Recently public television aired the documentary Soul Food Junkies. It was an excellent documentary and very nicely done. I applaude the producer Bryon Hurt and public televison for tackling this sensitive and diverse subject. African Americans hold soul food close to their hearts. Even if we no longer consume soul food on a regular basis, it is still a part of our culture. Soul food is also very diverse, with everything from collard greens to gumbo. And no, we don't fry everything we eat.
The soul food diet encompasses lots of healthy foods, such as black-eyed peas, pinto beans, sweet potatoes, watermelon, collard greens, turnips, cabbage. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that we consume these foods. They are good sources of fiber and beta-carotene. Collards, turnips and cabbage are member of the brassica family of vegetables. Research suggests that consumption of these vegetables may reduce risk of certain forms of cancer.
While the soul food diet is not all bad, it can be high in sodium and fat. And those things need to change. But let's don't toss out the baby with the wash water.
The website for Soul Food Junkies has a 'Pin It to Win It' section. You can go on the website and find healthier soul food recipes and you can also pin your masterpiece.
I am posting my new 'classic', Black-eyed Pea Salad with Sriracha Vinaigrette. It's a twist on black-eyed peas.
Black-eyed Pea Salad with Sriracha Vinaigrette
2½ Tablespoons white wine or apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 to 1½ Tablespoons Sriracha sauce
½ teaspoon salt
1 bag (16 ounce) frozen black-eyed peas
3 celery ribs
1 red or yellow bell pepper
1 cup lean ham, about 4 ounces
⅓ cup chopped parsley
1. In a small bowl, combine vinegar, olive oil, Sriracha sauce, and salt. Set aside.
2. Cook black-eyed peas according to package directions. Drain. Rinse in tap water. Drain and set aside.
3. Chop the celery. Peel and grate the carrots. Chop the bell pepper and ham. Combine in a large bowl. Add black-eyed peas and parsley. Stir to combine.
4. Add vinaigrette and stir. Allow salad to sit for at least 10 minutes or up to one day before serving.
Source: Whole Foods Market