This big bowl of Black Beans and Rice with Plantains is a delicious, quick and easy dinner, that is gluten-free, full of fiber, and constitutes a complete protein for vegans and non-meat eaters.
A Celebration of Cuba’s Tropical Cuisine
It seems like Cuba is always in the news these days. Whether it’s vacationing celebrities, budget tourists, or Hollywood films celebrating the island’s collection of 1950’s Chevy’s, today we can find the vibrancy and passion of the Cuban people on full display.
Black beans and rice is one of Cuba’s most iconic and best loved dishes, and we’ve created a delicious, quick and easy dinner, that is gluten-free, full of fiber, and constitutes a complete protein for vegans. This sweet and filling dish starts with a base of onions, garlic, and roasted peppers (save time by using roasted peppers in a jar) to create a flavor profile that allows the creamy smoothness of black beans to shine. And, thanks to the availability of organic or salt-free beans canned beans today, you can easily use canned black beans to save time without sacrificing flavor. The addition of sweet plantains, cumin, turmeric, and chili powder add incredible depth to this dish.
Sweetest Bean You’ve Ever Seen
Black beans are one of the sweetest beans available, making them great choice to introduce to children or bean-wary friends. Great benefit -- the beans swim in their own sauce. Try mashing some of the beans against the side of the pot to create a rich, silky sauce that can used to spoon over rice. For extra protein, you may want to substitute quinoa for the rice, or try substituting zucchini noodles for an even lighter dish. Our family loves to top baked sweet potatoes with black beans – they are a fun and vibrant dish that will have your children asking for more.
Our black beans and rice can be topped with a variety of delicious and colorful toppings including mango slices, fresh diced tomatoes, scallion rounds, avocado slices, fresh chopped cilantro or parsley, lime wedges, or toasted pumpkin seeds.
Plantain – Banana’s Versatile Cousin
Plantains look like large bananas with tough skins and can be found in most vegetable markets near the potato and onion sections. They can be boiled and mashed, sliced thin and fried, or added to soup. Look for dark, softer plantains whose sugars have slightly fermented and will make the most delicious sweet “maduros.” To open, score the sides of the plantain and peel back the tough outer layer without cutting into the fruit. The plantain will feel starchier than an average banana.
Once peeled, slice into ½” rounds, or cut along the diagonal into 1” pieces. Fry in hot oil until lightly browned, then dry on paper towel and sprinkle lightly with salt. The plantains can be reheated in an oven on low heat. You may also want to try some of our other plantain recipes like our Burrito Bowl with Tomatillo Salsa or our Tostones with Bean Salsa.
Black Beans and rice make a beautiful meal when served with a fresh lettuce salad, but if you really want to wow your guests, serve them alongside our Persimmon Fennel Salad and Jalapeño Lime Spritzer or this Mojito. The combination of vegetables and fruits are at once simple and exotic, fragrant and satisfying, and absolutely delicious!
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This big bowl of Black Beans and Rice with Plantains is a delicious, quick and easy dinner, that is gluten-free, full of fiber, and constitutes a complete protein for vegans and non-meat eaters
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced small (optional)
- 1 semi ripe plantain, diced ( you can substitute sweet potatoes)
- 12oz jarred roasted red peppers, diced ( you can also use a fresh red bell pepper, jut note that the cooking time will be longer)
- 2-15oz cans organic black beans, with their water
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp prepared chili powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup fresh chopped cilantro
- Heat the olive oil in a large deep skillet with a lid. Add the diced onion, garlic and jalapeño pepper. Cook for 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent
- Add the plantains, roasted red peppers, beans (with their water), cumin, turmeric, chili powder and salt. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the plantains are very tender
- Add cilantro and mix well
- Serve over brown rice, quinoa, zucchini noodles or baked sweet potatoes
Some shortcuts to prepare these black beans and rice even faster:
- Use frozen chopped onions and jarred minced garlic.
- Use canned diced green chiles instead of jalapeño peppers
- Buy pre cooked brown rice or quinoa
- Serving Size: 1 cup black beans and 1/2 cup brown rice
- Calories: 377
- Sugar: 10
- Sodium: 890
- Fat: 4
- Saturated Fat: 0.7
- Unsaturated Fat: 2.7
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 73
- Fiber: 14.5
- Protein: 14
- Cholesterol: 0