Latino Vegetarian Recipes Part II

BY ON July 20, 2011

After reading multiple stories this week, including Radiation-Tainted Beef Spreads Elisa BatistaThrough Japan’s Markets, about radiation-tainted beef in Japan’s markets, I thought I would update Savory Latino Meals without the Meat, my post about meatless Latino dishes.

Like many Puerto Ricans and Cubans in Miami, I grew up eating all kinds of meat from Cuban pork sandwiches to bacalao, a delicious Puerto Rican cod fish. I love especially seafood. But seeing how polluted our oceans and land have become, I now limit my meat consumption to the occasional meal at a restaurant or a friend’s home. At my home, where my family eats almost all the time, I cook only vegetarian.

There are benefits to a vegetarian diet not only in health — we are definitely eating our fair share of vegetables and grains! — but also reducing our carbon footprint.

Simply cutting back on meat has a monumental (positive) effect on our environment, in terms of reducing our fuel consumption to feed and raise animals for food, and cutting back on poisonous gases emitted by factory farms that make us sick and contribute to global warming. And while I am by no means a purist in that I can’t say that I never eat meat, I know that if every single American ate meat only a couple times a week or occasionally, it would make a real difference in preserving our environment.

I thought I would use this opportunity to share with you some of my favorite regular veggie meals at home — as well as get ideas from you:

Vegetarian Paella
Half cup of Sofrito Sauce (see recipe below)
1packet of favorite seasoning, Sazón Goya con culantro y achioe
Two cups of rice
1 can of white kidney or cannellini beans (drained)
1 can of garbanzos (drained)
2 fake Italian sausages (see right), diced
1 can of hearts of palm (save water and dice)
Favorite veggies, chopped (I tend to cook with mushrooms or zucchini)
1 lemon, juiced
salt to taste

Sofrito Sauce
2 onions
2 green peppers (use poblano if you want spicy)
8 garlic cloves
2 cups of cilantro

Use half of cup of sofrito for paella and freeze the rest for future meals. In a pot with a cup of water from the hearts of palm and an additional cup of water, add sofrito, sazón, all beans, “sausage”, hearts of palm, vegetables, lemon and salt. Stir and/or add water until completely cooked. I taste for salt and to make sure that rice is completely cooked. Rice cooker okay, too.

Serve paella with additional lemon wedges. For spice, eat with red hot sauce.

Pasta with saufrito sauce
1 cup of sofrito
1 cup of tomato sauce
1 cup of tomato paste (with water)
1 cup of spaghetti sauce
Fake soy beef (I use MorningStar Meal Starters. It is in the frozen food section.)
Favorite veggies, diced
Salt and pepper to taste

I serve with any pasta and top off sauce with parmesan cheese, or any cheese of choice. This sauce makes good lasagna filling, too. Again, if you end up with extra or make extra, you can freeze for future use.

Enjoy! What are some of your favorite veggie recipes?

TOPICS: Latino Community