|White Cheddar Leek & Greens Millet Bake from Pretty Simple Cooking!|
Gah. Hands down, one of the BEST things about social media is how it connects you with the most incredible people all over the world. People that you'd probably NEVER meet in person.
Case and point: Sweet Sonja from the successful blog A Couple Cooks. Sonja is one half of the powerhouse team behind this popular website, along with her husband Alex. Technically, Sonja and I were introduced by our mutual friend James, marking manager for Green Bean Delivery. But he thought to connect us because he felt we had similar goals and approaches to wellness, as evident by our websites and Instagram accounts. (p.s. they have the cutest little boy EVER, so you must follow them on IG @acouplecooks).
So there you go. A quick email exchange and a phone call later, and I was smitten with Sonja's kindness, bright energy and professionalism. In addition, I'd been drooling over their recipes for years, When I found out that she and Alex were about to release their first cookbook, Pretty Simple Cooking: 100 Easy & Delicious Vegetarian Recipes to Make You Fall in Love with Real Food, I leapt at the chance to share.
Y'all, this is absolutely one of the most amazing cookbooks I've had the honor to cook from EVER. In part because their recipes resonate with me personally: family-friendly, easy, accessible, packed with flavor and often comfort-food inspired.
But I am also completely blown away by how well-written the book is and how detailed the recipes are. Sonja & Alex have a way of conveying the importance of eating real, wholesome food that isn't preachy or dogmatic. Instead, their approach is warm, inviting, relatable and incredibly thoughtful.
Guys, it's really hard to write a recipe. There is truly an art to it, and I work every single day to improve how I communicate the making of a dish to you. But I'd say Sonja & Alex have it DOWN. While making this delicious Cheddar, Leek & Millet bake, I never once had to decipher what to do next. Down to the smallest detail and careful use of language, this recipe came to life just as described. A well-written recipe is KEY in helping readers learn to enjoy cooking, to realize that it can be a part of daily life.
Now, onto this actual recipe. Y-U-M. This bake is everything you want on a cozy, chilly day. With just the right amount of creaminess, the right amount of seasoning and the dreamiest combination of textures, Pretty Simple Cooking nails this dish. I brought it to a family dinner with a host of varying palates, and it was a smash with each person. I would 100% make it again!
I also loved the opportunity to play with millet again, a gluten-free grain that is similar to quinoa in size, but much more mild with an almost polenta-like creaminess. I am feeling totally inspired to play with millet in my kitchen now! Along with fiber and B vitamins from the millet, the greens and leeks in this bake provide a host of vitamins, minerals and anti-inflammatory compounds.
Note: the only changes I made it to use unsweetened almond milk instead of 2%, and I used kale instead of chard. For the cheese, I used Organic Valley Pasture-Raised Mild Cheddar.
I highly, highly recommend grabbing a copy of Pretty Simple Cooking. I 100% guarantee you will love it!