Eating vegetarian in Belize was refreshingly easy. I didn’t have to rely on veggie burgers. There really weren’t any that I saw offered anyway. I love veggie burgers, but all too often they’re one of a few common choices available when going out to eat. (Pasta and salads are right up there, too.)
I also didn’t have to make my meals from “bar food”. You know the kind of appetizers happy hour is made of. All the usual fried suspects: French fries, onion rings, jalapeño poppers, and so on. Not to mention the cheesy things: quesadillas, potato skins without the bacon, and mozzarella sticks. There was one evening that these were really my only choice, but that was it. And it was, ironically enough, in a bar that seemed designed to appeal to Americans and not the locals! I settled for an unexciting salad that night, but splurged on some battered onion rings.
The hotel where we were staying had a restaurant that served an all-you-can-eat buffet once a week. We arrived on the night they were serving that so we gave it a try. I looked over the buffet and saw plenty of side dishes to fill me up. However, we decided to ask about vegetarian food and they offered to make a special plate for me. I took them up on that.
They asked me if I liked spicy and I said yes. So I got some really spicy pasta in a marinara sauce that seemed to have a touch of coconut milk. It was served with some grilled zucchini and cherry tomatoes, along with a potato wedge and some sour cream. The pineapple slices were the highlight, though. They were grilled which brought out their natural sweetness. They made an excellent addition to the plate. By far, one of the best meals there and so easy!
Another wonderful meal started with plantain dumplings. The dough was actually made of plantains and it was stuffed with spicy black beans and some cheese. This is something I want to try to figure out how to make myself. The main course was soft corn tacos filled with different veggies and topped with raw cabbage. They were very tasty with the salsa that came on the side.
At another Mexican restaurant I had vegetable soup, but this soup was unlike any other I’ve seen. It actually had cucumber slices in it and it came in a salty broth. I had several vegetable skewers with tomatoes, squash, zucchini, and peppers there. On the side I had plantains (I never turn down an opportunity to have those!) and rice.
On the excursions out, Johnnycakes were provided for breakfast, either with ham or chicken. I simply removed the slice of ham from mine and enjoyed the tasty cheese and mayo combination while we journeyed to our destination.
We were provided lunch along with some refreshing Belikin beer. (The image on the label is one of temples we visited at Altun Ha!) Chicken in what appeared to be an adobo sauce was offered, along with bountiful sides of peas and rice, coleslaw, and plantains. I was satisfied with huge portions of the sides to fuel me for the long hike.
Even waiting in the airport on the way home it was easy to go veggie. They had a homemade veggie patty on the menu but, unfortunately, they were out of them that day. I had the veggie sandwich, which was basically a club-type sandwich, with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, olives, some kind of cheese, and a touch of mayo.
I was very pleased with the vegetarian options available to me while in Belize. Having been to other countries where it was much more difficult it was really nice to have multiple choices when deciding what the day’s meals were going to be!