Mustard Greens Sweet Potato Soup Vegan Soul


Greens and Roasted Sweet Potato Soup

1 large sweet potato, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 bunch mustard greens (leafy parts only), leaves halved vertically, cut across into 1/2-inch strips
1 small onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, peeled, minced
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
4 cups vegetable broth, plus 1 cup water
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
soy sauce, salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Spread the sweet potato pieces on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons olive oil, salt and pepper, tossing to mix. Bake, stirring every 15 minutes, until the outsides are light golden brown, about 30-35 minutes. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a thick-bottomed soup pot over medium high heat.  Toss in the onion, garlic and mustard seeds. Cook, stirring, until the onion wilt and become tender.  Toss in the remaining 1 teaspoon of oil, mustard greens and 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce. Cook, stirring, five minutes more. Add the soup stock. Heat to a boil; lower heat to a simmer. Cook until flavors come together, about 10-15 minutes.Remove sweet potatoes from the oven, reserving 1/2 cup. Add the remaining sweet potatoes to the pot.  Puree the reserved yams with one cup water in a blender until smooth. Add pureed mixture to the pot. Season with vinegar, salt, pepper and soy sauce to taste.  Cook  five to ten minutes more  or until the mustard greens reach the degree of tenderness you prefer. Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.

Note: Adapted from Bryant Terry in Vegan Soul Kitchen

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Red Velvet Cake

Yields: 8 Servings or 1 dozen cupcakes & 2 mini-loaf pans.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 30 to 35 minutes for cakes; 20 minutes for cupcakes


    • 2 cups cake flour
    • 3 tablespoons unsweetended cocoa powder
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1½ sticks ¾ cups butter
    • cups sugar
    • 4 eggs
    • 1 cup milk
    • 3 teaspoons red food coloring
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • Buttercream Frosting, below


Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Stir the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl; set aside. Beat the butter and sugar with a mixer on medium until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time; set aside.
Stir together the milk, food coloring and vanilla in a small bowl. Alternating, fold the red mixture and flour mixture into the egg mixture, ending with the dry ingredients. Transfer to two 9-inch greased and floured pans and/or paper lined muffin tins.
Bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, about 30 to 35 minutes for cakes or mini loaves, about 20 minutes for cupcakes.
Cool in pans 5 minutes before turning out onto racks. Cool completely; frost with icing.
Note: Beat together 6 cups powdered sugar, 2 sticks softened butter 4 to 6 tablespoons milk or heavy cream and 2 teaspoons vanilla until light and fluffy.

Adapted from B. Smith “Rituals and Celebrations”

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Spinach Salad w/Bacon & Mushrooms

Yields: 4 Servings.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 6 minutes

Adapted from A Well-Seasoned Appetite by Molly O’Neill


  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon each: coarse mustard, apple cider vinegar
  • 1 pound spinach, stemmed, torn
  • 2 large portobello mushrooms, stemmed, cut in slices, oven dried, see note


Heat the oven to 200 degrees. Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until brown and crisp, about 6 minutes. Remove from skillet; drain on a paper towel. Meaure out 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons of bacon fat; transfer to a small bowl.

Whisk in the mustard; whisk in the vinegar. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Place the spinach leaves in a large bowl; add dressing. Toss to coat. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Divide the salad among 4 plates. Top with dried mushrooms and bacon.

Note: to dry mushroom, brush the mushroom slices with oil; spread on a baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Bake until dried, about 1 hour.

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James Villas Southern, soul andSoft-Shell Crabs with Spicy Lime Sauce

Yields: 8 Appetizer Servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Marinating Time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 6 minutes


  • 8 medium soft-shell crabs, cleaned
  • 2 cups milk
  • ½ cup, each flour, cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • sticks (¾) cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
  • ½ teaspoon hot pepper sauce, or to taste


Arrange the crabs in a large, shallow baking dish; add milk. Marinate 30 minutes.
Combine the flour, cornmeal, salt and pepper in a pie plate. Dust the crabs lightly in the mixture. Heat 1 stick of butter and the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add half the crabs. Cook 3 minutes; turn. Transfer to a hot serving platter. Continute with remaining crabs.
Add the remaining 1/2 stick butter, lime juice, parsley and hot sauce to the skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until the butter sizzles. Pour over the crabs.


Oven-Fried Chicken

Yields: 6 Servings.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour

Adapted from The New Ebony Cookbook by Charlotte Lyons


  • 1 chicken (broiler/fryer) about 3 pounds, trimmed, see note
  • 1/2 teaspoon each: salt, garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-calorie
    margarine or butter, melted


Heat oven to 425 degrees. Season the chicken  with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Combine flour and paprika in medium bowl. Coat seasoned chicken parts with flour mixture. Place chicken (skin side down) in 13-by-9-by-2-inch oil-sprayed baking pan. Drizzle melted margarine or butter over chicken.
Bake 30 minutes; turn chicken. Bake until thickest pieces are done and juices run clear when pierced by a fork, about 30 minutes longer.

