil. Crumble in the tempeh in bite-size pieces and saute it around until it starts to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, and garlic and cook it for 30 seconds more. Turn off the heat and add the noodles and three-quarters of the peanut sauce. Mix it all up to make sure everything is covered and that the tempeh is blended into the noodles. Taste it and it isn’t saucy enough for you, add the rest of the sauce now. Otherwise, hold on to that shit because the noodles really absorb the sauce as they sit, so it’s nice to have extra for leftovers. Top with the green onions and serve warm or at room temperature.

DSC_7790
Our notes: This is the finished product. We garnished with chopped peanuts and limes in addition to the scallions because they made it prettier.

Overall, we loved this recipe and will work it into our menu rotation; however, the tempeh, which is fermented soy beans, was a little to funky for us (because it is fermented soy beans), so we will make this recipe using firm sprouted tofu next time. Otherwise, enjoy!

Thanks to www.thugkitchen.com for the recipe. We didn’t technically ask them for permission to publish their recipe, but those assholes can just fucking get over it.

This article was originally published on www.groundingup.com.

 

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