There’s something magical about meals that come in bowls. Warm, comforting foods get arranged together in perfect harmony. This Southern Comfort Bowl incorporates mashed potatoes, collard greens, beans, tofu, and an awesome golden gravy. I’ve tested this recipe on several people, and it was gobbled up in minutes. I even had to make the recipe again to photograph because all the food disappeared before I could take pictures! Not that I’m complaining. I’m always down for some mashed ‘taters and greens.
The recipe may seem long, but it’s easy to put together. Most of the ingredients are spices. The beans take the longest to cook, but they just simmer all day in a slow cooker, requiring no work on your part. If you don’t have the time or inclination to make the Rockin’ Tomato Slowcooker Beans, then just use canned vegetarian baked beans! These beans, while Rockin’, are not typical baked beans. They are very tomato-y. I think they’re a perfect compliment to the mashed potatoes and spicy collards.
Let’s talk gravy. Okay? Okay. I was never a fan of traditional brown, white, or gray gravies. I would pour as little as possible on my food. Something about it never settled quite right with me. Until I had THIS plant-based, no-fat, vegan awesomeness, Golden Gravy. This gravy recipe has become my go-to sauce for potatoes, rice, and steamed veggies. It is so simple to make, and has none of the fat or animal parts/secretions found in regular gravy. I fed this gravy to a bunch of omnivores this week and they loved it. Even my husband, my equal in gravy-hating, liked it. Make the gravy. It’s soul food.
The Cajun Collard Greens are spicy, but not too spicy. If you like to turn up the heat, just increase the red pepper flakes called for to 1 teaspoon instead of 1/2 teaspoon. The Honey Gold Mashed Potatoes are literally the simplest mashed potatoes I’ve ever made. Honey Gold potatoes are tiny and sweet, with a buttery quality. I could eat these babies plain, but once you’ve had them mashed with a little cashew milk and salt, you’ll never go back. If you have other kinds of potatoes, they will work as well. However, I highly recommend trying the Honey Golds first. They’re divine. The tofu on top in the photographs is a store-bought Chipotle Marinated Baked Tofu. It’s oil-free, which is hard to find these days. I used one piece per bowl. It has a very “meaty” texture, much firmer than other tofus I’ve tried. If you can find it, try it! If not, any baked tofu will do.
- 6 ounces tomato paste (one small can)
- 1/4 cup barbecue sauce
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 yellow onion, diced small
- 2 cans navy beans, drained and rinsed
- 28 ounces Honey Gold Potatoes
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cashew milk
- Salt to taste
- 1 pound fresh shredded collard greens
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons liquid smoke
- 1 teaspoon cajun seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 yellow onion, diced small
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons flour
- Store-bought chipotle marinated baked tofu (or any baked tofu - you could even bake your own if you like).
- Whisk together the first nine ingredients. Fold in the onion and navy beans. Cook on low in your slow cooker for 6-8 hours.
- Cut potatoes into quarters. Bring to a boil in a large pot of salted water. Boil until fork tender, approximately 10-15 minutes.
- Drain potatoes, mash with cashew milk and salt to taste.
- Line a large skillet with water. Add collards and onion. Cover and steam 10 minutes.
- Add liquid smoke, cajun seasoning and red pepper flakes and stir to combine. Cover and steam until tender, another 10-15 minutes. Add splashes of water if it looks dry.
- Line a soup pot with a thin layer of water. Saute the onion, garlic, and mustard seeds for five minutes on high heat, until the water is absorbed.
- Add veggie broth, soy sauce, and nutritional yeast. Using and immersion blender, puree until smooth.
- Reduce heat to medium, and very slowly whisk in the flour. Whisk constantly until all lumps are dissolved. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, whisking every other minute to ensure it doesn't burn, until gravy reaches desired thickness.
- Warm tofu in a skillet (you can use the same one you cooked the collards in, if you like!)
- Place a generous serving of mashed potatoes in a bowl. Add collard greens, beans, and tofu, and top with gravy. Enjoy!