Anyone else ready for summer? Don’t get me wrong, I love a good winter ski, snowmobile ride, or outdoor hot tub party, but I am missing the beach!

I grew up in a little town in Ontario where beaches are everywhere. In fact, my Grandparents (where I spent most of my time) live on a beach, my cottage is on a beach, and my high school was in 5 minutes walking distance to a beach. Geeze…just writing that makes me homesick!

Luckily, my vacation in Costa Rica brought some darn great ocean views. Tropical wise, I’ve only ever been to Cuba (two times) and Mexico, but Costa Rica has by far the best beaches.

To make me feel sexy like a Costa Rican tropical again, I threw together this awesome Costa Rican meal! Saucy black beans, brown rice, and some scream worthy butter honey plantains. You need to make this. Like now.

To begin, get your brown rice cooking and get out your ingredients: black beans, onion, lime, tomato paste, oregano, cumin, veggie broth, chili and garlic (I guess it’s missing in this photo!)

After about 10 minutes, start cooking your black beans by first heating a medium skillet over medium heat and adding canola oil. Once shimmering, cook your onion until translucent.

Stir in the garlic, tomato paste, and bay leaf until the garlic is fragrant and the tomato paste has cooked off a bit, about 30-60 seconds.

Add the beans to the pan and using a wooden spatula, smash about half of the beans.

Stir in the veggie broth, chili powder, cumin, and oregano. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until flavours meld and most of the broth has been absorbed, about 10 minutes.

Stir in lime juice and season to taste with salt and pepper as needed.

The plantains only take about 10 minutes so these can be made right after you start your beans. First, melt butter and add plantains in a single layer.

Cook plantains on each side, for about 3 minutes, or until they reach a caramelized brown color. Drizzle with honey just before they are ready. Transfer to a plate covered with paper towel and allow to drain for a minute.

Now you can get to plating. Add a scoop of brown rice on your plate. Add half the black beans. Add half of the plantains and you’re done! If you want to be fancy (or awesome) you could add some chopped scallions or cilantro. My boy loooooves cilantro so of course he threw a giant handful on top and mixed it all around.

Costa Rican Black Beans
Recipe adapted from Smells Like Home
Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:
4 tsp canola oil
1/2 cup diced onion
2 fat cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 bay leaf
2 cans (15 1/2 oz) of black beans, ( 1 can drained and rinsed, 1 whole can)
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp oregano
Juice of 1 lime
Chopped cilantro (optional, for garnish)

Directions:
Heat a medium skillet over medium heat, and add the canola oil. Once shimmering, cook the onion until translucent. Stir in the garlic, tomato paste, and bay leaf until the garlic is fragrant and the tomato paste has cooked off a bit, about 30-60 seconds.

Add the beans to the pan. One can should be drained and rinsed and the other should be put in juice and all. Using a wooden spatula or potato masher, smash the beans until about half are mashed up. Stir in the veggie broth, chili powder, cumin, and oregano. Your beans should be “soupy” and that is a GOOD thing! Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until flavours meld and most of the broth has been absorbed, about 10 minutes. Stir in lime juice and season to taste with salt and pepper as needed.

If desired, sprinkle cilantro.

Butter Honey Plantains
A Warm Vanilla Sugar Recipe

Ingredients:
1 ripe (almost black) plantain, peeled and sliced in 1 inch slices
2 tablespoons butter
Drizzle of honey

Directions:
In a non-stick skillet over medium heat, melt butter.

Add plantains, in a single layer. Cook plantains on each side, for about 3 minutes, or until they reach a caramelized brown color. Drizzle with honey just before they are ready.

Transfer to a plate covered with paper towel and allow to drain for a minute.

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27 Responses to Costa Rican Black Beans and Butter Honey Plantains

  1. This looks insanely delicious, and so simple! I order fried plantains whenever a restaurant menu has them, but I’ve never cooked with them myself!

  2. kaceytorres says:

    The Mr. and I had the most delicious plantains in Belize this summer…I’ve wanted to make some ever since! I’ll have to give this recipe a try!

  3. I have never made plantains and have long wanted to. Now I have a great recipe. What a fun trip you had! Enjoy your Sunday!!! :-)

  4. beti says:

    I’m ready for summer! just to think about having these food makes me really excited, the platains sound great

  5. Deborah says:

    I could use some sunshine and tropical right now. This sounds wonderful, and I love how easy it is!

  6. those plantains look awesome!

    and we’re “neighbors” with our submissions on FG :) Our squares are right next to each other.

  7. IamSimplyTia says:

    I don’t know which part I’d love best – those are some of my favorite food. I loveeee black beans and I love plantains. Bookmarking this to try! Yum.

  8. I’ve never made plantains before because they’re kind of intimidating but these look amazing. And me and the kiddos love black beans so I can’t wait to try this yummy meal!

  9. I am totally drooling over those fried plantains! I’ve tried to make them before, but I don’t think I used enough oil. I wish I could eat this dish for lunch!

  10. Carrie says:

    What an awesome meal. Those plantains look so good!

    I too am missing the warm weather and warm weather foods!

  11. Kim says:

    Wow, those plantains looks amazing! I never thought of adding Honey to them! Thanks for sharing!

  12. This sounds delicious! I haven’t eaten plantains in a long time — I should try to use them more often.

  13. Oooh this looks soo good! The last time I had plantains was a long time ago, precisely when I was 12 and went to see my relatives in Venezuela. I have not had them for so long! How I wish I could take a plane and go feel tropical, too! :) Can’t wait to try this recipe!

  14. Eliana says:

    This is my idea of comfort food. Could not look more delicious girlfriend. And how I wish I was on that beach right now. Looks glorious.

  15. Tracey says:

    Me, me!! Bring on summer :) I’m definitely looking into Costa Rica for our next vacation, I’ve heard such great things about it. And I agree with Eliana, that is pure comfort on a plate!

  16. Joanne says:

    Plantains are totally one of the loves of my life! I need some tropics too…and this dish sounds like the ideal way to incorporate them in my life!

  17. Candy says:

    The black beans and plantains are two of my favorites from the my menu at our local Cuban restaurant. I’ve been itching to go to Costa Rica and after seeing your photos know it’s a must-see destination!

  18. Okay, I’m ready to jump on a plane to Costa Rica now :) Yummy!

  19. Oh yum…comfort food! Gorgeous pictures of Costa Rica :)

  20. This post is so perfect…the beach talk, the great looking beans, and the plantains! I made coconut oil plantains when I was in Aruba in December and have been thinking about them ever since. Yours look so good!

  21. Erin says:

    So want to go to Costa Rica – it has been on our short list for awhile. This looks like a great meal to remember your trip, and to bring on summer!

  22. This sounds so yummy, I must try it!

  23. JenMarie says:

    Those black beans are KILLING me! I want some NOW!!!

    OH, man. I’m printing this and shopping for it in the next couple of days! Yum. Thanks!

  24. [...] buter or some raw nuts. For lunch and dinner I like eating as many different beans as possible see here, here and here. This recipe is also chalk full of protein! Protein can be found in grains like [...]

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