Cuban Bowl with Sautéed Kale

(courtesy of Tim Healion, Laughing Planet Café, in Reno. Serves 4)

2 cups cooked brown rice

2 cups black beans

3 ripe plantains, peeled and cut lengthwise down the middle

¼ cup sweet potatoes, cut like French fries

1 bunch kale, rinsed

4½ tablespoons safflower oil

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1⅓ tablespoons garlic, minced

¼ teaspoon ground coriander

½ teaspoon dried oregano

¼ cup onions, diced

Pico de gallo to garnish (recipe to follow)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Using a mesh strainer, run black beans under cold water and remove any stones. Transfer beans to shallow dish; add enough cold water to cover beans by about 2 inches. Let soak for 30 to 45 minutes. Pour 2 tablespoons safflower oil into stockpot, then add black beans and water, 1 tablespoon garlic, coriander, oregano, onions, and pinch of salt. Place on high heat and bring to boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cook for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Keep watchful eye on beans, as they dry out quickly. Continue adding water to prevent scorched beans.

When finished, beans should be soft in center and juices thick. Once beans are done, add 2 tablespoons safflower oil and apple cider vinegar. Stir and set aside.

Bake plantains and sweet potatoes in pan for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. While plantains and sweet potatoes are cooking, heat remaining safflower oil and olive oil in large frying pan on medium heat. Add remaining garlic and let cook for a few minutes, until fragrant. Add kale and salt to taste. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often until kale becomes tender.

In each of four deep bowls, layer ¼ cup of rice, evenly distribute black beans over rice, then add kale, followed by plantains and sweet potatoes. This should create a delicious-looking mountain of food. To finish, top with fresh pico de gallo.

To make pico de gallo: Combine 1 cup diced fresh roma tomatoes, ⅛ cup diced onion, ⅛ cup fresh chopped cilantro, 1 tablespoon lime juice, and pinch of salt. Stir and enjoy!

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