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8 Healthy Soul Food Recipes That Just Make You Feel Good

  • Root + Revel

    Gluten-Free Wild Rice Hoppin' John

    The classic Southern dish gets a colorful and nutritious boost from peppers, scallions, and whole-grain wild rice. Plus, it's naturally gluten- and dairy-free, bursting with vitamin C, and chock-full of fiber.

    Get the recipe: Wild Rice Hoppin' John

  • Wicked Spatula

    Shrimp and Cauliflower "Grits"

    Easily one of the best-loved soul-food dishes is shrimp and grits. This tangy version gets a healthy twist with cauliflower "grits" made with creamy coconut milk (so it's dairy-free), plus a nutrient boost from mushrooms.

    Get the recipe: Shrimp and Cauliflower "Grits"

  • The Healthy Foodie

    Oven-Baked "Fried" Chicken

    There's finally a fried chicken recipe you don't have to feel guilty about. This super-tender-on-the-inside, crispy-on-the-outside chicken is baked in the oven to lighten things up, and it's gluten-free so all your meat-eating friends can dig in.

    Get the recipe: Oven-Baked "Fried" Chicken

  • Vanilla and Bean

    Vegan Smoky Collard Greens and "Cheesy" Grits

    There are few things more "soul" than good old-fashioned collard greens. This delicious recipe adds two more quintessentially Southern ingredients—slow-cooked black-eyed peas and corn grits—for a vegan version brimming with flavor.

    Get the recipe: Black-Eyed Peas With Smoky Collards and Cheesy Grits

  • Life As a Strawberry

    Spicy Vegan Jambalaya

    Classic jambalaya goes vegan in this easy recipe that gets a spicy kick from fresh jalapeños. Even better? It's ready in under an hour, so it's perfect for busy weeknights.

    Get the recipe: Spicy Vegan Jambalaya

  • Gimme Some Oven

    Lightened-Up Gumbo

    Every smart Southerner has a go-to gumbo recipe. This fiery rendition relies on andouille sausage and chicken for protein, plus tons of fresh produce such as okra, celery, bell peppers, and fire-roasted tomatoes.

    Get the recipe: Lightened-Up Gumbo

  • Robb Wolf

    Paleo Biscuits and Gravy

    This iconic dish isn't usually so great for your waistline. But fear not! This gluten-free, dairy-free, Paleo-friendly version uses ingredients like coconut milk and arrowroot powder to thicken the gravy. And the fluffy biscuits are made with coconut flour, grass-fed butter, and heart-healthy coconut oil.

    Get the recipe: Paleo Biscuits and Gravy

  • Minimalist Baker

    Vegan Banana Cream Pie

    Vegans, prepare to be excited, because now you too can indulge in banana cream pie, thanks to a delicious combo of coconut cream and almond milk.

    Get the recipe: Vegan Banana Cream Pie


Kate Parham Kordsmeier

Kate Parham Kordsmeier is an Atlanta-based freelance food and wellness writer, recipe developer, spokesperson and TV host for more than 100 outlets, including USA Today, EatingWell, CNN, Cooking Light, The Washington Post, Clean Eating, Women’s Health, Shape, Vegetaria  More →

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