‘LL: With ideas about food changing you released Salud! Vegan Mexican Cookbook, at the right time. Tell us about it.
CG: It features all the foods I grew up eating. It has 150 recipes that represent the pounds I lost going vegan. I wrote it with my grandmother in mind. She taught me everything about Mexican flavors. Part of why I wanted to write the book, was to document and answer what exactly [ goes into those recipes]. There are so many questions about how do you do this, get the perfect flavors, how much does a cubito actually weigh? The book features all of those things.
It includes the standard Mexican food you know like enchiladas, flautas, tamales plus super mountain foods like la coche, a mushroom that grows on corn and has more protein than beef. I wanted to bring that flavor of Central Mexico to the US.
‘LL: What is a “plant powered recipe”?
CG: If we think about energy we need in a day, I call it plant powered because things like chick peas or lentils, that’s a plant powerful food. It has the carbs you need to do cardio, but enough protein to be considered good after a workout. It’s a super food, High energy carb and also protein powered. It’s incredible to see what plants can do for your body. They provide high-benefits for a low amount of calories.
‘LL: How can you preserve your culture and be vegan?
CG: I feel like my Mexican culture really lends itself to the vegan lifestyle. So much of the original foods of Mexico are either vegan naturally or super vegan-friendly. And if you really think about it, all the flavors of modern Mexican cuisine come from plants. If you apply all the same herbs, spices, chiles and vegetable bases to plant-based proteins, you end up with the same dynamic flavors of Mexico.
‘LL: Any advice for potential vegans?
CG: A lot of people start this lifestyle but don’t know how to do or how to bring flavor. I hear over and over “I hate salads.” I do too! So many people think it’s eating lettuce. That’s the thing if you really want to know it can be like in a flavorful way, do it Mexican. It’s the number one food trend because it’s delicious and amazing.
Follow Eddie Garza and his vegan food and travel adventures on Instagram @theeddiegarza