I woke up this morning to a Snapchat from one of my best friends who is living in Chicago. The image contained only text, and it read “-5°. It is too cold to get out of bed.” I’m pretty sure I shivered for her, and I agree. How are people expected to function in temperatures that low? It was close to 35° this morning in Austin, and I was still cursing under my breath as I trundled out to my car, wrapped in a scarf, gloves, and topped with a hat. Overkill? Yes, I openly admit it. I’ve been living in Austin for a little under four years now, and I have officially lost all of my Midwestern winter credibility.

I’d like to believe that cold is relative, but honestly, I’m just a baby. When the weather drops below the 40s, I become all layers and blankets and coffee. One of my favorite ways to warm up is with a big ol’ bowl of soup. Enter Thug Kitchen. My dear friend Jess got me a copy as a Secret Santa present, and it is pretty hilarious. For those of you who have not heard about Thug Kitchen, it is a pretty foul-mouthed cookbook that encourages its readers to “eat like you give a f***.” To give you an idea of the vibe they’re going for, here is a quotation from the opening pages. If cursing offends you, go ahead and skip it.

We grew up like most people: Dinners never took more than 10 minutes to heat up and everything was centered around meat and slathered in cheese. We accepted this idea of eating shit because we legitimately thought it was how food was supposed to be. With our parents busy at work and our attention focused on Ninja Turtles, we didn’t fucking bother to learn how to cook for ourselves. This was a time when companies were coloring ketchup purple or teal for wheverthefuck marketing campaign they were running. Potato chips had a disclaimer on the bag about how the oil might cause anal leakage. What the fuck, right? Those were some dark days in food. We didn’t think we had enough time or money to learn how to cook real food, so we willingly ate that fucking nonsense. So, no, we didn’t grow up in wheatgrass-covered huts on some hippie commune. We are your next-door neighbors and somewhere along the way, we learned to eat right. And you can too.

So, yes. Lots of f-bombs. But, it turns out, also a lot of really, really delicious recipes. I also love the fact that they explicitly state they did not grow up in one large drum circle. I’ve never met a vegan with flower-loving parents, and people are always surprised to hear that I didn’t, either. Ah, stereotypes.

Last week I made the beer roasted cauliflower tacos (pictured below), and when I saw that the temperature was going to dip a little this week, I knew I had to make their minestrone soup. The secret ingredient? A little red-wine vinegar that really gives it a great kick.

Here is the rest of the menu for the week. It’s a little shorter because I will be out of town, and JB decided he wanted to live on Field Roast frankfurters for the days I am not home. Bless his heart.

1/11 – 1/13 Dinner Menu