July 28, 2011
Our Favorite Recipes
Meat-free eating around the globe
Vegetarian eating not only helps reduce animal suffering, but can also help your health and the environment.
No matter where you live, it is easier than ever to leave meat off of your plate. Whether you are dining in or out, each culture offers a variety of healthy and delicious vegetarian options.
Check out what HSI staff around the world have to say about vegetarian eating in their native countries and then try out their favorite meat-free recipes.
Cindy Dent, regional director for Latin America, Costa Rica
“Finding varied options for vegetarians in Costa Rica is easy and enjoyable, especially considering the wide variety of fruits and vegetables available throughout the year. There are several vegetarian restaurants opening around the country, and even in omnivore restaurants there are often some vegetarian options. And of course, substitutions are rarely a problem!"
Gallopinto (Rice and Beans)
1/2 cubed small onion
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 of a red or green pepper, cubed
2 tablespoons of oil
1 1/2 cups of white or whole grain rice
3/4 to 1 cup of black beans in their broth
1/4 cup cilantro
1. Sautee onion in hot oil until translucent; add chopped pepper and garlic.
2. Add in rice until warmed through. When rice is warm, add beans and their broth, sautéing and mixing for approximately 10 minutes.
3. Add finely chopped cilantro.
Monica Pineda, HSI consultant, Mexico
"Being a vegetarian in my country is getting easier—there are more vegetarian restaurants and vegetarian dishes. The best part is that Mexico has a wide variety of fruits and vegetables that are available throughout the year due to our warm weather."
1. Rinse & cut cactus in small pieces.
2. Cut tomato, onion, and coriander in small pieces.
3. Cut green chile in small pieces, to taste.
4. Stir all ingredients and boil.
5. Add salt, to taste.
6. Eat them as garrison or tacos.
N.G. Jayasimha, campaign manager, India
"Being vegetarian in India is very easy. One can find ‘Pure Veg’ restaurants across the country. In India, egg is not considered vegetarian, so ‘Pure Veg’ restaurants don’t even use eggs! All pre-packaged foods contain either a 'Green Dot' or a 'Red Dot'; a green dot indicates that the food is vegetarian, while the red dot means that it contains meat or egg products. However, vegans must check the ingredients to ensure that the food does not contain milk products."
Akki Rotti (Rice Rotti)
1 cup rice flour
1 cup coconut flakes
1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2-3 green chillies (finely chopped)
small piece of ginger (finely chopped)
salt, to taste
pinch of asafotida
3 tablespoons coriander leaves (finely chopped)
optional: 2 onions (finely chopped)
1. Mix all the above ingredients using enough water to form a stiff dough.
2. Make orange-sized balls from the dough and flatten it (using hand) to a thin rotti (round shape) on a plastic sheet, using a little oil.
3. Heat a flat pan and transfer the rotti on it. Pour one teaspoon of oil around the rotti.
4. Cover the pan with a lid and allow it to cook for a few minutes, until the bottom surface of the rotti becomes golden brown in color and crisp, while the top surface is softer.
5. Remove from fire and serve hot with chutney powder/ chutney.
Optional: Add finely chopped onions to the rice flour before mixing with water.
Variation: Instead of rice flour, use millet (ragi) flour for making ragi rotti.
Jo Swabe, director, HSI Europe
“The traditional European diet, particularly in northern Europe, tends to be heavily meat and dairy-based, so—in some EU Member States—it can still be a bit of struggle to find (interesting) vegetarian food, especially outside the larger towns and cities. Fortunately, Mediterranean cuisine always offers great solace to vegetarians with its wonderful pasta, vegetable, and bean-based dishes. Vegetarians also profit greatly from the culinary traditions of the migrants from all corners of the globe who have settled in Europe during the past century or so."
Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomato-Mint Pesto
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil (drained)
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil (extra virgin)
2 tablespoons tomato puree
2 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
12 ounces short pasta (e.g. penne, farfalle, etc.)
