It's Vegetarian Awareness Week and I am doing my HARDEST to stick to a vegetarian diet this week. I know it's not the easiest thing for us Latinos (I mean, come on, I grew up eating bistec and pollo every day) but these days I like taking on the challenge of eating healthier--even if just for a week.

Of course, eating vegetarian is super easy when you check out these 10 recipes! In celebration of the week and knowing that my family won't eat vegetarian unless it's REALLY delicious, here are some recipes that I swear by. Any one of these (or, actually, all of them) will seriously make you forget all about meat. Trust me, everyone will enjoy these amazing meals while reaping the benefits of being a little healthier. Just give them a try!

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Do you enjoy Latin vegetarian recipes? Which one of these are you going to try? Share with us in the comments below!

Grilled Chili-Lime Vegetable Tacos with Charred Pineapple Salsa 1

Grilled Chili-Lime Vegetable Tacos with Charred Pineapple Salsa

Image via Cafe Cyan

Ingredients (for the tacos): 3 portobello mushroom caps, 1 small zucchini (sliced lengthwise), 1 small summer squash (sliced lengthwise), 1 red onion (sliced into rings), 1 tsp. chile powder, 1/2 tsp. ground cumin, 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, 1 tsp. kosher salt, 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice, 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil. Ingredients (for the pineapple salsa): 1 small pineapple (trimmed and halved), 1 small red onion (diced), 3 tbsp. chopped cilantro, 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice, 1 tbsp. rice vinegar, 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tsp kosher salt, 1/4 Serrano pepper (seeds and membrane removed and minced)

1. For the tacos, combine chile powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt, pepper, lime juice, and olive oil in a large plastic resealable bag or container. Shake to mix and add vegetables. Marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour, turning bag often to coat all vegetables.

2. Preheat a charcoal grill to medium. Once heated, grill pineapple for 2-4 minutes or until charred, turning once. Set aside to cool. Once cooled, dice pineapple and add red onion, cilantro, lime juice, rice vinegar, olive oil, salt and Serrano pepper and toss in a bowl. Set aside.

3. Arrange vegetables on grill grate and cook 1-2 minutes per side, being careful to not burn. Remove from grill and serve on a platter with heated flour or corn tortillas. Top with pineapple salsa.  Enjoy!

Recipe courtesy of Café Cyan.


Vegetable Feijoada, a.k.a. Brazilian rice and beans 2

Vegetable Feijoada, a.k.a. Brazilian rice and beans

Image via Naturally Ella

Ingredients: 1/2 cup brown rice, 1 cup water, 1/2 cup tomato sauce, 1 tbsp. olive oil, 1 medium onion, 2 cloves garlic, 1 medium sweet potato, 1 cup black beans, 1 medium green pepper, 1 small hot pepper (like fresno), 1 large tomato, 1 tsp. red pepper flakes, 2 tsp. cumin, 1 tsp. thyme, 1/4 cup cilantro, 1 cup veggie broth, 1 tbsp.lime juice, salt and pepper to taste

1. In a medium pot, bring tomato sauce and water to a boil. Add rice and bring to another boil, cover, and reduce to a simmer. Let cook for 25-30 minutes until rice has absorbed all the liquid.

2. While rice is cooking, in a large skillet heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, peppers, and garlic to the olive oil and saute. Once onions and peppers begin to soften, toss in veggie broth, sweet potatoes, thyme, cumin, and red pepper flakes. Let simmer over medium heat until sweet potatoes are cooked through and add in beans, tomatoes. cilantro, and lime juice. Continue to heat mixture for another five minutes. Serve with rice and with a sprinkle of cilantro.

Recipe courtesy of Naturally Ella.


