A LETTER FROM THE CHEF-OWNER, LORETA RUIZ
From a very early age, my daughter questioned me about the need for humans to drink cow milk. As she grew a little bit older and finished second grade, she had already been convinced that animals were not a part of the food chain and that the way humans treated animals was inhumane.
However, I belong to a generation that grew up believing we need to consume milk, eggs, and meat to be healthy. I have always disliked the latter two (although I will admit I was an avid meat lover); a foodie that loves to cook and certainly enjoys eating.
When I was a child, veganism was not trendy and most people enjoyed the convenience of canned and processed food as more women joined the workforce. All my friends and most of my relatives ate junk food and drank soda while my father, who was ahead of his time, was teaching my family and I about balanced diets and the benefits of plant-based food. My siblings and I were periodically put into a “detox mode” and had eating habits that I thought made us strange.
Fast forward 40 years, my 85 year-old parents are strong and healthy as a result of investing in their bodies and eating a predominantly plant-based diet. When my daughter turned 18 and adopted a vegan lifestyle due to a sudden onset of autoimmune disease, I began to suspect that there was a vegan gene in our DNA. As I removed meat from my diet, I realized that I felt healthier and consequently converted to a vegan lifestyle thereafter.
Being a typical Mexican mom, I was worried my daughter was not getting all of her nutrients after becoming vegan, so I went through the crusade of looking for recipes that satisfied her taste and my omnivorous son’s as well. To my dismay and expectations, I was not too lucky. It got to the point where my kids asked me to stop experimenting with food, but I kept going. Eventually I “discovered” that many Mexican dishes are plant-based by nature or have no animal products, and for those that do, I could make some modifications to achieve a culturally appropriate dish with a vegan twist.
I hope I can bring to you some Mexican vegan dishes that help you keep a vegan diet without missing the taste.