Nécessité honors black history month. Did you know… As we continue to celebrate Black history/herstory month, I wanted to share and possibly introduce you to food that has been a huge part of black culture for many years.
Soul Food, also known as Southern Food, is very popular in southern states. Some soul food items to name a few are -grits, fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, black-eyed peas, dinner rolls/cornbread, okra, and collard greens. Here I share a few recipes with you from Shut Up and Cook! My cookbook inspired by soul food made modern and healthier.
Nana’s Rolls, My Way
Yield: 9 Rolls
Bread, in any format, doesn’t have a great reputation as healthy food, mostly due to the low-carb craze. Still, we love bread and I wanted to figure out how to make my Nana’s delicious rolls healthier. In fact, I think these are only “rolls” that I feel pretty good about eating and serving. Enjoy, and I love the fact that at least you’re eating something healthier!
- 3 cups spelt flour
- 1 teaspoon sea salt or Sea Veg
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 1/4- ounce packet or 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for the bowl and baking dish
- 2 tablespoons powdered egg replacer plus 1/2 cup water, whisked together
Method of Preparation:
- In a medium bowl, add the spelt flour, sea salt, maple syrup, and yeast. Using a whisk or handheld electric mixer, set on low, mix until ingredients are combined.
- In a small saucepan set over medium-low heat, combine the water and oil. Bring the water temperature to 130 degrees F or until very hot. Pour the warmed water mixture into flour mixture and mix on low speed until all of the ingredients are combined. Pour in the egg replacer mixture, mix on medium-high speed, and knead just until combined. Transfer to a bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel to rest for 10 minutes.
- Uncover the bowl and transfer the dough to a clean and lightly greased (I like using olive oil) large bowl. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and allow the dough to rise in a draft-free part of your house until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour. Remove the towel and transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough a few times and then immediately press it into a 1-inch thick square. Cut the dough into 9 equally sized pieces and transfer them into a lightly greased 9 x 9-inch baking dish. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise once more, until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat over to 350 degrees F.
- Transfer the baking dish to the oven and bake until the rolls are lightly browned on the top, about 30 minutes. Allow to come to room temperature before pulling apart.
Mother Earth Collard Green Wraps:
Collard greens were always that farm-to-table staple food for my ninety-three-year-young Nana in her day. She would go to her family garden to get them, clean them, and eat them. This leafy vegetable only does the body good-there are no negatives! Being loaded with those micronutrients-minerals and vitamins-is the reason I always buy them and keep them in my medicine cabinet (my refrigerator). I love experimenting and making different recipes with collard greens. This mixture is great for anyone craving a leafy vegetable with a few extra vegetables, and it’s a fun way to eat these beautiful leaves.
Yield: 10 to 12 Wraps
- 3 ounces rice vermicelli noodles
- 3 cups boiling water
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 tsp lemon juice (from 1/2 lemon)
- 1/4 tsp sea salt or Sea Veg
- 5 to 6 raw collard green leaves. washed thoroughly and patted dry
- 1/2 raw carrot, cut into small matchsticks
- 1/2 raw cucumber, cut into small matchsticks
- 1 avocado, peeled and thinly sliced
Method of Preparation:
- Place the vermicelli noodles in a medium bowl. Cover the noodles with boiling water and allow to stand for about 3 minutes, until the noodles are tender. Drain the noodles and rinse with cold water. Transfer to a small bowl. Toss the noodles with olive oil, lemon juice, and sea salt or Sea Veg. Set aside.
- Prep the collard green leaves by running your knife along each side of the stem, removing it from the center. Each collard green leaf should give you two wraps. Repeat with the remaining collard green leaves. Place a small handful of vermicelli noodles on the third of the leaf closest to you. Top with a few pieces of carrot, cucumber, and a sliver of avocado. Roll the collard green leaf half tightly and transfer to a serving plate. Repeat the filling and rolling step with the remaining collard green leaves. You should end up with about 10 to 12 collard green wraps, depending on the leaves.
Soul-Warming Black-Eyed Peas:
Protein, fiber, and a satisfied soul, this recipe will have you saying “yum yum yum.” Black-eyed peas are not just welcoming in the new year as some people believe. This recipe is a winner year-round.
Serves 4 to 6
- 1 cup dried black-eyed peas
- 3 cups water
- 1/4 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 strip kombu
- Sea salt or Sea Veg
Methods Of Preparation:
- In a medium bowl, add the black-eyed peas and cover them with 3 cups of water. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or top with a plate and allow to soak on your kitchen counter for at least 4 hours, ideally overnight.
- The next day, drain the black-eyed peas and rinse under cold water. Add them to a medium pot, along with the chopped onion, apple cider vinegar, a strip of kombu, and enough water so the black-eyed peas’ surface is covered by about 3 inches. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and cook until the beans are tender about 1 hour. Mix in about a teaspoon of sea salt or Sea Veg; give it a taste and adjust the salt accordingly.
Enjoy with much love and gratitude,
Certified Holistic Health Coach
Certified in Gut Health
Auricular Therapy (Ear Seeds)
Author of The Thriving Child, Shut Up and Cook!
Photographer credit: Nicole Garner