I'm not the only Memphis vegan specializing in Southern cuisine. Cookbook author and Bluff City native Bryant Terry has been cookin' up vegan soul food for much longer than I. He's the co-author of Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen and the just released cookbook, Vegan Soul Kitchen: Fresh, Healthy, and Creative African American Cuisine.
Bryant grew up in Memphis' Whitehaven neighborhood, but moved to New York City later in life. He's a huge inspiration for my cooking and his delicious dishes prove that Southern food doesn't have to be all about grease and fatback. I'm reviewing his latest cookbook for the Memphis Flyer, the alt-weekly newspaper I write for.
But you can't review a cookbook without making some of the recipes. Duh! Earlier this week, I made two of Bryant's favorites (both are located in the Top Six Good Eats section). This Cajun Creole Spiced Tempeh with Creamy Grits was out of this world good:
The dish is Bryant's take on traditional shrimp 'n' grits, a staple in the Deep South. The spiciness of the tempeh contrasts well with the creamy corn grits. And on the side, I cooked up his Citrus Collards Raisin Redux:
I didn't know it was possible to cook greens for a minimum amount of time and still manage to mask the bitterness. Down South, we typically cook our greens to death — at least an hour. They lose their bright green color, but they taste amazing. However, Bryant's method only takes about 15 minutes and they taste like heaven.
I'll be reviewing the book for the newspaper soon, so I'll post a link at that time. Until then, I'll be testing a few more of Bryant's dishes.