Tag Archives: vegetarian black beans

Classic Spanish-Caribbean Black Beans (Frijoles Negros) and Perfect White Rice

4 Dec

I have a four-year-old boy, so you know that toilet humor reigns supreme around here. I don’t particularly like all the burp and fart and poop talk, but I am a pragmatic woman; I try to make my reality work for me and try not to dwell on the way things “should” be.

So, what passes for classic poetry in my house starts out, “Beans, beans, good for your heart…” and you probably know the rest. I have no problem getting Leandro to eat beans several times a week; what preschooler could resist the lure of stinking out family and friends with such jackhammer potency? It goes much the same for asparagus; I reeled him in with the promise of sulphurous-smelling pee and now it’s one of his favorite (of very few) vegetables.

This is perhaps not the most appetizing of ways to introduce a recipe, but I’ll take my chances that you are interested enough in making fast, easy and healthy black beans that taste just as good as whatever you get in your local Cuban joint to overlook the other factors. Or, if you are a boy of any age, perhaps it is just the intro you need to start incorporating more beans into your diet!

(Note: the more often you eat beans, the better your body processes them, so some of the gassy part dissipates over time. And the low-fat, fiber, protein benefits are incredible. They are also cheap, especially if you soak your own*).

Classic Latin Black Beans (Frijoles Negros)

1 Tbs olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

½ red or green bell or cubanelle – Italian long sweet – pepper (about ¼ Cup), diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

28 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained (4 Cups if using dried*)

½ Cup water (you can add more as needed)

1-2 stock cubes (vegetarian vegetable is fine; I use Knorr chicken)

1 Tbs dry oregano (or 1.5 fresh)

1 tbs cider vinegar (optional)

Heat olive oil in a heavy soup pot at medium high until fragrant. Add onion and peppers and stir to coat. Lower heat and cook until softened, about five minutes. Add garlic, stir to coat and cook another minute. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then cover and lower heat to simmer, about 15 minutes. Serve with white rice (recipe below).

*Soaking dried beans: Rinse a pound of beans (from a store that seems to move a lot of dried beans – one of the problems is that if the beans are old, they will never soften up nicely), soak them in two quarts water overnight. Change the water in the morning and in the evening rinse and change water. Simmer them for two hours and holy legumes, Batman: 1.5 quarts of beans to play with.And talk about cheap: a pound of dried beans costs about the same as a 15.5 oz can of them and you choose how much sodium you want with it.


Perfect White Rice (you can halve this recipe if you are not big into carbs)

1 Tbs olive oil

2 Cups long-grain white rice (Sello Rojo, Goya or other Latin brand preferred)

4 Cups water

½ tsp salt

Place olive oil in a medium pot (with a tight lid). Begin heating to high while adding the rice. Stir to coat, Add water and salt. Stir once, then bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium and allow water to evaporate until it goes below the surface of the rice and there are a couple of holes in the surface. Turn rice over once with a big spoon. Cover and cook on low another ten minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.

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