We have looked at many veganized cuisines, such as Mediterranean, Asian, Mexican, Vegan Cooking for Carnivores, the well-known Café Gratitude’s Cookbook, Love is Served, and so on, but soul food has not been lagging behind. On the contrary, there are some seriously amazing vegan soul food cookbooks with mouthwatering recipes. Soul food is cooking with the heart and soul, and when you cook such delicious meals with heart and soul, compassion easily finds a place in this cuisine as well.
Soul food restaurants have also sprung up in many states. According to PETA, the best soul food restaurants are in Minneapolis; Oakland, CA; Wilmington, Delaware; Boise, Idaho; and Charlotte, Carolina. For those who can’t travel right now, we still have cookbooks that will allow you to recreate these tasty recipes. 😉
So, let’s look at these awesome cookbooks and see which one is still missing from your kitchen shelf.
Vegan Soul Food Cookbook: Plant-Based, No-Fuss Southern Favorites – by Nadira Jenkins-El
The author, Nadira Jenkins-El is a vegan chef and holistic nutritionist. In 2014, she founded Global fusion, a vegan and gluten-free bakery and confectionery. She also co-owns and operates the Cutting Board Bakery and Café in Mesa, Arizona.
This cookbook offers easy recipes that do not require any butter, meat, or sugar, still spoiling you with the delicious flavor of soul food.
Recipes such as barbecue riblets and Cajun fried “chicken” provide great taste while you’re eating smarter and healthier. Besides recipes, this book also includes nutritional facts and tips for stocking your kitchen.
The Vegan Soul Food Cookbook has received excellent reviews on Amazon, with much praise for the recipes; but two reviewers mentioned that most recipes do not have images. The few negative reviews are greatly outnumbered by the many wonderful reviews on Amazon. If you don’t mind the lack of photos, then this is a good cookbook to have.
Sweet Potato Soul: 100 Easy Vegan Recipes for the Southern Flavors of Smoke, Sugar, Spice, and Soul – by Jenné Claiborne
The author, Jenné Claiborne, was raised in Atlanta. When she went vegan she thought she had to give up homemade foods such as sweet potato pie and fluffy biscuits, but she soon realized that that wasn’t the case at all. As a chef, she tweaked and tried out many new recipes to give life to plant-based soul food with a rich flavor and depth.
She created appetizing meals such as Coconut Collard Salad, Fried Cauliflower Chicken, Crabcakes, Sweet Potato – Tahini Cookies, BBQ Jackfruit Sliders, Bootylicious Gumbo,Jalapeño Hush Puppies, and Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls (sounds yummy!)
This book has received raving reviews of VegNews, Bon Appetit, Washington Post, and more; and the Amazon reviews are also an excellent 5 stars.
Vegan Soul Kitchen: Fresh, Healthy, and Creative African-American Cuisine – by Bryant Terry
Bryant Terry is known as one of the most foremost voices in food activism and justice. His recipes are plant-based, farm-to-table, and real food, without heavy salt or refined sugar. The book focuses a lot on local, seasonable, and sustainably raised food.
By reworking and remixing African, Caribbean, African American, Native American and European ingredients, techniques, and meals, it is no wonder that Vegan Soul Kitchen has re-invented African-American and Southern cuisine and has now for 25 years been named one of the best vegetarian/vegan cookbooks by Cooking Light Magazine.
Moreover, much praise from other newspapers has rained down on Vegan Soul Kitchen. The New York Times, Los Angeles Sentinel, Detroit Metro Times, South Florida Sun Sentinel, The Root, Publisher’s Weekly, and others + many authors of other cookbooks are raving over the Vegan Soul Kitchen and the delectable recipes Bryant Terry has created.
Amazon reviews are also wonderful. I noticed two comments that complained that there were few photos and that those images were in black and white. All in all, though, this book is highly recommended if you like to re-create fresh, healthy, and creative African American cuisine.
Afro-Vegan: Farm-Fresh African, Caribbean, and Southern Flavors Remixed – by Bryant Terry
This cookbook is an Amazon #1 bestseller, another one by Bryant Terry. Afro-Vegan takes you on a food journey, giving you insights into the food that has traveled from Africa to the American continent.
Delish recipes such as Creamy Coconut Cashew Soup with okra, corn, and tomatoes; Crispy Teff and Gritt Cakes with eggplant; the Caribbean inspired Cocoa Spice Cake with Crystallized Ginger and Chocolate Panache, and many more (over 100) mouthwatering creations are presented in this book.
Like his other cookbook, this one has great reviews, 1025 Amazon ratings, and in total 4.5 stars.
As a writer I am also very active on Twitter and I see and comment on many posts in the Twitter writing community. That was where I was first made aware that African American writers are grossly underrepresented. I was a bit shocked. I thought, a writer is a writer, shouldn’t the focus be on the story he or she has to tell? If the book is good, then what does it matter where a writer comes from or what skin color he or she has? Perhaps – despite everything that has been happening – I sound a little naive, but those were my initial thoughts.
So, when I came across information about soul food cookbooks, I read a similar comment again: “The food industry has a long way to go in terms of inclusion, especially when it comes to celebrating soul food and taking Black chefs seriously.” (source: yahoo News)
This is why I decided to include a post about soul food, to share African American cookbooks, and celebrate this delicious food. I am pretty sure that I am going to order one of these books. Although I have eaten soul food before, it was only on rare occasions (I live in Mexico), and I loved it! I can’t wait to try out some of these recipes at home.
I am still deciding whether I will get the Afro-Vegan or Sweet Potato Soul cookbook. How about you? Have you ever tried soul food? Do you have a soul food cookbook and/or would you like to add one to your shelf?
Feel free to leave me a comment below. 🙂
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