Cuban Black Beans & Rice

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Cuban Black Beans & Rice

Ingredients:
2 T. olive oil
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 T. tomato paste
1 T. minced fresh oregano (or 1 t. dried)
1 1/2 t. ground cumin
1 1/2 c. long-grain white rice, well-rinsed and drained
2 (15 oz.) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 1/2 c. water
1 1/2 t. salt
1 bay leaf
2 T. red wine vinegar
*optional garnishes – such as sliced scallion, lime wedges and/or chopped mango

Directions:
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees f. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat until the oil is shimmering. Add the peppers and onions and cook, stirring often until the veggies have softened and are beginning to brown, about 10-15 minutes. Add garlic, tomato paste, oregano and cumin, stir until the tomato paste is dispersed into the sauteed veggies and is very fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the rice, stir to coat.
2. Stir in the beans, water, bay leaf, salt and vinegar. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Cover the pan and place in the oven. Bake until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, fluff the rice with a fork. Let stand, uncovered for about 5 minutes before serving. Serve with desired garnishes.

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