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.
1 pound of black beans
4 garlic cloves
salt to taste
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.
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
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 MuchaCostaRica.com , an all service, all info travel site for Costa Rica. We’ve got great deals for all styles of travel!