The Dirty South: Southern Vegan Eats

The Dirty South: Southern Vegan Eats

by Vanessa Johnson Author and Sarah Oleksyk Illustrator

An illustrated collection of scrumptious southern recipes that will tickle your craw, vegan-style with taste delectables—especially for those not afraid of garlic or baking. Sizzling with great cooking ideas and recipes, nutrition isn't always the first priority but the recipes are damn tasty! This is comfort food done right.

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(Once upon a time published as a split with our new-in-2015, expanded 10th anniversary edition of Hot Damn & Hell Yeah!)


Comments & Reviews


I have been the lucky owner of Hot Damn and Hell Yeah for. . . oh, at least six or seven years now. Between the foolproof chocolate cake recipe and the vegan pot pie that has even omnivores asking for the recipe and repeat appearences on the table, this is one of my favorite cookbooks even though I am not vegan. Especially the pot pie, which is undoubtably the most-used recipe in my kitchen.


"This is where I go when I am in the mood for junk food (believe it, baby). Though it is most definitely less important to me than Jae Steele’s masterpieces, it is an incredibly fun book to read and cook out of. It is smaller, more like a ‘zine (which it originated as) and has lots of original artwork. There are plenty of reviews on the webpage, so take a look. Also it is cheap! Some recipes include cheese sauce, country-style biscuits, mighty chewy brownies, peach turnovers, fried “chicken”… umm yeah. There is actually a recipe for pizza dough which makes 30 pizzas, which is in there just because the authour used to work at a pizza joint (that’s why the “impractical” tag), but that’s why I like this book: for its rough and ready and sometimes silly tone." (Named one of the Top 5 Vegan Cookbooks)


"I love Tex-Mex so I'm all fired up to try the many burrito and enchilada recipes. The Sweet Potato Pie recipe is ridiculously decadent and recipes for homey food like Hush Puppies and Johnny Cakes make me hanker for a sunny day in the south with a bottle of tequila on hand. Staples like Beans and Rice as well as several different chili recipes make it easy to entertain large crowds with relatively little effort. There are recipes in both books for Mushroom Gravy and for several different kinds of BBQ sauce; it's easy to imagine even the most hardcore meat-eater tucking into a tofu sloppy joe smothered in gravy."


“This book offers two primarily vegan cookbooks in one. Both were originally written in a zine format but are now presented in book form, each starting from one of the book’s covers. You’ll find sauces (including Bourbon Whiskey BBQ Sauce), breads, side dishes, soups and chilies, main dishes, and plenty of desserts. Among the creative recipes that Ryan Splint shares in Hot Damn and Hell Yeah! are Hush Puppies (delicious served with red beans and rice), Cranberry Scones, Vietnamese-Style Curry, Mighty Chewy Brownies, and Apple Enchiladas.

Vanessa Doe’s creations in The Dirty South Vegan Cookbook include Rosemary Sweet Biscuits, Fake Fried Chicken (made with seitan), Injera (Ethiopian bread) with Ethiopian stews, Blackeye Pea Cakes, and Espresso Cake.”


This is a split/flipside cookbook, both featuring recipes for the gluttonous, non-dieting vegan. Hot Damn focuses mostly on Mexican cooking (Mexican being one of the more vegan-friendly cuisines out there), along with some curries, and The Dirty South Cookbook has a lot of down-home, deep-fried southern recipes. Both cookbooks contain a lot of comfort food, which is understandable + if I were a vegan too, the last thing I’d want is a thousand recipes whose main ingredient is carrot sticks or grass or twigs or whatever the hell it is that vegans eat.


I made the peach turnovers for an animal rights bake sale, and they sold out in minutes. This book is amazing.


Absolutely wonderful! I made the mushroom gravy the first night, and meat loving family members thought it was amazing. A couple nights ago I did the chili, also a big hit. Thank you so much for making this available!


what a damn fine cookbook indeed!so far i have made the worcestershire sauce and the KILLER bbq sauce, i used that on my grilled tofu and it is un-freakin-believable,this review is short but i'm sure i'll be back with more praise once i get to cookin more.

