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Decolonize Your Diet: Plant-Based Mexican-American Recipes for Health and Healing Paperback – October 13, 2015
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"The cookbook combines ancient wisdom with modern-day conveniences, using lesser-known ingredients such as jicama, nopales and chayotes in creative ways. But it's more than that...The book is also a well-researched 'love letter' to all the abuelas (grandmothers) out there, who have kept alive these culinary traditions for thousands of years." --UC Food Observer
About the Author
Catriona Rueda Esquibel : Catriona Rueda Esquibel is an associate professor in Race and Resistance Studies at San Francisco State University. Catriona and her partner Luz Calvo live in Oakland, CA, where they grow fruits, vegetables, and herbs on their small urban farm, as they study traditional Mesoamerican cuisine.
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It is true that this is not a purely vegan cookbook. But there isn't anything an experienced vegan cook can't easily sub out. And, there is no cookbook of which I'm aware that makes the important socio-political cultural case so expertly made by these authors.
This is a revolutionary and beautiful book in every sense of those words. A must have addition to any ethical vegan's library.
Some of the recipes do include queso and they seem to taste fine without them. I also have heard good things about the alternative cashew queso so I will have to attempt that.
Book Itelf: 4 Stars
If you buy from Amazon check your copy carefully. I recommend buying in store somewhere. I received 3 copies in a row with a printing error. There was a large chunk of missing pages (p. 49 - 72) and instead there were duplicate pages (p. 73 - 96) from another chapter in their place. I wrote the author and they acknowledging some books in the second edition had a printing error. I wrote Amazon clearly explaining the problem, I was told they would check the book before sending it to me and still 3 times received misprinted copies. The last time they said they couldn't promise they wouldn't just send me another faulty printed book so they refunded instead of trying to send another replacement. I am surprised and disappointed to see they didn't pause sale of their inventory while they check for more faulty ones. I am now trying to track down a local copy I can check myself before buying
The book itself has a lot of great recipes. I would prefer more photos of the prepared food. Some of the recipes have long ingredient lists and are lengthy to prepare, but that is also just the nature of those traditional recipes. Because much precolonial food was naturally vegan, most of these recipes are as well. The ones that aren't are still vegetarian and the non-vegan ingredients are not front and center in those recipes and appear to be easy to substitute. (e.g. a sprinkle of goat's cheese on top that can be omitted, or a little butter). While I would prefer it be completely vegan and that seems a little more authentic if it was, the animal products play a rather small part in the book.
So far I've only tried making the cauliflower ceviche (missing from my copy but they posted on their facebook page) and not only was it simple to prepare, but delicious and healthy. I brought it to a summer potluck and it was very popular.
The raw tomatillo salsa is so damn good you will want to pour it over everything you eat. My kids love it and I have to make it by the jarful and keep it in the fridge all the time. Everyone fights over the chayote salad and yesterday we made the posole and the pot was damn near licked clean.
This book has been a huge part of my ability to get my children (3 boys ages 7-13) to eat a more plant based diet which says a lot because these boys are like T-rex's most of the time with food. You will not regret buying this book, you will regret not buying it. Cook from it. Cook with love. Feed your friends and family. It is written beautifully, you will actually sit and read this cookbook. I love it so much. It is my favorite gift to give.
I attached a photo of the raw tomatillo salsa and the chayote salad. It was gone 5 minutes later ;-)