Meatless Monday – From Frying to Dying

Traditionally not healthy nor vegetarian soul food is a type of cuisine associated with African-Americans in the southern United States. It is often characterized by fried food and all manner of pig parts (hock, feet, tail etc.).

Soul food is said to have gotten its title during the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s though it has been around for quite some time. The cuisine had developed out of the experience of African slaves who were brought to America. Being disenfranchised and poor, these people were forced to make do with vegetables that they had grown themselves and the leftover scraps of meat from their masters.

Today there is a movement away from traditionally prepared soul food as the rate of obesity, high cholesterol and diabetes rises. Vegetable oil is used instead of lard and there is less frying. Once again a vegetarian/vegan approach to soul food seems the most ideal for health. Soul food staples include sweet potato, greens (e.g. collard, turnip, mustard), beans, rice and cornmeal. Here’s a suggestion for a ‘soulful‘ meal:

Starter:
Collard greens steamed and mixed with cooked onions, vegan bacon and a little salt to taste. Serve alongside some warm cornbread fresh from the iron skillet in which it was baked.

Mains:
Rice and peas with some vegetarian/vegan macaroni and cheese. Use ice cream scoop to portion out a reasonably sized ball of each.

Dessert:
Sweet potato blondies (brownies without chocolate). This bar is spiced with ginger, cinnamon and allspice and moistened by steamed sweet potato (pictured below).

Photo by Kimberley (c)2012
Kimberley’s corn bread (a few cocoa nibs found their way into the mix)
Photo by Kimberley (c)2012
Photo by Kimberley (c)2014
Individual portion sizes-ready for eating.
Photo by Kimberley (c)2014

Soul FoodA brief history from the African-American Registry
Vegan Soul Kitchen – Fresh, Healthy, and Creative African-American Cuisine

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