“I have two kids, and I’ve always tried to instill the importance of not wasting food,” she says, adding that stats show nearly 40% of food in the US isn’t put to use. “We can really change at least a small portion of that here at home—and that’s kind of the reason for the cookbook.”
Resurrecting the past—even in the form of salvaging leftover cheese—is fittingly in line with Thiessen’s ever-evolving status from nineties teen queen to television host to mom to author to so much more. And while catching the occasional SBTB or Beverly Hills 90210 rerun might spark her nostalgia, she’s more likely to get into her feels over food—specifically, soups and stews.
“Every time I was home alone as a teenager, or I needed something comforting, or it was cold outside, I would grab Campbell’s Bean with Bacon soup,” she says. “I wanted to make a version of that on my own that was a little healthier and a little more ‘me’ in my stage of life now, so that’s why I created Sausage, Beans, ‘n’ Greens.”
This recipe, which is featured in Here We Go Again, is a modernized version of the classic comfort food, she tells SELF, and one she finds herself turning to when she’s in a cozy state of mind. It’s flavorful, customizable, and sure to bring back even more memories than a Bayside High reunion. Read on for the full recipe—and some tips on how to make the hearty meal exactly what your mind and body is craving.
1. Set the vibe in the kitchen.
No matter the meal Thiessen is whipping up, you can bet she’s asking Alexa to drop a beat. “I always listen to music when I’m cooking—always, always, always!” Thiessen says. “It’s a cross between David Gray and Amos Lee to full-on ‘90s hip hop. It just depends on what kind of mood I’m in.”
Just as she’s passed on an affinity for Bayside High to her kids, she’s also fostered a love of ‘90s tunes. “Now my daughter’s wearing Notorious B.I.G. and Snoop and TLC shirts,” she says. “The ‘90s are so in right now; it’s just so cool how it’s come full circle.”
2. Pick and choose the ingredients that work for you.
Thiessen’s Sausage, Beans, ‘n’ Greens recipe isn’t too prescriptive with its ingredient list, calling simply for a large bunch of greens—whether that’s kale or collard greens or anything else in between is completely up to you. Even the meat and legume options are open to interpretation.