Note: Skin may be removed from chicken before preparing, if desired

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Benne-Coated AsparagusTupelo Honey Cafe

Yields: 8 Servings.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 6 minutes

Adapted from Tupelo Honey Cafe by Elizabeth Sims with Chef Brian Sonoskus


  • 3 pounds asparagus, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds


Blanch the asparagus in salted boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes, just until tender.
Heat the sesame oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the aspragus, cooking 2 to 3 minutes.
Add salt, pepper and sesame seeds.


Strawberry Pie

This recipe is from “The Buster Holmes Restaurant Cookbook” by Buster Holmes


  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 eggs, separated, whites beaten stiff
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 baked 9-inch pie crust
  • Whipping Cream


  • Heat oven to 275 degrees. Place lemon juice in a large bowl; stir condensed milk into lemon juice. Whisk in egg yolks and vanilla.
    Fold in egg whites and berries. Pour into baked pie shell. Bake until mixture firms, about 15 minutes. Refrigerate at least 4 hours; top with optional whipped cream, before serving.

Maya Angelou asparagus, carrots vegetables with vinaigrette Crudités with Vinaigrette

Adapted from Great Food All Day Long by Maya Angelou

5 small red potatoes

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 pound asparagus, tough ends snapped off 1/2 bunch broccoli, separated into small florets

10 edible-pod peas, strings removed

6 each: small carrots, peeled; green onions, including green tops, chopped

1/2 pound small button mushroom caps

4 to 5 inner leaves from 1 head romaine lettuce


3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2/3 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 1/2 teaspoons dried tarragon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 1/4 cup olive oil

Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan; cover with water. Heat to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower heat to a simmer. Cook until just fork tender,  about 20 minutes. Remove the potatoes from water; set aside. Add the asparagus, broccoli, peas, carrots, and green onions to the water. Raise heat to medium high. Cook 6 minutes. Remove vegetables from the pot; rinse in ice water. Set aside to drain. Meanwhile, peel and cut potatoes in half. Transfer to a large bowl with other vegetables.

For the dressing, puree 3 tablespoons cold water, vinegar, parsley, tarragon, salt and pepper in a blender until smooth. With the motor running, gradually add the olive oil, increasing the flow as the mixture thickens. Pulse the blender off and on to mix the ingredients well.

Pour 1/4 cup of dressing over the vegetables in the bowl; toss, mixing well.

Arrange vegetables and the raw mushrooms on the lettuce leaves in a basket. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

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Angelou-recipe-hogs-head-cheeseHog Head Cheese

Adapted from Hallelujah! the Welcome Table by Maya Angelou

5 pounds pig’s feet

2 pounds pork roast

1 pound pig’s ears

1 1/2 bottles Chardonnay

2 cups cider vinegar

1 large onion studded with 6 cloves

8 ribs celery, chopped

5 bay leaves

10 peppercorns

5 packages (.25 ounces each) powdered gelatin, such as Knox

3 teaspoons each: salt, freshly ground black pepper

2 red bell peppers, trimmed, chopped

Cornichons, optional

Place pig’s feet, pork roast, ears, wine and vinegar in a large pot. Add enough water to cover. Place clove-studded onion, celery, bay leaves, peppercorns in a cheesecloth bag. Add to pot. Stir gelatin into 2 cups cool water in a medium bowl. Add to pot. Add bell peppers, salt and pepper to the pot. Heat to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower heat to a simmer. Cook 4 hours, skimming and discarding the frothy surface accumulation every 15 minutes. Remove from heat; set aside to cool. Strain through a  colander; reserve liquid.

Carefully remove all bones from meat. Cut up pig’s feet and pork roast into small pieces. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Check seasoning of reserved liquid; return to bowl.  Pour into 6 (or more ,if needed) loaf pans. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate until set, 8 or more hours. Turn out cooled pans onto cutting board. Slice. Serve pate- style on a salad plate; garnish with cornichons or other small pickles, as desired.

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People’s Punch

1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

1/2 cup pomegranate juice

1/4 cup each: freshly squeezed lemon and lime juice

2 tablespoons agave nectar, see note

1 cup chilled sparkling mineral water

2 orange slices, for garnish

Combine the orange, pomegranate, lemon and lime juice in a small pitcher. Stir in agave nectar. Pour into slender glasses, topping each glass with 1/2 cup sparkling water. Garnish glasses with orange slices. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Note: agave nectar or syrup comes from the sap of a plant native to Mexico. It is used as a substitute for sugar, honey and maple syrup.

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