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Vegan Soul Kitchen
by Bryant Terry
Soundtrack: "Harlem" by Bill Withers from Just as I Am
Art: "Portrait of James Baldwin" by Brett Cook-Dizney
Book: Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin (Beacon Press, 1984)
This dish provides a tangy and tasty alternative to the run-of-the mill baked beans that are normally served at summer cookouts.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings


• 1½ cups dried black-eyed peas, sorted, soaked overnight, drained, and rinsed
• 1 3-inch piece kombu
• 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1/2 cup diced onions
• 1 cup diced green bell pepper
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
• 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
• 1/2 cup tamari
• 1 cup canned tomato sauce
• 1 large chipotle Chile in adobo sauce
• 1/4 cup agave nectar
• 1 tablespoon ground cumin
• Pinch of cayenne
• 1 teaspoon dried thyme
• 1/2 pound (1 8-ounce package) tempeh, crumbled

Combine the black-eyed peas with the kombu and enough water to cover them by 2 inches in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Skim off any foam, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer, partially covered, just until tender, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Drain the beans, reserving their cooking water.

While the beans are cooking, combine 2 teaspoons of the olive oil, the onions, and bell pepper in a medium-size saute pan over medium heat. Saute for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes, until fragrant.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a blender, combine the vinegar, lime juice, tamari, tomato sauce, Chile, agave nectar, cumin, cayenne, thyme, 1 cup of the reserved bean water, and the remaining olive oil. Puree for 30 seconds until smooth.

In a cast-iron skillet or a 2-quart baking dish, combine the cooked beans with the sauteed vegetables, the tempeh, and the barbecue sauce and stir well. Bake, uncovered, for 2 hours, stirring occasionally

Serve at room temperature,


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