Guest Blogger Marina Kuperman on Costa Rican Vegan Eats!

Guest Blogger Marina Kuperman on Costa Rican Vegan Eats!

Posted on 27. Oct, 2008 by Yvonne Smith in Blog, Travel

Costa Rica Vegan Style!
by: Marina Kuperman

I’ve been traveling throughout Latin America for years and one thing I have noticed is that even though vegetarianism and veganism are practiced throughout these countries, the actual idea of it just isn’t vocalized as much. I’ve tried to explain this concept to the locals who eagerly nod as though they understand and then immediately offer me chicken.

Over five years ago, I’d landed in Costa Rica and found out that this country’s cuisine is full of vegan delights! And you know what, I’m going to share some of these yummy foods with you right now.

Beans and Gallo Pinto are the pure essence of a Costa Rican meal. What I love about these two recipes is how simple and tasty they are.  Plus, they can go with almost anything, while giving you your full protein intake for the day. And for vegans, it’s all about the PROTEIN.

Beans (Re-fried)


1 pound of black beans
2 onions
4 garlic cloves
1 tomato
canola oil
salt to taste


pressure cooker
frying pan
blender (optional)

Cook It Up!

Place the beans in the pressure cooker with one liter of water covering them completely. (Inside fact: the more water you have the better.)
Put an onion head, 2 garlic cloves, and a tomato with salt in with the beans. Cover and cook for one and a half hours. (Insider Fact: Salt will prevent the beans from spoiling fast and the longer you cook them, the softer they will get and the less discomfort you’ll have.)

Once it’s done, let cool.
Chop up the other onion very fine with the other two garlic cloves.  Heat up the frying pan with the oil and then add the onion and garlic to it.
Uncover the beans and smash up the cooked onion, garlic and tomato along with the beans, so as to blend it all together. Then ladle the cooked beans with the water into the frying pan.
Mix it up with the frying onion and garlic for 15 minutes on low heat.
They are fantastic with rice, tortillas, nachos and whatever else you can think of.


Gallo Pinto

This is the most traditional Costa Rican dish there is!  It is mainly served for breakfast, but if you enter any Costa Rican house at any given moment, there will always be Gallo Pinto to serve!


3 cups cooked rice (day old for the true Tico way)
2 cups cooked black beans (day old for the true Tico way)
2 tablespoons onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon bell pepper, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh coriander, finely chopped (cilantro)
2 tablespoons oil
Salt to taste


Frying pan
mixing spoon

Saute onion and bell pepper in oil on medium heat. Add beans and cook two minutes longer. Add rice and mix, cook three minutes more. Add coriander, mix well.


Marina Kuperman is co-founder and owner of , an all service, all info travel site for Costa Rica. We’ve got great deals for all styles of travel!

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9 Responses to “Guest Blogger Marina Kuperman on Costa Rican Vegan Eats!”

  1. marina

    01. Nov, 2008

    Hi! Hope you’re having a good weekend. I gave you another shout out on our blog here: MuchaCostaRica
    Ciao for now.

  2. Amy E.

    03. Jan, 2009

    I just came back from the Nicoya Peninsula, Mal Pais to be exact, and is Gallo Pinto described above different or a part of Costa Rican Casado? It sounds different…your version described above sounds like a melange. It’s so nice to have these recipes. Thanks!

  3. Gennaro

    20. Jan, 2009

    I found breakfast in Costa Rica to be a vegetarian delight. Dishes had so many small portions of wonderful veggie food.

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    03. Mar, 2009

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  5. Wendy Strebe

    19. May, 2009

    All-inclusive Vegan Retreats being offered in Puerto Viejo de Limon at the Cashew Hill Lodge.

  6. Fateh Bolivar

    19. Sep, 2009


    next time you are in Costa Rica look me up! I am the chef at the Waterfall Villas and besides the incredible waterfalls next to the dinning area only 5 minutes from Dominical Beach, I serve up some amazing vegan and living food menu that you are sure to enjoy! I have my own organic farm and also work with other local farmers and Finca Ipe! Hope to see you soon!

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    07. Nov, 2009

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  8. sts

    25. Apr, 2010

    I see a lot of interesting posts here. Bookmarked for future referrence.

  9. Fateh Bolivar

    01. May, 2010

    Fateh here from the Waterfall Villas in Dominical. Here’s a simple salad dressing to try next time in Costa Rica – I use as many fresh local ingredients as possible – all organic vegan!

    Maracuya is a fruit that is in the passion fruit family, but it is a bit sour and the Costa Rican’s use it for a juice with their Casados (veggie plate with rice and beans – casado means something you need to know when married! LOL.

    So you just mix the maracuya in a vita mix (leave the seeds) with a little olive oil and a dash of a good organic mustard and viola! You will have an incredible salad dressing to pur over your fresh organic greens and avocado. Served at the Waterfall Villas on the open air Bali pavillon on the top of the Cascadas Farallas Waterfalls!.

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