A cookbook titled A Southern Girl’s Guide to Plant-Based Eating by Cametria Hill has been making waves in the vegan food scene.
The book, which aims to help “put Southern soul into plant-based cooking,” has received excellent reviews. “[I’m] enticed by how personable and delicious this reads – it’s a very timely publication with so many Black folk exploring veganism these days, discovering down home cooking can apply to vegan eats too,” Demetrius Bagley, producer of documentary Vegucated, said.
Hill described her book, the third to be released by vegan book publisher Sanctuary Publishers, as the first plant-based eating guide inspired by her Southern upbringing in “the melting post of the four best cuisines on Earth” – BBQ, Cajun/Creole, Tex-Mex, and Soul Food – Houston, Texas.
Hill’s shifting relationship with food
Hill’s journey to veganism began in her early teens as she started thinking about the ethics of eating animals. She first became vegetarian and finally, vegan after realizing what supporting the dairy and egg industries meant. The shift to a completely plant-based diet greatly impacted her in a positive way, Hill says.
But looking around her own community, she realized she did not know anyone over 45 who was not suffering from diet-related illnesses. All her loved ones were on medication. It was then that Hill decided to create a resource that would inspire her family and friends to eat more healthily. And so, she thoroughly researched veganism and plant-based diets, and became a professional chef and caterer.
The book is stuffed with inspiring recipes
Hill recalls having, “…a sort of ‘Lord what have I been missing’ kind of moment and obsessed over seeing how I could morph ‘this’ vegetable into ‘that’ type of dish we used to eat in the South.” She stated: “Before I knew it, I had developed my own new cooking style that was a natural evolution of the type of culinary prowess the South is legendary for producing.”
Noting accessibility with regards to cost and time, as well as the often-obscure ingredients in many vegan cookbooks, she made it her mission to create traditional Southern-inspired dishes with affordable and readily available plant foods. She also endeavours to use as much of each plant or ingredient as possible, keeping in line with soul food style.
‘A Southern Girl’s Guide to Plant-Based Eating’
The book includes dozens of recipes and cooking tips, acting as a jumpstart guide to those new to plant-based eating and cooking. Additionally, it features tips to dining out, as well as resources beyond food.
From novice to expert in the kitchen, A Southern Girl’s Guide to Plant-Based Eating has recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. These include Buttermylk Biscuits and Black Pepper Mushroom Gravy, Louisiana-Style Cornmeal-Encrusted Tofu Fish Fry, Carrie B’s Cornbread Dressing, Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Pie, Banana Nut Hush Puppies, among others.
Hill’s explanations, playful expressions, and easy-to-follow recipe instructions make Southern plant-based cooking easy and truly enjoyable.
Humbly, she reflected back on the journey that brought her to this very moment and said: “So here I am today sharing the stories of my family, and life through dishes that remind me of them.
“Things that I treasure, information that I wish I had sooner but Importantly that I hope impacts your life in all the beautiful ways being plant-based have had for me.”
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