1. Put the sun-dried tomatoes, walnuts, mint, olive oil, tomato puree, garlic (finely chopped), salt and pepper in a food processor and blend until smooth.
2. Cook the pasta until al dente, then drain.
3. Return pasta to cooking pot and then stir in the pesto.
4. Serve warm with a green salad, or steamed green vegetables, such as green beans or broccoli.
(Adapted from Vegan Italiano by Donna Klein)
Guilherme Carvalho, campaign manager, Brazil
"Vegetarian eating only gets easier in Brazil, although its availability may vary widely from one city to another. São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Florianopolis are examples of cities where you can already find plenty of delicious vegetarian options in a variety of restaurants, cafes, and supermarkets."
2.2 pounds black beans, cooked
2 onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup oil
2 medium eggplants, cubed
2 zucchinis, cubed
1 bell pepper, cubed
1 yellow pepper, cubed
2 large carrots, cubed
4 large potatoes, cubed
2 cubes vegetable broth
1 can vegetarian sausages, cut into slices
300 grams large dehydrated soy protein
3 laurel leaves
salt, to taste
1. In a pan, fry onion in oil.
2. Add eggplant, zucchini, peppers, carrots, potatoes, and broth cubes and sauté for a few minutes. One half cup of water may be added if necessary.
3. When vegetables are al dente, add vegetarian sausages, black beans, soy protein, laurel, and salt to taste.
4. Let cook for a few minutes so that the beans absorb the flavor of the vegetables and laurel.
Gabriela Duhart, HSI consultant, Mexico
"Vegetarian eating can be quite easy in Mexico, even if it appears otherwise. Most restaurants have dishes that do not include meat or that can be prepared without it. Even though there are many dishes with cheese, there is usually also a way of preparing them without any dairy products. We are lucky to have many fresh vegetables and nutritious vegan foods such as cactus leaf, mushrooms, nuts, and beans."
Tostadas (Fried or toasted tortillas with beans and veggie toppings)
seasoned tofu (firm)
You can buy tostadas at the supermarket and fry or toast the tortillas at home.
Add mashed beans, lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, and sprinkle tofu on top and enjoy!
You can add any other vegetables to tostadas as well!
Sergio Moncada, HSI Farm Animal Protection deputy director, Honduras
"Until a couple of decades ago, the staple dish in most Hondurans’ diet was rice and beans (and maize tortillas). I grew up eating a lot of it and it's still one of my favorite dishes. These days, you can also buy soy milk at certain supermarkets, and a handful of restaurants now offer dishes that are vegetarian. Tropical fruits and fresh vegetables are still as bountiful as they were back when I was growing up there."
1/4 cup olive oil
1 package of soy "sausage," sliced into 1/2-inch pieces (optional)
1 1/2 cups oyster mushrooms
1 1/2 cups portabella mushrooms
3 carrots, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
2 yellow onions, peeled and roughly chopped
2 celery stalk, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup vegetable stock OR 1 vegan bouillon cube dissolved in 1/2 cup of water
1/4 tsp. ground oregano
1 cup brown rice (short or long grain although long grain is recommended)
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
1 can hearts of palm, drained and quartered Goya brand "Sazón" seasoning (with saffron)
1. In a medium-sized pot, bring two cups of water to a boil and add the rice.
2. Over low heat, let the rice cook for 20 minutes or until all water has evaporated (do not overcook).
3. Separately, in a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat, add the soy sausage and saute over medium heat for two minutes.
4. Add the carrots, celery, onions, and garlic and saute for another two minutes.
5. Add the oyster and portabella mushrooms, and oregano and saute for another two minutes.
6. Add a pinch (to taste) of Goya's "Sazón" seasoning, salt and pepper (continue adding to taste).
7. Add cooked rice and 1/2 cup of vegetable stock and let simmer for five to 10 minutes or until most (but not all) of the stock has evaporated.
8. Add the artichoke hearts and the hearts of palm and let simmer for five minutes.
(Adapted from vegcooking.com)