Hello all, this is Matt from FaveDiets, here to spread some healthy cooking love! By far, one of my favorite ingredients to cook with is black beans. Not only are they delicious and incredibly cheap, but they’re chock full of fiber, protein and other nutrients. I mean, what’s not to love about that! I’m lucky enough to live close to a number of restaurants that serve out-of-this-world Cuban black beans.
As the editor of healthy recipes site FaveDiets.com I wanted to re-create this dish with a twist. Instead of making a side dish, I loaded my recipe with lots of vegetables to make it more of high protein entrée. Not only is cooking black beans easy, but all of the ingredients in this black beans recipe are full of positive nutrients for your system.
Crazy Loaded Cuban-Inspired Black Beans
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
- ½ pound dry black beans
- Water (You can use chicken or vegetable stock or broth as well)
- 3 carrots, finely diced
- Light vegetable oil or nonstick cooking spray
- 2 green peppers, cubed
- 1 medium white onion, diced
- 2-4 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 bunch cilantro, minced
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar or honey (optional)
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- Black pepper, freshly cracked
- Cayenne pepper (optional)
- *Place the dry beans in a bowl and completely submerge in water. Let soak for at least three hours, but preferably overnight. Drain and thoroughly rinse the beans once soaked.
- *Once the beans have soaked, add to a large pan over medium-high heat and just cover with water or broth. Let the liquid come to a boil, then turn down the heat and let simmer.
- *Once the beans have been cooking for about 15-20 minutes, place a large pan over medium heat. Add a little oil or cooking spray to then pan, and then sauté the carrots until they just begin to become tender.
- *Add the green peppers, onion and garlic into the pan with the carrots. Sauté until the green peppers become tender and the onions become translucent.
- *Once the beans are almost completely tender, drain off any unwanted excess liquid and add in the sautéed vegetables. Add the cilantro, vinegar, sugar and the rest of the spices to the pot. Stir to combine, and let simmer for about 5 minutes or so.
- *Once the beans are completely tender, turn off the heat and serve over brown or white rice if desired.
Note 1: If I have a preference, I’d rather be cooking dried black beans over canned black beans. Canned beans, while convenient, usually have loads of sodium and sometimes BPA. To make sure I know exactly what I’m eating, I choose dried beans. If you don’t have the time for soaking and then cooking dried black beans, choose reduced sodium canned beans in BPA-free cans. If you make this black beans recipe with canned beans, omit steps 1 and 2 and add the canned beans and the water with the vegetables in step 5.
Note 2: The amount and variety of spices included in this black beans recipe were based on my personal taste. Feel free to tinker with amounts and varieties based on your personal tastes. Not everyone likes cilantro, but I love the stuff. I didn’t have any oregano on hand, but that would have been a great addition here. Play around and make this black beans recipe completely original to you.
Matthew Kaplan is the Editor for FaveDiets.com, a free online resource featuring hundreds of free healthy recipes, healthy cooking tips and loads more. Be sure to check out FaveDiets on Facebook (www.facebook.com/FaveDiets) and on Twitter (@FaveDiets).