investigates: Typical Brazilian Meals
You Can Prepare at Home... Vegan!
| Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
there aren't that many vegan
restaurants in Rio de Janeiro, and many
are far from where I live... we're going to
talk about some typical Brazilian meals that
you can make at home.
Well... and since Brazilian
breakfasts don't usually require any actual
cooking, let's start with that. Most of us
start the day with some popular Brazilians
fruits . Just grab your favorites at the local
grocery store or "Feira"
(Street Market). Some of more unique
but common fruits include:
- Açaí (Açaí)
Açaí Powder is available here
- Banana do Macaco (Monkey Banana)
- Caju (Cashew Fruit)
- Carambola (Starfruit)
- Coco (Green Coconut)
- Goiaba (Guava)
- Maracujá (Passion Fruit)
- Mamão (Papaya)
Also very popular are "caquis",
persimmons (as seen on photo below).
Perhaps it's just my taste, but the
persimmons I got were super sweet. So be sure
to enjoy them in moderation.
my breakfast included "caquis"
along with some nuts for protein. Among
its many benefits, persimmons are
Fighting high blood
Strengthening the immune
Protecting the vision
When working on "The
Vegan Survival Guide" we wanted
included very detailed nutrient
charts, and tips about the health
benefits of various vegan ingredients. This
way you can get the most from each and every
Here are some
typical foods in Brazil that we've made
The most famous Brazilian dish brought to
us by Afro-Brazilian culture. Feijoada is
a bean stew with vegetables and meats. So
just switch the meat for some smoked tofu,
any other textured vegan ingredient, shiitake
mushroons, seitan and/or a variety of vegetables...
and there you have it!
These are pastries that we often prepare
by deep frying leftover meat pieces inside
a flour dough shell. The most popular vegan
favor in Brazil is "Pastéis
de Banana". For a healthier pastry,
fry them in coconut oil, or even bake them.
3. "Homus de
The word Hummus means "chickpea"
(grão de bico) in Hebrew. It's actually
one of the oldest foods in the world, rich
in protein, fiber and iron. In Brazil it's
also very popular and most restaurants serve
it with some pita bread. It will be easy
to find at local restaurants, or even at
the mall. Many families prepare it a
home since it's a nutritious and low cost
4. "Bolinha de
Espinafre com Queijo", Spinach Cheese
Brazilians don't like to waste food, so
these balls are a non-vegan popular mix
of frozen spinach, breadcrumbs, parmesan
cheese, chopped onions, butter, eggs, plus
salt and pepper to taste.
All you have to do for a vegan
- Mix some frozen spinach, breadcrumbs
or granola, vegan cheese, onions chopped,
coconut oil, and salt and black pepper
to taste into 1 inch balls.
- Preheat a medium oven.
- Bake them for about 10-15 minutes
at 400 degrees, until golden brown.
5. "Batata Inglesa
Salgada", Savory English Potatoes
Simply boil the potatoes in water, slice
and salt them to taste.
6. "Farofa Vegana",
Vegan Toasted Cassava Flour Mixture
Farofa is particularly popular in Brazil.
For a vegan version you can:
Toast raw cassava
flour with coconut oil, onions, garlic,
salt and choose ingredients like tofu,
raisins, nuts, finely chopped fruits like
apples, bananas or olives until golden
- You can order some Brazilian
cassava flour here at Amazon.com
This is often served with
Brazilian barbecue, but we served them with
some vegan "Spinach Cheese
sem Bacalhau", Codfish... without
Vegans in Brazil started adopting the
popular "Bacalhau" Codfish recipe,
but with tofu instead! So a typical recipe
Tofu, sliced pototes,
onions, red peppers, chopped tomatoes,
black olives, chopped parsley and chives,
chopped garlic cloves, olive oil, plus
salt and pepper to taste.
Below is also a lentil
rice mix and some baked
There's more! lol... Let's walk around
Rio de Janeiro and grab some Tea
My mom and niece took me
around "Leblon", a cute little
neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro where we
enjoyed some tea and cake at Confeitaria
There are many tea shops
in Rio... but this one has been offering
yummy cakes, pies and cookies since 1942!
being vegan in Rio is still a bit of a
challenge, here are a couple improvised
Family was having some tomato and cheese
pasta for dinner.
So I prepared mine with some broccoli
for more nutrition, and some soy
milk for protein.
Another time, they cooked some grilled
salmon plus rice and avocado.
So we shared the rice and avocado,
plus some bean sprouts and
tofu from the local grocery
store for a nutritious meal. My niece
also had some sweet potato chips that
we had grabbed earlier at the mall!
There you have it! Most
of the time, I really had to improvise
while staying in Brazil. Just do your
best and balance your meals with what
you can find. Here's the basic formula
I had in my head: carbs + some
veggies + protein.
Have you tried any traditional
Brazilian meals? What's your favorite
Be sure to share with all
of us below!
share your thoughts and comments
check it out
Vegan and Vegetarian Survival
Guide to Brazilian Grocery Stores
look at 12 unique products
Plus at trip to Mercado
Central, Belo Horizonte, Br