Cuban Black Bean and Vegetable Risotto (plant-based, gluten-free)

Cuban Black Beans and Rice is my new favorite way to eat rice! You cook the rice right in the same pot as a fragrant mix of onions, olive oil, spices, beans, broth, and potatoes. It’s kind of like a Cuban-style risotto, but much easier to make than traditional risotto. We had it with a fresh veggie stirfry including farm-fresh chard, collards, and brussel sprout greens.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($15 total for 2 full family dinners)

2 tbsp olive oil – $0.20
1 onion, chopped – $0.50
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp oregano – $0.28
1 tsp cumin – $0.28
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups short-grain brown rice – $0.71
1 large yukon gold potato, diced – $0.45
2 cups black beans, drained and rinsed – $1.74
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar – $0.27
3 1/2 cups water or vegetable broth – $1.74
1-2 zucchini, chopped – $2.99
Chard, collards, kale, or other greens, chopped – free from the farm

Directions for Cuban Black Beans with Rice

1. In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat, then add the onions, cumin, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions turn soft and translucent and are just starting to brown. Then add the dry rice and mix well to coat.

2. As soon as the rice is mixed in, stir in the chopped potatoes, black beans and vinegar, then pour over the broth. Cover the pan, turn the heat down to medium until the broth starts to bubble, then turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for about 45 minutes until the rice is cooked. Then stir, check if the rice is done, and add a bit more broth if it’s still crunchy.

3. When the rice is done, add the zucchini, and let that cook down for a few minutes. Lastly, add the chopped greens and turn the heat off. These will cook in the remaining heat of the other vegetables.

Serve your Cuban risotto hot and fresh in your favorite bowl. Your body will thank you for the nourishing meal!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per person: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 18 (maximum score!)

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

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