Welcome to 2022. Or as I like to think of it, the same day we have been repeating since early 2019. Things are a mess y’all, and in the midst of everything here we are, feeding our families day in and day out and carrying on like everything is “normal.”

To be honest, I have always put a lot of pressure on myself when it comes to feeding the people I love. When there are so many things I can’t control, the one thing I could seemingly always control was feeding my kids and husband a good, healthy, delicious meal every. single. day. But that is A LOT. A lot of pressure, a lot of planning, and for a perfectionist like me, it sets you up for a lot of negative self-talk and disappointment when things don’t always go exactly right.

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Cookbook of the Month Club: Good Enough: A Cookbook by Leanne Brown

At the end of 2021, I was sent a press copy of Good Enough: A Cookbook by Leanne Brown. I set it aside with the intention of reading it after the holidays and finding a few new recipes for the new year. But when I picked up this cookbook a couple of weeks ago, not only did I find new recipes, I found a deeply moving, inspiring, and thoughtful book with personal essays and experiences that I needed to read. I sat up with this book for several nights in a row highlighting and re-reading passages. This is not just a cookbook, but an excellently written reflection on what it means to use the kitchen and food and cooking as a form of self-care.

Right off of the bat, Leanne says “My intention for this book is to be a gentle whisper in your ear that you are stronger than you know, and you deserve love and care, wherever you are, whoever you are, and no matter what anyone else might have told you.”

This book is a dive into the feelings that surround cooking and for each of us, it is very different. She shares personal experiences of sadness, of becoming a mother, of self-doubt, of the stress of grocery shopping, and reiterates that it is okay that things are not perfect and that they do not have to be.

Regardless of where you are in your life, you will relate to her stories and hopefully learn to give yourself a bit more grace when it comes to cooking, and by letting go you can find, or rediscover the joy that being in the kitchen has to offer.

6 steps to calm cooking: From Leanne Brown's Good Enough: A Cookbook | Shared with permission

Excerpted with permission from Good Enough: A Cookbook by Leanne Brown, illustrations by Allison Gore. Workman Publishing © 2022

One of my favorite things about this cookbook is the “TL;DR” that she includes at the beginning of most recipes. Sometimes I have the time and energy to read all the way through every single recipe I plan on trying, but oftentimes, I just need an abridged version because life has turned my brain into a useless tool. This little summary actually gives me that little push of confidence that I can get this meal together and on the table without losing it halfway through.

And yes, I actually tested and tried several recipes from this cookbook over the last couple of weeks (one of which I am so excited to share below) and they have all been good enough; not necessarily perfect, but good enough. And guess what? I took to heart the theme of this book and just gave myself a mental pat on the back. Because I learned from reading this cookbook, that “good enough” doesn’t mean that I failed, or am settling, but that I did my very best for where I was at the moment I stood in the kitchen to make food. And I am learning to be okay with that.

Smoky Cauliflower Enchilada recipe by Leanne Brown | From Good Enough: A Cookbook, shared with permission

We got permission from the publisher to share this recipe for Smoky Cauliflower Enchiladas with all of you. I made this dish for my family (yes, that’s my personal image) and as you can see from the image it was not at all perfect but it did taste really, really good. One note, I purchased chicken chorizo made at my local butcher, and oh boy! It was spicy! While my husband and I loved it, the kids struggled a bit with the back of the throat burn. So, if you have spice aversions in your household, I recommend using ground chicken or your preferred meat and season to your liking if you are not sure how spicy the chorizo will be. And of course, I covered the entire dish with cheese – because cheese.

Smoky Cauliflower Enchiladas

TL;DR: Panfry chorizo and vegetables. Cook chile sauce briefly, then blend it.
Assemble enchiladas in a baking dish, top with sauce,
and bake at 375°F for 20 to 25 minutes.

This meal is versatile. Are you a planner? Assemble this the night before (keep the sauce separate from the enchiladas), cover, and keep in the fridge, then pull it out and bake it the next evening. Need quick gratification? Make these into tacos instead of baking—just assemble the filling on warm tortillas. Do you like to get the active cooking done and then have some time to connect and set the table and chill while it bakes? Then do the whole shebang in one evening.

I like the flavor here unmuddled by the cheesy richness, but it’s true that enchiladas are usually extremely cheesy, and if you miss that, shower these in a melty cheese before baking them. Of course, if you want a vegetarian meal, omit the chorizo. Please, please go with what you most enjoy.

Serves 3 or 4
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
8 ounces chorizo (about
2 links)
1 head cauliflower, finely chopped
1½ teaspoons fine sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin (optional; see note)
1 teaspoon ground smoked paprika (optional; see note)
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 can (28 ounces) fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 can (4.5 ounces) chopped green chiles
3 to 4 cups chopped dinosaur kale (cut into ribbons)
6 medium or 8 small tortillas (flour or corn is fine)
Chopped scallions, for serving
Chopped fresh cilantro, for serving

Note: If you have cumin and smoked paprika on hand, use them to amplify the chorizo flavor, but don’t buy them just for this recipe—it’s still delicious without them.

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
2. Warm 1 tablespoon of the oil in a wide pan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and crumble the chorizo into the pan. Let cook, occasionally breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until the chorizo is lightly browned and the onion has softened and just started to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the cauliflower, 1 teaspoon of the salt, the cumin and paprika (if desired), and about ½ cup of water, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is soft, about 20 minutes.
3. While the chorizo filling cooks, warm the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook until it smells great, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, green chiles, and remaining ½ teaspoon of salt and stir. Remove the pan from the heat and use an immersion blender to blend the sauce until it’s smooth. Put it back over medium-low heat and bring it to a gentle simmer, with the lid slightly askew to allow steam to escape. Let the sauce bubble away until you’re ready to add it to the enchiladas. Stir occasionally.
4. Add the kale to the chorizo filling and stir until it’s just wilted, 1 minute. Taste and add a bit more salt if you’d like. Remove the pan from the heat.
5. Spoon a layer of enchilada sauce over the bottom of a wide casserole or baking dish. Fill a tortilla with a few spoonfuls of filling, roll it up, and place in the pan, seam side down. Continue with the remaining tortillas and filling until the pan is full. Spread more sauce generously over the enchiladas.
Note: I find that I use about half the sauce per pan of enchiladas. If you have leftover sauce, you can put it in the fridge for another use or freeze it to use with your next batch of enchiladas.
6. Bake until the tortilla edges start to brown and the enchiladas are warmed through, 20 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped scallions and cilantro and serve. Store any leftovers in the fridge, where they will keep for 3 to 5 days; reheat them in the oven so they can recrisp.

Excerpted with permission from Good Enough: A Cookbook by Leanne Brown, illustrations by Allison Gore. Workman Publishing © 2022

You can grab a copy of Good Enough: A Cookbook by Leanne Brown at your local bookstore or online, and start practicing some self-care in your own kitchen. Thanks to Workman Publishing for sending us a complimentary copy.