Hearty Meals for Heavy Times

One of the first items I noticed disappearing from grocery store shelves when this crisis began was beans. Canned beans, dried beans, they were all gone. Seems like everybody got the same memo and decided to buy beans in bulk. That means many of you have tons of beans sitting in your pantry and you’re probably wondering what to do with all of them. Beans … Continue reading Hearty Meals for Heavy Times

Quick Frijoles Negros / Cuban Black Beans

More often than not, I don’t have the time or the foresight to soak dried beans overnight and cook them for 6-8 hours the next day like my grandmother used to. This recipe tastes like you’ve been slaving away all day in the kitchen, but is quick and easy enough to cook on a work night. When I moved out on my own, the first recipe I … Continue reading Quick Frijoles Negros / Cuban Black Beans

Cuban Congri – Rice and Black Beans

This dish goes by a few different names, depending on which part of Cuba your family came from, but in my household we always called it congri. Congri is one of the few Cuban specialties that is traditionally vegan, although some restaurants add pork fat, so always ask and check. This dish, where you cook the beans and the rice together, results in a greyish rice … Continue reading Cuban Congri – Rice and Black Beans

Arroz con Fauxllo (Vegan chicken and yellow rice)

Now that I’ve shown you how to master vegetarian paella, I believe it’s time to introduce you to it’s second cousin, arroz con pollo, or in this case arroz con fauxllo, since I’m going to use a chicken substitute. Whereas paella was usually saved for special occasions, arroz con pollo was a regular staple in my grandparent’s culinary arsenal. They were masters at preparing this … Continue reading Arroz con Fauxllo (Vegan chicken and yellow rice)

Smoky Split Pea Stew (Cuban Chícharos)

My grandfather was one of eleven brothers and sisters, and my grandmother had six brothers. It was common place for their houses to be filled regularly with aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and every other family member imaginable. This made dinner time quite challenging. Family meals were often scrounged together from limited resources,  and they felt fortunate on the instances when meat was included with … Continue reading Smoky Split Pea Stew (Cuban Chícharos)

Cuban Churros & Hot Chocolate w Coconut whipped cream

Having grown up in Miami, FL there are certain cultural norms you don’t realize are the exception and not the rule until you live in or visit other places. One such Miami normalcy you will find, are street vendors standing at most major intersections trying to sell you something: flowers, oranges, peanuts and often even churros. For those that do not know churros are the closest thing Cubans … Continue reading Cuban Churros & Hot Chocolate w Coconut whipped cream

Vegetable Paella

Paella for those of you that do not know is a centuries old recipe that originated in Spain which typically includes many meats (often seafood), rice, vegetables and seasonings cooked in a large cast iron skillet over an open flame. It’s a one pot meal, similar to Jumbalaya and arroz con pollo. Paella is a traditional Cuban favorite served on special occasions and family get-togethers. In fact … Continue reading Vegetable Paella

Easy Frijoles Negros (Cuban Black Beans)

When I think of black beans I think of my abuelita, slaving over a cazuela all day, stirring and sweating making sure that it was just right. My grandfather would come into the kitchen periodically stick a spoon into the broth and say “a little more salt,” in Spanish of course; then they’d give each other a besito and she’d add the salt and he’d … Continue reading Easy Frijoles Negros (Cuban Black Beans)

Pot Roast (Kinda Carne con Papa)

Before I became vegetarian, I remember saying I could never be a vegetarian because I couldn’t imagine giving up Carne Con Papa. So deep was my love of this classic Cuban comfort food. Carne Con Papa is akin to American Pot Roast with a few key differences: white wine vs. red, and cumin and oregano vs. rosemary and thyme . Cubans like Americans are very keen on … Continue reading Pot Roast (Kinda Carne con Papa)

Cuban Picadillo

My grandparents emigrated from Cuba in the fall of 1967 and settled in Queens, New York . In no time at all they became loyal fans of their new hometown’s baseball team. The only thing most Cubans love more than their family is baseball, and the only thing my grandparents loved more than that was having something to passionately argue about. It was no surprise to us kids that my … Continue reading Cuban Picadillo