Internet Lentils

On our first night of vegan week, brought to you by Thug Kitchen, I attempted White Bean and Red Lentil Burgers. I have made their Smokey Bean and Spinach Sliders before and they are da bomb. Best veggie burger I have ever had. Saying that about my own cooking is a little cray, but I think it’s the liquid smoke in that recipe that makes it the best thing since sliced bread.

Now I’m not going to give the recipe away here, even though I saw some bloggers online writing it out. Ya’ll should probably buy their damn cookbook like they intended so you can smell the dead trees that mother nature paid for. Let’s go over the highlights. Keep in mind that my husband and the cookbook have tried to drill in my head that I need all of the ingredients and the correct ingredients at that.

15 ingredients total, I messed up 5 of them.

Ingredient #1: Red lentils.
Firstly, I have never heard of or had a lentil in my lifetime. My trusty friend Aaron tells me they’ll be near the rice. Ok, that sounds like something I can handle. I picked out a bag that says “lentil”, seems like the right thing to do. Later I find out that there are multiple types of lentils and I definitely picked up brown instead of red. But it’s all got to be the same, right? I mean, rice generally cooks the same in the rice maker, so why wouldn’t lentils? I’ll just follow the recipe (and not the bag) on how to cook them and call it a day. Hmm. These little fuckers are hard. Am I sure they’re done? It’s not like I’m cooking chicken or any sort of meat, so it shouldn’t really matter? Sure, yeah, whatever, moving on to the next step.

Ingredient #2: Jalapeno, minced.
I omitted the jalapeño because fuck that, that’s scary. Ever been in a knife fight with a jalapeño? Shit ain’t fun.

Ingredient #3: Red Onion.
I totally forgot to pick one of these up because we were in the produce isle for 100 goddamn hours trying to pick everything out for the week and couldn’t get the damn produce bags open. So I gave the fuck up.

Ingredient #4: Your favorite no-salt, all-purpose seasoning blend.
What the actual fuck does this mean? Again, my trusty friend Aaron to the rescue, explains to me how this works. Never heard of such a thing. I have some Italian seasoning, does that work? When I went to the store, apparently they had never heard of such a thing either. Why would I even have a favorite seasoning? My favorite seasoning is bland AF, do ya got that, grocery store?! Thinking you’re all smart with your alphabetical order seasonings. Why don’t you go hang out with some CDs, another alphabetical, takes up too much awkward space in my house, infectious breed of junk. Fuck it, let’s use oregano, it brings all the boys to the yard. I need a milkshake break at this point.

Ingredient #5: Zest of a lime.
Seems like a goddamn waste to buy this little fruit just to tear its skin up for the sake of a few flavor bits. Fuck it.

I will say that cooking all of the ingredients and forming them into burgers wasn’t too earth shattering. I was thinking, alright, not too shabby, gonna cook up these burgers and then chow down. Boy was I wrong…

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As someone who has never had a lentil before, I didn’t think twice about the lentils being so hard. Until Joe pointed out that some of them were impossible to bite into. I then did something you’re never supposed to do when cooking, feeling sick, or making a website (only 2 of those are correct in this statement). I googled about lentils. Turns out, red lentils cook way faster, thus the recipe calling for them and describing a short cooking time. And the brown lentils I used take for fucking ever to cook. I go on to read that eating the uncooked lentils can give you severe abdominal pain.

Do. Not. Want. Stop Eating. Now. I start texting all my friends, HALP 911 LENTIL EMERGENCY. While my friends agreed that the lentils were not cooked, they said I would be fine eating it. I got too scared, like I always do, and stopped eating it. While Joe ate the whole damn thing and lived a happy healthy life.

That’s the last time I ask Stack Overflow about lentils.

On the real though, I’m going to make these again, and make them the right way. It was a very different flavor profile for us and I was excited about that. The few bites I did try were damn delicious despite my oversights.

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Thug Kitchen is my Spirit Animal

I spent a whole Saturday reading through the first Thug Kitchen cookbook and then that week ahead I spent the whole week making recipes from it. They were devine recipes, language and all.

If you don’t know about Thug Kitchen, you need to peep dat shit. I’m pretty sure Thug Kitchen is my spirit animal. I hope no one thinks I’m trying to copy them by the way I write, I just, I get it.

The first thing you need to know is that they use some ris-kay language. Which is GREAT. It really makes the recipe reading hold your attention. And they call you out if they know you’re being a little bitch. I need that in my life, because I am often being a little bitch.

The cookbook had so much more than just recipes. There was a section on how to marinate and bake tofu. I’ve been doing this for years now and have never tried it the way they presented it. I am turnin’ dat oven up to 11 next time I bake some mother fuckin’ tofu.

They give a nice list of must-haves for the kitchen to get your started, from kitchen utensils to kitchen cabinet essentials. I felt pretty good to know that I already had all of these things. Hell yeah, just a modern day cooking artist right here. Note: Melon Baller was NOT on the list. Fuck that thing.

The most helpful section to me was about learning how to substitute ingredients in a recipe. If you don’t have this, just use this. BUT don’t try to substitute a green pepper for an onion because that shit just isn’t the same. And what did I do during my week of trying Thug Kitchen recipes? For every recipe I tried, I forgot an ingredient or 2 and tried to substitute. Some were successful, some were not. I could hear them cursing at me in my head each time I fucked up the dish. More on that later.

I guess what you really need to know is that Thug Kitchen is a vegan cookbook. Though I feel like if I never told you that, you wouldn’t have been able to guess it. The recipes are so rich in flavor and full of ingredients that you don’t even notice the meat is missing. Even the cheese. We made tacos without cheese and it was still baller. The healthy ingredients are off the chart, your heart will be feelin’ extra strong after a week of Thug Kitchen.

I went through the whole book and didn’t write any of my favorites down. I was like shit, I have to go back through this book again to find dinners for this week? Luckily, our trusty friend Aaron was here to handle this for me. He flipped to random pages and those were the dinners for the week – easy peasy! Unless you’re Aaron, it probably wasn’t so easy for him. I say this because I am a difficult person.

Here is an example:
He flips to tofu tacos. While this excites me, I am also immediately against it because it combines tofu and tacos which means that we cannot have a taco dish or a tofu dish again during the week. He is flabbergasted. He explains to me that there are very different types of tacos in this book, I could have tacos all week long if I wanted to. Same with tofu, there are many different flavor profiles that tofu can have, so why not have it more than once a week? He goes on to say how tofu is a bean, just like black beans, which is also something I only like to have once a week. Well, folks, we had a week of different types of beans thanks to Aaron convincing me that I am ridiculous.

The weeks menu looked like this:
1. White bean and lentil burgers with fries
2. 5 spice chinese stir fry
3. BBQ bean burger with peach salsa
4. Tofu scramble tacos

The grocery list was long AF. I asked if I had to get real broccoli as apposed to the frozen broccoli I already had. Aaron insisted I do so. I told him this was too much fresh produce! He said “it’s one section of the grocery store!” Ok fine, you win. What happens when we get to the store? Joe is like, “why do we need all this produce?” BECAUSE AARON SAID SO THAT’S WHY.

It was fun cooking with things I have never cooked with before though. Aaron got a picture of our dinner every night that week only to be upset he wasn’t there to eat it with us.

Hold on to your butts, this is going to be a wild week of vegan cooking. Stay tuned to hear how I fucked these recipes up.

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