Much of Latin-American cooking is admittedly not vegetarian or vegan-friendly. Alas, before I moved south I purchased a vegan cookbook, entitled “Viva Vegan”. It took me about half a year to make anything beyond just a classic red sauce to pour over rice and beans (which is heavenly, and worth the book purchase alone!).

Many of her recipes require forethought (such as, I would like to make ___, so I should buy those ingredients today, do the first step of the recipe tomorrow, let it refrigerate according to instructions, and finish it on the third day).  I am the type of person that wants to make what I want to make when I want to make it.  BUT….I finally ventured out and made fake meat from gluten, seitan, and stuffed it along with other delicious veggies into vegan empanadas. I’m not a huge fan of fake meat (heck, I hardly like meat in the first place…why would I want to imitate it?!), so I don’t think I will bother making the seitan again. Instead, I’ll just plan on increasing the amount of veggies to replace it. I made a double empanada recipe (after all…with that much work going into it, I didn’t want to have to do it again very soon!), and the end result was a gorgeous medley of flavors.

Many were eaten within days, and then some went into the freezer for later.  Viva Vegan, you are one of my heroes!! Now if only I can motivate myself to try some more recipes…

Whether you’re vegan or not, or perhaps you’re just wanting to eat healthier…you should give some of these recipes a try. Maybe you can find her book in a library? Or check out Terry Hope Romero’s amaaazing book here:

Viva Vegan!: 200 Authentic and Fabulous Recipes for Latin Food Lovers

(If you buy it, I’ll get rewarded from Amazon. If you don’t buy it…well…you’re missing out!)

2 Responses to “Eating Vegan in Latin America”

  1. I will check this book out! I was hoping you were saying there were quite a few options… but after living in Costa Rica, I know how hard it is to be a vegan in Central America!

    • Ugh–it is SOO difficult! You know, it seems counter-intuitive that places that are so blessed with cheap produce don’t actually make main meals with their fresh goodies. Instead, they chop up their veggies and use it in a broth or sauce for their meats. I think they love meats more in Mexico than perhaps the US (is that possible?!!)!!

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