Combine lemon pepper shrimp, tender greens, okra, sweet potato, and fluffy rice for the ultimate soul food flavors in a bowl! Originally published January 2019. Last updated February 2023.
Another blessed Black History Month is upon us, which means a new roundup of recipes from your favorite Black food bloggers all over the world! My beautiful soul food power bowls are part of an amazing annual culinary round up. If you're looking for a quick and easy soul food meal, start scrolling.
Table of Contents
What does it taste like?
This Black History Month recipe is colorful, flavorful, and soulful. And it follows the classic power bowl formula of protein, produce, and grains. You'll get bright peppery notes from the shrimp, and sweet warming spices from the caramelized sweet potato. The greens are sharp yet savory and the okra and tomatoes are slightly sweet. It's everything you want in a power bowl: nutrient rich foods without a lot of fuss.
What You'll Need for this Recipe
My soul food in a bowl is made up of five flavorful components using simple ingredients. Here's what to add to your grocery list.
- Shrimp is cooked up with lemon and black pepper to the perfect juiciness. I love Gulf shrimp in this recipe but feel free to use what is easily accessible to you--fresh or frozen and thawed.
- Sweet Potato provides a pop of sweetness in the bowl. Caramelize it in oil, honey, and cinnamon balanced out by a bit of sea salt.
- Yellow Rice is a lil controversial. Not everyone feels that yellow rice is in the soul food category. I'm not here to advocate either way but it's the perfect flavor complement in this dish. If you prefer to use white rice, that's ok.
- Collard Greens are water sautéed with onion and garlic so they come out tender and fragrant in lightning-fast cooking time! You can substitute with other greens like turnip or mustard.
- Okra is part of cuisine across the diaspora and was part of our meals growing from both the Nigerian and Black American side. Trace the path of okra across the Middle Passage!
- Tomatoes pair with the okra in red pepper for fresh flavor with a kick of heat. I use Roma or plum tomatoes but most any kind would work.
Everything cooks up in one skillet (not at the same time) in about 45 minutes. These five elements combine beautifully for a vibrant bowl of soul food.
Tips & Tools
Can I make these power bowls in advance? Yes, this is a great meal prep recipe and perfect for component prepping because you can mix and match the ingredients and amounts as you like.
How to store? Store each component in an airtight container and refrigerate to keep fresh for up to five days.
How to serve soulful power bowls? Add as much of each ingredient as you like, starting with the rice as the base layer. And you can skewer the lemon pepper shrimp for extra special presentation!
More Favorite Family Recipes
What is the BHM Virtual Potluck?
Each year, Black culinary creators collaborate to celebrate Black History Month with foods that reflect the expansiveness of the Black experience. Through Eat the Culture, we celebrate virtually and creatively. I love participating in this collaboration not only because of the camaraderie with my fellow Black food bloggers but also because it gets my creative juices flowing.
Through the Diaspora, Black cuisine encompasses such a wide range of flavors that touch nearly the whole world, from the West Indies, to the Deep South, to East Africa, and beyond. Black cuisine is global, dynamic, and certainly not monolithic. When brainstorming this recipe, I thought the richness of diversity in my own Black experience and foods my family knows and loves. Hybrid meals that reflect both sides of my culture--Black American on my mom's side and Nigerian on my dad's side.
If my soul food power bowls have your mouth watering, I also highly recommend this easy wonton power bowl. And sharing is caring so be sure to pin this healthy soul food recipe for later and follow me over on Pinterest. Thanks for reading!
Lemon Pepper Soul Bowl Recipe
Soul Food Power Bowls
- 10 ounces yellow rice
- olive oil
- ⅓ cup water
- 3 cloves garlic
- ⅛ onion
- 4 large collard green leaves
- 1 pound okra
- 1 roma tomato
- 1 small sweet potato
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 pound shrimp peeled and de-veined
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- sea salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- crushed red pepper to taste
- In a small saucepan or rice cooker, cook yellow rice according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, prepare the produce ingredients: Mince garlic and chop onion, remove collard greens from stems and chiffonade, trim okra and cut into pieces, chop tomato into chunks (about one inch), peel and cut the sweet potato into ½ inch cubes.
- In a large, non-stick skillet, heat about 1 tablespoon olive oil and ⅓ cup water over medium-high heat. Add in garlic, onion, and collard greens. Cook until water dissipates (about 8 minutes) then add a bit more olive oil. Saute greens until tender (about 10 minutes). Remove from pan.
- Add a bit more olive oil to pan then tomato. Cook until it breaks down (about 5 minutes). Add okra, sea salt, and crushed red pepper. Saute about 7 minutes. Remove from pan.
- Add a bit more olive oil to pan then the sweet potato, sea salt, and cinnamon. Cook until tender (about 7 minutes) then stir in honey and allow to caramelize (about 2 minutes). Remove from pan.
- Meanwhile, season shrimp with sea salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper, and lemon juice. Add a bit more olive oil to pan followed by shrimp. Saute shrimp for about 5 minutes or until cooked through, flipping halfway.
- To assemble, divide ingredients between two bowls.