When we heard that the book “The Vegan Soulfood Guide to the Galaxy” by Afya Ibomu had just been released, we knew we had to find out more about this innovative sister and her delectable galaxy! Nothing is more delish than vegan soulfood (get your ass over to Soul Vegetarian, a chain of vegan soulfood spots across the country, if you don’t believe us – STAT! Order the Calebone Steak Dinner – including the mac n cheese and greens – and the Ice Cream!) – you’ll wonder why anyone would ever eat animals when they can eat the most decadent food ever, and get healthy simultaneously.
“The Vegan Soulfood Guide To the Galaxy” is much more than a cookbook; it’s a funny, fact filled guide to the vegetarian world of grocery shopping, understanding nutrition, meal planning, dining out as a vegan and more! Afya dispels the cliche of bland vegetarian taste for good; as she shares her complete resource for cooking mouthwatering, inexpensive soulfood recipes made with out white sugar, white flour, white rice, soy, animal, or dairy products that totally satisfy vegans and carnivores alike. She even includes a Free Instructional Cooking DVD “Pimp my Tofu” with the book! Talk about bang for your buck!
If we told you that you could eat Sweet Potato Pie, Potato Salad, Tofu Buffalo “Wings”, Corn Bread, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Collard Greens, Ice Cream, and Candied Yamand still lose weight and be at your optimum health, would you believe us? Well, you bettah, cuz we don’t lie.
Growing up in a single-parent home in St. Paul, MN, Afya wore a hip brace for the first 2 years of her life. Afya was very sickly, stricken with allergies, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and a host of other ailments. She was shuttled from doctor to doctor and placed on various medications. At 15, her mother found an allergy specialist who told her the foods she was eating might be contributing to her health problems. This information and the hip-hop song “beef” by KRS-ONE motivated her to stop taking her medications, become a vegetarian, and begin her journey to self-healing.
Afya’s love of food came from a rich heritage of Creole, Soulfood, and Midwest cooking. Living in Brooklyn, NY allowed Afya to be around some of the most progressive people in the natural health industry. She soon learned about being a vegan, taking herbs, fasting, and live food. Becoming a vegan, led Afya to start cooking again and she began to make her own recipes.
Afya took a cooking intensive course at the Natural Gourmet Cookery School and started her own catering business called Healthy Soil. She started making gourmet vegan desserts for health food stores around Brooklyn and at international fairs around NYC. Her apple pies became so popular that she was known as the “pie lady.”
Yet another twist in Afya’s life would bring her to holistic healing: Afya’s mother was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Helping her mother to live a better quality of life through holistic health inspired her to go to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a Certified Holistic Health Counselor. After graduation, She began health counseling, teaching vegan cooking classes, and writing for various magazines, such as; Know Your Health- Minneapolis, MN; Free Magazine -Brooklyn, NY; San Francisco Bayview Newspaper, San Francisco California.
In 2003, Afya was the personal nutritionist for Erykah Badu and her family on the Worldwide Underground Tour. That same year, she also produced, directed, and starred in a collaborative TV show for a local cable station in Brooklyn called Mind, Body, and Soulfood. In 2005, Afya, created a nutrition guide called Vegetarian Sources of Protein (currently sold in health food stores around the country). Afya is also a published author of the crochet pattern book series, Get Your Crochet On!; Hip Hats and Cool Caps and Fly Tops and Funky Flavas. Her crochet books have sold over 18,000 copies and have been featured on HGTV, Good Day Atlanta, and AOL Black Voices, in magazines, Vibe Vixen, Crochet Today, and Adorn. Clearly, this woman is a perfect example of boundless energy!
Afya has been a veg since 1990 and is currently the CEO of her holistic lifestyle company, Nattral Unlimited, LLC (www.NATTRAL.com). Afya currently lives in Atlanta with her hubby stic.man of the hip hop group dead prez and their 7-year-old vegan son, Itwela. She attends Georgia State University furthering her career in the field of nutrition.
“Two of the most valuable things one can own are his/her vitality and light. Thank you, Afya for being a solider and example for the true wealth of life.” -Erykah Badu
Buffalo Tofu Recipe
1 15oz block of tofu, frozen and thawed, cut in nugget size pieces
¼ cup peanut butter
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 cup vegetable both
Oil for frying
1 cup of spelt flour
2 tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup of almond milk
1/2 cup of coconut milk
1 tbsp of agave or honey
2 cups spelt flour
2 tsp granulated garlic
2 tsp sea salt
¼ cup of non GMO vegan margarine, melted
2-5 tbsp of hot sauce
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Celery, carrot sticks and ranch dressing
1. Mix all marinade ingredients in a bowl then add the tofu. Cover well with marinade and let sit for 1 hr to overnight.
2. While the tofu is marinating, combine the hot sauce ingredients and sit to the side.
3. In a plate, add dry batter ingredients.
4. Fill a frying pan with 2″ of oil. Heat on medium/high heat.
5. Add wet batter ingredients to a bowl and mix well. Batter should be thick and runny.
6. Dip tofu in wet batter, covering all sides, then immediately add to the dry batter.
7. Lightly shake off any excess flour and add tofu to the pan. Cook until brown on both sides then drain on paper towels.
8. After all tofu has been cooked, pour hot sauce over and serve with vegetables.
Enjoy! Buy the Guide here.