American Idol Star Fantasia Taylor asked vegan celebrity chef Chef Joya to cater her baby shower to celebrate the arrival of her daughter Keziah, born on May 23rd. Taylor wanted her and her family to indulge in vegan soul-style comfort food, the chef's signature cuisine, without any meat or dairy, but with all the deliciousness of traditional dishes.

Chef Joya created a beautiful spread that consisted of a tomato-cucumber salad, dairy-free mac and cheese, rice pilaf with mushroom gravy, and a vegan crab cake made with jackfruit. We asked Joya for the exclusive recipes for these dishes so you and your family can enjoy these meals just like the Taylors.

If you love these recipes, check out Chef Joya's latest cookbook, Cooking With Joya: It's Soul Mahmazingwhere you can find vegan soul food recipes created with love. Her recipes are designed to help "vegan newbies" re-create the meals they love with plant-based ingredients in their own kitchens.

Jonathan Cooper

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes

Recipe Developer: Chef Joya, author of Cooking With Joya: It's Soul Mahmazing

Baked Mac & Cheez

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. elbow noodles
  • ½ cup butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup arrowroot flour
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 24 oz. unsweetened cashew milk
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 container vegan cream cheese
  • 4 cups vegan shredded cheese, your preferred brand
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp sugar, raw
  • 2 dashes of hot sauce
  • 1 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Boil noodles, in vegetable stock, until al dente (follow directions on the package)
  3. Drain the pasta, and set it aside.
  4. Melt butter, in a saucepan, and add both flours. Whisk, until incorporated.
  5. Slowly pour in half of the milk, whisking constantly to prevent clumps.
  6. Mix in cream cheese and half of the vegan cheese.
  7. Stir in the remaining milk, and add nutritional yeast.
  8. Once the mixture is smooth and the cheese has melted, add in the remaining ingredients, except for the remaining cheese.
  9. Bring mixture to a boil, and remove from heat.
  10. Spray an 11” x 13” pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  11. Add pasta noodles to the pan (optional: season with salt and black pepper).
  12. Pour vegan cheez mixture onto the pasta. Stir until pasta is covered in sauce.
  13. Top the pasta with the remaining cheese, and cover the pan with aluminum foil. Place the covered pan, in the oven, for 20 minutes.
  14. Remove the aluminum foil, and cook for another 13 minutes.
  15. Allow the mac and cheez to sit, for 10 minutes, before serving.
Jonathan Cooper

Recipe Developer: Chef Joya, author of Cooking With Joya: It's Soul Mahmazing

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Tomato Cucumber Salad

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 1 long English cucumber, sliced
  • 2-3 large tomato moons, sliced
  • ½ red onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley and dill, herbs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Sugar, a pinch
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Place all vegetables into a serving bowl. In a separate bowl, create the dressing, by using a whisk, to mix the remaining ingredients.
  2. Pour dressing over vegetables.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Serve chilled.
Jonathan Cooper

Recipe Developer: Chef Joya, author of Cooking With Joya: It's Soul Mahmazing

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Jonathan Cooper

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Recipe Developer: Chef Joya, author of Cooking With Joya: It's Soul Mahmazing

Mushroom Gravy for seitan beef filet

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • ½ cup onion, sliced
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tbsp garlic, chopped
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 4 tbsp unbleached flour
  • ½ tsp poultry seasoning
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp steak seasoning
  • 1 tbsp grapeseed oil

Instructions

  1. Heat oil, on medium heat, in a pan. Sauté the onion and garlic until it starts to brown. Add in the mushrooms, salt, garlic, pepper, and poultry seasoning.
  2. Cook for 1 minute, adding in the flour, while constantly stirring.
  3. Continue to cook, for 2 minutes. Once gravy begins to brown, whisk in the vegetable stock.
  4. Maintain the smoothness of the gravy by stirring.
  5. Reduce heat to low until gravy thickens.

Mini Krab Cakes

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 1 can jackfruit, drained and rinsed
  • ¾ cup mashed chickpeas
  • ½ cup nori (sushi wrappers), crushed
  • ½ tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ cup plain bread crumbs
  • ½ cup of vegan mayo
  • 1 tbsp chickpea flour
  • ½ cup vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. Shred the jackfruit, using two forks to peel.
  2. Combine onions, Old Bay seasoning, salt, black pepper, lemon juice, sushi paper, bread crumbs, mayo, and chickpea flour into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Mix well.
  4. Hand-form the mixture into patties, then let sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  5. Heat vegetable oil, in a skillet, over medium heat.
  6. Add a few patties to the oil, frying each side until golden brown.
  7. Drain patties on a paper towel.
Jonathan Cooper

Recipe Developer: Chef Joya, author of Cooking With Joya: It's Soul Mahmazing

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Rice Pilaf

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup olive oil or ½ stick vegan butter
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • ½ cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • ¼ cup celery, chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1½ cups parboiled rice, uncooked
  • ½ tsp Creole seasoning
  • ¼ tsp garlic salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper, freshly cracked
  • 3 cups vegetable broth, or water

Instructions

  1. Add the olive oil or vegan butter to a medium saucepan.
  2. Once the oil is slightly brown add the vegetables and sauté for about 5 minutes.
  3. Continue to stir, over medium heat, and add the rice.
  4. As your rice begins to brown, add in the seasonings and the vegetable stock.
  5. Bring the rice to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to simmer.
  6. Cook the rice for about 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through and most of the water has been absorbed.
  7. Use a fork, to fluff, before serving.