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A vegan recipe for brown rice gallo pinto

Looking for some mental chewing gum the other day, I picked up the autobiography of a gold and diamond miner who worked his way around the world hunting precious metals and the like.

Before the miner pitched up in Australia and made his fortune on an iron business, he cut his teeth mining by working from one Central American country to another, stopping in in Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras along the way.

Six years ago, we did the same journey, starting off in Mexico and making our way down to Panama. It was a glorious trip, and thinking about it still makes me smile today.

Central American food may not be as well as known as, well, pretty much any cuisine you'd like to think about, but it still has some amazing dishes. Me and Mr FlickingtheVs still talk about the superbaleadas of Honduras, or the gallo pinto of Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

Gallo pinto is the rice and beans dish that typifies Central American food for me, and although it's made with the simplest ingredients, it's completely delicious.

Reading about the miner's travels through Central America got me in the mood to make gallo pinto once again. Here's the version I make at home - it's not the most authentic, but it's still good. Serve with refried beans, corn tortillas, fried plantains, avocado, and curtido for a cracking and filling meal.

Brown rice gallo pinto
Serves three to four as part of a meal

175g brown rice
One white onion, thinly sliced
Two stalks of celery, chopping into small dice
One green pepper, chopped into small dice
Two garlic gloves, thinly sliced
two teaspoons of cumin
One 400g tin of black beans or pinto beans, drained
Two teaspoons of vegan Worcestershire sauce
Two teaspoons of soy sauce
Hot sauce to taste

How you do it
Put the brown rice on to cook.
Fry the onion in some oil until it begins to soften - say five minutes or so.
Then add in the celery, and cook another five minutes.
Add the pepper, cook another five minutes.
Add the black or pinto beans, garlic, and cumin, and continue cooking over a low heat until everything is nice and soft.
Once the rice is cooked, drain it, and put it into the vegetable mixture, add the soy and Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce if you're using it (I recommend you do.)
Dig in.

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  1. this is a part of the world I have never visited but would love to - though it sounds a little scary too - love your gallo pinto but I reserve my real admiration for your spread that you serve it with - it looks very fancy. And I am curious about the miner who made his fortune in Australia (wish it had been my ancestor but alas no)

  2. This is def. a cracking and filling plate of food, i want to come over and eat at yours. Thanks for introducing me to gallo pinto as I had not heard of it before, but i have to confess I love the look of the fried plantain they look like roast potato to my greedy eyes. PS where did you get the corn tortilla I have not seen them in that colour anywhere yet?! And I'd love to get some.

  3. I'm not all that familiar with Central American food but that sure looks good. I want everything on the plate down to the blue corn tortillas and fried plantains. :-)

  4. Yum! This looks good, and I like the manageable look of the ingredient list! I am going to make it!!

  5. I am really quite ignorant about central and south America - in all respects and clearly food too as I had never heard of this dish! It sounds delicious though.

  6. Thanks for sharing your gallo pinto recipe; it looks really good!

  7. I've never been to Central America, though I have been twice to Ecuador. I remember fried plantains, but can't remember any of the other things I made when we came home. Darn. Your recipe for gallo pinto sounds delicious — and easy to make. In fact, everything on the plate looks great. I'd love to be able to go to a restaurant and order the exact same thing. How late are you open? :)

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