Black Bean, Cuban Style

This simple black bean recipe is based from Cuban cuisine with a touch of sweetness and delicious over rice and staple food in Latin countries.

Like many of you I am trying to incorporate more legumes and substituting meat for other sources of protein.

Growing up in Brazil, rice and bean was a staple food in every meal…therefore I really take pleasure and a mix of nostalgia when I eat rice and bean. As you might be aware bean dishes are cooked in so many ways according to its Country tradition. In Brazil, we have the famous “feijoada” which uses black beans with all kind of meat in it, super tasty and flavorful…on the other had we have the “feijao”, meaning beans, which is serve daily for lunch and dinner over rice and much simpler flavor.

Today, I am sharing another bean stew, which I learned after searching the internet and realized why the Cuban bean dish taste so different from the Brazilian one…bell pepper and a bit of sugar. It is amazing that just by adding these two ingredients the flavor of the bean is totally altered.

The creamy bean stew over rice is so good…plain and simple and yet so satisfying. This recipe was adapted from here with some changes.


  • 1lb dried black bean
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium size onion, chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper, cut into small pieces
  • 7-8 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Wash and soak the beans overnight, changing the water a couple of times in between.

Rinse of the water and place the beans in a pot with approximately 5 cup of water and bay leaf.

Let it boil and then simmer for approximately 60 minutes until the beans and cooked throughout. Remove the suds when the beans come to boil and add more water as needed, making sure that the beans are covered.

Alternatively you can use a thermo cooker by adding the beans, bay leaf and water. Let it boil, remove the suds and place the pot in the thermo cooker overnight or until ready to add the other ingredients.

Once the black beans are cooked, in a large pan heat the oil and add onion, garlic and bell pepper and sauté until vegetables begin to soften, about 4-5 minutes.

Add approximately 1 cup of beans to pan. Using the back of spoon smash beans against the wall of the pan, or alternatively use an immersion hand blender.  Add remaining beans, oregano, sugar, vinegar and water as needed.

Simmer until mixture thickens. Add salt and pepper to taste, stirring occasionally.

Serve over rice as side dish with chicken, meat, ham, fried egg or with anything you wish.

– For more Latin America cuisine dishes, please check these out…

Did you know that beans are an excellent source of protein, very low in fat and exceptionally high in fiber? They are also a very good source of calcium, iron, folic acid and potassium.


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Chicken with Broccoli and Bell Peppers

This is a very simple and easy dish with chicken…and comes with lots of veggies, in this case broccoli and red bell peppers. You can always add more color by adding green peppers. It is delicious when served over rice.

I love this dish because it is all in one…the protein and the greens.


2 chicken breasts, sliced
2 to 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
½ tablespoon soy sauce
½ tablespoon corn starch
½ tablespoon olive oil

1 large red bell pepper
4 to 5 cups broccoli florets
1 small onion, sliced into small wedges
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

3 tablespoons soy sauce
¼ cup water
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon corn starch
Chili oil to taste


Marinate the sliced chicken with garlic, soy sauce, olive oil and corn starch (5 first ingredients).

In the meantime blanch the broccoli florets.

In a wok add the 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sauté the chicken until slightly golden. Remove and set aside. On the same wok, add one more tablespoon of olive oil and stir fry onion and bell pepper for a couple of minutes and add the broccoli.

Remove all the vegetables and place together with the chicken.

Add the ingredients for the sauce in a medium heat and mix continuously until the sauce turns slightly thick. Stir in the chicken and the vegetables, mix gently until all combined and cook for another minute or so.

Serve with rice.


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Bell Pepper Stuffed wtih Quinoa

I have been trying to cook more with quinoa, so I decided to substitute the grain in the stuffed bell peppers with quinoa. I usually use cracked wheat or rice. The way that I prepared this bell peppers are very easy and simple and sure makes a great one meal dish.


1/3 cup quinoa
1 lb lean ground beef
2 tomatoes, seed removed and chopped
½ large onion chopped
¼ cup chopped cilantro
1/3 teaspoon ground all spice
1 tablespoon olive oil
5~6 medium size green bell peppers
Salt and pepper to taste


Rinse the quinoa and let it drain well. Mix all the ingredients together, except the olive oil and stuff the bell peppers.

In a large skillet heat the olive oil and place the stuffed bell peppers with the stuffing facing the pan. Let the meat brown for a few minutes. Turn the bell peppers and add 1 cup of hot water.

Cover and let it cook for approximately 15 minutes.

Serve it hot.


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