Black beans – aka “frijoles negros” or “caraotas negras” – are a nutritious addition to a meal. Beans are a good source of protein, fiber, carbohydrates and nutrients such as potassium, iron and folate.
This Cuban-style black bean recipe can be the main course or side dish of a meal, depending on your preferences. Naturally gluten-free and vegan, this dish can complement rice, a salad or Cuban bowl. The dish can be prepared for now and frozen for later.
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Simple Black Beans
Makes 4 servings
- 16 ounce black beans cooked (can or boxed), preferably low sodium
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup onion, finely chopped
- ¼ cup green bell pepper, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 bay leaf
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste, no salt added
- 3 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
Tip: You control the sodium by purchasing low sodium products, or making beans from scratch and adding salt to your preference.
- In a medium saucepan and on medium heat, combine oil, onion, green bell pepper, tomato and garlic.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and cook the ‘sofrito’ mixture about 5 minutes or until slightly golden brown. Note: Sofrito is an aromatic blend of vegetables, herbs and spices to flavor beans, meats, rice and stews.
- Add in beans, cilantro, cumin and bay leaf. If using low sodium or no salt added beans, add in salt to taste.
- Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Remove bay leaf and serve.
Nutritional information: (serving ½ cup): Calories 150, Carbohydrates 23g, Protein: 8g, Fat 3g, Fiber 6g, Sodium 135mg.
Nutritional Tip: Proper portions for a serving of carbohydratec from beans: 1/3 cup for people with diabetes, or a ½ cup for people without diabetes.
About Lucette Talamas
Lucette Talamas is a registered dietitian with Community Health at Baptist Health South Florida. She holds a bachelor’s degree in food science and human nutrition from University of Florida. With additional experience as a clinical dietitian, Ms. Talamas enjoys providing practical nutrition information to promote healthy lifestyles that can help prevent and manage chronic diseases. Her expert tips and advice have been featured in print and broadcast media, including Miami Herald, CBS Miami, Telemundo and Univision. Active in professional nutrition organizations, Ms. Talamas was recently honored with the 2018 Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year Award from the Florida Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.