Introduction: Vegetarianism in Argentina
Vegetarianism is not a new concept in Argentina, but it has certainly gained popularity in recent years. In a country where beef is king, it may seem like there are few options for those who abstain from meat. However, as more and more people turn to plant-based diets, the Argentinean culinary scene has adapted to offer a wide array of vegetarian delights.
In Buenos Aires, for example, there are now numerous restaurants that cater specifically to vegetarians and vegans. Additionally, traditional Argentinean dishes have been adapted to remove meat and include more plant-based ingredients. Whether you’re a long-time vegetarian or just looking to try something new, there are plenty of delicious options to discover in Argentinean cuisine.
Traditional Vegetarian Dishes in Argentina
While Argentinean cuisine is often associated with meat, there are plenty of vegetarian dishes that are just as delicious. One popular option is locro, a hearty stew made with corn, beans, and vegetables. Another option is tarta, a savory pie filled with vegetables and cheese.
In addition, there are plenty of side dishes that are vegetarian-friendly, such as ensalada rusa (a potato salad with carrots and peas) and provoleta (grilled provolone cheese). And of course, no Argentinean meal is complete without bread and chimichurri, a sauce made with parsley, garlic, and vinegar.
Empanadas: The Vegetarian Way
Empanadas are a staple of Argentinean cuisine, typically filled with meat, cheese, or vegetables. While meat-filled empanadas are still the most popular, there are plenty of vegetarian options to choose from.
One popular vegetarian filling is spinach and cheese, which is a delicious and nutritious option. Additionally, empanadas filled with roasted vegetables or mushrooms are also a great choice. And for those who prefer a little spice, empanadas filled with spicy cheese or jalapeño peppers are a must-try.
A Guide to the Best Vegetarian Pizzas in Argentina
Pizza is another Argentinean favorite, and there are plenty of vegetarian options to choose from. In fact, many pizzerias now offer entire vegetarian menus.
One popular vegetarian pizza topping is rúcula, a peppery green that pairs well with cheese and tomato sauce. Another option is eggplant, which is often grilled and adds a smoky flavor to the pizza. Additionally, many pizzerias offer pizzas with various types of cheese, such as gorgonzola or goat cheese.
Quinoa: The Superfood in Argentine Cuisine
Quinoa has become increasingly popular in recent years, and Argentinean cuisine has embraced this nutritious grain. One popular dish is quinoa salad, which is often made with roasted vegetables and a citrus dressing.
Quinoa can also be used in place of rice in traditional dishes, such as risotto or arroz con leche (rice pudding). Additionally, quinoa can be used to make vegetarian burgers or even as a breakfast cereal.
The Best Vegetarian Restaurants in Buenos Aires
For those who prefer to dine out, there are plenty of vegetarian restaurants in Buenos Aires to choose from. One popular option is Bio, which has multiple locations throughout the city and offers a wide variety of vegetarian and vegan options.
Another popular choice is Hierbabuena, which serves organic and locally-sourced vegetarian dishes. And for those who are gluten-free as well as vegetarian, La Pastronería is a must-visit.
The Secret Ingredient in Argentinean Hummus
Hummus is a staple of Middle Eastern cuisine, but it has also become popular in Argentina. While the traditional recipe calls for chickpeas, Argentinean hummus often includes a secret ingredient: roasted red peppers.
The addition of roasted red peppers gives Argentinean hummus a unique flavor and a vibrant color. Additionally, some recipes also include smoked paprika or cumin for an extra kick of flavor.
Gnocchi Night: How to Enjoy this Argentine Tradition as a Vegetarian
Gnocchi night is a tradition in Argentina, where people gather on the 29th of each month to eat gnocchi. While the original recipe calls for potato and flour, there are plenty of vegetarian options to choose from.
One popular vegetarian gnocchi recipe is made with pumpkin instead of potato. Additionally, gnocchi can be made with spinach or ricotta cheese for a delicious and filling meal.
Alfajores: The Sweet Treat You Didn’t Know Was Vegetarian
Alfajores are a sweet treat that are popular throughout Argentina. These cookies are typically filled with dulce de leche, a sweet caramel-like spread.
What many people don’t realize is that most alfajores are actually vegetarian, as the cookie itself is made with flour, sugar, and butter. There are even vegan versions available, made with plant-based butter and dulce de leche.
Argentinean Wines: Vegetarian and Vegan Choices
Argentina is known for its delicious wines, but not all wines are vegetarian-friendly. Many winemakers use animal products such as gelatin or egg whites to clarify the wine.
However, there are plenty of Argentinean wines that are vegetarian and vegan-friendly. Look for wines that are labeled as “unfined” or “unfiltered,” as these are usually free of animal products. Additionally, many winemakers now use alternatives such as bentonite clay to clarify their wines.