Quinoa and Avocado Salad with Dried Fruit, Toasted Almonds and Lemon-Cumin Vinaigrette 3

Quinoa and Avocado Salad with Dried Fruit, Toasted Almonds and Lemon-Cumin Vinaigrette

Image via Muy Yum/flickr

Ingredients: 3 tbsp. raisins (preferably a mix of dark and golden), 2 Tbsp. dried apricots (thinly sliced), 1 cup red or white quinoa (rinsed well), Kosher salt, 1 large lemon, 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, 1/4 tsp. ground coriander, 1/4 tsp. ground cumin,
1/4 tsp. sweet paprika, 2 medium firm-ripe avocados (6 to 7 oz. each, pitted, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch chunks0, 2 medium scallions (white and light green parts only, thinly sliced), 2 to 3 Tbs. coarsely chopped toasted almonds, Freshly ground black pepper

1. In a medium bowl, soak the raisins and apricots in hot water for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

2. In a 2-quart saucepan, bring 2 cups water, the quinoa, and 1/2 tsp. salt to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is translucent and tender, 10 to 15 minutes. (The outer germ rings of the grain will remain chewy and white. Some germ rings may separate from the grain and will look like white squiggles.) Immediately fluff the quinoa with a fork and turn it out onto a baking sheet to cool to room temperature.

3. Finely grate the zest from the lemon and then squeeze 1 Tbs. juice. In a small bowl, whisk the lemon zest and juice with the olive oil, coriander, cumin, paprika, and 1/4 tsp. salt. In a large bowl, toss the vinaigrette with the quinoa, raisins, apricots, avocado, scallions, and almonds. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

Recipe courtesy of Fine Cooking.

José Andrés' Gazpacho 4

José Andrés' Gazpacho

Image via Yum Sugar

Ingredients (for the soup): 1 cucumber (peeled, seeded, and chopped), 1 green bell pepper (diced), 3 pounds ripe plum tomatoes (diced), 2 garlic cloves (peeled), 1/4 cup sherry vinegar, 1/2 cup Oloroso sherry, 3/4 cup Spanish extra-virgin olive oil

Ingredients (for the garnish): 2 (1-inch-thick) slices rustic bread, cut into 1-inch cubes, 1/4 cup Spanish extra-virgin olive oil, 1/2 cucumber, 12 cherry tomatoes (halved), Sea salt

1. Make the soup: Combine the cucumber, bell pepper, tomatoes, garlic, sherry vinegar, sherry, olive oil, and 2 cups of water in a food processor or blender. Purée until smooth. Strain the gazpacho into a pitcher and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2. Make the garnish: Preheat oven to 450ºF. In a bowl, toss the bread cubes with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Spread the bread on a baking sheet and bake on the middle rack until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Set the croutons aside to cool.

3. When you are ready to serve, either dice or slice the cucumber into ribbons with a vegetable peeler. Stir the gazpacho. Put a few croutons, cherry tomato halves, and cucumber pieces in each bowl and pour the gazpacho over them. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, spring with salt, and serve.

Recipe courtesy of Yum Sugar.


Spicy Black Bean Sandwiches with Chipotle Mayonnaise 5

Spicy Black Bean Sandwiches with Chipotle Mayonnaise

Image via Breezermom

Ingredients: 1 tablespoon reduced-fat mayonnaise, 3 tablespoons nonfat sour cream, or nonfat plain yogurt, 2 teaspoons chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, 1 can (16 oz.) black beans (rinsed), 3/4 cup chopped red onion, 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, 1 clove garlic (finely chopped), 1 tablespoon mild chili powder, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 2 tablespoons lime juice, Salt (to taste), 4 pita breads (6-inch), 1/2 small head iceberg lettuce (shredded), 1 ripe avocado (pitted, peeled, and sliced), 1 vine-ripened tomato (cored and sliced)

1. Stir together mayonnaise, sour cream (or yogurt) and chipotle in a small bowl; set aside.

2. Combine black beans, onion, cilantro, garlic, chili powder, cumin and lime juice in a large bowl, and season with salt to taste. Slightly mash the beans while stirring, until all ingredients are incorporated and the mixture just holds together.

3. Slice off the top third of each pita. Spread the bean mixture inside each pita. Top with the chipotle mayonnaise, shredded lettuce, sliced avocados and tomatoes. Serve within 30 minutes.

Recipe courtesy of


Potaje de Garbanzos, a.k.a. Spanish Chickpea Stew 6

Potaje de Garbanzos, a.k.a. Spanish Chickpea Stew

Image via Veggies For Real

Ingredients: 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, 1 medium onion (diced), 2 garlic cloves (minced), 1 green bell pepper (diced; you can definitely substitute a different color bell pepper), 1 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 tomato (diced), About 1 lb. potatoes (I used about 3 smallish red ones), 5-6 cups vegetable stock (I wanted my potaje more soupy, so I used 6), 2 bay leaves, 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, 3 cups loosely packed spinach (chopped), 1 can (15 oz./425g) chickpeas. Optional: 1 nori sheet, julienned

1.  In a pot with a lid, heat the oil over medium heat. Toss in the onions and saute them for about 5 minutes, or until tender but not brown. Add the garlic and cook for about another 3 minutes. Mix in the peppers and saute for approximately 4 minutes. Stir in the paprika, cumin, salt and pepper, toasting the spices for about a minute.

2.  Deglaze the pan by adding the tomatoes, broth, potatoes, and bay leaves. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer. Cook the soup covered for 15-18 minutes or until the potatoes are just shy of done.

3.  Add the spinach, nori, and chickpeas, and simmer the stew for about 5 minutes or until the potatoes are done. Fish out the bay leaves and serve.

Recipe courtesy of Veggies for Real.


Slow Cooker Bean and Spinach Enchiladas 7

Slow Cooker Bean and Spinach Enchiladas

Image via Real Simple

Ingredients: 1 can (15.5-oz.) black beans (rinsed), 1 package (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach (thawed and squeezed of excess liquid), 1 cup  frozen corn, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 8 oz. sharp Cheddar (grated, about 2 cups), kosher salt and black pepper, 2 jars (16 oz.) salsa (about 3 1/2 cups), 8 corn tortillas (6-inch, warmed), 1 medium head romaine lettuce (chopped, about 6 cups), 4 radishes cut into matchsticks, 1/2 cup grape tomatoes (halved), 1/2 cucumber (halved and sliced), 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, sliced scallions (for serving)

1. In a medium bowl, mash half the beans. Add the spinach, corn, cumin, 1 cup of the Cheddar, the remaining beans, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and mix to combine.

2. Spread 1 jar of the salsa in the bottom of a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker. Dividing evenly, roll up the bean mixture in the tortillas (about 1/2 cup each) and place the rolls seam-side down in a single layer in the slow cooker. Top with the remaining salsa and Cheddar.

3. Cover and cook until heated through, on low for 2.5 to 3 hours.

4. Before serving, toss the lettuce, radishes, tomatoes, and cucumber in a large bowl with the lime juice, oil, and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Serve with the enchiladas and sprinkle with the scallions.

Recipe courtesy of Real Simple.

Tortilla Española 8

Ingredients: 3⁄4 cup Spanish olive oil
, 6 medium russet potatoes (peeled, quartered, and thinly sliced)
, 1 medium yellow onion (peeled, halved, and thinly sliced)
, 6 eggs

1. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a 10-inch sauté pan. Add potatoes and onions, and cook, lifting and turning, until potatoes are soft but not brown, about 20 minutes.

2. Beat eggs in a large bowl until pale yellow. Transfer sautéed potatoes and onions with a slotted spoon to beaten eggs. Reserve oil.

3. Heat 1 tbsp. reserved oil in the same pan over medium heat. Add egg and potato mixture, spreading potatoes evenly in the pan. Cook uncovered until the bottom is lightly browned, about 3 minutes.

4. Gently shake pan so tortilla doesn't stick, then slide a spatula along edges and underneath tortilla. Place a large plate over pan and quickly turn plate and pan over so tortilla falls onto plate. Add 1 tsp. reserved oil to pan, slide tortilla back in (uncooked side down), carefully tuck in sides with a fork, and continue cooking over medium heat until eggs are just set, about 3 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve at room temperature.

Recipe courtesy of Saveur magazine.


