We have sorely missed watching sports these past few months, but Croatian tennis pro Petra Martic has been serving up vegan content to satisfy our appetites. She’s currently ranked as number 15 in the world, but in addition to training for the remainder of 2020, she’s decided to test her skills in the kitchen. After drooling over her Instagram feed, we set up a call to chat about home cooking, Croatian vegan options, and the secret to perfecting her epic homemade Crunchwrap Supreme.   

 
 
 
 
 
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Optimizing her performance and going vegan
Martic has never had an iron stomach. Throughout her life, she naturally gravitated toward easier-to-digest fuel, due to her body’s sensitivity to certain foods. This led her down the plant-based path in 2017 when she decided to truly overhaul her nutrition to maximize her performance and increase her energy levels. Following self-guided research and several documentaries, Martic fully committed to the vegan diet after watching What the Health. “I’ve not regretted it ever since,” the tennis star stated. 

 
 
 
 
 
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Croatian (vegan) eats
Tennis professionals are constantly traveling around the world for various tournaments, but since the coronavirus pandemic, Martic has enjoyed staying in one spot. She noted that the vegan movement has come along in her native country of Croatia in recent years. Her favorite grocers, including Bio&Bio, carry plant-based options in addition to prioritizing sustainable practices and supporting local farms and food companies. 

“My go-to products [in Croatia] are Sproud pea milk, because I cannot function without coffee in the morning, and that’s my favorite milk alternative. I also really like Explore Cuisine’s organic plant-based pasta, because it’s rich in protein—which is key for me as an athlete—but is a lot lighter on your stomach [compared to wheat-based pasta].”

When it comes to cheese, it took Martic a while to find one she truly enjoyed. As a self-professed cheese-lover, her standards were set high. When she found Miyoko’s, she was smitten. The garlic herb variety is currently in her fridge, but her favorites change with the seasons. 

 
 
 
 
 
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Vegan quarantine cooking
While we’d like to say that we’re devoted tennis fans, Martic truly came onto our radar after her homemade vegan eats appeared across our Instagram feed. The tennis star told us she’s been taking advantage of her time at home by experimenting with new vegan recipes such as bagels, soparnik (a Croatian savory swiss chard pie), and scratch-made tofu/mushroom burgers. 

Martic clearly loves to play with flavors and cuisines spanning from Italian to Indian, Mediterranean to Mexican. Of all the homemade deliciousness she’s posted, the most eye-catching is a veganized Crunchwrap Supreme. “I got asked about this numerous times after that post!” Martic laughed. “I have to say, as a big fan of Mexican food, it took just one bite for that recipe to become one of my favorite ones I’ve tried so far!” When asked, she was happy to share the recipe with us. 

As tournaments have been postponed, we can’t watch Martic ace her opponents or smash a lobbied ball on the court. While we wait for matches to resume, we’re closely watching her Instagram feed, hungry for another incredible vegan masterpiece. 

Tanya Flink is a Digital Editor at VegNews as well as a writer and runner living in Orange County, CA.

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