Photo by Jennifer Martine.

Chef and food justice activist Bryant Terry’s latest book, The Inspired Vegan: Seasonal Ingredients, Creative Recipes, Mouthwatering Menus, may look like a simple cookbook, but it’s also much more than that. In it, Terry has included personal reflections on the history, music, and politics that shaped his interest in healthy, whole foods, as well as the cultural influences that inspired the recipes.

Terry wrote the book before and immediately after his daughter was born and his intention, he says, was to create a snapshot of who he was at the time. But he also hopes the book inspires people to connect with their food. He’s included a “basics” section, but if you’re ready to take on some jerk tempeh, he’s got you covered, too. We spoke with Terry recently about the book, as well as his broader work to inspire healthy eating within communities of color, and change the food system from the bottom-up.