This is Emy and I’d like to welcome you to my new blog, Black Beans and Kale.
As a Cubana who grew up in the U.S., I have a very rich culture and heritage tied to food. I grew up not only loving food, but loving the ritual of sitting down for dinner every night with my family: Mama and Papa (my grandparents who raised me), my brother Po, my sister Lucy and my tios, Pepe and Yoyi. I continue loving the food rituals including our large family get togethers, which start off in the kitchen, move to the living room, and end back in the kitchen.
Continuing the food culture throughout my life, my tios and tias have had catering companies my entire life, my cousin Ana is a Chef and I even married a Chef! So yes – I know and love food…
Today, as a Health Coach, wanting to continue enjoying my favorite Cuban meals while being true to living a healthy and clean life, I find myself looking at the recipes of my favorite childhood meals and changing them up by incorporating healthier ingredients.
I have created Black Beans and Kale to share these “healthier” Cuban recipes with you (and for laughs, little stories of growing up Cuban in the U.S.) We are beginning our recipe lineup in this blog with what else but Black Beans, a high protein, high fiber food.
In full disclosure: those of you that really, really know me, know that I struggle in the kitchen…I didn’t really inherit the cooking skills of the rest of my family members. However, a long time friend and highly skilled chef, Silvia Pernas, who has a kick a__ __ kitchen worked with me testing these wonderful recipes. Enjoy!
2 – 15.5 cans of low sodium black beans*
½ chopped large green bell pepper**
1 small onion***
1 small chopped garlic clove
1/8 of teaspoon of onion powder
2 bay leaves
½ teaspoon of cumin
½ teaspoon of oregano
1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
1/8 of teaspoon of sea salt
2 tablespoons of avocado oil
*This is a quick alternative to save you time but you can also use dried beans letting them soak overnight. 1 cup of dried black beans yields 2 to 3 cups cooked.
**You can use red and yellow peppers too if you want to add more color and flavor.
***Yellow onions have a stronger flavor than white and the red onions are milder and sweeter. Feel free to experiment with the different tastes.
- Heat avocado oil
- Add all the ingredients except for the black beans
- Simmer for 2 minutes
- Add the black beans
- Add a ¼ cup of water
- Cover and continue simmering for additional 20 -30 minutes to taste
- Garnish with cilantro
- Black Beans is a high fiber, high protein food. If buying the beans in the cans, buy the ones that are low sodium or sodium free. Generally canned foods are very high in sodium. Control your sodium intake by leaving the addition of the salt to you not the food industry.
- Among the many benefits of bell peppers, they are rich in Vitamin C, they are an anti-inflammatory, they’re rich in anti-oxidants and they lower cholesterol buildup.
- Onions and garlic are a nutrient-dense food meaning they are low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals.
- Cumin is rich in iron and Vitamin C so it boosts the immune system and aids in alleviating the common cold. It also helps with the digestive system.
- Oregano is an excellent source of vitamin K, magnesium, iron and calcium. It is another high nutrient based herb.
- Apple Cider Vinegar is one of the ingredients we added to the original recipe. Apple cider vinegar is both antibacterial and decreases the blood sugar level.
- We replaced the table salt in the recipe with sea salt because sea salt is less processed. However, both are sodium so should be taken in moderation.
- The olive oil that the recipe called for we replaced with avocado oil for a few reasons. Although olive oil is healthy and I recommend it for salads, avocado oil has more monounsaturated fatty acids, has a higher level of antioxidants and has a higher heat tolerance for cooking.