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Ryan’s Blog Posts

CHALLENGE
Challenge: Choose an enticing ingredient
and build a meal around it

nspired by an avocado salad, I dove into my first endeavor into Cuban food. Family friends from Florida sent beautiful avocados from a tree in their yard. They attached a note suggesting we try making a Cuban avocado salad. I threw together a basic version of this recipe based on the ingredients they mentioned are common in Cuban food and was instantly in love. I had to find a meal that would compliment this amazing avocado dish. My initial version was this very meal served with a mojo style pork.

Over the last few years my family and I have moved to a largely plant-based diet eliminating many of the meat aspects from our meals. This meal is the evolution. It keeps that amazing salad, pairing it with a mouth-watering cumin black bean and coconut rice. Traditionally Cuban meals keep each of the elements separate but I prefer to mix each of the components together allowing them to blend and play off each other.

Ingredients:

32 oz black beans, drained and rinsed
1 sweet onion; 1/2 sliced, 1/2 small diced
3 minced garlic cloves
1 c short grain rice, rinsed
1 bunch cilantro, minced
3 limes
4 avocados
5 tsp. cumin, divided
Salt and Pepper
Vegetable Stock
2 c. Light coconut milk
Avocado Oil

Directions:

Place the rice and the coconut milk into a small pot. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Mix in the cilantro and the juice from one lime.

Sauté the diced onion in avocado oil for 5 minutes on medium, medium high. Add the garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add a dash of salt and pepper mixing well. Add the black beans and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the stock and turn down the heat to medium low. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Mash slightly mixing well adding 3 tsp cumin and salt and pepper to taste.

Halve the avocados, remove the seeds and peel leaving each half in tact as much as possible. Slice the halves into thin slices and place in a bowl. Add the onion and juice from two limes. Toss well. Add 2 tsp of cumin and salt and pepper to taste.