Vegan Ironman Gene Baur on His New Book, ‘Living the Farm Sanctuary Life’


It’s hard not to be a Gene Baur fan. Most will know him as the co-founder of Farm Sanctuary, author, and speaker, but unless you follow Gene closely, you might not realize that as a BQ-marathoner and Ironman, he embodies what NMA is all about.

Gene’s beautiful new vegan-lifestyle-guide-meets-cookbook, Living the Farm Sanctuary Life, hits the shelves next week. In this interview on No Meat Athlete Radio we discuss Gene’s athletic accomplishments, whether eating a plant-based diet can help us live longer, the small steps approach to change, and the theme of mindfulness that runs throughout the new book.

It’s also my pleasure to share a recipe from the new book: Tacos with Salted Grilled Plantains, Salsa Verde, and Pepitas! And — gigantic bonus alert — it features homemade corn tortillas, which just this week I’ve started making (and become mildly obsessed about). You’ll find the recipe at the end of this post below the interview.

Enjoy the interview, and don’t miss Gene’s appearance on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart on April 6th!

Click the button below to listen now:


Tacos with Salted Grilled Plantains, Salsa Verde, and Pepitas

Plantain tacos

From Living the Farm Sanctuary Life, by Gene Baur. Recipe courtesy of Jason Wyrick, executive chef of The Vegan Taste and author of Vegan Tacos.

Says Jason: “If the tortilla is the soul of a taco, then the filling is the body, and fresh lime and spicy salsa are the life of it. It’s the fusion of all three of these components that makes tacos the perfect handheld meal. Because the traditional tortilla for a taco is only about 51⁄2″ in diameter, one serving is usually two or three tacos—or four if you’re hungry!”

Makes 12 tacos

Time to Make: 25 to 35 minutes

2 cups fresh masa (corn dough for making tortillas) or 12 small premade corn tortillas

2 medium semi-ripe plantains, peeled

1 tablespoon garlic-infused oil

Grated peel and juice of

2 limes

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ancho chile powder

11⁄2 cups salsa verde

3⁄4 cup toasted pepitas

2 cups shredded red cabbage


Heat a grill, preferably using mesquite wood. If using a gas grill, bring to medium heat and add soaked mesquite chips in the smoking box.

While the grill is coming to temperature, make the tortillas. Bring a griddle or comal to medium heat. Lay plastic wrap over the bottom flap of your tortilla press.

Take 2 to 21⁄2 tablespoons of the masa and form it into a ball. Lay this on the plastic wrap, just slightly off center toward the hinges of the press. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap at least the size of the tortilla press flap over the masa ball. Press down firmly until the masa is flat and you have a tortilla ready to be cooked. This takes a little practice, so if your first few tortillas don’t turn out right, simply re-form the dough into a ball and press it again. Make as many uncooked tortillas as your griddle can handle before laying them on the hot griddle. Typically this will be 2 to 4 tortillas. Make sure to press each tortilla in its own plastic wrap and keep them in the wrap until you are ready to lay them on the griddle.

Remove the top layer of the plastic sheet. Flip the tortilla over and remove the other layer. Gently lay it on your griddle. Cook the first side for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until you see the edges of the tortilla change color.

Flip the tortilla over and cook for 1 minute. Flip it back over one more time and cook it for another 30 seconds. Remove the tortillas from the heat, stacking them and keeping them covered so they don’t dry out.

Brush the plantains with the oil. Grill them until they are heavily browned on both sides. Remove them from the grill and chop into bite-size pieces.

Immediately toss them with the lime peel and juice and then the salt and chile powder.

To each tortilla, add the plantains, 2 tablespoons of the salsa verde, 1 tablespoon of the pepitas, and the cabbage.

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  1. Saundra says:

    Thank you for your site. It was very helpful. To be honest, I am not an athlete, just someone looking to get into better shape so i can start running (maybe jogging is a better term at my age lol) but just reading your article was insightful. I really never thought about meat in terms of our ancestors hunting and bringing it in every so often. While I am not a vegetarian, I have often considered it and am even doing so now because of health issues, but I have never been one that craves meat on a daily basis. But I do have a hard time letting go of it completely. Do you have any tips on how to curve the craving of meat in general?

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