Cookbook Review: Party Grub, Thug Kitchen (With Recipe)

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I love Thug Kitchen, a duo of vegans who were writing a blog a few years ago and got a book deal. They use salty language and flavorful recipes to get their message across that vegan food doesn’t have to be boring or only for certain people:

“Everyone deserves to feel a part of our push toward a healthier diet, not just people with disposable incomes who speak a certain way. So we’re here to help.”

Their second book “Party Grub” is, not surprisingly, a slam dunk, just like their first book “Thug Kitchen.” I own both and they are among the first cookbooks I reach for when looking for recipes and cooking inspiration. The first book has solid recipes, and the second book is all about party and social gathering food. While I love light meals and apps, I was surprised to find the book contains a lot of  dishes that are hearty, meal-worthy fare. There are more than 100 dishes for any time of celebration or get-together, and the pages are packed with mouth-watering fare and fun tips.

I’m always looking for a good vegan cheese, and their Queso-ish Dip is a great creamy dip for Mexican flavors, with tomatoes making it seem kind of creamy, flavorful and chunky with a little kick all at once.

Thug Kitchen Queso-ish Dip Recipe | Kale and Ale

Thug Kitchen Queso-ish Dip

When I ate the enchiladas (with the easiest homemade sauce I’ve ever made) I had to remind myself they were vegan, I totally forgot! That’s a ringing endorsement right there, since I love the cheese to hold everything together. And they were so filling, stuffed full with goodness and the flavorful sauce.

The book features chapters on brunch grub, small bites, salads and sides, potluck necessities and desserts and drinks, so the entire range of party food is covered. This book has a variety of flavorful dishes and makes me want to grab a group of friends and get in the kitchen and cook and eat.

Thug Kitchen Loaded Nachos Recipe

Thug Kitchen was kind enough to share a recipe from their new book with Kale and Ale readers! They let us in on how to make loaded creamy nachos with the dip I preview above. Remember, there is salty NSFW language, but it’s worth it to get to the loaded nachos.

Reprinted from “Thug Kitchen Party Grub” by Thug Kitchen. Copyright (c) 2015 by Thug Kitchen. By permission of Rodale Books. Available wherever books are sold.


Thug Kitchen Nachos Butternut Squash Queso
Loaded Nachos
Print Recipe
OK, this is less of a recipe and more of a recommendation for you to get your shit together and make some fucking nachos. A plate of these gorgeous motherfuckers just screams party so much that it was almost our cover shot. We give you an idea below on how to pile your shit correctly, but take the damn queso and run with it. #nachobusiness
Servings
4 to 6 people
Servings
4 to 6 people
Thug Kitchen Nachos Butternut Squash Queso
Loaded Nachos
Print Recipe
OK, this is less of a recipe and more of a recommendation for you to get your shit together and make some fucking nachos. A plate of these gorgeous motherfuckers just screams party so much that it was almost our cover shot. We give you an idea below on how to pile your shit correctly, but take the damn queso and run with it. #nachobusiness
Servings
4 to 6 people
Servings
4 to 6 people
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. You know how nachos work, so you can pile this shit on however you like and leave off or add whatever the fuck you want. We like to put the warm chips out in a thin layer on a tray or giant plate. A huge pile of chips where you end up with a shit-ton of dry chips at the bottom is a fucking bummer. Thin layer is the way to go.
  2. Scatter the black beans and cabbage over that, then drizzle the queso all over the chips. Glob on nice spoonfuls of guacamole and salsa all over the platter then sprinkle with the jalapeno and cilantro. Drizzle over some hot sauce if you roll like that.
  3. Serve that shit right up to the happy crowd.
Recipe Notes

* Warming not required, but this shows commitment to the nacho cause. Just throw the chips in a microwave for a few seconds, or cover and put in a 250°F oven for 10 minutes.

** Or a 15-ounce can of beans, rinsed and drained.

*** The Mid-Summer Salsa from our first book would be dope here.

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New Series: Cookbook Reviews

Cookbook shelf | Kale and Ale

A selection of my cookbooks.

As much as I love recipe creation and experimenting in the kitchen, I also love trying recipes from established cookbook authors, as they are solid recipes of different flavor profiles than I might typically cook.

This is why I’m starting a new series focusing on cookbook reviews. Some will be new releases, some might be well-worn and loved cookbooks. Stay tuned, I have a cookbook giveaway planned soon and will share recipes in the cookbooks. Sign up for the Kale and Ale newsletter to stay updated.

Meantime, check out “11 New Vegetarian (and Veg-Friendly!) Cookbooks to Check Out Now” from Oh My Veggies.

Are you a cookbook/recipe loyalist or do you wing it in the kitchen? What is your favorite cookbook?

If you have any cookbooks you would like to see reviewed, post a comment below or email me at valerie@kaleandale.com about it. If you have review copies of cookbooks you would like me to review, please contact valerie@kaleandale.com.

Review: Craftapped Craft Beer Community

Craftapped gave me a three-month membership at no charge to review it’s service, which focuses on connecting craft beer lovers in the Twin Cities with venues. All opinions are my own. Site contains affiliate links where I earn a free beer voucher if you sign up using my link.

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Craftapped is a social revolution built by beer lovers, for beer lovers.” That’s the slogan, and it’s quickly clear it’s how they really feel. Craftapped is a new service available in the Twin Cities area that allows you to try beers at area partner establishments (bars, taprooms and restaurants). With the program, subscribers get four vouchers a month, each good for one free beer that can be used at a different location, with new locations constantly being added. In addition, there are many member happy hours where Craftapped provides the first beer. I’m going to my first member event tomorrow (Thursday), so if you’re at Wicked Wort, please say hi! Join here to get in on the fun.

I’m into my second month of membership and it’s great. One month is $9.99 with one month free. No fewer than eight beers for less than $10, the happiest hour (er, two months) in the Twin Cities! The best part is that with the membership you have to redeem at a variety of places. While I love exploring new venues, it’s very easy to get stuck in old habits. But with Craftapped vouchers in hand, I have no excuse not to explore that restaurant in St. Paul or tap room in Northeast that I haven’t been to yet. No excuse, yes beer.

Craftapped voucher

Photo courtesy Craftapped

One warm Saturday I visited Bauhaus Brew Lab for the first time and headed to a nearby taproom, Indeed, which I haven’t been to in far too long but I like. Two free beers in one neighborhood! I’m planning to use a warm weekend day and my vouchers in March as a reason to explore Wayzata.

RELATED: Day trip to Waconia, where a few member establishments are reviewed.

Thanks to Craftapped for getting me out there trying new establishments and beers. It’s great to have this service available in such a beer-forward area, and I love the idea of bringing the beer lovers of our community together. If you would like to try Craftapped, check it out and get started here. Gift subscriptions are also available.

YOU MIGHT LIKE: Craft beer event bingo boards.