Another blessed Black History Month is upon us, which means a new roundup of recipes from bomb Black food bloggers (BFBs, for short) all over the world! Get your scrolling fingers ready so you can soak up 28 recipes from your favorite BFBs--one for every day of black history month--including my beautiful soul food power bowls. If you're looking for quick and easy soul food meals, you're in the right place, boo.
I love participating in this collaboration not only because of the camaraderie with my fellow BFBs but also because it gets my creative juices flowing. Due to 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. I love the richness that comes from that.
My own personal Black experience is rich with diversity. On my mom's side of the family, southern (specifically southeast Texas, Louisiana, and Florida) soul food reigns supreme. On my dad's side, it's Nigerian cuisine--dodo, ofada, classic stew, meat pies, etc. Growing up, the result was often hybrid meals. Jollof rice with gumbo is an amazing combination, by the way! Today's soul food bowls are definitely a hybrid meal.
Last year, I shared our family's jollof rice recipe and the year before, I shared my great great Aunt Georgia's peach cobbler. They're each very special to me and remain some of the most popular recipes on the blog to this day. The soul food power bowls recipe I'm sharing this go round is kind of like one of the hybrid meals I ate growing up. If you came here for a healthy soul food recipe, keep reading!
Everything cooks up in one skillet (not at the same time) in about 45 minutes. The okra cooks up with tomato and crushed red pepper. The sweet potato is caramelized in honey and cinnamon. The shrimp is marinated in lemon and pepper. The collards are classic with fresh garlic and onion. And the yellow rice fluffy and flavored with saffron. These five elements combine beautifully into a bowl full of vibrant colors and flavor. This is everything you want in a power bowl: nutrient rich foods without a lot of fuss. Go ahead and pin this recipe because you absolutely want to try it.
When brainstorming this recipe, I thought about foods my family knows and loves. These bowls are made up of five flavorful components: sauteed shrimp with lemon and pepper, caramelized sweet potatoes, spicy okra, quick-cooked collard greens, and fluffy yellow rice. That last element caused a little bit of a stir among my friend group. Not everyone feels that yellow rice is in the soul food category. I'm not here to advocate either way but an Instagram story poll did yield about 75% who feel that yellow rice is, indeed, soulful. Just sayin. Feel free to use plain white rice, if you like.
I love all the flavors in these soul food power bowls, because they remind me of home and family. My parents introduced me each of these ingredients and incorporated them into meals--for everything from quick dinners to special occasions. My mother loved a good spicy shrimp dish and both my parents exposed us to okra in various forms throughout childhood--though I didn't come around to it until my adult life. Sweet potato and greens were staples at most any family gathering and we touched on the joy of yellow rice above. 🙂
If my soul food power bowls have your mouth watering, I also highly recommend this easy wonton power bowl and my chipotle skillet dinner. And be sure to feast your eyes on more soul food recipes in the whole Black History Month potluck roundup just below. Sharing is caring so be sure to pin this recipe on Pinterest. Thanks for reading!
P.S. more soul food favorites:
Soul Food Power Bowls
- 10 ounces yellow rice
- olive oil
- ⅓ cup water
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- ⅛ onion chopped
- 4 large collard green leaves chopped
- 1 pound okra trimmed
- 1 roma tomato cut into chunks
- 1 small sweet potato cubed
- 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
- In a small saucepan or rice cooker, cook yellow rice according to package directions.
- 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.