The Challenge

Costa Rican & Vegan: Gallo Pinto

I told you some blogs before that my boyfriend and I spent some time in Dominical, pacific coast during our time in Costa Rica but we also went to see the caribbean coast where we stayed in beautiful Cahuita. And that´s where I met Penny.


To be honest – I didn´t just met her randomly. We were brought together by her brother and his lovely wife. But let me explain the whole story from the beginning.

In Cahuita we stayed with a very nice couple from Germany who I can strongly recommend if you ever want to visit Costa Rica.


Alfred and Andrea have a restaurant too. One evening Norbi and I were sitting in that restaurant to check our emails and I heard a conversation going on between the other guests and our hosts about vegetarianism and getting or not getting enough proteins. You can imagine the expression on my face between: “Yay let´s talk about not eating animals!” and “Who is vegan/vegetarian out here?”


So I went over to the next table and asked if I could join that lovely discussion. They happily invited me to sit down and after some seconds (yes seconds) I asked if they knew a dear veggie in Cahuita who would be so kind to teach me how to cook costa rican & vegan food. They told me – if I want to cook really good, it must be Penny! That´s how I met that inspiring and very, very nice lady and her dear husband John.

Luckily Penny agreed to teach me how to make Gallo Pinto & Platanos maduros. And of course – I´ll tell you everything about it! 🙂

Let´s beginn with the delicious Gallo Pinto as it is the most traditional dish I could choose for my costa rican cooking (traditional eaten for breakfast)!

Gallo Pinto


  • about 2 cups dried black & red beans
  • 2 1/2 cups white rice
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • about 5 garlic toes, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin 
  • 1 teaspoon oregano 
  • fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional: 1 -2 avocado(s)
Heat oil in a pot. Add onions and garlic and sauté until onion is golden. Add the beans, spices and some water or vegetable stock and cook for about 3 houres. Stir from time to time.
Add the rice and more water/stock if needed and cook for another 20 minutes. Season with salt & pepper. Add fresh cilantro.
Serve the Gallo Pinto with fresh avocado – that´s pretty tasty! Enjoy!
You´ll find the Platains (Platanos maduros) in my next blog posting! 🙂

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