If you’re like me than you’re vegan and you like to cook everyday (and the ‘ol lady probably appreciates you for this… either that or getting yourself an ‘ol lady should not be a problem). Therefore, having a book such as this (which is split into a flipside called "The Dirty South Cookbook") definitely comes in handy. As is such the case with Microcosm Publishing, they always release something that is not only entertaining to read but always has something to take away with it. I always learn something from stuff I read from them. This is no exception. Within a few days of receiving this book I was taking elements of the recipes inside. This is quite a thorough book as well, containing recipes for making things as basic as condiments (vegan mayonnaise) to tortillas, pancakes, soups, chili, burritos, and various deserts as well. The focus is on Southwestern fare, though there are a number of other dishes you can prepare (I was partial to the artichoke heart and sun-dried tomato linguine). All the while there are a number of great illustrations featuring hungry skeleton cowboys and kids. It makes it a more fun read. The Dirty South side has a bit more of an esoteric palette, presenting recipes for some stuff that I’ve never heard of like Yetakelt Wet and Attar Allecha, as well as some things I wouldn’t think of like Turnip Stew, Rosemary Sweet Biscuits, or Sweet Potato Pudding. Hell, there’s a recipe for vegan doughnuts. Man, I’m getting hungry just thinking about all this. Who wants to come over for dinner later?

Two vegan cookbooks combined. The first of the two is “Hot Dam & Hell Yeah” by Ryan Splint, who I’m told is Australian, but as the title suggests both of these cookbooks draw from the deep south of America – dishes which are traditionally very meat-based. Only here they attempt to replace the meat and dairy products with vegan substitutes. The recipes are punk friendly given that it won’t cost you a fortune to gather the required ingredients and most of them will be readily found in your kitchen already if you’re vegan.
Splint’s aim is to make vegan food that “doesn’t taste like sawdust.” He’s not necessarily saying all of this stuff is healthy or good for you either, it’s simply supposed to taste nice and be easily prepared. There are twenty-one dessert recipes here for instance. You’ll find a large variety of breads, soups, sides, chili dishes, sauces, and main courses to keep you busy in the kitchen.
Flip the book over and you being “The Dirty South” half of the book, which is written by a girl with no surname called Vanessa. Again the emphasis is on Mexicano type dishes and with a subheading of “Eat More Grease” you’ll catch on quick as to what we’re talking about here. All the recipes are accompanied by illustrations, presumably by the authors, to give the book that authentic fanzine look.
From a personal perspective I like meat a lot and no vegan or vegetarian dish I’ve tried has ever gone down well, so I’ll inevitably always revert back to the real thing. Morally, yes, there’s a strong argument there, but it’s tough to have a main course without meat, so this book was a bit lost on me. From the many vegan punks out there however, I guess they need all the help they can get in making mealtimes enjoyable again.

Last night I experimented with a yummy grits recipe (coming soon from the fabulous Miss, er, Mrs. Kittee!) and made some fajitas from Hot Damn and Hell Yeah to go along with them. Yum! I used some vegan Not-Beef bouillion and made the marinade for xtra firm tofu , then sauteed that with red peppers, green peppers, onions, and garlic. We filled tortillas with spinach leaves, cilantro, salsa, and v. sour cream from Yellow Rose Recipes. Alright! It was delicious.

So you're looking for some new recipes, perhaps some yummy, not so good for you, vegan or veggie chow? Soul food, maybe? Well this is the ticket to that craving. Varieties of chili, tortillas, tacos, burritos, and burgers with tex-mex flair. Country fried tofu might turn you on. Curries, biscuits, and scones. Vegan cream cheese frosting and vegan sour cream. Pies and yummy cakes as well - all vegan! The Dirty South gives you vegan versions of traditionally all-meat, southern favorites. Fried chicken, seitan, fry bread, corn bread, buttermilk biscuits, maccaroni cassarole, turnip stew, shephard's pie, black eyed pea cakes, veggie soup stock, hush puppies, bbq tofu...yum yum yum! The whole book is laid out very nice in a clean style that is eye catching and hunger inducing. Get inspired and eat yummy stuff!

