What’s better anytime eats than a plate of spicy, flavorful black beans and sweet, savory plantains? Exactly.
I first started eating plantains when I lived in Miami where they were abundant. Cuban food, too, is quite popular in South Florida and often a plate of black beans with a side of plantains was the only vegan option at restaurants in the area. So began my love for the two.
This black beans and plantains recipe is easy to make and full of flavor (as well as nutrients!). The black beans are a terrific vegan protein, and plantains (cousin of the banana) are loaded with potassium and yumm. Serve it on a plate with rice for dinner, or wrap it all up in a burrito for a portable lunch. I even like it for breakfast.
3 cups black beans, cooked (best to soak dry beans overnight and cook 1–2 hours or until tender. Canned beans can be used, but always look for BPA-free cans)
1 1/2 cups tri-colored bell peppers, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 small jalapeno pepper, finey chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil for sautéing
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon cumin, ground
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup dry Spanish red wine
Salt and pepper to taste
*Note: traditional versions of this recipe will often include garlic and onions, my sworn enemies. You can add them if you like, I won’t judge.
2 large and very ripe plantains (the darker the skin, the better)
coconut oil for frying
In a large pot, sauté peppers and carrots in olive oil until tender, about 5 minutes. Add in the cooked beans, oregano, cumin, bay leaf, vinegar and wine and let simmer on low heat about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Now, begin your plantains.
In a large cast iron skillet, coat the bottom with coconut oil and let heat up over medium heat about a minute.
Slice the plantains on the diagonal about ¼ inch thick (if you cut them too thick they won’t cook all the way through).
When the oil is hot, add the plantains and cook about 1-2 minutes per side, until they begin to turn brown. Add more oil as needed.
By now, your beans should be ready. Remove the bay leaf. Add salt and pepper (if you use canned beans they may already be quite salty) and drizzle in a bit more olive oil. Serve next to the plantains, with a corn tortilla, on top of cooked rice or without. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro, avocado and tomatoes.
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