I happened across this recipe whilst shopping in a community market in Buenos Aires. Rows of jars, bright and golden on rustic shelving. The name was so exotic zanahoria de mayonnaise. Translated as carrot mayonnaise. I bought a jar and teased the ingredients from the artisan seller.
I jotted them down. Ready, one day for its assimilation in my kitchen. One try and it shone. It is that simple.
I now share it with you.
Mayonesa de Zanahoria – Carrot Mayonnaise
1 1/4 cup carrots. Thinly slice and drop into a shallow pan of boiling water just covering the carrots. When beginning to go soft, remove the boiled carrots. Allow to cool. Retain water.
squeeze lemon juice
2 Tbs good olive oil
1/2 small clove garlic – minced
1 tsp pink salt
*optional 1 tsp mustard – I use Carley’s Organic Mustard – it’s subtle and a little sweet
1. pop the cooled carrots and lemon juice into a blender or processor. I used a mini processor for this amount. Blitz until smooth. (Use some of the retained cooking water if it needs some help to blend. Go easy. Just a little at a time). The oil in the final step will help a lot to make it smooth and creamy.
2. add the garlic, salt and *mustard. Blitz again.
3. add the oil. slowly. a small amount at a time so it emulsifies and transforms the carrots into a sweet and gently peppery mayonnaise.
Pop into a jar and refrigerate. Will keep for 4-5 days. Or use it immediately. Spooned onto bread and coupled with avocado and argula, or a baby leaves. Or any way you like. And you will like. Promise.
This recipe could be made raw also. Miss out the cooking of the carrots. If you have a blender (lucky you!) it will work a treat. I think the texture benefits from cooking if you haven’t got one and are making do with a food processor. Give it a try. Let me know what you think.
Changing my lifestyle to a vegetarian diet made me have a different connection with food, and that’s what I wanted to convey to people
What changes have you experienced as a result of adopting a plant-based diet high?
What was the initial reaction to its opening and now is your typical restaurant? gender / class / nationality
It is not always easy, few organic producers and export their production. No most all are in Buenos Aires and depend heavily on how the weather affects their cosechas.En the restaurant everything is organic.
What is your most requested dish?
What is your current favorite restaurant (if you ever have any free time!) In Buenos Aires or Argentina as a whole?
What is your vision for your restaurant and the scene of vegetarians/vegans in Argentina?
Do you have plans for a cookbook? My Spanish is improving but not enough to discover if there is a vegetarian or vegan cookbooks on the market for Argentine chefs?
Interview with Kara Bauer
- what prompted you to open a vegan delivery. Did you choose not to open a restaurant because of your lifestyle/coaching practice. How much as your diet influenced or had an impact on your life and events?
- Are you vegan or on a high raw diet?
I am 95% vegan. I try to eat at least 50% raw, sometimes more. The other 5% is an occasional ice cream in the summer and possibly a slice of cheese or piece of fish every now and then, but that is a rare occasion (I never eat beef or chicken). When I’m coaching, I don’t tell my clients they need to be perfect 100% of the time. The idea is to eat well the majority of the time and to enjoy it! Eventually, you find that you don’t even want the old trigger foods that you did before…as you change your diet, your cravings also change and you find that you prefer nutrient rich foods.
- What or who influenced you to cook? What or who influenced you to stand aside from the meat heavy typical Argentinian diet and offer vegan/raw food to BA urbanites?
The desire to be healthy and offer others the same is the only thing that influenced me to cook. Prior to Cocina Verde, I spent very little time in the kitchen…just enough to cook simple foods for myself that were healthy. In order to open CV, I had to teach myself the skills for vegan and raw food preparation. I did this mostly by reading and watching videos online and trying out recipes. I also had the opportunity to “intern” with a raw food Chef in Seattle while I was home in the US one summer formulating the plans to begin CV.
- How long have you been a vegan/veggie chef??
I was vegetarian for 10 years prior to living in Argentina (since 1997). About a year into my life in BA, I tried eating meat again after receiving a recommendation from a holistic doctor in NY (at that time I had Candida and was working on reducing all types of sugar in my diet). However, even though the symptoms of Candida disappeared momentarily, I found that returning to a diet with animal products was making me lethargic and causing digestive problems. As soon as I went raw (which I did for 2 months 100%), my energy returned and the Candida disappeared completely. Since then (over 3 years ago) I have been following the vegan/raw foods diet.
