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Easy, Simple Caribbean Dinner for Busy Moms

Easy, Simple Caribbean Dinner for Busy Moms

I’ve said it before but I’ll go ahead and say it again…I AM SO OVER COOKING!!!!  Like for real.  However…I know I have no choice for SEVERAL reasons.  I am on a mission to live better and healthier, first and foremost.  The hubby has even suggested going Vegetarian, then Vegan, or Plant Based after watching shows like “What the Health” and “Forks over Knives”.  The thought of this overwhelms me because I know it will require so much sacrifice and change…AND I still like a tasty piece of bacon, or a little protein or fish every now and then, oh! and butter!  I love butter!  So it’s just going to have to be a gradual process for me cause I’m not about to go crazy.  I eat smart, for the most part, so that’s a start.

Another reason I HAVE to keep cooking is because it gets to be too expensive to eat out all the time.   My sons will be leaving in just a few weeks for college so that will make it EXTREMELY easy to cook better and smarter.   With all that said, it’s been my mission to find easy, healthy, time-efficient, cost-efficient, and did I say easy meals to cook.  This means… using the slowcooker/crockpot more!  It’s really the ONLY way I’m going to get through this.  Like seriously.

So tonight I decided to go back to my childhood days of eating Jamaican and Caribbean food, with this simple recipe.  My family loves beans.  I make every type of bean but these Cuban black beans were a first for me.  I paired it with rice, chicken in the crock pot and I cheated and got plantains and patties from @simplywholesome  Now, I usually make my beans in my crock pot but today I had to cook them on the stove since I had the chicken in the crockpot.

Cuban Black Beans

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 (1/2 lb) package of Goya brand dry black beans
  • 3 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup chopped yellow onions (about 1 medium onion)
  • 1 large green bell pepper – finely chopped
  • 2 large cloves of garlic – minced
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 heaping tsp of salt (I used Himalayan Pink Salt)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp sugar (I used Organic Brown Sugar)
  • 1/4 tsp cumin

INSTRUCTIONS

  • It is suggested that you soak your beans the night before you are planning to make/eat them but I never do.  I always just do a quick soak and those directions can be found on the back of the package.  Soaking helps soften them and allows them to cook in less amount of time.
  • When you are ready to cook them, add 5 cups of water, chicken broth or vegetable broth (your preference) to the pot and half of a chopped green bell pepper. Save your other half for later in the recipe. Bring the beans and the green pepper to a boil and then reduce your heat to a simmer for 60 minutes stirring frequently. If you notice that your beans are absorbing a lot of water, add 2 cups of water and continue to simmer.
  • While your beans are cooking, go ahead and chop the other half of your green bell pepper, your onion, and 2 large cloves of garlic.
  • After your beans have been simmering for about an hour, you can go ahead and cook your onions, garlic, and green pepper in a skillet.  I like to use my cast iron one. Heat your skillet to a medium high heat and add 3 tablespoons of olive oil.  Once your skillet is hot, add in your remaining half of the chopped green pepper, and 3/4 cup of chopped yellow onion.  In the skillet cook the onion and green pepper until tender (about 10-15 minutes) then add in your chopped fresh garlic.  Make sure not to let this burn!
  • Once you’ve cooked the garlic for about 1 minute, take a ladle full of black beans from your pot and add this to the skillet with the onion mixture.  Try not to have too much juice in the ladle.  Go ahead and use a wooden spoon and start smashing the beans.  Once you have smashed your beans, add all of this from your skillet and 2 cups of water or liquid of choice, to the large pot of your simmering beans.
  • Cook for another hour and then add 3 more cups of water or liquid of choice to your beans and add in your salt, oregano, sugar, black pepper, cumin, and vinegar.  Cover your pot and simmer on low-medium heat for another 30 minutes stirring frequently.

Slower Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken Wings

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts OR 12-14 party wings
  • Himalayan Pink Salt, Pepper and 21 Seasoning from Trader Joes
  • ½ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • ½ cup honey (I used Organic Raw Honey)
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 scallions, sliced thin, divided (white parts for cooking, green for serving)

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Place the chicken in a bowl and add all the ingredients in a bowl.  Let marinate overnight or if you don’t have time, for 2 hours at a minimum.
  • Place chicken and this mixture in the slow cooker and make sure the mixture somewhat covers the chicken.
  • cook for 2-3 hours on low if you’re doing the breasts and 4-5 hours with bone-in chicken.

I served this with Plantains, Jamaican Chicken Patties and a salad.

bon appétit

in love + light,

angela rené
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