Costa Rican Gallo Pinto for Meatless Monday

This recipe is dedicated to my friend Caryn who is looking for a crave-worthy, healthy dish that integrates grains and beans that even her kids will eat (without gagging or complaining).

Whenever I go to Costa Rica, I pretty much live on Gallo Pinto. I’m not joking. I eat it for breakfast and lunch and as a side dish with dinner. And now that I know how to make it, well now I pretty much live on it at home, too.  It’s a super tasty, very healthy traditional dish of Costa Rica and Nicaragua which is basically their version of rice and beans, but with plenty of flavorful twists. Translated, Gallo Pinto means something like “multi-colored rooster,” and that’s exactly what it looks like! Little bits of vibrant red peppers and tomatoes flash colorfully between black beans, white rice, flecks of green cilantro, caramel-colored onion and garlic. And it’s topped with the most delicious flavor found in Central America: Lizano Sauce! While this delectable mild pepper sauce can be found in the Hispanic section of many supermarkets around the world, don’t worry if you can’t find it – worcestershire sauce is a great substitute.  All the protein and deliciousness in this dish makes it the perfect food!

I’m not the only one who is in love with Gallo Pinto – my Carnivorous Crusader also adores it so much that he gladly forgoes meat to eat this zesty, filling dish. That automatically qualifies Gallo Pinto as a “magic dish” in my book! Especially for its versatility and universal likability. John likes it so much that it got him to stop sulking when I told him we were doing Meatless Monday – yes, that is the power of Gallo Pinto. Impressive, indeed.
A few years ago while we were kiteboarding in Costa Rica, the cook at the restaurant where ate every day – a lovely elderly lady with very few teeth named Maria – took me under her wing in her kitchen and taught me how to make her special version of this beloved Costa Rican dish. She spoke no English, and mi espanol no es buena, but luckily we spoke a common language: food.  Now whenever I make Gallo Pinto, I think of Maria and her joyful toothless smile, rainforests, volcanic waterfalls, cute Costa Rican three-toed sloths, and the big smile that I’m sure to get from my converting carnivore when he sees that I’m making Gallo Pinto for dinner (or breakfast, or lunch, or as a side dish). Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
Gallo Pinto
Serves: 4 as a meal, or 8 as as side-dish
From cutting board to table: about 15 minutes if you’re a fast chopper! Personally I like to cook the rice a little longer in the pan to get some crispy bits, but that’s optional.
2 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, peeled and finely diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
2 roma tomatoes, finely diced
1.5 cups black beans (drained and rinsed)
2 cups cooked white rice
3/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp salt (smoked sea salt if you have it)
freshly ground pepper, to taste
2-3 tbsp Lizano sauce* or worcestershire sauce
*Lizano Sauce can be found in the Hispanic aisle in many supermarkets. But if you can’t find it, worcestershire sauce is a good substitute
In a non-stick saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute the onion and garlic for 2 minutes. Add the red pepper and saute everything until the onion is translucent and a bit golden (3-4 minutes). Add rice and stir well until rice is heated through. (* optional – you can cook the rice a little longer to get some crispy bits at the bottom – yum – or you can just forge ahead. Your choice!) Add tomatoes and saute for 4 minutes, stirring frequently and scraping the bottom of the pan so the rice doesn’t permanently weld itself to your pan. Add the beans and stir for 2 minutes. Add the cilantro, salt, pepper and Lizano (or worcestershire sauce) to taste.  Serve hot and enjoy pura vida, Costa Rican style!
Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , ,

Categories: 15 minute dishes, Main dish, Recipes, Starters and sides

Author:Cimeron

Cimeron Morrissey is an award-winning magazine writer who writes about her passions, which include travel, water sports, animal rescue and food.

Operation Carnivore Conversion

This is Operation Carnivore Conversion, an ambitious and potentially hazardous project to transform my meat-loving husband into a vegetarian. Recognizing that his diet was shared by Tyrannosauruses but not by humans who live very long, he has decided - reluctantly - to try to dramatically reduce his consumption of animal-based foods. The success of this project relies on my ability to serve inventive and tasty meals that would satisfy even a femur-gnawing caveman (and to prepare them in less than 30 minutes since I don't have much time). This is a high-risk endeavor. If my husband feels deprived or underwhelmed, he will see my arms as snack-shaped objects and/or whine me to death. Failure is not an option. Oh boy, here we go!

27 Comments on “Costa Rican Gallo Pinto for Meatless Monday”

  1. March 1, 2012 at 2:13 am #

    Sounds great! I’ll have to try it.

  2. March 1, 2012 at 3:02 am #

    Pura vida! I love gallo pinto AND Salsa Lizano. Thanks for sharing the secret recipe!

  3. Cimeron
    March 1, 2012 at 4:08 am #

    Wow, impressed that you know about Salsa Lizano – not many people outside of Costa Rica do. It’s pretty amazing, isn’t it? I cannot get enough of it. In addition to it being the secret ingredient in gallo pinto, it also makes a surprisingly awesome addition to a bloody mary. Lizano is truly a magic sauce!

    RantingChef – let me know what you think of it when you give it a try! I hope you like it!

  4. Rhonda
    March 1, 2012 at 7:01 am #

    Sounds fun! Trying this for sure. Meatless folks should read labels carefully for Worcestershire sauce — a lot of them have anchovies. There are some non-fishy ones to be found, though, even in the regular market.

    • Cimeron
      March 10, 2012 at 3:47 am #

      Great point, Rhonda! I know that the Salsa Lizano doesn’t have animal products in it, and the taste is incredible so if you can get it, it’s worth it. But if not, hopefully it’s not too hard to find anchovy-free Worcestershire.

