I grew up eating the typically Cuban meal of pork, black beans and rice on a regular basis. My mom learned from my grandmother (...I think) and passed down the tradition to me. However, it wasn't until a recent edition of Real Simple that I realized the black beans and rice didn't need to be relegated to a side dish...that it could take center stage.
This is good news!
Eating local requires that Adam and I reduce the amount of meat we eat primarily because it is more expensive. There aren't any local, cheap CAFOs in New England that I am aware of (thank goodness!). In general, I don't mind the expense because the meat is usually from grass-fed, free range sources that have a healthier balance of fats and tend to be leaner than their CAFO counterparts; but when trying to eat local on a budget, I am thrilled when I find a meatless meal that satisfies our entire family.
Trader Joe's supplied some of the meal components including the rice (imported), kalamata olives (definitely imported) and the black beans. The lettuce came from the Harvest Coop in Cambridge, the tomatoes and green peppers were from local farms. I guess this meal still has a way to go before being considered "local."Hey, I never said this would be easy...
Perna-Cuban Black Beans
1 Tbl olive oil
1 medium green pepper (diced)
1 small-medium onion (diced)
1-2 heads of fresh garlic (chopped)
1 can black beans
1/2 tsp cumin (...a personal addition to the family recipe)
Fresh cracked pepper to taste
- Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Add the olive oil, green pepper and onion. Saute vegetables until tender (5-7 minutes). Lower the heat if necessary.
- Add the garlic and saute 2-3 minutes. Be sure not to burn it!
- Add the can of black beans (undrained), cumin, and cracked pepper. Stir to combine all ingredients. Simmer over medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes. Taste and add more salt/pepper, if needed.