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Costa Rica - Gallo Pinto

The best beans and rice ever!

Aneri's note: Costa Rica is AH-MA-ZING. It's probably one of my favorite countries in the world. I got to enjoy this beautiful country on my honeymoon, and it really is a great honeymoon destination. First, we stayed at the Tabacon Grand Spa, easily the best hotel I have ever stayed at. Why? It's the home of gorgeous hot springs, where you can truly relax to the core, have a drink in the geothermal pool, and eat the best guacamole ever. At the base of the Arenal volcano, the whole area is stunning. The following day we ziplined (my first time!), birdwatching, and white water rafting. The juices are the most fresh and yummiest I've ever had. Then we visited cloud forest (by crossing via boat!) and stayed at a beautiful treehouse hotel. We concluded by visiting Manuel Antonio National Park, which is right by gorgeous beaches on the Pacific Ocean. Here we went Jet Skiing, where we happened on a mother humpback whale and it's baby! Our tour agency was Costa Rica Rios, which did a fantastic job. Food wise, it was very easy to eat vegetarian and this vegan national dish gallo pinto is everywhere!


Gallo Pinto

Difficulty level (1-10): 4

Gallo pinto is a super tasty rice and bean dish, with the secret ingredient being Lizano sauce! You can order this yummy vegan sauce online or find at a Latin grocery, but it’s crucial to preparing this. This is a great recipe to spruce up any old leftover rice in the fridge too! Pura vida!


Red bell pepper - 1, diced

Onion - 1, diced

Garlic - 2 cloves, minced

Black beans - 2 cups, cooked with 1/2 cup reserved cooking liquid

Salsa Lizano - 1/4 cup

Rice - 3 cups cooked (old rice works great)

Cilantro - 1/4 cup

Cumin - 1 tsp

Oil - 2 TB

1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté chopped bell pepper and onions until peppers are soft and onions are translucent, about 6-8 minutes. Add minced garlic and cumin and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant.

2. Add black beans, reserved cooking liquid, and Salsa Lizano, stirring to combine. Simmer for 5 minutes, until slightly thickened and little bit of the liquid is evaporated.

3. Gently stir in cooked rice and cook until heated through and most of the liquid is absorbed, but not dry, about 3-5 minutes.

4. Stir in chopped cilantro. Season to taste with additional Salsa Lizano if necessary.


Like this recipe? Try these other rice & bean combos!

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