Vegan Soul Kitchen

My man will roll his eyes-- and possibly reconsider the viability of our relationship (which is based largely on our shared canivorousness)-- when he catches me with my copy of Vegan Soul Kitchen (Da Capo/Perseus 2009), eco-chef Bryant Terry's latest. But I don't think I'll be able to resist this one-- and the sultry, Blue Note-esque cover has nothing little to do with it. While I am of the opinion that all soul food is "bright, bold, and sexy," I have faith that these recipes will indeed be something special. Especially after I'm done plating them. (Skills.) What's more, Terry himself isn't a vegan-- and he was hesitant to plaster the word "vegan" across his book because "it evokes granola, fake meat." Smart man. He continues, "I like to think that I'm taking African-American staples and coming up with something new."

And he has, it seems: citrus collards with raisins; Caramelized grapefruit, avocado, and watercress salad with grapefruit vinaigrette; Jamaican patties with sweet coconut-ginger creamed corn. Yes, yes, and yes, please. Despite having been born into two separate but equal meat-eating traditions-- I take my pepper soup with gizzards and tripe, and my high school graduation party had not yet officially begun until the roast pig was situated on the banquet table-- I occasionally take a dip in the vegetarian pool. And not as a form of detox, either-- just a way to expand my repertoire. Then again, it's only a matter of weeks before I'm Afrique-bound and have no choice but to try and squeeze into my summer gear. So maybe I'd be wise to adopt a more healthful eating regimen, like, yesterday. Or tomorrow.

Or not, as the VSK release date isn't until March. Mark it on your calendar, and call your local bookseller to reserve your copy.

Happy healthy eating.


January 9, 2009 at 12:36 PM kiss my black ads said...

Sounds delicious! Me and the wifey eat vegetarian 80% of the time. The other 20 is seafood. I love it!

January 12, 2009 at 8:08 AM Bee said...

I wish someone would do this for Nigerian Cuisine!

It's always kind of frustrated me how we've been doing the same thing with Nigerian food for centuries no matter how unsuited to our current lifestyles it might be.

I would love to see lighter and sometimes more playful alternatives that involve less strenuous processes.

Or is that my lazy side speaking?

January 12, 2009 at 9:37 AM Sadia said...

Hi, Bee:

My dad, the Liberian, has an old friend who's been a vegetarian for years and by adapting traditional Liberian recipes, has been able to feast on old favorites. For a while, I was resistant, thinking that the mere idea of vegetarian West African food was akin to egregious crime.

But I've grown older-- and have had more exposure to the possibilities of meat-free cuisine. I'm with you all the way! Maybe you could start tampering in your own kitchen-- you'd probably come up with some good stuff.

The Meat-Free Pepper Soup Challenge...

January 20, 2009 at 1:39 AM jamey said...

my homeboy Bryant! yes, I'm definitely carnivore, but the sneak peek at this book has me hungry with anticipation. it is a complete vegetarian resource down to condiments & beverages. so lovely...