Wandering aimlessly down the cookbook aisle at my local bookstore is how I’ve found some of my all time favorite recipes. About a week ago, I was doing just that. Looking for inspiration and new ideas, I came across a cookbook I haven’t seen before, Vegan Soul Kitchen by Bryant Terry.
After flipping through the pages, in awe of the gumbo, stews, creole dishes, and spice mixes, I realized I was screwing up royally by not already owning a soul food cookbook. I bought it and immediately started making one of his best looking recipes- Blackened Tofu Slabs with Succotash Salsa.
Since it was about 95°F and the height of peach season the night I brought home VSK- I opted for a peach salsa instead. Luckily, he has an amazing recipe for that as well.
Here’s what you need:
For the spice mix-
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp coriander
1 tsp coarse sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp white pepper
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
For the tofu-
2 pounds extra firm tofu – pressed, patted dry, and cut into a few slabs of the same width
For the salsa-
2 cups peaches, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
3 tbsp fresh cilantro, minced
2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
Here’s what you do:
Combine all ingredients for the salsa in a large bowl. Toss, cover, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors develop.
In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the spice mix and set aside. Brush each side of the tofu slabs with olive oil, rub in the blackened seasonings, and place the tofu slabs on a plate.
Heat a large, nonstick skillet with a drizzle of olive oil. Add the tofu to the pan in a single layer and allow them to cook without turning them over for 2 1/2 minutes, or until the bottom starts to get crispy. Then turn the slabs and cook on the other side for 2-3 minutes until they’re crispy all around.
Remove the tofu from the pan and serve atop a bed of quinoa (or any other grain) with the peach salsa sprinkled over it.
And that’s it! Deceptively simple, cheap, easy, and bursting with flavor and texture. If you haven’t already checked out Vegan Soul Kitchen (or Bryant Terry’s new book, Afro-Vegan) do yourself a favor and go pick them up immediately! Comfort food has never been so easy or so vegan.