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The Comfortable Kitchen: 105 Laid-Back, Healthy, and Wholesome Recipes

The Comfortable Kitchen: 105 Laid-Back, Healthy, and Wholesome Recipes PDF

Author: Alex Snodgrass

Publisher: William Morrow Cookbooks


Publish Date: December 28, 2021

ISBN-10: 0063075415

Pages: 272

File Type: Epub

Language: English

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Book Preface

When I was trying to decide what types of recipes to include in this book, I thought long and hard about my experience writing my first cookbook and putting it out into the world. Sharing that with the Defined Dish community for the first time was incredibly daunting yet exciting, and one of the most profoundly rewarding experiences of my life thus far. All I wanted was for people to actually cook and enjoy the recipes with the ones they love most—not just a little memento that collects dust on a shelf.

While I love to treat my body well and eat foods that nourish, food is also so much more than just what fuels our bodies. Meals are where our families come together at the end of the day. They’re where we celebrate life’s great events. They’re where we gather and count our blessings. And they’re where we can show others that we love and care about them.

Food has always been my love language. More specifically, preparing and serving food. In fact, when I really dig deep, food is the love language that has shaped so many of my relationships and continues to.

The bulk of my childhood memories are set in the kitchen: my dad, mom, brother, and sister around the table eating my mom’s delicious meals. I know now that I, too, can set the foundation for beautiful memories made at home for our little family of four.

I express my own motherly love through my cooking for my two beautiful children. Sure, right now they may be more interested in the fast food we eat on occasion, and sometimes have the gumption to request something else for dinner; however, one day I know they’ll look back and remember The Best Bolognese that I like to make on special occasions and be filled with warm memories of our family together in the kitchen.

Whipping up my husband’s favorite Perfectly Broiled Rib Eye with Tarragon Butter makes my heart so happy. I love nothing more than a date night in, a lovely bottle of wine, and catching up on our week together over a delicious home-cooked meal. The meals I make are a labor of love, and a way that I show him I care.

And, true friendship to me is writing notes on top of a foil-wrapped casserole dish filled with my Eggplant Lasagna and leaving it at the front porch of a dear friend or family member in need of a home-cooked meal. Whenever I’m on the receiving end of a delicious delivered dinner from a friend, I’m always grateful for the time and love put forth into making sure I’m fed and comforted.

Long story long—preparing, sharing, and serving food for others brings me joy, which is exactly what brings me to writing my second book. I feel like it’s my purpose in life to share this passion with you, and I can’t wait for you to quite literally dig into the recipes here.

My intention with this book—and all of the recipes I create—is to bring you into my kitchen with me, in the hope that I can bring a little more comfort into yours. Even if you love cooking as much as I do, it can feel like you are in this constant cycle of cooking, scrubbing pots and pans, and filling the dishwasher, only to get up and do it all over again—I get it. But even when we are stuck in this constant cycle, how can we remind ourselves about the joy cooking can bring us, and how it makes such a positive impact on the way we feel? How can we get creative in our kitchens without worrying about overcooking our chicken? How can we put food on the table that’s somewhat healthy and still makes our taste buds sing and fill our loved ones with comfort?

That’s where I want to help—to inspire you with delicious food that doesn’t skimp on flavor. Let me remind you, I’m just a home cook who loves sharing recipes, so you’ll find my recipes are easy enough that any and all levels of cook will love and enjoy. I’m also not a dietician. I’m just a human being doing my best to live a healthy and abundant life. While most of these recipes are created with clean, healthful ingredients, there are a handful of splurge-worthy dishes in here—like my Fried Mortadella Sandwiches—because, in my opinion, life is too short, and we should enjoy a little bit of everything if we are able.

You’ll find that in this book I’ve stuck to what I do best—great dinners for all occasions and for all levels of difficulty: busy weeknight dinners, weekend dinners with friends, and family-style dinners for special moments. I’ve also included some accompaniments to add to your dinner experience. The Clayton’s Cocktails chapter has some fun spirited beverages to pair with dinner or kick off a lovely evening. The cocktails can be perfectly paired with the appetizer chapter, which is filled with bites and dips for grazing before dinner or a festive happy hour with friends. And last—and if you’re a long-time follower, you may not believe me when I say this—there is a Something Sweet chapter, with desserts I’m extremely proud of and excited for you to try.

At the end of the day, food is a powerful way of expressing love and forming deeper connections, and my hope is that as you cook your way through this book, you’ll take the time to appreciate the way that food brings us all together.