This little printed gem is actually two cookbooks in one, printed back-to-book, Hot Damn & Hell Yeah, by Ryan Splint, features western & Tex-Mex type recipes. The dirty South, by Vanessa Doe, has recipes with a southern flavor. Both cookbooks are great for beginners, and they're vegan (without smacking you in the face, screaming it from the rooftops). Items found within are different from the normal fare found in "vegan" cookbooks. You'll find no "quinoa with Beet Juice" or "Herbed Orzo with Shiitake & Artichokes." This is all "stick to your ribs" filling eats. Personally, I was more of a fan of the Dirty South half, but both are equally excellent.

"It's a stylish, generous split cookbook, free of critter-based ingredients and sanctimonious posturing. (Seriously, there's not even a little bit of the latter.) A lot of the Dirty South dishes have me homesick from their recipes alone. And, unlike most of the half-assed publications we review here, this is built to withstand the hostile environment of the kitchen, so that's one more excuse out the window. Unless you're a veg-hating reactionary, 100+ recipes are a goddamn bargain at six bones."

I like to eat meat. I like it a lot. I’ve tried to be a vegetarian before and it’s just, well, boring. I mean, I chowed down on some grub that tasted pretty damn good, but no matter what you’re always saying things like, “Wow, this chili is almost as good as real chili (read: with meat).” It’s always just as good as, but never better than, the real thing. It’s tough to have a main course in a meal without beef, chicken, or fish - and let’s not even get into phasing out dairy and eggs. Really tough. And usually incredibly boring because vegetarians are usually really healthy snobby types that use $30 worth of veggie-friendly ingredients to make a $10 meat-eaters meal. But thankfully two kids named Vanessa (just Vanessa) and Ryan Splint have put together a couple great DIY cookbooks that focus on making tasty grub in which the fact that the recipes lack meat and dairy is simply an afterthought to an already yummy recipe. And what’s even better than that is that you can now get them both in one book, and better yet it’s only five friggin’ bucks. Damn!

I have a confession to make: a good 90% of the time I hate cooking, but I do enjoy reading recipes that I can make someone else cook! What we have here is a split cookbook of western and southern food that sounds delicious. The western recipes are vegan versions of classics like hush puppies, chilies, and cakes, as well as recipes for sauces and soy alternatives to dairy ingredients. The southern recipes include biscuits, fry breads, greens, and a number of ethiopian recipes. Both sections have extensive dessert recipe listings, some of which I've never seen anywhere else.

In DIY you bust your gut and it sometimes feels like you don't get much in return. But there are exceptions to every rule. Hot Damn and Hell Yeah is an indispensible vegan cookbook, especially if you want to cook Mexican style food. There recipes are clear and simple,and avoid overly esoteric ingredients. Points also go to the amazing - and I mean really amazing - cartoons of skeletons on pretty much every page. It's a nice change from the normal clip art carrots and cauliflowers that most of my vegan cookbooks seem to have. I should probably also point out that its probably not the healthiest of vegan diets, but then again far healthier than any meat based diet! On the flip side is Vanessa Johnson's Dirty South cookbook, which I had come across before. If you're looking to spice up your diet, then you can't really go wrong with this book.

Okay, all you vegans out there who hankering for some good Deep South cooking, this is the cookbook to get. Let’s face it, Southern food rocks, but in its traditional preparation, there is little for the vegan to indulge in. But why should we be denied these culinary pleasures? The creators of this split cookzine realized the tragedy of this denial and that is why they have done the hard work of veganizing virtually all the classic Southern dishes you know you’ve been craving (perhaps without even realizing it). Most of the recipes in this book are pretty easy and cheap to make, too, which makes it even more appealing. With clean straightforward type, neatly organized steps and ingredient lists, and an awesome cut-and-paste style, this is an attractive book that is sure to quickly gain gravy stains and dog-eared pages in your kitchen.