Ok, so I admit I have been having trouble with becoming a vegetarian (read: “How to be a Meat Eating Vegetarian”). But I’ve lately been inspired by three things that have made me think twice about eating meat. 1) A friend of mine has recently decided to give up meat for health reasons. Watching him eat salads while I downed blackened penne pasta with chicken, I suddenly felt a pang of guilt shoot up my stomach. 2) I browsed through a book on the dangers of eating meat. 3) I bought a book called Vegan Soul Kitchen by Bryant Terry, which has 150 recipes for vegan soul food dishes.
The last item has really inspired me to become a vegan. As a child of a southern mother, I grew up on soul food. Cornbread, collard greens and black-eyed peas were common at our dinner table. It was not unusual for me to see my mother tossing a large piece of fatback into a frying pan and cooking it in some collard or turnip greens, or to watch her pour a pound of butter into a boiling pot of grits. Therefore, when I saw the book, It seemed like an oxymoron. Vegan soul food? It couldn’t be possible, I thought.
Vegan Soul Kitchen has already had my mouth watering, by simply reading the recipes. I can’t wait to try the Spicy Smothered Green Cabbage or the Not-Too-Dirty Rice. There are also a number of soup and dessert recipes and mouth-watering cocktails.
I have also found a couple of restaurants in Washington, DC, where I live, that offer vegan dishes including Founding Fathers and Busboys & Poets.