“Black Beans are easy to fix, high in protein and fiber, valued as a cholesterol buster, and useful in hundreds of dishes.”

Laurie Colwin –  More Home Cooking 

Black beans, also known as turtle beans, are the ingredient of choice for today’s Meatless Monday recipe. Blended with vegetables and spices, they offer natural, healthy plant-based meal.Dried Kombu

Secret Ingredient:

  • Recently, I read in the Wall Street Journal about adding dried kombu, an umami-rich kelp. It rounds out the flavors!

With so many ‘plant-based’ choices, it is easy to be overwhelmed in the grocery store. For clarity on the myths and facts of meat consumption, Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter is reliable. 

Black beans are easy to fix!

Key West Black Beans

Delicious and a great dish for Meatless Monday!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours


  • 1 pound dried black beans
  • 2 T. vegetable oil
  • 2 large yellow onions, peeled and diced
  • 2 bell peppers, seeded and diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 3 (4-by-4) square dried kombu, cut into 1/2" pieces
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 t. dried cumin
  • 1/2 t. dried thyme
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • 1 T. vinegar
  • 1 T. sugar

Cooked white rice

Cuban bread


  1. Spread beans out on a cookie sheet and remove any foreign particles. Look out for small black stones that resemble the beans. Rinse the beans in cold water two or three times, stirring by hand. Do not soak, as the new varieties of beans do not need it.

  2. In a large pot, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the onions and bell peppers until wilted but not brown. Add the garlic, cook for 30 to 45 seconds. Add the beans, 2 tablespoons olive oil, kombu, bay leaves, cumin, and thyme. Cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until beans cook through, about 3 hours. Beans should be soft and just starting to fall apart.

  3. Remove from heat, stir in 2 tablespoons olive oil.

    Season generously with salt.

    Add vinegar and sugar just before serving.

  4. Serve on rice.