Vegan Soul Cuisine

I created a meal inspired by southern food... it was beyond delicious and I wish I could eat this type of hearty, flavorful soul food everyday. The bitter collards are cut perfectly by the acid of the red wine vinegar. The stewed okra has a light spiciness and wonderful texture. The bbq tofu is wonderfully crisp and saucey and the addition of Dr. Pepper soda makes this bbq different than any I've ever had! And the cornbread...perfectly dense and moist (serve this warm with a generous pat of non-dairy butter)! Have a great weekend!

Dr. Pepper BBQ Tofu
1 onion (diced)
6 cloves garlic (minced)
1 15 oz can crushed tomato
1/4 C apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
2 tsp spicy vegan worcestire*
1/4 C light brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp cayenne
1 package extra firm tofu
vegetable oil
fresh ground black pepper

1. Press tofu block with paper towels (you can add a baking dish over the towel for some pressure, but do not crush the tofu!). Press for at least an hour and change the towels a few times when they are saturated.  Dry tofu will allow a very crisp crust!
2. In a medium saucepan sauté onions and garlic. Add cayenne, salt and pepper and cook for 1 more minute, stirring constantly.
3. Add all other ingredients to the saucepan. Stir well. Bring to a boil, then turn down heat to low setting and simmer covered for 1 hour.
4. Carefully pour half of the sauce into a blender. Drape a kitchen towel over the top and gently pulse. 
5. Add other half of liquid and gently pulse until smooth.
6. Carefully pour sauce back into its saucepan and cook at a low boil for 15 minutes uncovered (or longer if you want a very thick sauce).
6. Cut tofu into medium size cubes.
7. In a large skillet with a generous coating of vegetable oil sauté tofu over medium heat. Turn so that all sides brown.
8. Add several ladles of the bbq sauce onto the tofu and toss over medium heat for 1 minute.

Sautéed Collard Green
1 bunch collard greens (rinse and rip leaves into bite sized pieces)
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
5 cloves garlic
fresh ground black pepper

1. Sauté garlic and then add collards. Sauté for 10-15 minutes adding the vinegar, salt and pepper in the last two minutes of cooking.

Stewed Okra and Tomatoes
1 pound okra (rinsed, stems removed, cut into circles)
1 pound tomatoes (I used Campari)
1 C vegetable broth
1 shallot
handfull of fresh oregano (chopped, stems removed)
hot sauce
1 tsp Tony Chachere's cajun seasoning
fresh ground black pepper

1. In a large skillet sauté shallot in some EVOO over medium heat. 
2. Add okra, tomatoes, and seasoning. Cook for 35-40 minutes or until okra is tender. Add broth during cooking at a time when it looks too dry (this should be like a stew). 
3. Add oregano in last 5 minutes of cooking.

Vegan Jalapeño Cornbread
(Recipe Inspired By and adapted from:
2 C cornmeal
1 C white flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 C non-dairy milk
2 1/2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
3 jalapeño peppers 

0. Preheat oven to 350 F.
1. Remove stem and from jalapeños. Cut into slices and pop out white insides. Dice finely by hand or in a food processor. Set aside. 
2. Combine milk and vinegar in a medium bowl . Whisk well and set aside for 10 minutes.(this sort of turns curdles the milk , transforming it to "buttermilk")
3. In a large bowl combine dry ingredients well.
4. Add syrup and oil to wet bowl. Whisk very well.
5. Slowly add wet ingredients and peppers to dry and combine well.
6. Pour batter into oiled 8x8 baking dish.
7. Bake at 350 F for 35 minutes.