In our new series BuzzFeed Breakfast, we invite a chef to hang out and cook stuff. Then we show you how to recreate what he or she did.
Designed by Chris Ritter/BuzzFeed. Photograph by Lauren Zaser/BuzzFeed
Soul food is a lot of things. It is pork ribs, it is fried okra, it is a reflection of the deeply complex role that African American culture has played in all of southern cuisine. Soul food is not, however, all that healthy. Usually.
“For most people, African American and Southern cooking is synonymous with meals organized around fatty meats with overcooked vegetables and fruits playing a minor supporting role,” chef Bryant Terry wrote in his 2009 cookbook, Vegan Soul Kitchen. “But when we take a step back and remember that — before the widespread industrialization of food in this country — African Americans living in the South included lots of fresh, nutrient-dense leafy greens, tubers, and fruits in their everyday diets, what I am introducing here is not that much of a stretch.”
In his newest cookbook Afro-Vegan, Terry pairs African, Caribbean, and Southern flavors with fresh, vegan ingredients. He believes that tasty, culturally inspired food is the key to good health, not an obstacle to it. Spreading this message makes Terry equal parts chef and food justice activist: He was named one of The New York Times “food fighters” in 2008 and appointed to the State Department's American Chef Corps in 2012.
Armed with a bag of grits from his favorite producer (and not willing to share his source), Terry visited the BuzzFeed Test Kitchen recently to make breakfast. This is the second in a new series called BuzzFeed Breakfast, wherein we ask chefs to come hang out at 10 a.m. and cook stuff. It was a cold and rainy morning, the kind that requires something hot and delicious, and he did not disappoint.
Here's what chef used to make the grits:
Yellow grits, extra virgin olive oil, yellow onion, vegetable broth, soaked raw cashews, and sea salt. (Note: You need to soak the cashews for at least 3 hours before you cook the grits.)
Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed