Have you been keeping up with me on Instagram or my other recipes? If so, you have noticed I’m currently living in Porto, Portugal now. I’ve been mixing local traditional cooking and baking habits (a la homemade bread, Caldo Verde and now Feijoada) with American-style foods (cinnamon rolls and oatmeal).
I’m excited to share more versions of the cultural dishes I discover living and traveling abroad.
Living in Porto has been interesting. Individual ingredients I’m cooking with taste amazing. Even so, traditional Portuguese food is not health- or veg-friendly because of the eggs, pork and fish common in Portuguese food. Outside of vegetarian-specific restaurants, Portuguese vegetable dishes aren’t plentiful.
And unfortunately, vegan Portuguese food recipes more difficult to find. Why? Because many Portuguese recipes use a lot of eggs, particularly desserts and pastries.
But lucky for all, traditional Portuguese soups like feijoada and caldo verde are easy to veganise. I’ve made this recipe vegetarian, vegan and significantly healthier by removing the olive oil and salt from the recipe. Mediterraneans love olive oil.
Another aspect I removed from the original recipe was white wine. While I’m not a fan of alcohol, I’m comfortable cooking with it. Like olive oil, good wine is staple in Mediterranean gastronomy. Thinking creatively, I replaced the wine white wine vinegar, raisins and water. If you’re content to use wine, use 2 cups of white wine instead of the raisin/vinegar/water combo.
Discover the taste of Portugal with the vegan/vegetarian feijoada recipe. Portuguese vegetarian dishes can be hard to come by, but you’ll enjoy the simple and profound flavors of Portugal with nourishing, flavorful feijoada.
Vegan, low fat and free of added salt, sugar, oil, gluten, soy, nuts and seeds.
Serves 4-6. Total time is 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
- 250 grams dry kidney beans (soaked & drained) or 3 cups cooked kidney beans
- 1/3 c raisins
- (Hot) water, as needed
- 2 onions, thinly sliced
- 2 leeks, sliced
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2-3 large carrots, thinly sliced (1 1/2- 2 cups)
- 1/2 T paprika
- 2 bay leaves
- Black pepper, to taste (I used 1/4-1/2 teaspoon)
- 1/4 c tomato paste
- 1/4 c white wine vinegar
- If using dry beans, pressure cook the kidney beans in 400 ml of water for 7 minutes. Naturally release.
- Begin by boiling water in a pan or electric kettle. In a 2-cup (or bigger) temperature-safe container, add the raisins. Top off with water until the total volume in the container equals 2 cups. Set aside.
- Heat a large pot to medium high heat. When hot, add onions and sauté. When the onions have begun to caramelize (around 5 minutes), add the garlic and leeks. Continue to sauté until everything is caramelized, another 5 minutes. Add small amounts of liquid as necessary to prevent burning.
- Next add the carrots and 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil if necessary, then turn down the heat to allow to simmer and allow the carrots to soften. Cook and stir for around 5 minutes.
- Then add the tomato paste, paprika, bay leaves and black pepper.
- Return to the soaking raisins. At this point they should be soft. Transfer the water and raisins to a blender. Blend until smooth. When smooth, add the white wine vinegar to it and pulse to combine. Add this mixture and the cooked beans to the pot of vegetables.
- Add enough water to the pot to cover the stew ingredients. Cover, bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 30-60 minutes minutes, stirring occasionally. Top off with hot water if necessary.
- Enjoy this vegan feijoada with your favorite starch. Brown rice, bread and potatoes are common in Portugal.
This vegetarian feijoada recipe is better after allowing the flavors to enhance overnight. I recommend to cook plenty to enjoy 1-2 days afterward.
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