“It’s been really fun trying to find things that are a little quicker and a little simpler because these days I really appreciate a simple recipe,” Teigen tells PEOPLE. “Obviously, baby Luna’s changed us a lot. Some of the things that I barely have the energy for now on a Sunday I used to cook on, like, a Wednesday night. I don’t have time to pick the same herbs as I used to,” she laughs.
Teigen has also been getting recipe inspiration from her social media followers — which has her cooking healthier, perhaps by accident. “I love taking my little Twitter polls,” she says. “One thing I got a lot of was people who wanted more vegetarian options. I think I look at some dishes and I have this natural instinct to put bacon, ham, or some kind of pork in it. But then I started realizing if it’s delicious on its own, then why do that? So I feel like I’m unintentionally cooking lighter, but still getting great, great flavors.”
The model, who announced her partnership with Stella Artois on Tuesday, leaves nothing to chance when it comes to recipe testing, either. “We actually move in my co-author [Adeena Sussman],” she says. “I didn’t go to culinary school; I am a home cook. When I have to cook something, I still google a great time and temperature for it, so she’s part of the brains behind it. We think of the flavors together; she is in my brain also. We constantly redo something if it’s not right.”
It’s a process that Teigen has been documenting in real time on her Instagram account, giving fans a glimpse of what to expect.
When it comes to getting an outside culinary opinion, her husband is the perfect taste tester. “He tasted about 95% [of my last book],” she says. “He’s very opinionated with things, and he’s very honest. We need everyone to be honest.”
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And while her massively successful first cookbook, Cravings, contained fun plays on junk food like Tuna Casserole with Potato Chip Topping and Frosted Flakes-Crusted French Toast, Teigen is still up in the air about whether she’ll go that route this time. “I feel like a little bit more of a grown-up since the last one,” she says. “I, of course, still love things like that; I love to cook things like that. But it is taking more out of me to think of those fun, crazy twists that we did in the last book because so much has changed in the last year. I hope I’m able to bring that out of me, because we just started the process and it takes a bit to get back in the groove of things. I’ll get there though.”
As for the upcoming holidays, Teigen and Stella Artois are teaming up for the “Host One to Remember” campaign, which is “inspiring consumers to put their own personal touch on entertaining during the holidays.” Teigen herself is taking this to heart: “We are actually having our very first Thanksgiving in our home this year with all of our family around,” she says, adding, “it’s really special for us.”