Recipe: $3.12 | Per Serving: $0.31 | Yield: 10
I’m pretty sure that you will never find Cuban black beans in Cuba with kale in them. But in the interest of using up a large amount of kale we found ourselves with last week, and with the desire to add some green vegetables to starchy beans, kale was added to these deliciously simple Cuban Black Beans. You can skip the kale if you prefer, but I like hiding vegetables in all kinds of things for some reason. Then you can feel nominally better about eating a taco consisting of one tortilla and a big scoop of Cuban Black Beans. Because, ya know, kale.
We are in the early days of planning some sort of 30th birthday trip for this summer. Last year we started with thoughts of 2 weeks in Germany and Austria, then started considering Zimbabwe with a friend who grew up there, or maybe Serbia, or perhaps we’ll just go back to Japan for two weeks…we were all over the place. But then when I was making some Cuban Cilantro Chicken and realizing that I don’t know much about Cuban cuisine, I thought, hey, we can go to CUBA right now, and that might not be the case for much longer, so we should probably go there. (Plus, so much cheaper and closer than all the other options on the table.)
Now everyone go to your favorite flight-purchasing site and search for flights to Havana, Cuba. Just kidding, don’t bother because you probably won’t find anything. (Unless your favorite site is Spirit Airlines, which shouldn’t be anyone’s favorite site or airline.) Apparently it’s not that easy to find or purchase a flight to Cuba, which makes me nervous that airlines are going to start fading them out by summer or possibly canceling trips on people. I know JetBlue flies there, and when you do a quick search it seems like there are lots of flights, but if you click through to most of those websites those itineraries are no longer available. What. Is. Happening. As of January 20th, I think we officially live in the Twilight Zone.
Anyway, Cuban Black Beans are super yummy. Soon to be followed by the most delicious Cuban cilantro-orange chicken – stay tuned!
Paleo: Er, sorry, but they’re beans. No gluten and no dairy though!
- 1 pound dry black beans (soaked overnight)
- 1 medium onion
- 1 medium green bell pepper
- 8 cloves garlic
- 1/2 Tablespoon dried oregano
- 1/2 Tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
- 5 cups water (if cooking from dry – 2 cups if already cooked)
- 1/2 Tablespoon salt
- optional: 4 cups thinly chopped kale
- Cover the black beans with water and soak 12 hours or overnight. Drain liquid and set aside.
- Dice the onion and bell pepper and mince the garlic.
- In a large pot, sauté the onion and bell pepper until soft and fragrant, and add the garlic for another minute, stirring well. Add the oregano, cumin, and tomato paste and stir until combined. (DO NOT ADD SALT YET)
- Add the uncooked (but soaked) black beans and the water. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 50 minutes – 1 hour, or until black beans are soft enough to eat. Stir in the salt and cook uncovered for another 10-20 minutes, or until the majority of the water has been absorbed or evaporated. Stir in the kale and cook just until wilted.
- Serve as is, or with rice, cilantro, and cheese, or with Cuban Cilantro Orange Chicken.
*You can also choose to use beans that have already been cooked, simply reduce the water to just 2 cups, and cut the cooking time down to about 30 minutes.