A few weeks ago, I held my annual Winter Retreat at Blue Mountain Retreat Center. The food is always amazing and each time I teach there, I come away with new inspiration for my own kitchen creations.
One of the dishes Beth (retreat owner, operator, massage therapist, and retreat chef extraordinaire) made for us was a vegan Cuban Black Bean Soup. It was simple, delicious, grounding, and warming. Perfect for winter. She also made roasted butternut squash and I decided to pair the 2. The result was DELICIOUS so I’ve been on a mission to recreate it ever since.
There’s been a fair amount of trial and error in creating the delicate balance between spicy and savory black beans. These certainly aren’t traditional Cuban-style black beans, but I love the result. The butternut squash adds a little sweetness and the red rice has a mild, nutty flavor that takes this up a notch from a more traditional white rice pairing. Plus, red rice cooks faster than white rice. Never tried it? This is the brand I usually use, if I can’t get it in bulk.
I also love to add a little sauteed kale to this meal to round it out. Never miss an opportunity for more green on my plate.
Let me know what you think about my non-traditional take on rice and beans!
Savory Black Beans with Butternut Squash and Red Rice
1 Tbs olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp cumin
3 cups cooked black beans (or 2 cans)
2 cups butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
salt/pepper to taste
1 cup red rice cooked in 2 cups of water
3 cups kale, torn into small pieces (optional)
Cook your rice. Should take about 25 minutes, at most. When it’s done, set aside to cool.
While the rice is cooking, steam the butternut squash until it’s fork tender, but still firm. Set aside to cool when done and leave top off so it can no longer cook.
Heat the oil in a large pot.
Add the onions and cook for a few minutes until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for a another minute, before garlic begins to brown. Add in the spices, stirring well, for about 30 seconds to a minute. Your kitchen should smell amazing by now 🙂
Add in the black beans, combining the spices and beans thoroughly. Add in the butternut squash after 2 or 3 minutes, turn the heat down to low, cover and cook for a few minutes.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add if you want to have some green, saute the kale in some coconut oil with a little salt while the black beans are cooling.
Divide the rice and beans into bowls and eat this mother up!