Caribbean Black Beans- Meatless Dinner or a great side dish

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Last night, we went meatless.  Well, Brad and I did- the girls had the one leftover chicken and the one leftover chopped steak patty along with their beans.

At Gentile’s last week I found a papaya.  They aren’t always easy to find so I bought one and thought that I could make the Carribbean Black Beans recipe that I’ve made before (sans papaya!). 

I recommend making this as a side dish to one of the grilled chicken dishes I’ve recently posted.  If you use canned black beans, this takes no time at all to make.  But if you are going the fresh and frugal route, then you will need to add about an hour of prep time to bring your 1 1/2 cups dried black beans to a boil for 2 minutes and then reduce, cover, and simmer for about 45 minutes until tender.  Then drain.  (See why I go with the cans!  I use Target or Great Value Brand Black Beans)

To prepare the dish:

Start your rice- about 4 to 5 cups (we had brown rice)

Cook the following on medium heat in a skillet with about 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil:

  • 1 medium papaya, peeled, seeded and diced.
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4-1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 Tablesppons chopped fresh cilantro or 2 teaspoons dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne or just a pinch if you don’t care for too much spice
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped.

That will cook for about 5 minutes- stir it occasionally, until the bell pepper is crisp-tender.

While that is cooking drain and rinse your two cans of black beans.  Then add them to the skillet once the bell peppers are ready.  Cook for about 5 more minutes and serve with rice.

I was fine eating this as my meal.  Brad was not.  He had a peanut butter sandwich about 9:00!  So I recommend it as a side-dish 🙂

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