The Mexican Vegetarian Cookbook Review

The Mexican Vegetarian Cookbook Review
By The Cooking World, Editorial Staff
September 26, 2022

‍The Mexican Vegetarian Cookbook: 400 authentic everyday recipes for the home cook

It's always good to be back with another Phaindon cookbook review. Today we bring you the definitive and largest collection of traditional, authentic Mexican vegetarian recipes for home cooks — The Mexican Vegetarian Cookbook.

Added in 2010 to UNESCO's list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity — the first, and one of only seven cuisines to receive the distinction — Mexican gastronomy is defined by a sense of community, a rich diversity of native ingredients and age-old practices of planting and harvesting.

With this book, Margarita Carrillo endeavors to preserve Mexico's collective cultural and culinary heritage brimming with stories, traditions, and myths, for readers everywhere.

Mexican Culinary Wealth and Culture

Margarita Carrillo is a well-known Mexican chef and restaurateur from a family with deep cultural and culinary roots. Over her 40-year career, popularizing Mexican cuisine throughout the world, Margarita has lectured at institutions and represented Mexico at the COP 16 and the G-20 summit. In addition to her appearances on Mexican television on the popular El Gourmet channel in Mexico, Margarita has authored books on Mexican food, including Phaidon's bestselling Mexico: The Cookbook.

When writing The Mexican Vegetarian Cookbook, Margarita took the opportunity to correct the misconception that Mexican cuisine is greasy, unhealthy, and lacking in variety, showcasing the country's culinary wealth and culture instead.

Mexico's rich geography provides an unparalleled pantry of produce and ingredients, with few other nations matching the country's natural abundance, from the arid climates in the North to the tropical regions of the South.

In addition, Mexican cuisine has benefitted from the exchange of techniques and experimentation derived from different cultures, including the culinary customs of the Mediterranean countries and the cooking styles of Asia and Africa. At its core, contemporary Mexican cuisine is a product of its biodiverse terrain, rich cultural and historical background, and culinary confluence with other countries.

The Mexican Vegetarian Cookbook
Beans and quelites tamales. Photography by Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Urquiza (p. 43)

Recipes From All Over Mexico

The Mexican Vegetarian Cookbook includes 400 accessible, healthy, and delicious recipes, with chapters covering Breakfasts, Lunches, Snacks, Salads and Sides, Pulses, Desserts, Breads, Beverages, and Basics.

Like in all Phaidon's previous books devoted to a specific culinary region of the world, each recipe indicates its regional origin, from general territories like Northern Mexico to Central Mexico to more specific states like Veracruz and Oaxaca in the South. There are also several recipes enjoyed throughout all of Mexico, including Melted Cheese and Poblano Chile Tacos, Margarita Salad, Mexican Corn Soup, and more.

The book also designates which dishes are gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, can be made in one pot, use five or fewer ingredients, or can be prepared in 30 minutes.

The book's gorgeous cactus die-cut cover design draws from traditional Mexican papel picado or "perforated paper," a decorative craft made by cutting elaborate designs into sheets of tissue paper, reflecting the color and vivaciousness of Mexican vegetarian cuisine.

The Mexican Vegetarian Cookbook
Zucchini flower chileatole. Photography by Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Urquiza (p. 173)

Final Thoughts

As we said multiple times in our previous reviews, this series of books devoted to a specific culinary region of the world is a great heritage for the next generations. Much more than books with recipes, this series has brought us the stories, traditions, and costumes from generations before us.

The Mexican Vegetarian Cookbook is an essential and immersive tome for home chefs looking to introduce more variety to their daily vegetarian diet while experiencing Mexico's regional diversity and attention to tradition.


The Mexican Vegetarian Cookbook is another brilliant book from Phaidon that pays homage to Mexico's exciting and colorful cuisine. This vegetarian masterpiece shows everyone that Mexican cuisine offers much more than tacos and enchiladas.









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