- What was the initial reaction to your opening and who now is your typical diner? gender/class/nationality
My original customers were mostly foreigners already familiar with vegan and raw food. However, over the past 3 years, there has been a raw vegan food movement in Argentina. After Dr. Gabriel Cousens came to Argentina to teach his Conscious Living course in 2009, many people were inspired to start teaching about raw food nutrition. Vegetarian restaurants began to offer “raw” meals and media journalists began to write a lot more about veganism, organic, raw food, etc. Now my customers are primarily Argentinean. The customers are primarily women (however there are many male customers as well) in the mid-upper income levels. Organic and raw food ingredients are expensive which makes it fairly pricey for the average Argentine. However, those who can’t afford to buy prepared meals are learning to cook and prepare raw food by the many teachers offering classes.
- What is the % of organic produce you use in your dishes and is the produce easy to source?
It’s hard to say as we have to go with what’s available. We’ve had some challenges sourcing organic vegetables on the days we need them delivered, even then we don’t always know what we can get week to week. We will likely be making some changes to our menu and delivery schedule in the next months to work with better with the organic producers. Our goal is to be 50-75% organic the majority of the time. As organic produce and ingredients continue to grow we expect this to get easier.
- Is there a vegan/vegetarian society in Argentina, other than the uva.org.ar? I’ve not found any products with an accreditation (I’ve only found 1 vegan/raw food product in a dietetica).
Jardin Organico and Tallo Verde both have the organic accreditation. So does Campo Claro and La Esquina de Las Flores. The organic certification in Argentina is from the organization called OIA (Organizacion Internacional Agropecuaria).
- What is your most asked for dish?
We have over 100 dishes in rotation so it’s hard to say. However, people love having access to raw foods that take many hours of preparation such as dehydrated crackers, pizzas and wraps. Our nut milks are fairly popular as are our cooked bean and grain dishes.
- What is your favourite dish (if you have one….or at least a current one)?
My favorite dishes would be the falafel and vegetable wrap, buckwheat pizza squares, and tomato, basil and vegan cheese pizza – all raw dishes that require dehydration.
- Favourite ingredient? Do you have to import any of your ingredients? I cannot find an iherb.com or such like equivalent in Argentina.
Importing is highly regulated, expensive and requires and extensive licensing process so we use what’s available and cost effective. I guess my favorite ingredient would be buckwheat – any crusts or crackers made with sprouted buckwheat are excellent. I’m also a big quinoa fan and love just about any dish with it. You can order organic ingredients from Jardin Organico & TalloVerde…there are also a few weekly farmers markets that source many natural organic ingredients (produce, dried, prepared foods, etc.). Even when uncertified (as it’s an expensive process for many small farmers), many still follow organic standards. By talking to them in person you can find out how they produce their products
- Have you ever featured on elgourmet or the like, or in any lifestyle magazines?
- When you prepare your meals at home or our recipe creating, do you have a favourite piece of music you like to listen to, or ambience you like to create?
No, but that’s a nice idea! The truth is that I prepare very little at home these days after the hours spent in the professional kitchen.
- What is your current favourite restaurant (if you ever get any time off!) in BA or Argentina as a whole?
is a nice “raw” restaurant. I also like Bio and Buenos Aires Verde, both of which offer vegan and raw food meals. But, true, I have very little time for dinners out. 😉
- What is your vision for your delivery service and the veggie scene in Argentina?
- Do you have plans for a cookbook? My Spanish is improving but not enough to discover if there are already any vegan or vegetarian cookbooks on the market from Argentinian cooks?
We have discussed translating some Spanish raw food cookbooks in combination with Chef BeLive in the U.S. (he was ranked #1 raw food chef in 2010). He has provided us with some of his recipes that we feature on our menu exclusively through Cocina Verde. I’m not entirely sure what’s on the market, but not much..
- What question do you want to answer that I may have omitted to ask?
Arévalo 1478, Buenos Aires, Capital Federal, Argentina
The first thing that struck me about Carmen Paz, one of the band of three that owns Arevalito, nestled in the hip barrio of Palermo Hollywood – Buenos Aires, was her accessibility. Many restauranteurs barakade themselves behind their kitchen walls and are rarely glimpsed. Not so with Carmen. She is as passionate about feeding people wholesome food as she was when she began life as the peoples cook back in the Seventies.
I threw away the list of interview questions I had when i met her. Carmen made me feel instantly at home. A feeling she extends to all. Watching the diners arrive and seat themselves outside the tiny restaurant, they were greeted like family. Many have been coming daily for years. Ever since she can remember, Carmen has been in love with cooking. It is woven into the fabric of her fascinating, bohemian lifestyle. She has owned four restaurants in her time. One in Amsterdam. Humble beginnings with one fire, one wok and one big table. It was her time in Amsterdam that the theories of macrobiotic cooking and eating became ingrained.
As I sat melting from the summers heat in Buenos Aires, I was charmed by Carmen (self titled – el reduccionista) and her zest and enthusiasm for food. It matches my own. She is forever learning, picking over recipe books, travelling, picking up an idea here and there and patch-working flavours. The menu at Arevalito changes twice a day. The food is fresh and hearty.
Carmen was keen to be left free of any foodie labels. Her views about ‘faddy diets’ and trendy ingredients were clear. Her food is born of her mercurial mind and and led by curiosity and her understanding of flavours alone. The only label she and Arevalito’s two other owners, Uki and Luciano, allow is ‘meatless’.
Her girls (she calls them her children) selected for the spark of passion she sees mirrored in them and groomed to carry on the whiff of Carmen’s ideals, are working away in the cramped hot kitchen. One brings us our lunch. Carmen had given direction in Spanish, to ensure my vegan and gluten free diet was glorified. Inspired by a Brazilian dish – Bahiano. I greedily gobbled up a plate of vegetables gleaming with a divine coconut oil and naranja (orange) dressing, flecked with fresh green herbs. Accompanied by a crisp bowl of avocado salad. Around me, locals, mostly drawn out from the population of film and TV studios close by (how the barrio got its name – Palermo Hollywood. I thought it was because it was chic and artsy and filled with tattooed hipsters), dined on doorstep-deep pies and rainbow salads. Carmen told me the story of one guy who ate weekly at the restaurant for 4 years before he realised the menu was devoid of meat! A sure testament to her ability to deliver great food, especially in a country known for its parillas (bbq’s).
In 2013 the cramped space is to be extended. However, Carmen shows no signs of stopping her campaign to serve up food which she translates to me – transports you someplace, and to keep the focus on the kitchen. It is just going to enable Arevalito to reach more, do more. Bread will be baked on premisses and Carmen will have her own space to create. More tables will serve more hungry mouths. Classes to will teach cooking skills. Concentrating on the most basic of ingredients to help cooks to bloom.
Two hours with Carmen Paz flies by. More diners arrive seeking an empty seat. People budge up and more chairs are added around the tables to accommodate the lunchtime crowd. The sun steps up it’s campaign to make my unaccustomed English skin cook. I bid Carmen and Uki (who has now joined us along with her husband to fill their bellies) adios with a warm (and sweaty) embrace, and hop on my bike to join the city bike lane across the street. I don’t know if life will ever bring me back to Buenos Aires. If it does, Arevalito’s home kitchen is sure to be on the top of my list to which return.
Hours: Mon-Fri 09:00-24:00, Sat 09:00-17:00
Price range: $
Contact: 4776 4252
A bee had gotten in my bonnet. Sitting in my home in England, scribbling my travel wish list. I began to ponder…Why was a predominately cow consuming country sprouting a growing hub of vegan and vegetarian restaurants? What was the food culture of Argentina and could I uncover it (and devour a portion of it) in a month?
I’d carried out quite extensive research before took my first journey, over 5000 west, to South America. Upon arrival I clutched a list of restaurants to visit. With the ability to say hello and yes and not much else in Spanish tongue. It wasn’t going to be easy getting the answers I sought.
In this article I’m going to begin to showcase the restaurants and their offerings. The quality of food I tried at these places bounced up and down the scale. I offer you a snapshot. A few of these places really got my attention and some of them agreed to answer a (long) list of preguntas (questions) my curious little head was filled with.
For now, here is what my tastebuds made of the meatless dining available in Buenos Aires. Many of the carni restaurants offered plant-based options but I had enough to fill my time (and tummy) with among the vegetarian/vegan/raw food joints that I chose to focus on those (with the exception of one which was the venue for meeting with my Spanish teacher…I’ve listed this one also).
All the places listed have different opening times and days. Check the websites before heading out. Prices are moderate. Based on an entree – between 40-75 ARS pesos / £5-9 / or $8-14 USD
This place had received great reviews on the internet. The owner Frederica has infused community into her colourful little restaurant, on the northern edges of Dorego in Villa Crespo. Over the four weeks I was in Buenos Aires. The cafes and streets around Dorego, the outer limits of Palermo Hollywood, was an area I returned to almost daily. Depending on my mood and chosen activity… writing, people watching or fuelling my body in the late spring sticky heat.
English speaking, Frederica was taking an evening off when i visited, but between me and the two waitresses we, after a fashion, managed to coax, and somewhat invent, a gluten free dish for me to try. The vegan part was easy enough but I parroted ‘sin gluten’ many times as different entrees where pointed at enthusiastically on the menu only for us to find it was ‘con’ (with) gluten and therefore not suitable for me. At these points a collective sigh and eye rolling flitted around our human triangle. Eventually, we agreed on a curry with lentils and coleslaw salad. The chef was very accommodating. But I wonder if I’d made him wary of my ‘intolerances’ resulting in a VERY mildly spiced curry with no visible coconut milk (did he misunderstand no dairy milk to mean coconut milk too?…I’ll never know) and a tad over zealous with the oil. The veggies were fine, al-dente, succulent strips. I did find a few times the spicing of dishes a tad ‘minimalist’. I think this is a national way. Much like eyeballing lots of bright powdered spices in Marrakech but finding their food spicing subtle to say the least. They did very kindly whip me up a little dish of hummus and raw carrot batons. Again, not the best on the block. The service and friendliness of this place was exceptional. I really enjoyed eating there for the experience of that…if not entirely the meal.
Naturaleza Sabia in San Telmo
I would recommend checking out this place when you visit the markets of San Telmo. Domingo (Sunday) and the antique street markets come alive. Drum beats, tango, colourful characters and tourists gather to wander, pick up a bargain or two and relax. Located just a few blocks from the main cobbled street in San Telmo is Naturaleza Sabia. The restaurant is on two floors and has a genteel atmosphere. Cozy yet open. The menu is extensive for a vegetarian, and they can adapt some of their dishes for vegans if you ask. Beware, the day I visited I was very grateful for my Argentinian companion. The staff speak little English so it was a little tricky.
The food is wholesome. Lots of aroz yamani (brown rice), lentil dishes and fresh salads. As a matter of course you get served a ‘cover’ dish, an amuse bouche. We had a delicious glass of curried lentil soup and a rice cake brochette with a broccoli/tahini pate which was flavoursome. Most places in Buenos Aires serve up a milanesa (breaded). Even though it seems everyone knows about ‘sin gluten’ gluten free foods in BA, I didn’t find a libre gluten milanese so it is on my list to recreate in the comforts of my home kitchen.
Vegan gluten free brownies with a rich chocolate sauce combine well with the sweet and tart fruits. So good.
Bio Humbolt 2192
I recall Bio was my first eating venture in Buenos Aires. This totally vegan, with a few crudos (raw dishes) restaurant was serving only four other diners when I was there..RIDICULOUSLY early (7pm), according to Argentine time keeping. Hours I tried and failed to adopt as my British stomach likes to have finished eating for the day at a time when Argentines are partaking of a late lunch (6pm) or an afternoon pastry and cafe. Most restaurants are packed between 10 and 11pm. Which, to this British girl, was bordering on insanity! But I guess if you are not hitting the mattress until the wee hours then body clocks are tick toking at a different pace.
I ordered the rice pizza with wok vegetables. The base had a great texture (slightly chewy) and the vegetable topping was fresh and delicately flavoured. Good if you are gluten free, just get the idea of ‘traditional’ pizza out of your head.
Dessert – raw chestnut pie with raspberries. It was quite sweet with a chest nutty flavour (no surprises there). It was just ok.
In an ideal world you’d visit a place a few times to really get a ‘taste’ for it. I’d rate Bio as ‘pleasant’ on my one and only visit.
PICNIC Florida 102
Opened in 2012 as a fast food vegetarian restaurant, ready to serve breakfast and lunches Downtown. Their ethos is green and extends to their furnishes and low-energy lighting. The first fast food vegan restaurant in Buenos Aires serving healthy salads, wraps, sandwiches entrees and a range of smoothies and muffins, owned by an Argentine-Swedish couple.
I really wanted to like this place. I encountered some challenges (I wish my mastery of the Spanish language was up a few levels!) trying to get a raw food lunch and could only have the exact options displayed ( I usually like the freedom to mix things up). The really helpful manageress told me that the foods are mostly pre-prepared and not interchangeable, which I found surprising as it took 15 minutes for my meal to come.
I dined on a bowl of quinoa and vegetables with dips and a side of papatas (taters). The potatoes could have benefitted from some of seasoning from the over-salted quinoa. It was ok. Not great. Just ok. Not the sort of gastronomy that would turn a carnivore. The place was busy enough. Perhaps I chose the wrong dish.
The salads looked fresh. Situated on Florida, not far from the Casa Roja (the Presidential home) and lengthy shopping street, the huge windows make it a good place to people watch. As with a few of the places I visited in Buenos Aires, I thought they will probably benefit with the gift of hindsight, and improve their flavours as plant-based dining evolves in the capital.
I had to mention this cafe, situated in the heart of the uber chic Palermo Soho. It was where I hung out and had my Spanish lessons three times a week. It isn’t vegan but there are vegan options. I like the atmosphere and the background music was good. The owners also have an organic blueberry farm (hence the name) and often popped little dishes of tiny blueberries at our tables.
I ordered this spinach salad with almonds and asado berenjana (roasted aubergine) served with a blueberry vinaigrette. Simple and perfect. Delicioso!
Buenos Aires will certainly NOT leave any vegan or gluten free body go hungry. In the past two years gluten free options and labelling has come into force. Perhaps not everyone I spoke to knew what a vegan was but they all understood ‘sin TACC’ or ‘sin gluten’. I wonder how long it will be before the world discovers why, for sure, these food intollerances are now so part of our edible society.
In my next article I will be treating you to some interviews and small vignettes I had the pleasure to enjoy making with three more vegan eateries who are causing quite a stir in various ways in Buenos Aires. Join me then.
Hey, and please share with us in the comments below, your food jaunts to Buenos Aires should you go, or indeed are already there. It is thanks to a few notable bloggers, along with my pounding the streets and chatting to locals that I managed to piece together my culinary pathway in BA.
Bridges & Balloons – a couple from Britain who have set off on a journey where there feet and curiosity takes them. Working as they go.
Hungry Hungry Hippie – speaks for itself.
Pick Up the Fork – not a plant based dining blog but she has a great ‘vegetarian’ dining post.
Travelling. Learning to dance with Buenos Aires [with photos]
Upheaval is the buzz word, ringing like tinitus in my ear, right now. In three days I will be airlifted from cold and drizzle and transported to summer sun and long days, immersed in a culture I’ve yet to discover and surround by voices I do not (yet) comprehend. I always think it is a crazy (crazy in a good way) notion – travelling, it’s like visiting another planet. My excitement knows no end.
My spare bed is now quite unrecognisable. Strewn with ‘stuff for my trip’. Being a vegan, and a long time gypsy girl, I’ve gotten used to carrying a few essential food stuffs. Enough to keep me going until I find a natural food store, or buy supplies online. There is something about unpacking and having your favourite green tea, or snack to hand to settle you in. Also, having a zip baggie with a couple of days of breakfast in takes the pressure off shopping. It also helps to have some sense of normality when plonked in a vastly different environment.
Airports are a radiation hazard, and the stress of travel, cabin pressure, recycled air dryer than the Sahara and jet lag can all take it’s toll. But there are things you can do to protect yourself and stay on top form so you can arrive feeling (relatively..it’s a long flight) fabulous. So, here is a list of tried and tested must haves for road trips and skyward journeys.
In my hand luggage I take
2 different probiotics to keep my digestion healthy
chlorella powder to minimise the effects of radiation
wheatgrass a good all-round powerhouse super food to supplement (or replace) airline food
1 x 10 ml (empty..fill it up on the plane as customs confiscate liquids) spritz bottle for spraying face regulary with water, to counter dehydrating effects of cabin air
travel pack digestive enzymes
soft spongy ear plugs
miso soup powder
On previous trips I’ve taken kale chips, homemade raw bread, homemade muffin or cake, but I’m am experimenting with eating very little on the trip. I am planning to sleep through most of it instead and mainly drink lots of water and green tea. I figured, leaving the UK in the evening, sleeping through most of the 15hr (eek!) flight and taking up on the day, Argentine time, when I touch down at 10am. That is the plan.
In my suitcase
zip baggy of breakfast (pea protein powder, green super food powder, acai powder, goji berries, flax meal)
kelp powder (to lesson effects of radiation)
1 pouch of baby food – fruit berries – to add to breakfast powder
1 pouch chicory coffee
1 box green tea (decaf)
1 zip baggy nooch (nutritional yeast powder)
1 packet of nori sheets (to make nori burritos)
4 single serving miso soup powder
2 raw energy bars
Upon arrival at destination
I perform a saline nasil wash (salt in warm water – antibacterial…counteract the recycled cabin air)
take a 1/2 tsp reishi mushroom powder to boost my immunity
have a warm, comforting cup of tea
grab my camera, $ , shades, room keys, a keen sense of adventure, and go exploring. I’ll do a walkabout and suss out the area. Source some promising cafes I may want to frequent. Track down the natural food stores, and do some serious people watching.
Have you visited Argentina? Do you live there? Send me tips and ideas of places you think I have to visit in the city. Must do’s in Buenos Aires. I’ve noted a few vegan restaurants to try. What are your travel essentials? Leave a comment below and let us know.