California Vegan Goes Live!
I’m so excited to announce that my new book, California Vegan, goes live today at bookstores across the nation, Amazon, Apple, and my site. You can pick up a copy at your favorite book store or site, or order it on my site and I’ll send you a hand-signed copy. This book is special, as it’s the culmination of three years of my life, starting with my graduate studies in sustainable food systems and local food traditions, where the book was first conceived. As I was studying plant-based foodways in my bioregion of California, I started observing that my state has a long history of plant-based eating. It’s where indigenous peoples first identified regional plant foods, from acorns to sage, that were delicious and supported health. Where farmers started coming from all over the world, such as countries in Asia or Latin America, to grow beautiful produce in the fertile soils. Where vegetarians and vegans first started practicing during the hippie era. Where health gurus, such as Dr. Joan Sabate and Dr. John McDougal, started noticing the health benefits of plant-based diets. Where technological advances brought a wide range of plant-based innovations to the supermarket shelf. And it’s where a diverse population from around the globe, whether it’s North Africa, Vietnam, or Brazil, to practice beautiful plant-based food traditions.
I talk about the inspiration for my book California Vegan in this video in my home in Ojai.
I started interviewing people from all over the country on their plant-based histories, traditions, and stories. I talked to Black NFL players and athletes, Mexican chefs, and Chinese dietitians about their plant-based stories. They shared how their diet provided powerful health benefits, and how they felt good about connecting to the land, people, and the planet in a kinder way. I spoke with farmers, food companies, and farmers market managers up and down the Golden State, learning more about how the state supports a rainbow of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, and pulses. I interviewed plant-based chefs, learning about the latest strategies for making plant-based eating satisfying, delicious, and gorgeous.
All of these stories are woven into my new book. Each chapter starts with a facet of California’s inspiring plant-based heritage. And then I share recipes that highlight these stories. For example, when I tell the comforting history of California’s plant-based health message in Loma Linda, which is now one of the original Blue Zones where people live the longest in the world, I share some of the kitschy, retro comfort food recipes of my past, such as Herb Lentil Patties with Mushroom Sauce, Haystacks (Taco Salad), and Walnut Cinnamon Rolls. And when I talk about my home in the Bohemian paradise of Ojai in one chapter, I share recipes featuring citrus and lavender, such as Blood Orange Hazelnut Salad and Lavender Almond Cookies, because these ingredients grow in abundance here.
Each recipe was handcrafted in my own kitchen time and time again—and approved by my family—before they made it into the book. And each photograph is my own, showcasing foods shot in my backyard, kitchen, dining room, and picnic tables. The landscapes are those I’ve discovered on my sojourns through the state. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did writing it. Most importantly, this book is not just for those living in California—it’s meant to provide a fresh air, healthy, addictively delicious style of vegan eating no matter where you live!
Check out my take on a California Vegan Food Vibe here. Listen in on my podcast on California Vegan Eating with Liz Weiss here. Watch my video on my book California Vegan here. Pick up your signed book copy here. And join in the California Vegan spirit!
To kick start plant-based eating, sign up for my FREE Go Vegan Toolkit here.