Bronx woman bringing Puerto Rican flavors and southern soul to vegan cooking
One Bronx woman is creating healthy vegan meals with the flavors of Puerto Rico and the soul of southern cooking.
Research over the last few years has shown that a plant-based diet can have many positive impacts on Black and brown communities battling systemic health issues.
Lyana Blount became a vegan in 2016 and started Black Rican Vegan during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her business quickly grew from selling meals out of her home kitchen in the south Bronx to serving thousands of people at festivals like Smorgasburg in Prospect Park and Curl Fest at Randall's Island.
Some of her most popular items include mofongo and "vernil" (pernil but vegan!), chopped cheese egg rolls, and "moxtail"—a vegan twist on the popular Jamaican dish. Blount says her customers are often shocked that her food tastes just like home. She says it's all about the ingredients.
"How do you season meat? You use herbs, you use spices, you use oils, you use sofritos. Anything that you use for meat, I kind of take that approach when using plants," said Blount. "In my culture, we use a lot of sofrito, sazon, adobo.”
She released her first cookbook late July.
“People have more options to cooking Puerto Rican and soul food with a vegan twist. They want to keep tradition and culture into their meals," she says.
Customers can place orders on her website.