Vegetable Black “Beans” Recipe


Latin American Paleo Cooking Over 80 Traditional Recipes Made Grain and Gluten FreeThis is a lower-carb vegetable-based bean replacement that you can enjoy as a part of the dish Pabellón Criollo or as a side with another dish of your choosing. You may also use it as a filling for Pupusas con Chicharrón o “Queso”. It is seasoned in the style of Venezuelan black beans, called caraotas negras. Using eggplant yields a firmer texture than zucchini, but both taste great. See here for an alternative recipe that is starchy and has a more robust texture.

  • Yield: 4 Servings


  • 8 oz (225 g) bacon
  • 1½ lb (680 g) zucchini, sliced, or eggplant, cubed
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tbsp (7 g) cumin
  • 1½ tsp (3 g) dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) molasses
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) balsamic vinegar or freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tbsp (16 g) tapioca starch
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) water or Chicken Broth
  • Fine Himalayan salt, to taste
How to Make It
  1. In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until it is crispy, 8 to 12 minutes depending on the thickness. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate, leaving the bacon fat in the skillet.
  2. Cook the zucchini or eggplant in the rendered bacon fat. You may need to add additional fat if using eggplant, because it really soaks it up. Cook until tender, 8 to 10 minutes for zucchini and 10 to 15 minutes for eggplant.
  3. Add the onion, pepper, cumin, oregano, molasses and vinegar to the pan and cook for about 5 more minutes. In a small bowl, create a slurry of the tapioca starch and water (or broth), pour it into the pan and cook for 2 minutes more.
  4. Transfer the contents of the pan and the crispy bacon to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Season with salt to taste.

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