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What's for dinner?

As someone who is always looking for something new (and easy) to make for dinner, I thought I’d post a meal I love—in fact, I think we’ll be having it for dinner tonight. It’s not authentic Cuban food by any means, but I think it’s quite tasty. Enjoy!

Black Beans and Rice
Serves 4

½ c chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 T olive oil
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 14 ½ oz can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
1/8 to ¼ t ground red pepper
1 t cumin
1 t oregano
Cooked rice
(Note: everything here is an approximation, feel free to add more or less of any ingredient)

In a medium saucepan, cook the ½ c onion and garlic in hot oil until tender. Stir in beans, undrained tomatoes and spices. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes.

Serve beans over rice with sour cream, cheese, cilantro, green onions—whatever you like. Salt and pepper to taste.

Sautéed Ripe Plantains
Serves 4

I’ve never typed out the plantain recipe, so let me know if it doesn’t make sense.

2 ripe plantains (they should be almost black—the blacker they are, the sweeter they taste once they are cooked)
3 to 4 T (or any oil, but I love butter!)

Peel plantains by cutting off the ends and slicing through the skin from top to bottom. The skin will then peel away like a banana. Cut the plantains into coins about ¼ inch thick.
Melt the butter over medium to medium low heat. Add the plantains and brown on both sides. This should take approximately 10 minutes. They should be golden brown when they’re finished.

Some people like to add salt or lime juice to theirs. I love sweet, so I eat mine as is.


EmilyCC works for a national non-profit and lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her spouse and three children. She is a former editor of Exponent II and a founding blogger at The Exponent.

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  1. Dora says:

    Sounds really tasty. I love easy Mexican food, and fried plantains are just scrumptious. Thanks for sharing!

    When I’m really pressed for time, I make 5-Can Soup. I know it sounds really unappetizing, but bear with me. Mix two cans broth, one can stewed tomatoes (even better if there are Mexican spices/peppers mixed in), one can corn, and one can black beans in a pot. Add pepper, chili powder, garlic and onion to taste. Bring to a boil. If you’ve got them handy, you can add chicken, and garnish with tortilla chips, avocado, salsa, or a dollop of sour cream. Buy canned stuff whenever it’s on sale, keep them with your food storage, and you’ve got a hot meal ready to go in 8 minutes

  2. jana says:

    Thanks for the recipes! I have food on the brain today after finding a food-related post on “A Motley Vision” today, too. 🙂 Link:http://motleyvision.blogspot.com/2006/01/folk-holding-to-traditions-of-our.html

  3. Kaimi says:

    Emily writes:

    “As someone who is always looking for something new (and easy) to make for dinner . . .”

    We just discussed this very topic on blog, and a number of fun suggestions came up. You may want to check out the thread, at http://www.timesandseasons.org/?p=2903 . Meanwhile, I’ll add a comment there pointing out this recipe as well.

  4. EmilyCC says:

    Jana and Kaimi, thanks for the links! Looks like there are some very handy recipes to have. Can’t wait to delve into them a little more.

    Dora, your soup is a perfect way to use food storage! When I was in Enrichment, people always wanted lessons on how to use food storage, and I never had any good recipes (and then, you look it up on the internet and you find things like Pinto Bean Fudges…scary!). This sounds much tastier.