Mississippi chef Katie Dixon opened her first location of Birdhouse Cafe in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, back in 2017. Since then, she’s introduced two other locations as well as Nourished Kitchen in Louisiana. Dixon’s dishes are nourishing and healthy feats that have earned her numerous accolades from the Pine Belt and led to her appearance in two seasons of Food Network’s Master Chef.
Katie Dixon’s mission is “building a healthier Mississippi from the ground up.” Recipes such as her sweet potato waffles with vegan barbecue is evidence of this, which she prepared for a room full of hungry attendees at Mississippi Chef Jam during 2022’s Atlanta Food & Wine Festival. Sautéed jackfruit simmers in barbecue sauce and before it’s shredded into a pulled pork-like consistency and served over fresh-griddled sweet potato waffles. The sweetness from the peach salsa celebrates the last of the summer produce.
Dixon’s restaurants offer a range of power foods that stem from Southern traditions, such as the green goddess salad with shaved brussels sprouts and toasted pecans. Her passion for food is only the beginning of her heart for serving others. Dixon cares for the livelihood of the people she comes into contact with each and every day, inspiring others to care for their body, mind and soul. As a certified precision nutrition coach and personal trainer, she believes that nourishing the body is the best way to live a full life.
Cook Like Chef Katie Dixon
Sweet Potato Waffles with Vegan Barbecue
Serves 4 to 6
1 medium red cabbage, thinly sliced
3 carrots, peeled and julienned
2 peaches, pitted and thinly sliced
2 medium or 1 large poblano, thinly sliced
1 scallion, thinly sliced
¼ cup rice vinegar or white distilled vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon hot sauce
½ tablespoon honey
¼ teaspoon salt plus more to taste
Pinch of pepper plus more to taste
2 teaspoons olive oil
¼ cup diced onion
3 minced garlic cloves
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
2 peaches, sliced
2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
2 (20-ounce) cans young green jackfruit in water (don’t use jackfruit in syrup or brine)
¼ cup barbecue seasoning
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup barbecue sauce, plus more for serving
2 medium sweet potatoes, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1¼ cups milk (Dixon recommends almond milk to make this vegan)
1 egg, beaten
1 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
For the peach slaw:
For the barbecue sauce:
For the barbecue rub:
For the barbecue jackfruit:
For the waffles:
- Make the peach slaw: In a medium bowl, gently toss cabbage, carrots, peach slices, poblanos, and scallion. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil, lemon juice, hot sauce, honey, ¼ teaspoon salt, and pepper until emulsified. Drizzle over cabbage mixture and toss to coat completely. Season with additional salt and pepper as needed. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.
- Make barbecue sauce: In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, and peaches and cook an additional 2 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low. Stir in apple cider vinegar, tomato paste, lemon, mustard, paprika, and season with salt and pepper. Let mixture simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.
- Remove sauce from heat. Using an upright blender or immersion blender, blend sauce until smooth.
- Make the barbecue jackfruit: In a small bowl, add all spices and stir to combine. Set aside.
- Rinse, drain, and thoroughly dry jackfruit. Cut fruit from its center core and place in a mixing bowl. Toss fruit with ¼ cup of barbecue seasoning.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and seasoned jackfruit to skillet and cook until jackfruit starts to develop color, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk barbecue sauce with 1 to 2 tablespoons of water to thin it. Stir barbecue sauce into skillet with jackfruit and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes (and up to 35 minutes for a deeper flavor). Stir occasionally. Optional: Use two forks to shred jackfruit into barbecue-like pieces as it cooks down.
- Make the waffles: While jackfruit cooks, place sweet potatoes, oil, and milk in an upright blender and blend until smooth. In a large bowl, mix sweet potato mixture with egg, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt and mix completely until no dry streaks remain.
- Preheat waffle iron, greasing well with cooking spray. Use a ladle to pour batter into iron’s center. Cook until crisp and golden, about 5 to 6 minutes. Repeat with the remaining batter.
- To assemble: Once jackfruit has simmered, increase heat to medium-high and cook until it develops extra color and softens, an additional 2 to 3 minutes.
- To plate, generously top each waffle with peach slaw. Place barbecue jackfruit over slaw and serve with additional barbecue sauce.
Video by Damien Blaylock and Josh Clegg
Edits by Ed Foose
Sound design by Cole Furlow
Production by: Maggie Ward and Tim Mask
Location: Epicurean Hotel Atlanta