A healthy diet rich in raw plant-based foods like nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, and legumes is the foundation of a healthy vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. Soul food recipes that have been handed down to generations of slaves are now a popular way for African Americans, Latinas, and others to live healthily and eat tasty meals that are free of chemicals and additives. For example, the soul food “milds” is a delicious, easy-to-make salad dressing that can be made several times a week.
It can be prepared as a tasty salad, simple meatless sandwiches, or as a hearty chili. The creamy “cheese mac” is one of the most popular vegan soul food recipes because it can be made several days ahead and frozen. A cheese mac is a baked tortilla shell filled with your favorite vegetables. You can make it into a cheese pasta, bean salad, bean and rice casserole, or even a hearty stew.
Vegan Soul Food Recipes
Many of the more authentic southern-style dishes called for okra, potatoes, or cornbread. Some vegan soul food recipes such as the classic African-American bean casserole could be easily adapted to vegan ingredients. You can substitute vegan eggs or even tofu for the eggs in many of these traditional dishes.
There are many tasty and healthy vegetable dishes that are staples of traditional southern-style cuisine. One very popular vegetable is collard greens. This nutrient-rich leafy green is used in soul food recipes from all over the world. In fact, collard greens are the featured vegetable in the famous movie “Roots.” If you don’t like the taste of collard greens, there are other leafy green vegetables that taste just as good.
To make collard greens taste better, consider adding some collard dressings to them. A simple ingredient such as lemon juice works well. Another healthy side dish idea for soul food lovers is black-eyed peas. These legumes are high in fiber but are also high in nutrition. They are used both in soup and as a side dish with rice.
A Much Ado
Although it is not widely known in the United States, most African Americans eat a diet that is largely plant-based. There are a variety of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and grains in their diets. Because of this, it is not surprising that a number of African American vegan soul recipes incorporate plant-based ingredients. For example, baked black-eyed peas are a great side dish with a sweet potato pie. They are quick-cooking and do not take long to cook.
If you are trying to create a new recipe, you can easily adapt a vegan soul food recipe for gluten-free or lactose-free diets. There are many veggie-friendly soul recipes available, such as vegetarian soul food, black-eyed peas, and collard greens. You can make your own baked vegetables, make black-eyed peas and collard greens soup, make collard greens wrap or make a new herb-based recipe for your guests. Gluten-free baked beans or rice is a great idea when you are watching your cholesterol.
When people think about soul food, they think about tasty pork loin or Fried Chicken. But these meals are actually more flavorful than that. Think about the spices such as garlic powder, ground Cayenne pepper, onion powder, salt, and pepper to give these dishes a great taste. Other ingredients you might consider adding include Jamaican jerk, smoked barbecue sauce, tomato paste, tomato juice, vinegar, and fats. It is easy to add these flavors to a meal if you have them on hand. It is difficult to find good baked beans or rice, but once you do, you will have a new favorite.