It’s #NationalLatinHeritageMonth, so celebrate with the #Latinx flavors we love like these Cuban Black Beans. Flavorful, protein-packed black beans are paired with cumin, paprika, garlic, and of course, jalapeno because we like it a little spicy!
This Cuban Black Beans recipe will be in my forthcoming book, Miami Vegan: Succulence and Sizzle in the 305, and I couldn’t be more excited to share it with you. It’s the perfect recipe for National Latin Heritage Month or any time you need a delicious and comforting meal.
Often served as a pork accompaniment, Cuban black beans deserve center stage. They have a smokiness and richness all their own, thanks to a slow-cooking sofrito — a soulful sauté of onions, peppers and tomatoes. The only tinkering with tradition here is my addition of greens. Totally optional, but hey, you know I’m desperate to get you to eat your greens. They’re sustainable, nutrient-dense and anti-aging.
How to serve: Cuban eateries traditionally serve black beans as a side dish or paired with white rice and sautéed plantains. I like them as the main attraction, with a big green salad.
How to keep: Keeps covered and refrigerated for several days, and flavor improves over time.
I wanted to give you a sweet extra, too, with these Mexican Chocolate Love Bites. They’re raw, quick and easy delights you can feel good bout. They offer big chocolate delivery and provide good energy by way of dates and nuts, plus a little a extra zing with coffee and cayenne. The only sugar comes from a light dusting of the finished bites.
Cuban Black Beans
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 onions chopped
- 4 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 sweet red pepper chopped
- 1 hot pepper like a jalapeño, chopped
- 1 pound dried black beans cooked
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1 head kale or Swiss chard sliced into skinny ribbons (aka chiffonade)
- sea salt to taste
- In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring, until they start to sweat, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and both the sweet and hot pepper.
- Stir to combine and reduce heat to medium. Cook the vegetables, stirring occasionally, for another 15 minutes, until they're softened and aromatic. Add cumin, tomato paste and smoked paprika, and stir until combined, and vegetables have taken on a warm and rosy glow.
- Stir in the black beans and about 1 cup of the bean cooking broth. Reduce heat to medium, set the pot lid on halfway, leaving a little steam vent. Cook the beans for an hour, longer if you've got the time. Add more bean broth, 1/2 cup at a time, if beans seem dry. Aim for thick, not over-dry. The goal is a divine beanly sludge.
- Stir in the sherry or cider vinegar. Remove from heat.
- Add the chiffonade of kale or chard by the handful. Stir gently, letting the greens wilt into the beans.
- Season generously with sea salt to taste.