Community Bonding over Anchovy Pasta with Alex Snodgrass - Jen Hatmaker

Community Bonding over Anchovy Pasta with Alex Snodgrass

Episode 04

In the past year, many of us have looked at our kitchens and had to flip the Open sign to Closed. We put big holidays dinners on hold. We canceled game nights with our friends. We traded cutting boards for takeout containers because we just. couldn’t. cook. another. meal. But we still need to eat and nourish our bodies and souls, and for that, we turn to Alex Snodgrass of The Defined Dish. Alex shares her unlikely journey to creating a popular food brand and a New York Times bestselling cookbook (also called The Defined Dish), how to your get over your anchovy aversion (it’s worth it, we promise), and why healthy eating doesn’t mean a carrot stick on a bed of lettuce. Jen and Alex talk about how food can bond groups of people who may not come together otherwise,  and why forming a community is super rewarding—even if you’re separated by a screen.

Episode Transcript

Hey, everybody. It is Jen Hatmaker, your happy host of the For the Love Podcast. Welcome to the show.

Before we dive into today’s episode, I want to tell you about something I’ve been working on, and listen—I am so excited to share this with you. 

So every single day of our lives, we are hit over and over with the message that we need more—more money, more friends, a bigger house, a fancier job title. Because if we have more in our lives, then we will matter more. 

But when you think about that, this idea that you have to be more, how does it make you feel? 

I bet it doesn’t make you feel great. I bet your heart started beating faster. I bet your eyes rolled into the back of your head and your shoulders arched right up around your ears. I get it. Thinking about fitting more into our lives—which are already bursting at the seams—just feels like too much. It feels like we’re inviting ourselves to break.

But I wonder what would it feel like to live with less? Less stuff. Less spending. Less stress.

I wonder how you’d feel if you made more room for the best things that life has to offer? More room for joy. For generosity. For connection. For freedom. 

Ten years ago, my family started an experiment that we called 7 where we dialed it back on seven areas of our lives—like food, and clothes, and spending, and media. Like stuff and waste and stress. And let me tell you this: It was life-changing—and it still is. 7 shifted the way my family has operated our lives in the past decade, and it’s done the same for thousands of readers who did this experiment right along with us.

Okay, now here’s the exciting part: I’m absolutely delighted to tell you that I’m bringing you an new, updated edition of my book 7: it’s called SIMPLE & FREE. Ahh, just take that in for a second. Simple and Free—doesn’t that sound nice? Isn’t that what we’re all craving right now?

I want to invite you into this story that changed me forever. I’ve added a bunch of thoughts throughout the book about how remarkably changed our lives are since we started 7 ten years ago. And trust me—this isn’t a template, or a rule book, or one more thing that’ll make you feel guilty. I’m inviting you to explore what your life might look like when you start to shift your thinking from MORE to LESS. Because once you let go of all the stuff you weren’t meant to carry, you’ll find you have room for peace and freedom. I cannot wait for you to read SIMPLE & FREE, and I’m so happy to share that you can get it right now, wherever you buy books. So head on over to and get your copy today. 

Okay, let’s get into today’s episode.

We are in the middle of a series called For the Love of Food, and I am hard pressed to remember a series where I have enjoyed talking to my guests this much. Our conversations are just lively and back and forth, and full of enthusiasm and laughter. And today is absolutely no exception. This is my first time meeting my guest today, and I’m so glad that I did because she was delightful.

So, for those of you listening, I don’t know what your relationship with food is, with cooking specifically. It could be that you love it. It could be that it’s a really meaningful part of your day or your life. It could be that you hate it, that you’re intimidated by it, that you don’t get it, that you’re sick of it. It could be that you once loved it, but it has lost its magic.

Let’s be honest, after essentially a year of the pandemic, there isn’t a person among us who has not spent so much time in the kitchen, that even the biggest food lovers among us can be like, “Whatever,” like just whatever, whatever about it. And our eaters are sick of whatever we made. So, they’re making us mad all the time. So, sometimes, we can, no matter how we feel, get stuck in the food doldrums.

So today’s guest is going to put a little pep in your step. I mean, however you enter this conversation, whatever your relationship with food and cooking is, this is a guest who can really help you fall in love with it again and remember why you should in the first place, or why you ever did, and remember the power of the table, and remember what a joy it can actually still be to cook incredible nourishing food for the people that we love. So, today on the show, we have such a cute guest.

Alex Snodgrass is here. A ton of you already know who she is. She’s got a huge following on Instagram. She is the founder of The Defined Dish. That is her space. She shares healthy recipes, but they are absolutely delicious. She and I, we locked into this concept during our conversation today, like if food is not good, we’re not eating it. If it is not delicious, I’ll just be hungry. She’s not messing around here. She loves spice. She loves salt. We have a very similar flavor profile.

She is a healthy cook, but a delicious one. She has a beautiful cookbook called The Defined Dish that became an instant New York Times bestseller. You’ll love her. You will love how she is. You will love her food point of view. She’s very no nonsense. It all feels very doable, very possible, very normal. She puts recipes and tools in our hands that make you go, “Oh, I can do this. I can actually do this.”

And I enjoyed talking to her so much that at the end of this conversation, we stayed on just the Zoom and talked for another 20 minutes. I love her personality. I love her food profile. I love her point of view. I love her style. She didn’t go to culinary school. She’s a normal home cook like you and me, which makes me trust her and want to listen to her and learn from her. You’re going to love her. And I can’t wait for you to start following her because her stuff is absolutely incredible.

And so, with that, I am delighted to share this great, fun, and funny conversation with Alex Snodgrass.


Books & Resources Mentioned in This Episode

Nadiya Hussain’s For The Love Episode


The Defined Dish: Whole30 Endorsed, Healthy and Wholesome Weeknight Recipes
by Alex Snodgrass


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