Wednesday, March 30, 2011

March 20, 2011: Gallo pinto and cabbage salad

After gorging on Ottolenghi's recipes for a week or two, it was time to return to our other favourite cookbook - Viva Vegan. We've made this recipe for gallo pinto (Costa Rican refried rice and beans) a few times already, usually when Cindy's whipping up home-made tortillas. This time, we decided to go with lazy store-bought wraps (they're nowhere near as good!) and whip up a Viva Vegan salad instead.

The refried rice-bean combo is great - filling and hearty, with lots of garlic and spices to add a bit of punch (admittedly I usually pour on some Casa Iberica hot sauce to kick it up another notch or two). It's also pretty straightforward - much easier than making separate rice and bean recipes at least. We need to branch out a bit and try some other options from Viva Vegan, but this is so good that it's hard to make the effort.

The salad was a winner as well, a simple combination of crunchy cabbage and carrot with a tangy and garlicky dressing. Combine this with the gallo pinto on a burrito with hot sauce and avocado and you're basically in heaven.

Gallo Pinto
(from Viva Vegan! by Terry Hope Romero)

3 tablespoons olive oil
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, finely chopped
1-2 chillies, finely sliced
1 red capsicum, seeded and chopped into 1-inch pieces
2 cups of cooked rice, cold
1-2 teaspoons of cumin
2 cups kidney beans (we used canned - the recipe strongly recommends cooking your own so you can use the cooking liquid later on)
1/2 cup vegie stock (or bean cooking liquid)
1 tablespoon veg. Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of salt (or to taste)
Fresh coriander, chopped

Heat the oil and garlic in a big pot. When the garlic sizzles, throw in the onion, chilli and capsicum, and fry for 5-10 minutes, until the onion is soft.

Put the rice in and stir-fry for 10 minutes. Add the cumin, beans, stock, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, salt and pepper. Stir well and mash the beans a bit (it's up to you how mushy you like them - I go for pretty mushy, Cindy would rather them mainly unsquashed).

Cook until the liquid is mostly absorbed - about 10 minutes. Kill the heat and stir in the coriander when you're ready to serve.

Classic cabbage salad 
(also from Terry Hope Romero's Viva Vegan!)

4 cups cabbage, finely shredded (due to availability constraints we used Chinese cabbage, which worked fine)
2 carrots, shredded (I reckon a peeler is the best tool to use for this job)
1 tomato, diced finely

coriander-citrus vinaigrette
1/2 cup olive oil
Juice of 2 limes
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons coriander
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
A few shakes of pepper

Combine dressing ingredients in a blender and pulverise.

Stir together salad ingredients and toss with the dressing. Done!


  1. looks delicious - I love the rice and bean combo for burritos - the cabbage looks a bit more challenging but I think I should push myself a little with this

    (BTW noticed you had gf dumplings again this week - hope they went a bit smoother than last time - I must try these)

  2. Yum, it all looks fantastic! Was looking at the beans chapter the other night and trying to decide whether to try these ones, the Colombian or the Venezuelan. I haven't made anything from the salads chapter yet but I know I should...

  3. Johanna, these Veganomicon authors have got me into cabbage salads as a step away from coleslaw without the goopy mayo. It's a nice change from plain lettuce! And yes, the dumplings went very well this time. :-)

    Mel - Michael is hooked on this recipe, it could take some effort to convince him to try one of the others. :-D