Luz Calvo and Catriona Rueda Esquibel have created a unique take on food in their vegetarian cookbook, Decolonize Your Diet (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2015). It boasts the same 100+ recipes as other cookbooks, the same colorful photos and delicious meals. But it also exists to give a new meaning to traditional Mexican food, as it reaches not simple outside the borders of the USA for inspiration, but into other indigenous American peoples, and back through history. These authors urge Mexican-Americans and those of Latino heritage to return to their food roots for physical health and spiritual connection. Though aimed at a culture “decolonizing” their traditional American diets, this cookbook is accessible to anyone and everyone who picks it up. From classic appetizers like guacamole to rich desserts, explore the energizing, healing properties of a plant-based, Mexican-American diet.
We love cornbread with our chili beans, and if there’s any left over, Catriona drizzles it with honey for dessert, and the next morning, Luz fries it up with butter for breakfast. Baking in a cast-iron frying pan provides an even heat and a golden crust. This recipe is naturally gluten free. The quinoa flour gives a light crumb while preserving the corn texture.
• 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) medium grind yellow cornmeal
• 1/2 cup (125 mL) quinoa flour
• 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
• 1-1/2 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
• 1/4 tsp baking soda
• 2 large eggs
• 1-1/3 cups (315 mL) buttermilk
• 1/2 cup (1 stick/113 g) unsalted butter, preferably pastured
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 C).
2. In a large bowl, whisk together cornmeal, quinoa flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
3. In a separate bowl, beat eggs, then whisk in buttermilk.
4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and whisk until just blended.
5. Add butter to a 9-inch (23-cm) cast-iron frying pan and place in oven until butter melts. Remove from oven and pour all but about 1 tablespoon butter into batter, gently folding it in.
6. Pour batter into pan, reduce oven temperature to 375 F (190 C), and return pan to oven. Bake for 20–25 minutes, until edges start to brown and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
7. Cool for 10 minutes and serve straight from pan.
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Reprinted with permission from Decolonize Your Diet: Plant-Based Mexican-American Recipes for Health and Healing by Luz Calvo and Catriona Rueda Esquibel, published by Arsenal Pulp Press, 2015.