Soul food is an enigma, in that it’s traditionally heavily based on animal ingredients and shunned by wealthier people. But, oddly, it’s also one of the easiest of all cuisines to veganize. And in part because of Jamaica’s vegan-leaning Rastafarian culture, which reinvented American soul food, there are numerous vegan soul food restaurants in the United States. Two of these are Souley Vegan in Oakland, California, and Detroit Vegan Soul in Detroit, Michigan.
Probably no food so aptly combines healthful choices and pure decadence in one meal. You’re likely to see heaps of macaroni and vegan cheese alongside perfectly cooked collard greens. Or imagine some fried vegan chicken side-by-side with mashed sweet potatoes. In the entire spectrum of vegan cooking you’re unlikely to find a cuisine that does such a great job of filling you up, while simultaneously giving you a massive dose of veggies.
There are also excellent vegan soul food cookbooks on the market—the most notable by vegan chef and food justice activist Bryant Terry.