  5. May 27, 2013 at 10:38 am #

    Woah! I’m really digging the template/theme of this website. It’s simple,
    yet effective. A lot of times it’s difficult to get that “perfect balance” between user friendliness and appearance. I must say you have done a superb job with this. Also, the blog loads super fast for me on Safari. Excellent Blog!

  6. Cimeron
    May 27, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

    Thanks so much for your kind words, William5 – I really appreciate it! 🙂 Stay tuned (or hit the subscribe button) for more. I’ve been on hiatus for a last couple of weeks, but I’ve got lots of cool posts coming soon!

  7. June 1, 2013 at 5:18 am #

    Great beat ! I would like to apprentice while you amend your site,
    how could i subscribe for a blog site? The account
    helped me a acceptable deal. I had been a little bit acquainted of this your broadcast provided bright
    clear concept

  8. June 5, 2013 at 5:33 pm #

    Hi great blog! Does running a blog similar to this take a
    great deal of work? I’ve very little understanding of coding but I was hoping to start my own blog in the near future. Anyhow, if you have any suggestions or techniques for new blog owners please share. I understand this is off subject however I just had to ask. Cheers!

  9. April 14, 2014 at 7:42 pm #

    I’m not sure where you are getting your info, but good topic.
    I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more.
    Thanks for fantastic info I was looking for this info
    for my mission.

  10. May 10, 2014 at 7:28 pm #

    I am really enjoying the theme/design of your website.
    Do you ever run into any browser compatibility problems?
    A small number of my blog readers have complained about my blog not operating correctly in Explorer but looks great
    in Opera. Do you have any ideas to help fix this issue?

  11. September 24, 2014 at 4:00 pm #

    Incredible points. Great arguments. Keep up the great work.

  12. November 21, 2014 at 8:53 pm #

    It possibly is if it appears to good to be accurate?

  13. December 5, 2014 at 3:32 pm #

    What’s up, always i used to check webpage posts here
    in the early hours in the break of day, as i enjoy to find out more and more.

  14. December 15, 2014 at 10:09 am #

    Good answer back in return of this difficulty with real arguments and telling the
    whole thing about that.

  15. December 15, 2014 at 6:25 pm #

    Thanks for one’s marvelous posting! I actually enjoyed reading it, you might be a great author.
    I will ensure that I bookmark your blog and will often come back
    very soon. I want to encourage you continue your great writing, have a nice holiday weekend!

  16. December 23, 2014 at 10:06 am #

    I am really loving the theme/design of your web
    site. Do you ever run into any web browser compatibility issues?
    A few of my blog readers have complained about
    my blog not operating correctly in Explorer but looks great in Chrome.

    Do you have any advice to help fix this issue?

  17. January 12, 2015 at 9:12 am #

    Dont trust on any type of software or hardware as well
    as unlocking tools that are fake, harmful, and non-secured and will not be safe for your i –
    Phones. For more information about unlocking an i – Phone 4, make sure you check
    out the resource box below and follow the link you will find there.
    Don’t waste your time or someone else’s when you know it doesn’t feel right
    and you know you won’t be happy with them
    in the long run.

  18. January 17, 2015 at 5:36 pm #

    Sure there is not much going on in this region, no big events, however somehow it gives so much of itself in water fun and
    beauty that it really doesn’t need for much else.
    This island is a natural beauty, is in Australia and covers almost 184 000 hectares.
    Some speakers have everyone in the room stand and meet
    one new person and exchange information such as why they are here today, what they
    hope to get out of the session, one unusual hobby they have, and so on so that participants have a better chance of
    remembering one another.

  19. January 18, 2015 at 3:14 pm #

    Bridgeport Conservatories, any CKH Industries
    business, happily gives a exceptional SunSuites Sunroom solution that
    solves the particular limitations connected with typical deck
    enclosure manufacturing.

  20. February 14, 2015 at 11:43 am #

    I settle over 60 dollars monthly for my cable television. For those who
    hardly find time to get out in to the theaters and watch their favorite
    movie, it is a gift to watch them at home on the TV channels.

    But if you want to make a huge collection of movies then you can go for free download movies.

  21. February 27, 2015 at 4:38 am #

    Digestive enzyme supplements come in different brands, but regardless of the brand they are recommended to be taken immediately after meals, and not on an empty stomach.
    That is easy, Bowtrol’s probiotic contains five times
    the amount probiotics that is commonly found in yogurt in just one pill.
    Foods that contain prebiotics and probiotics are able to increase the number of good bacteria in the body, strengthen the
    immune system, encourage the proper digestive process, and promote overall health and well-being.

  22. April 14, 2015 at 12:57 am #

    Quality articles or reviews is the key to interest the visitors to pay
    a visit the site, that’s what this web page is providing.

  23. June 15, 2015 at 8:07 am #

    The solstice sunrise marks the longest day’s the year in the Northern Hemisphere.

  24. July 3, 2015 at 1:39 pm #

    Undeniably watch free movies online is a
    cut-rate and great pleasure particularly for movies lovers.
    Even though they offer illegal movies, they still get people to
    watch them. When you watch movies online
    watch TV online visitors are sometimes offered these with a short commercial that plays
    just before the movie starts and sometimes between the
    movies as well.

  25. December 17, 2015 at 2:29 am #

    Avez vous tâcher le logiciel de positionnement ‘ GHS tools
    ‘ ? C’est un outil élaboré par Nicolas sotton le professionnel SEO ; )

  26. December 29, 2015 at 3:47 am #

    The builders at Ys Net additionally revealed bodily copies of
    the sport for PlayStation four , replicas of protagonist Ryo’s leather-based
    jacket and plenty of in-game content material like
    additional quests and options as stretch targets. Upon getting completed
    the Entry Form, you will be prompted to add your documentary video
    file.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: