Vegetarian-Style Casado in Costa Rica

Casado pic

Based in Fresno, California, Krishen Iyer leads the consulting company Iyer Health Shield and directs real estate development projects in the region. Passionate about travel, Krishen Iyer enjoys visiting destinations from India to Costa Rica in his free time. Maintaining a largely vegetarian diet, he particularly enjoys experiencing the cuisines of such places.

Known for its combinations of rice, chicken, and beans, Costa Rican fare offers a surprising number of vegetarian-friendly options. One strategy at non-vegetarian eateries is to order a casado plate, which contains generous portions of black beans and rice, as well as vegetables such as plantains and yuccas.

Frequently topped with cheese and eggs, the dish is eaten by filling warm tortillas with the ingredients. While a portion of meat is common in the casado, it is simple enough to order “sin carne, queso y huevos” and get a healthy version of the meal with neither meat nor dairy products. One thing to be aware of is that the beans may be fried in animal fat at some local establishments.


Maintaining a Complete Vegetarian Protein and Amino Acid Profile


Vegetarian Protein pic
Vegetarian Protein

Krishen Iyer is a respected business presence in Fresno, California, who guides IHS Insurance Services and spearheads real estate investmentment projects. A health and fitness enthusiast, Krishen Iyer works out five days a week and maintains a diet that is largely organic and vegetarian.

Maintaining a rigorous fitness routine while staying away from meat can be challenging, but it is by no means impossible. A plant-based diet involves taking protein from a variety of cooked and raw vegetables, fruits, sprouts, and legumes such as black beans and lentils. In addition, starchy vegetables should be incorporated, along with whole grain breads and brown rice.

One thing to be aware of beyond proteins is the essential amino acid profile. Most complete proteins are found only in meat. Soybeans and associated soy products come the closest to providing a full set of amino acids, but they are deficient in methionine. Fortunately, this can be added to a vegetarian diet through complementary foods such as oatmeal, sunflower seeds, peanuts, and whole grain pasta.