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Vegetarian Recipe-Gallo Pinto a Costa Rican Vegetarian Recipe

Updated on August 31, 2016
Cynthia Haltom profile image

Cynthia Haltom, Ph.D. is an accomplished educator and author of over 100 books. Many of her books are about cooking.

Gallos Pinto

Gallo Pinto a Vegetarian Recipe From Costa Rica

Gallo Pinto a Costa Rican Vegetarian Recipe. I learned to love Gallo Pinto a vegetarian recipe shortly after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, I decided to go to Costa Rica for a Spanish Immersion Program. I spent the summer in Alejuela, Costa Rica and lived with a local family while I attended school. My stay was wonderful and I experienced the Costa Rican culture first hand a vegetarian recipe I continue to prepare.. My tuition include my room and board, which gave me two meals per day a breakfast and a dinner. Each of the days meals included Gallo Pinto a traditional part of the cuisine a good vegetarian recipe..

My first experience being from the U.S. was that beans and rice for breakfast was not something I was going to eat especially for breakfast. After the first few days I decided to try the dish. It is brownish in color and the beans are black which did not look very appealing to me. Surprisingly, I decided that they were very tasty. I learned from my "Tico" mom ( the lady of the house where I lived) how to make the dish with authentic ingredients. Another vegetarian recipe to add to my cookbook.

When I came home from a long summer of study in Costa Rica, I began teaching in a bilingual school in rural Washington State, since I had been displaced from the Gulf Coast. I soon realized that Gallo Pinto was an easy vegetarian recipe to take for my lunch. I have been making it ever since that time either as a main dish or a side dish.

Here is a photo of how it was served at dinner, on the plate you can see plantains (a banana-like vegetable) friend in butter. I now love gallo pinto and include as a vegetarian recipe I frequently add to my diet.

Gallo Pinto the RECIPE

These are the basic ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium finely chopped onion

2-3 clove minced garlic

3 cups cooled cooked rice (best if stored overnight)

2 cups cooked frijoles negros, (black beans)

1 teaspoon cumin ground

1 teaspoon coriander (cilantro) ground or chopped

1/2 teaspoon ginger

2 -3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

salt &


In a large pan add olive oil and sauté all ingredients except rice.

After the onions and garlic are cooked to clear, add rice and cook until

thoroughly heated. Top with red peppers or tomato chunks to add color and added nutrition, when serving. Serve as a main dish or a side dish. Refrigerate any uneaten

portions to serve at a later time.

In Costa Rica most of the food is prepared on the weekends and then reheated during the week. My Tico mom said that it only heated the kitchen up once, since there was no air conditioning in most homes in Central America.

Here's what I use, black beans from a can. It's easier than cooking them from dry beans.

Gallos Pinto Served at Every Meal

DIY Cooking

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Make you meals elegant

Even the simplest meals become elegant when served on stylish dishes. Use tablecloths, napkins and nice silverware to set a beautiful table. Everyone deserves to dine in style. When purchasing cookware look for quality pot, pans and electric cooking appliance. They last longer and usually have finished that are easier to clean and heat evenly.

If you are new to cooking ask for advise from relative or friends to determine what types of kitchenware you are most likely to need. Many new cooks have too many appliances and too little room to display and store bulky cookware and appliances. Know what you need and choose wisely.

Part of the charm of a home cooked meal is the ambiance. Set your table using dinnerware that you normally reserve for guests for you family. They deserve the best, so give it to them. Use candle, centerpieces and other elegant touches. Teach you children how to set a proper dining table. When my children were small we chose at least one day a week for every family member to prepare a luxury dining experience. The children learned how to set the table properly, prepare appetizer, and took turns serving the family. We looked forward each week to this special meal, no phone were answered, the TV was turned off, and background music was played which reflected the origins of the meal.

A Traditional Costa Rican Breakfast

So Delicious

Red Bean and Rice - Southern Cooking at Its Best


1 pound dry kidney beans ( or canned )

1/4 cup olive oil

1 sweet onion, chopped

2-3 tablespoons minced garlic

1/2 cup green pepper, chopped

1/2 cup celery, chopped

6 cups water (if you use dry beans)

2-3 bay leaves

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder

1 teaspoon fresh or dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon fresh or dried sage

1 tablespoon fresh or dried parsley

1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning ( Tony Cha or Slap yo' Mama)


4 cups cooked long grain white rice

Place all ingredients into a large pot, bring to a boil and simmer. Add extra water as needed., do not let it dry out as it will burn. When cook through serve over cooked rice and enjoy.

Bean and Rice

Beans and rice is a staple food all over the world. Red beans, black bean, bean sprout. All provide a vegetarian source of protein.

Beautiful Red Beans and Rce

Green Beans and Rice Vegetarian Protein

What are you making for dinner tonight?

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    • MrAusAdventure profile image

      Bill 4 years ago from Gold Coast, Australia

      I am glad to see that you also have a few vegetarian Lenses. My main account "RawBill" has some vegan/vegetarian content.

    • junkcat profile image

      junkcat 5 years ago

      I love beans and rice a wholesome meal