I-Miss-Miami Cuban Chop Chop: Black Beans, Rice and Maduros

As a vegetarian, if there’s one thing I miss about Miami, it’s Cuban chop chop.: A rice bowl with black beans, veggies, salad and different types of toppings. Luckily, it’s pretty simple to make. For this meal, I made  black beans, maduros (fried sweet plantains), and a spicy roasted red pepper-jalapeno sauce.   Black beans are one of the healthiest of the bean group as it is high in fiber in addition to protein. This is a filling and healthy recipe and makes great leftovers. (Tip: I often use the beans in tacos or quesadillas the next day.)  Here’s the recipe!

Black Beans


You will need:

  • One cup dried black beans
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 /2 yellow pepper and 1/2 red pepper chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 1 serrano pepper, chopped (optional)
  • Cumin seeds
  • Cilantro

To prepare: 

  1. Cook 1 cup of  black beans in a pressure cooker with salt and water. Let it reach 2 whistles, then reduce to med-low and cook for another 15 minutes. It should be close to completely cooked though. Alternatively, you could boil until it is cooked well.
  2. Add 2 tbsp of vegetable oil to a deep saucepan and saute cumin seeds until they sputter.
  3. Add onions and garlic and saute until transluscent.
  4. Add peppers, and serrano chili  and cook for a few minutes more.
  5. Add tomatoes  and black beans. Do not drain the black beans, the water has a lot of flavor.
  6. Simmer on medium for 10 minutes. The longer you cook the beans, the tastier it will get.
  7. Garnish with cilantro and serve with brown rice.


  1. Cut 2 sweet plantains in half length-wise, cut in angled small pieces.
  2. In a separate pan, heat some vegetable oil. You can add a tablespoon or so of butter for flavor.
  3. Fry the plantains until golden-brown.


Roasted Red Pepper-Jalapeno Sauce

You will need: 

  • 1 Roasted Red Pepper, seeded
  • 1 jalapeno (You can leave the seeds in for extra heat. I removed half of the seeds)
  • 4 whole cloves of garlic

To prepare:

1. Bake in oven on high heat around 425  until the top blackens a bit and the meat of the veggies are soft

2. In a magic bullet or blender, blend together ingredients with a little bit of salt, adding water if necessary until it forms a thick paste.

3. Mix with beans for added spice and flavor.



Serve!  This recipe serves 4


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