FLAVOR!!! TEXTURE!!! Those are the two most important elements in any dish, and you'll find plenty of both in our easy to make, healthy, and delicious barbecue bowls.
If you've been following us for a while, you know that we love good BBQ. I mean, we wrote an entire cookbook of delicious BBQ recipes!
Good BBQ is in my blood, thanks to my mom and her Southern roots. I have so many fond memories of eating our way through the South on our drives to South Carolina, and Virginia, and I'm always looking for unique ways to enjoy one of my favorite foods.
BBQ ISN'T JUST FOR MEAT
After our cookbook was released the barbecue "purists" came out of the woodwork. We actually received hate mail from people who were offended that we made plant-based BBQ recipes.
Our answer to those who think they wrote the rules on what the definition of BBQ is: You do you, we'll do us. Bye.
In our minds barbecue food means many things.
- It's food that's cooked on a grill, whether it's on a grill pan on your stove or outside on an outdoor grill.
- BBQ is something that's smothered in the best BBQ sauce ever.
- Finally, this genera of cooking is something that's served at a backyard barbecue, like potato salad, baked beans, or potato chips.
Now that we have that squared away, let's get back to this delicious BBQ recipe.
WHAT IS A SOUTHERN-STYLE BBQ BOWL?
It's a big bowl of Southern ingredients that have a bit of smokey flavor and a whole lot of homemade BBQ sauce folded in.
We chose collard greens, black-eyed peas, sweet potatoes, creamy grits, and tofu (okay, not really Southern, but hey...) for our healthy vegan barbecue bowls, and you guys, those ingredients were meant to be together.
We also made our easy homemade BBQ sauce to toss in the vegetables to add a ton of flavor. Our readers who have made this sauce love it! It's so easy to make and so much healthier than store bought, because it has less sugar.
HOW DO I MAKE HOMEMADE VEGAN BBQ BOWLS?
First, you have to choose which BBQ Sauce to use. As we mentioned above, you can make it from scratch by following our homemade BBQ sauce recipe. We always have a bunch of this BBQ sauce pre-made in the refrigerator. If you don't have sauce made, make it now or you can use store-bought!
1. Roast the sweet potatoes and marinate the tofu in some of the BBQ sauce.
2. While the sweet potatoes are roasting, cook the collard greens and the black-eyed peas. You can cook them together.
3. Roast the tofu.
4. Make the grits and when it's done, put the bowls together.
You can organize the bowls any way that you want. It's totally up to you. Just make sure that you drizzle some BBQ sauce over the top so you get some in every bite.
And to make them truly authentic, add a few slices of bread and butter pickles on top.
WHEN SHOULD I SERVE THESE AMAZING BBQ BOWLS?
These are best when they're eaten right away. The grits are creamy, the collard greens have a bit of a bite to them, and the sweet potatoes and tofu have a bit of crispiness when they just come out of the oven.
They're good the next day, but not as good as they are hot off of the stove.
Make this and let us know what you think. We love to hear from you! And, don’t forget to take a picture of your gorgeous creation and tag us @veganosity on Instagram.
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Easy Southern-Style Vegan BBQ Bowls
- 2 sweet potatoes cubed (peeling is optional)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 14 ounce firm tofu pressed
- 1 cup BBQ sauce see link in ingredients to make our homemade sauce
- 15 ounce Black-Eyed Peas drained and rinsed
- 1 large bunch collard greens coarsely chopped
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1 large bay leaf
- Salt and pepper to taste
FOR THE GRITS
- 1 cup old fashioned grits we like these better than quick cooking grits
- 4 cups plant-based milk anything except coconut milk will work
- 1 tablespoon vegan butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
- BBQ Sauce
- Bread and Butter pickle slices
Make the BBQ sauce or use store-bought.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper
- Cube the pressed tofu into 1-inch cubes and place in a large bowl and toss with ½ cup of the BBQ sauce. 20 minutes before the sweet potatoes are done, spread the tofu evenly on one of the baking sheets and roast for 20 minutes, turning after 10 minutes.
FOR THE SWEET POTATOES
- Evenly spread the sweet potatoes on one of the baking sheets and evenly drizzle with the olive oil. Salt and pepper the potatoes and toss them. Roast for 15 minutes then toss them. Roast another 15 minutes or until they’re golden brown and fork tender.
FOR THE COLLARD GREENS AND BLACK-EYED PEAS
- Heat a large pot on medium-high heat. When the pan is hot add 2 tablespoon of the vegetable broth and then add the onions and saute for 5 to 7 minutes, or until they’re soft and transclucent. Add the garlic and saute for 2 minutes.
- Add the vegetable broth to the onions and garlic and stir in the smoked paprika, vinegar, liquid smoke, bay leaf, and salt and pepper until combined and bring to a boil.
- When the broth is boiling, turn the heat down to a simmer and stir in the collard greens and black-eyed peas until well combined. If the greens and peas aren’t slightly covered in broth, add a little more broth or some water. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
FOR THE GRITS
- While the greens are simmering, make the grits.
- In a medium sauce pan, bring the milk and butter to a low boil on medium heat. When the milk is just boiling, whisk in the grits and reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for approximately 15 minutes, or until the grits are thick and creamy. Stir frequently to avoid scorching the bottom.
TO ASSEMBLE THE BOWLS
- Put 1 cup of grits on the bottom of the bowl then layer the remaining ingredients however you like. Add some extra BBQ sauce and two pickles if desired.
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