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La Vida Verde: Plant-Based Mexican Cooking with Authentic Flavor
A lot of people think traditional Mexican food is all about pork, lard, beef, and cheese. But that’s not what comes to mind for Jocelyn Ramirez, author of La Vida Verde: Plant-Based Mexican Cooking with Authentic Flavor. “Many of our ancestral dishes centered around a plant-forward diet,” writer Ramirez in the book’s introduction.
Most Mexican food fans are well acquainted with tacos al pastor, a famously cravable combination of pork and pineapple. Well, Ramirez has reimagined the dish with meaty, shreddable jackfruit standing in for the pork. Even if you’ve tried jackfruit in the past, you need to follow Ramirez’s method, which has you searing the jackfruit in a hot skillet for up to 30 minutes, to understand fully what this plant powerhouse can do for your tacos. (This is also what makes her recipe for carnitas such a winner.)
The book will also show you how to make a plant-based chorizo and several non-dairy cheeses. But La Vida Verde isn’t just about impressive swaps for animal products. It celebrates the full diversity of Mexican recipes that have always been vegan: guacamole, a range of vibrant salsas, and the agua frescas for which Ramirez was first known.
Yes, you’ll find the usual suspects of the modern vegan pantry. Think: agar, cashews, jackfruit. But all Ramirez’s recipes and especially the seasonings she works with are always grounded in her family’s Mexican food traditions. “I believe that plant-based Mexican food is both the past and future of Mexican food culture,” she writes.
Review by Joy Manning
Get the box
FALL VEGETARIAN BOX
- La Vida Verde cookbook (with signed bookplate by the author)
- Organic Masa Harina from Bob's Red Mill
- Midnight Black Beans from Rancho Gordo
- White Hominy from Rancho Gordo
- Edward & Sons Young Jackfruit Pieces
- Mixed Chiles (Ancho, Guajillo, Arbol)
- Pepitas (Hulled Pumpkin Seeds)
MORE ABOUT THE BOOK & AUTHOR
Description from the publisher
An Inspired Collection of Time-Honored Mexican Recipes
Follow along with Jocelyn Ramirez as she transforms the traditional dishes she grew up making alongside her Abuela into wonderfully flavorful plant-based meals everyone will love. With only a few simple and affordable substitutions, you can capture all the spicy, earthy, savory deliciousness of authentic Mexican cooking, and help friends, family and even the die-hard meat-eaters enjoy a new side of Latin cuisine.
Amaze your taste buds with healthier versions of kitchen staples like Queso Fresco (Fresh Cheese), Chile de Árbol y Tomatillo (Árbol Chiles with Tomatillo) and Tortillas Hechas a Mano (Handmade Tortillas). Then make hearty, filling mains that carnivores and vegans alike will come back to again and again, such as Tacos de Yaca Carnitas (Jackfruit Carnitas Tacos), Sopa de Tortilla con Crema (Tortilla Soup with Cream) and Mole Verde con Champiñones (Mushrooms in Green Mole). With these 60 recipes you’ll be cooking the foods you love with better-for-you ingredients.