Veganuary Is Upon Us!!!!

Oh happy day!!!

It's a brand new year and I'm ready to chomp some plants!

As promised I will be delivering a recipe every single day for the month of January in tribute to those brave souls willing to dabble in veganism in celebration of Veganuary.

Take the Veganuary challenge as a journey.

A time for introspection and reflection on your own eating style in relation to your feelings about social contract, environmental concerns and personal ethics.

The fork is a powerful tool, use it wisely, and compassionately.

Try to focus on what you are giving, rather than what you are giving up.

Every piece of meat you don't eat this month is a reason to celebrate!

OK, relax, the soapbox portion of this post is over...now for the fun stuff!

Being a southern gal, and prone to getting excited about any tradition that revolves around food, the first recipe is a New Years Day good luck meal.

I should warn you, there are some short cuts taken...when I cook for clients I do not use any pre-packaged or prepared foods, only fresh.

That being said, on the day-to-day, I'm just trying to get through my week without starving or resorting to take-out, so sometimes, there's a mix!

And this time, this is the mix I used:

With those parameters in mind, I present you: Roasted Sweet Potato Stuffed with Carolina Caviar Collards ...and some total cheater corn muffins that are delicious, none the less.

As I am technologically challenged, this will not likely be as slick as some websites that have the handy click and print feature for their recipes, bare with me, I am a country bumpkin.

Bless my heart.

Anyhoo...

As with any recipe, gather your supplies before you get started.

So here's what yer gonna need:

A bunch of organic collard greens, a large sweet potato, dried black eye peas (or canned if you are really pressed for time) and a box of Vegetarian Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix. You will also want to have a quarter cup of vegan mayo to make your corn muffins and a quarter cup of your favorite fresh salsa to finish your peas off with.

Also, a bit of this stuff:

Minced Spanish olives and sliced red onion.

Once you get your ducks in a row, before you do anything else (unless you are opting for canned peas) you are gonna want to get your peas cooking, as this will take a while (like an hour or so).

Pour your dried peas into a pot large enough to accommodate them and twice their volume in water or vegetable stock.

Bring them to a boil and then reduce them to a simmer.

I like to go ahead and cook the whole pound of peas, that way I have some to work with later in the week for throwing together quickie meals.

Now that your peas are taken care of, heat up your oven to 400 degrees and pierce your sweet potato a few times.

I stabbed mine with a fondue fork a few times, worked beautifully. Your simmering peas and your sweet potato will take about the same amount of time to cook...give or take...there is a lot of wiggle room in this recipe, so you don't have to sweat exact timing!

Once you have your peas and potato under control, whip up your cornbread.

One box of mix and 1/4 cup vegan mayo...if the mixture is too thick add a little water or non dairy milk.

Feel free to throw in some chopped scallion or herbs.

Get these babies in a muffin tin and bake for 8-16 minutes, depending on if you are making full size or mini muffins.

Once your peas are almost tender, heat up a cast iron skillet and drizzle in some olive oil. Add your minced Spanish olives (with or without pimento) along with sliced red onion and chopped collard greens. Sear until very fragrant.

Once collards and olive-onion mixture browns slightly, add a cup of cooked black eye peas.

Finish with the 1/4 cup of fresh salsa.

It is totally up to you if you want to add salt to this recipe, I tend to start very minimally with the salt and add later if needed.

Time to check that tater.

By now your sweet potato should be well roasted and a bit squishy.

Pull that sticky little sucker out of the oven and let it rest for about 8 minutes. Once the potato is no longer volcanic-ally hot, split it down the middle and press the two ends toward the center to create a bowl shape. Fill this tasty bowl up with your Carolina Caviar Collards.

If your potato is anything like mine, it's large enough to share! Cut that fatty in half and plate it up with some delicious oven fresh corn muffins!

Dig in!!

Happy New Year Y'all!

Let's make this the best one yet!

Drop me a comment and let me know how you liked this recipe, or how you customized it , I'd love to hear your input!

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