Plant Powered Mexican: Fast, Fresh Recipes from a Mexican-American Kitchen

Harvard Common. Nov. 2021. 192p. ISBN 9780760371145. $27. COOKING
In this debut cookbook, Ramos (of the blog ¡Hola! Jalapeño) shares easy-to-assemble recipes, many of them originating from her Oaxacan family. She notes that her family isn’t solely vegetarian, but vegetables are the star ingredients in many of these recipes (part of an effort to minimize meat consumption). Ramos’s recipes pull from an extensive pantry, including herbs from her local Mexican market (Mexican oregano; epazote), and she provides guidance for sourcing ingredients online. This book helpfully includes recipes that don’t require a lot of advance prep, like a marinated-vegetable torta with serrano-lime aioli that relies on cumin and lime juice for added flavor. General tips are scattered throughout the book (e.g., “how to doctor a can of beans”). Delectable color photographs demonstrate step-by-step instructions for the more technical recipes (like squash blossom quesadillas with tomato-avocado salsa).
VERDICT Ramos’s cookbook looks at Oaxacan and southern Mexican cuisine through a fresh, plant-focused lens. Home cooks seeking inspiration will benefit from her easygoing recipes for a family or a crowd.
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