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Food Trends: Plant-Based Alternatives

a plate of food with broccoli

For this year’s seasonal menu, Max’s Grille has introduced a brand-new Plant-based section featuring five items curated by our new Sous Chef, Chris Rojas. A vegan himself, Chef Rojas’ flavorful creations and veggie interpretations are proof that meat doesn’t need to be to focus in every dish. We sat down with Chef Rojas and asked him a few questions on his experience with plant-based cuisine.

1. When did you change to a plant-based diet? And why? 

I chanced to a plant-based lifestyle 5 years ago. What made me change my lifestyle was the passion and love that my wife has for all living things the impact that global warming is causing to the world.

2. What benefits do you personally feel from eating a plant-based diet? 

The benefits from a plant-based lifestyle to me had amazing results, not only for my body but for my mind. I wake up every day at 6 a.m. and do yoga and core-training and later on in the morning I hit the gym for weight-lifting. It had become an addiction for me. My levels of energy and focus are surprising.  I have found new and interesting ways of cooking vegetables so that the focus of a complete meal doesn’t have to rely on a piece of protein on a plate.

3. What piece of advice would you give someone who wants to incorporate more plant-based meals in their diet? 

Start with excluding meat or substituting it from all your favorite meals, take out orders or your favorite comfort food. Once you feel the difference after eating plant based for a month, I promise you will never go back.

4. What is your favorite items from the Max’s Grille plant-based section?

My favorite menu item from the plant-based section has to be the cauliflower “wings.” I use to love going to Flanigan’s for wings and a pitcher of Yuengling beer. And these cauliflower “wings” take me to those wonderful days.

If you could make one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

That one last meal? Has to be my wife’s frijoles colorados con calabaza. (Cuban-style kidney beans stew with pumpkin) served with coconut quinoa, and a watercress, avocado, tomato-cucumber salad with avocado oil and fresh lemon juice and!!!