Wow! What an amazing vacation we just came back from. Not only did we run the Chicago Marathon, Luke proposed to me at the finish line! How crazy is that! On top of those two very memorable moments, my parents surprised me by coming up to Chicago to celebrate our engagement. Apparently everyone in our families had known, except for me, since April. I was completely surprised and it was a moment I’ll never forget. I’m so excited to start planning out our wedding and start our lives together as a married couple.
Let's have a quick chat about vegan food in Chicago. Seriously, it's so amazing...for vegans and meat-eaters alike. At every restaurant there was at least 1 vegan option and it was never a hassle. Oh, how I miss you so much Chicago and your ease of eating out. Some of the highlights were:
Vegan ramen and grilled eggplant skewers at Wasabi in Logan Square
Korean cauliflower "wings" at Native Foods in Wicker Park
The Reuben and Mac n' Teese at Chicago Diner in Logan Square
Honestly, I'm probably missing some meals...but everything was just so darn good everywhere we ate! Do you guys have some favorite vegan spots in Chicago? Let us know in the comments below!
Now that you guys know why we’ve been a little m.i.a. these last couple weeks, we can get on to talking about these amazing vegan southern soul bowls. Not only are these bowls easy and delicious, but they're ready in about 30-45 minutes! I just love how the bitterness of the collard greens pairs so well with the sweetness of the roasted sweet potatoes.
Let us know if you make these amazing southern soul bowls by tagging your pictures #kaleyeahitsvegan!
Southern Soul Bowl
2 cups brown rice, cooked according to package instructions
- Black-Eyed Peas
- 2, 15 oz. cans of black-eyed peas
- 1 small sweet onion, chopped
- 2 garlic gloves, minced
- 1 red or orange pepper
- 1 jalepeno, minced and seeds removed
- 1 tbsp each - soy sauce, agave, apple cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp vegan worcestershire sauce
- 1tsp each - salt, smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 bay leaves
To Make Black-Eyed Peas:
- In a large pot, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and jalepeno. Sauté until onions are translucent and slightly charred on the edges. Add chopped peppers and cook for 3-4 minutes until peppers have softened.
- Add beans, and spices (soy sauce, agave, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, smoke, and 2 bay leaves). Stir to combine. Cook for 15 minutes.
- Collard Greens:
- bunches collard greens, thoroughly washed and thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tbsp vegan butter or olive oil
- salt/pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
To make Collard Greens:
- In a large skillet, melt vegan butter over medium heat. Add collard greens in bunches, letting greens cook down a bit before adding more in. Once all greens are in the skillet, add the garlic, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper. Also add in 2-4 tbsp water to cook greens in. Let greens cook for 12-15 minutes, until they are wilted.
- Roasted Sweet potatoes:
- medium sized sweet potatoes, cut into small 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- salt/pepper to taste
To make sweet potatoes:
- Preheat over to 425°F.
- Spread out potatoes on a lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
- Bake for 30 minutes, flipping potatoes at 15 minutes to ensure even cooking.
Assemble bowls with brown rice on the bottom, black-eyed peas, sweet potatoes, and collard greens.