Title Page



Pantry Staples


Paleo Pigs in a Blanket

Chorizo-Stuffed Bacon-Wrapped Dates

Sileo Celery Salad with Charcuterie

Crispy Smashed Potatoes with Dynamite Sauce

Shrimp Ceviche

Olive Puffs

Truffle Pizza

Smoked Salmon Dip

Satisfying Salads and Bowls

Balsamic Steak Salad with Creamy Gorgonzola Dressing

Buffalo Caesar Bowls with Za’atar Chicken

Chicken Paillard Salad with Thai Basil Green Goddess

Salmon Fish Taco Bowls

Deconstructed Falafel Salad

Chopped Chipotle Chicken Salad

Harvest Salad with Miso Dressing

Mediterranean Seared Tuna Salad

Vietnamese-Inspired “Shaking Beef” Salad

Sheet Pan Saffron Chicken Bowls

Savory Soups

Creamy Cajun Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Creamy Cauliflower Green Curry Soup

Easy Italian White Bean Soup

French Onion Beef Stew

GoGo’s Healing Creamy Mushroom Soup

Easy Greek-Inspired Lemon Chicken Soup

Broccoli and Cheddar Soup

Lamb and Potato Samosa–Inspired Stew with Mint Chutney Drizzle

Spicy Miso Ramen with Pork

Zuppa Toscana

Pasta, Pasta, Pasta

Mom’s Anchovy Pasta

One-Pot Beef Stroganoff

Orecchiette alla Vodka

Spicy Shrimp Pasta with Tarragon and Basil

The Best Bolognese

Chicken Dan Dan–Inspired Noodles

One-Pot Cacio e Pepe Israeli Couscous

Herby Green Olive Pasta with Feta

One-Pot Cajun Chicken Pasta

Vegetarian Dinners

Eggplant Lasagna

Fried Avocado Tacos with Spicy Crema

Harissa- and Farro-Stuffed Acorn Squash

Mongolian Mushrooms

Red Lentil Chili

Roasted Veggie Enchiladas Verdes

Honey-Sesame Sheet Pan Cauliflower

Spaghetti Squash Singapore Noodles

Beef, Pork, and Lamb

Steak au Poivre

Cumin Beef Stir-Fry

Epic Baked Meatballs

Spiced Lamb Lettuce Cups with Tzatziki

Texas Tamale Pie

Fried Mortadella Sandwiches

Mexican Pizza

Sheet Pan Kielbasa with Mustard Vinaigrette

Perfectly Broiled Rib Eye with Tarragon Butter

Juicy Indoor Burgers with Burger Sauce

Green Chile Pork Medallions

Tender Oven-Baked Ribs with Vinegary BBQ Sauce

Italian Braciole

Texas-Style Instant Pot or Slow Cooker Brisket Tacos


Crispy Chicken Milanese with Arugula Salad

Ultimate Skillet Chicken Fajitas

Dilly Chicken Burgers with Spicy Slaw

Paleo Pot Pies

Peruvian-Inspired Whole Roasted Chicken with Tangy Green Sauce

Paleo Lemon Chicken

Panang Curry–Inspired Chicken Meatballs

Creamy Chicken Toscana

Chicken Quesadillas with Creamy Jalapeño Sauce

Thai-Inspired Chicken Fried Rice

Crunchy Chicken Tinga Tacos


Tuna Tostadas with Chipotle Aioli and Crispy Leeks

Herby Green Curry Poached Halibut

Salmon al Pastor

Shrimp Brochette Skillet with Poblano Rice

Paleo Battered Fish Tacos

Israeli Couscous with Clams

Clayton’s Favorite Mustard Salmon

Shrimp Étouffée

Miso-Broiled Halibut

Spicy Sichuan Fish

Gimme All the Sides

Parmesan-Roasted Zucchini

Sesame Asparagus Sauté

Balsamic-Thyme Roasted Mushrooms

Herby Rice Pilaf

Brothy Borracho Beans

Little Gem Salad with Lemon Dressing

Apple Cider Vinegar and Dijon Roasted Root Vegetables

Braised Brussels Sprouts

Zesty Potato Wedges

Something Sweet


Lemon Avocado Oil Cake

Sutton’s No-Bake Monster Cookie Bites

Individual Texas “Sheet” Cakes

7-Ingredient Almond Butter Cookies

Birthday Cake Blondies

Clayton’s Cocktails

Tips and Tricks—Before You Sip!

Clayton’s Margarita—3 Ways

Espresso Martini

Mezcal Mule

The Last Word

Thyme 75

Whiskey Sour

Golden Hour

Back to Basics

Fauxtisserie Chicken (Instant Pot and Slow Cooker Methods)

Quick-Pickled Red Onions

Homemade Mayo


Universal Conversion Chart


Also by Alex Snodgrass


About the Publisher

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