BOV Contributor | Houston, Texas

Val Latifi | Plant-Based Passport

    Val Latifi is a first generation Filipino-American. She runs Plant-Based Passport—a food and travel blog—with her Persian-American husband Mani. They live in Houston, Texas with their crazy rescue pug Mango.

    Val is an attorney by day. In her former life, she was a music journalist for The Village Voice. Her most memorable assignments included covering legendary rapper Rakim’s 2006 show at Warehouse Live and interviewing “Weird Al” Yankovic.

    She has traveled to thirty-three countries and five continents together with her husband. Their first trip together was to Washington, D.C. for President Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009. Travel informs and inspires their cooking. The two of them recreate and veganize dishes they’ve sampled abroad, as well as dishes they grew up eating. Through their food blog, they seek to dispel the notion that you have to give up your cultural heritage in going vegan, while spotlighting underrepresented cuisines.

    Val and her husband transitioned to veganism in 2018, owing to their first rescue pug Tofu. One day it clicked for them that all animals were capable of the same love and emotion they saw in Tofu’s sweet, bulbous eyes. (Rest in Peace, Tofu).

    When she’s not making a mess in the kitchen, Val enjoys reading, the outdoors, yoga, meditation, volunteering at her local wildlife rehabilitation center, running, and gardening.

    My 5 Favorite Vegan Ingredients:
    • Tofu
    • Smoked paprika
    • Chili peppers
    • Chimichurri
    • Fresh herbs

    My 3 Favorite Vegan Dishes:
    • Jerk Burger Topped With Grilled Pineapple
    • Gumbo (extra Tabasco sauce, please!)
    • Filipino Tofu Adobo

    Currently Working On:
    • Veganizing my mom’s and mother-in-law’s recipes.
    • Formulating travel plans.
    • Growing her food blog and improving her food photography.
    • Tackling her yearly goal of reading 20 to 50 books.

    A Quote I Live By: “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” —Henry David Thoreau

Val

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