Low Fat Cuban-Style Inspired Black Beans

This is an adaptation of my great-aunt’s delicious recipe. She uses a load of sugar and olive oil though, which I don’t like to use, but it’s just as good without! And I like to make it a little spicy too.

I’m leaving on a trip to Guatemala next week (where I’ll probably be eating a lot of beans!) so I wanted to make something cheap that I can keep on hand for the next few days and not have to think about my meals too much. And this is so cheap! If you already have a well stocked spice cabinet, it won’t cost more than $10 to make this. I’ve made this a million times, and I always just eye all the ingredients, so all the amounts are approximate.

  • 3 cups dry black beans, soaked in plenty of water overnight
  • 5 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 orange, red or green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 tsp siracha chili garlic paste (optional)
  • olive oil spray
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • salt and black pepper to taste

-Rinse beans and put in big pot with enough water to cover beans and leave about 1 inch on top. Add 2 cloves crushed garlic and pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and cook covered over medium heat for about 45 min until beans are al dente.

-While the beans are cooking, spray a pan with olive oil and add onions, bell pepper, and pinch of salt and black pepper. Cook over medium heat until they’re translucent, then add 3 cloves crushed garlic and cook for one more minute

-When beans are soft after first round of cooking, add a few tablespoons of onion,pepper and garlic mixture into a blender/processor with a few tablespoons of black beans and the chili garlic paste. Mix it up until it forms a chunky thick paste. This is the “sofrito.”

-Add all remaining ingredients (except red wine vinegar) with the sofrito into the pot (adding more water if needed). Cook for another 40 minutes over medium heat. At the very end, add red  wine vinegar and cook for another 5 minutes.

I garnished them with some sun-dried tomatoes just to give the dish a little color. Serve over brown rice.

Will keep in the fridge for about a week. If you still have some beans leftover after that, you can freeze them.