World Vegetarian Day has been celebrated since October 1, 1977, first proclaimed by the American Vegetarian Society and then ratified by the International Vegetarian Union. And this recognition was achieved in order to spread the food and environmental benefits that this type of diet entails. And the variety in the culinary offer was expanded to the point of offering dishes that were historically directly related to meat, but in their vegetarian versions.

    This practice, which not long ago was viewed with suspicion, is now installed and is a growing trend, especially among young audiences. Evidence of this is the incorporation of vegetarian recipes in many of the menus of traditional restaurants, as well as the large landing of locals with 100% proposals vegetarian, vegan and/or plant-based (plant based).

    There is no denying that consuming more vegetables, legumes, grains and seeds is good for your health. From this point of view, it is worth discovering some veggie alternatives to classic dishes that, in some cases, are even normally related to meat or cow derivatives such as hamburgers, milanese and hot dogsas well also pizzas and nuggets (without chicken), among others. But all vegan.

    vegan hot dog

    The hot dog is a clear “guilty pleasure” that at BOCHA Polo (Av. del Libertador 4096, Palermo) finds its healthy side. It is prepared by chef Sofía Bruno at Planta, a stall that offers street-food classics, but made with sustainable ingredients. She carries a carrot “sausage” that is first turned, blanched and marinated in spices for 24 hours, then smoked, coated in chickpea flour and fried until golden brown. She comes out on a home-made Viennese bun served warm, topped with cashew cheddar, mustard and potato pies. To buy alone or in combo with homemade fries.

    Nuggets without chicken

    A classic favorite of the little ones that also has its plant-based version. At Hierbabuena Vegan (Av. Caseros 466, San Telmo), they offer vegan nuggets as a complement to their organic fast-food proposal. To make them, they mix yamaní rice, tofu, sautéed mushrooms, cauliflower and celery together with a little cornstarch and cassava starch that act as binders. “The secret is in the processing time, which ranges from 40 to 60 minutes, to achieve the distinctive softness that is felt when biting,” they say from the local. After shaping them, they are fried until golden brown and served (5 or 10 units) accompanied by homemade ketchup. They can be consumed on the spot or take-away.

    A fat-free marguerita pizza

    At The Pizza OTL (Caseros 424, San Telmo) you can try a mozzarella pizza that is not mozzarella, but is very popular. It is the Vegan Margherita –in honor of the typical Italian pizza– that has an Italian tomato sauce, fresh basil, olive oil and a tofu-based “cheese” that they prepare themselves. The recipe calls for tofu, nutritional yeast, cassava starch, mashed potatoes, olive oil, a little lemon juice, and sea salt. All this is mixed and then goes through a cooking process until a texture similar to mozzarella is achieved. As they say, it is a very successful variety among vegetarians and vegans. All their pizzas are individually sized and are made with sourdough and organic flour, achieving an alveolate dough, tender and with a crispy base. To take away or eat in your elegant local San Telmo.

    plant-based provolone

    Continuing on the cheese side, at the Growlers bar (Olleros 3750, Chacarita, and more branches) they have several veggie options to accompany their selection of craft beers and one of the most striking is the almond milk provoleta: pan seared – golden on the outside and tender on the inside – served with smoked bell pepper sriracha, arugula, vegan aioli and toasted seeds. It is a product of Felices Las Vacas, a benchmark brand in the plant-based category. “Its flavor is deep and it pairs perfectly with the most hoppy beers”, they recommend.

    veggie burger

    Vegetarian burgers are everywhere, but at Tribu (Juan Díaz de Solis 2794, Martínez) they are enjoyed on a beautiful deck facing the river and surrounded by greenery; a “plus” that is celebrated at this time of year. His hamburger has an energy medallion made with lentils, chickpeas, chickpea flour, garlic, parsley, coriander and mint leaves, which is cooked on the grill with a little fat until a very crispy “crust” is generated. The idea is to achieve a good texture and an intense flavor. It is served in soft potato buns –which are now a trend among hamburger joints– with tomato, lettuce and a homemade tartar-type sauce based on mayonnaise, capers, pickles and red onion.

    Neapolitan Milanese

    For a healthy treat, you can try the Neapolitan aubergine milanesa from Francisca del Fuego (Av. Infanta Isabel 220, Palermo) that comes directly from their large clay oven. The distinctive touch is given by the first cooking of the aubergine over direct heat, which gives tasty smoky notes. Then, it is coated in batter, fried and then au gratin with a good amount of mozzarella, organic tomato, oregano and fried garlic powder. It arrives at the table with roasted potatoes and is a good option to share with other small dishes or pizzas on the menu.

    by RN

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