Cuban Black Beans with Super Spices

january-066Traditional Cuban Black Beans are made with a piece of salt pork or ham hocks.  But, with the correct seasoning and a rich vegetable stock this vegetarian version  hits the spot.  It’s great with yellow rice flavored with turmeric. These 2  recipes have 5 of the 7 super spices: turmeric, cayenne pepper, paprika and cumin. Turmeric is a bright yellow spice that is an antioxidant and cancer fighter, as well as promoting brain health by protecting against cognitive decline. Cayenne and paprika enhance metabolism, increases satiety and stimulates fat burning. Cumin  also has cancer fighting properties, aids in digestive disorders and has antiseptic value in fighting the common cold. Garlic has cancer protective benefits.

Cuban Black Beans with Yellow Rice – gluten and dairy free

Rinse l lb dry black beans and cook in 4 cups vegetable stock . Add
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed and  l medium yellow onion, chopped.
Add 2 tsp. paprika,  3 tsp. ground cumin, 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper, 2 bay leaves and sea salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer until beans are tender, about 1 1/2 hours, adding more stock if necessary – beans should be thick but there should be enough stock for a nice gravy.
Yellow Rice
In a heavy pot, heat 1 Tbl. olive oil. Add 1/2 cup diced shallots. When they are softening, add 2 tsp. turmeric and 2 cups water or stock. Bring to a boil and add 1 cup white basmati rice. Cover with lid, lower heat and simmer until rice is cooked, about 25 minutes. Add sea salt & pepper to taste. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro (coriander) .
Optional: serve with shredded monterey jack cheese and/or a dollop of sour cream.