Squash, Black Bean and Goat Cheese Tamales 9

Squash, Black Bean and Goat Cheese Tamales

Image via toosuto/flickr

Ingredients (for the tamales): 4 ounces dried cornhusks, see note. Ingredients (for the batter): 1 3/4 cups masa (see note), 1 1/4 cups hot water, 1 1/2 cups part-skim ricotta cheese, 1/4 cup canola oil, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 2 teaspoons salt, 2 cups quick-cooking grits or cornmeal, 1/2-3/4 cup vegetable broth or reduced-sodium chicken broth. Ingredients (for the filling): 20 oz. frozen winter squash (thawed; about 2 cups; see Tip), 1 can (15 oz.) black beans (rinsed), 1 can (4 oz.) chopped green chiles (drained), 3/4 teaspoon salt, 3/4 cup crumbled goat cheese

1. To prepare wrappers: Place cornhusks in a large bowl, cover with hot water and weight with a heavy plate or pan to completely submerge them. Let soak for 30 minutes.

2. To prepare batter: Put masa and 1 1/4 cups hot water in a large bowl; stir with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms. Beat ricotta, oil, baking powder and salt in another large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed for 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add grits (or cornmeal) and mix until combined. Add the ricotta mixture to the masa mixture and stir until smooth. Stir in broth 1/4 cup at a time until the batter is very moist and spreadable, but not runny.

3. To prepare filling: Place squash puree in a fine-mesh sieve and gently press on it to extract excess liquid. Transfer to a medium bowl and add beans, chiles and salt; stir until combined.

4. To assemble tamales: Drain the cornhusks and pat dry. Sort through and pick out 16 large, unblemished husks to use as wrappers. Cut about 2 dozen thin, long strips from the remaining husks to use as ties (or use kitchen string instead). Cover the husks and ties with a damp towel to keep moist.

5. Working on a clean surface, unfold one of the large cornhusks so it's completely flat. Spread 1/3 cup of the batter in the center of the husk in a 4-inch square, leaving a wide border at the top and the bottom. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the filling in a thin strip down the length of the batter. Top the filling with 1 rounded teaspoon goat cheese.

6. Bring the two long sides of the cornhusk together, causing the batter to completely surround the filling, but don't fold the sides over the tamale yet. Fold the cornhusk ends in, then fold the sides around the tamale. If a cornhusk splits while you're folding the tamale, just wrap a second husk right over the first and finish rolling. Tie the tamale closed using a thin strip of cornhusk. Repeat with remaining ingredients to make 15 more tamales. (You may have a little batter and/or filling left over.)

7. To steam tamales: Fill a large Dutch oven with 1 inch of water. Place a steamer basket in the pot and loosely place the tamales upright in the basket. Cover and steam over medium heat for 1 hour. Check the water level periodically and add more boiling water if necess<

Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup 10

Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup

Image via Helen Jane

Ingredients: 1 package of dried black beans
, 1 large onion, 
5 carrots
, 3 celery stalks,
1 yellow or red bell pepper
, 3 garlic cloves, 
1 tablespoon salt
, 1 tablespoon chili powder
, 3 teaspoons ground cumin, 
2 teaspoons ground coriander
, 2 bay leaves

1 container (32 ounces) vegetarian stock, 
2 cups water

1. The night before: Fill a large bowl with water and empty the package of beans into the water. Drain. Fill the bowl with water again and put the beans back in the bowl. Then let the beans sit overnight. Also the night before: Chop the onion, peel and chop the carrots. Wash and chop the celery. Wash and chop the bell pepper. Peel and mince the garlic cloves. Put into a large plastic bag. Add the spices and salt to the plastic bag and keep in the fridge overnight.

2. The next morning, empty the plastic bag filled with vegetables and spices into the slow cooker, add the vegetable stock.

3. Drain and rinse the black beans and add to the slow cooker. Set the slow cooker at six hours on high, but it's really good for up to 10 hours at low.

4. Before serving, remove the bay leaves and either blend with an immersion blender or scoop into a blender or food processor — until you get to your desired consistency. Top with one of these: sour cream, hot sauce, chopped cilantro, chopped green onions, chopped tomatoes or lime wedges for squeezing.

Recipe courtesy of Helen Jane.