Best Strategies for Soulful Vegans

Vegan Soul Kitchen by Bryant Terry

As an NYU grad student committed to social issues, Bryant Terry also
was devoted to food. How to combine the two? By becoming an eco-chef,
saving the Earth, and feeding its people — and teaching them to
feed themselves well. In 2002 he founded b-healthy!, a project aimed at
helping young Americans foster sustainable food systems. The following
year, invited to contribute a recipe to an anthology, Terry wanted his
creation to have “the texture of an autobiography.” So he “dug deep to
come up with a dish that had some Memphis Soul (my past) mixed with
Brooklyn Boom-Bap (my present) finished off with a squeeze of Oakland
Free-Range Funk (my soon-to-be future).” The result was a “bright,
bold, and sexy … modern and chic” collard-green “confetti” with olive
oil, orange juice, and raisins. This inspired a book of his own, this
year’s Vegan Soul Kitchen. “I do realize that veganism —
the avoidance of meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, dairy products, and
honey — is antithetical to the way that African American and
Southern cooking has been constructed in the popular imagination over
the last four decades,” Terry admits. But his Coconut-Ginger Creamed
Corn, Red Beans with Simmered Seitan, Pan-Fried Grit Cakes with
Caramelized Spring Onions, and hundred-plus other recipes make a strong
case for forgetting bacon.

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