Cuban Black Beans and Rice Recipe {3 Benefits of Attending BlogHer Food Miami}

Cuban Black Beans and Rice is a simple, satisfying side dish packed with protein and bursting with Latin flavors like garlic, oregano and cumin.
Cuban Black Beans and Rice - The Lemon BowlIf you follow me on Instagram, you probably noticed I was in Miami recently attending BlogHer Food for the second year in a row. It was such an honor to spend a few days enjoying the warm weather, sampling authentic Cuban food and gazing at palm trees with hundreds of my best blogging buddies.

Friends in Miami - The Lemon BowlBlogHer Food remains one of the most rewarding and worthwhile trips I take every year. Believe me, I wouldn’t spend four days away from my baby using a breast pump if I didn’t think it was worth my time. Full Disclosure: I did not have a sponsor and paid for the entire conference and all travel expenses out of my own pocket.

Sheila and Liz Models - The Lemon BowlSo why do I love attending BlogHer Food? Three main reasons: the people, the food and the experiences gained. First thing’s first, let’s talk about the incredible people.

Miami Roommates - The Lemon BowlAren’t these gals gorgeous? Nikki and Sheila were my roommates during the trip and I am lucky enough to consider them real life friends as well. Sheila lives just 20 minutes from me here in Grand Rapids and Nikki grew up 30 minutes north so I get to see her every fall when she comes to visit family.

Elevator Dance PartyIf you know anything about me, you have probably gathered that I’m a people person. Big time. I thrive in group settings and prefer being surrounded by others than being alone. I am the exact opposite of a home body and have never lived alone in my life. Heck, I’ve never gone to the movies by myself! Good or bad, it’s who I am.

Liz and AggieNeedless to say, if I am given the opportunity to spend a few days with the people I’ve been chatting with virtually for months, I am going to jump at the chance. I firmly believe that you gain more in five minutes of face time than you can ever achieve texting, tweeting or emailing. The fact that my girl Aggie was going to be there was worth the price of admission alone.

My strongest blogging relationships have all been built in person.  There is just something incredibly intoxicating about interacting with like-minded foodies, business owners and marketing professionals.  Blogging is a crazy business and much of it is unchartered territory that we are all navigating for the first time.

Photo with Gals - The Lemon BowlIn addition to getting to spend time with blogging friends, BlogHer Food gives me the chance to see many of my longest clients who I rarely, if ever, get to chat with in person. It’s a nice reminder that we are all real people behind these computer screens working miles and miles apart, even if some of us (ahem) happen to be doing it in yoga pants.

At the end of the day, it all boils down to down to passion. Passion is intangible and when you spend time with equally passionate people you get an energy boost that can’t be bought. It is truly priceless and I am so fortunate to have had my tank re-fueled, so to speak.

Havana 1957 - The Lemon BowlThe second reason I love attending BlogHer Food is, of course, the food. My father taught me from an early age to experience travel destinations by way of eating what the locals eat. Since Cuban food is not something I can find here at home, I ate as much of it as I could while in Miami.

Black Beans and Rice - The Lemon BowlAs a result, I’ve already been inspired in my own kitchen here at home which is why I am sharing this Cuban Black Beans and Rice recipe with you today. In the coming weeks I will also be sharing an incredibly juicy, tender Cuban Pork Tenderloin that was inspired by a chat on a bus ride in Miami with my new friend Adriana.

Lincoln Road Miami - The Lemon BowlLastly, I loved attending to BlogHer Food for the experiences gained. Hands down, I’ll pick an experience like travel over a tangible, material item any day of the week. Traveling is in my genes. From Norway to Africa to Mexico and back, I live to travel. As my friend Sommer stated so perfectly: “Travel makes my heart burst with delight.”

Lincoln Road Sun and Palms - The Lemon BowlBefore blogging full time, I actually worked in the hotel industry for over 10 years. In fact, I got my degree in Hospitality Administration (hotel/restaurant management) while studying at Boston University. Traveling excites me like nothing else. It gets me fired up and excited as I learn about the local culture, the architecture, the people, the food, the history and more.

Lincoln Road Palms - The Lemon BowlAbove all, I am so grateful and humbled by all of YOU. My readers who make my recipes, leave me comments, send me emails and more – YOU are what makes my soul delight. And for that, I will always be grateful.

Your fork is waiting.

4.5 from 2 reviews
Cuban Black Beans and Rice
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Cuban Black Beans and Rice is a simple, satisfying side dish bursting with Latin flavors like garlic, oregano and cumin.
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: Latin American
Serves: 10
  • 1 pound black beans - dried (or 4 (four) 15-ounce cans rinsed and drained)
  • 3 whole garlic cloves
  • 4 bay leaves - divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion - diced
  • 1 red pepper - seeded and diced
  • 2 garlic cloves - minced
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 cups long grain white rice - rinsed
  • 4 cups chicken broth - low sodium
  • minced cilantro and lime wedges - to serve
  1. Soak beans overnight to soften and remove any small hard stones. The next day, strain and rinse soaked beans with fresh water.
  2. To cook beans, place in a large pot and add enough water to cover the beans by two inches. Carefully smash whole garlic cloves with the back of a knife and add to the pot of beans alone with 2 of the bay leaves.
  3. Bring pot to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer until tender (90 minutes or up to two hours.) Set aside once cooked.
  4. Next, in a large Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium high heat and sauté onions, peppers and garlic. Add spices (salt through cayenne) and continue stirring until vegetables have softened, 4-6 minutes.
  5. Stir in rinsed (uncooked) rice and sauté for 2 minutes so that the rice starts to toast and lightly brown.
  6. Pour in chicken broth and add reserved, cooked black beans along with bay leaves. Stir once then bring to a boil. Stir a second time then reduce heat to low and place tightly fitting lid on the pot. Cook until liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes.
  7. Use a fork to loosen the rice and bean mixture then serve with fresh cilantro and lime wedges.
Canned black beans will work if you're short on time but I highly suggest dried black beans for added texture, flavor and less additives.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cup Calories: 220 Fat: 1.6 g Saturated fat: .2 g Unsaturated fat: 1.4 g Trans fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 51.3 g Sugar: 2 g Sodium: 724 mg Fiber: 13.1 g Protein: 10.7 g Cholesterol: 0 mg



  1. says

    Such a great roundup, with three great reasons. I definitely agree about 5 minutes of face-time. And it looks like you had a lot of that with some extra-stellar bloggers! (Love that elevator shot!!) :)

    And black beans and rice are my happy place.

  2. says

    I’m so glad you had the chance to go again (sad I didn’t get to hangout with you). I agree I travel by experiencing the local food. Glad you got to indulge in Cuban food. Your recipe for Cuban black beans and rice sounds and looks divine!

  3. says

    Love this and love you! SO good to see you again. I couldn’t agree more that 5 minutes of face time is worth hours of virtual chats!

  4. says

    Boy am I bummed I missed out on that elevator scene!! Such a treat to spend time with you my friend, it never feels like it’s enough. xo
    Your beans and rice look perfect!

  5. Suzann says

    I have a very dear Cuban friend–her family left Cuba when Castro came to power.
    She gave me a very similar recipe except they serve with a thin grilled steak-
    skirt steak works but make sure seasoned very well.

  6. Susan says

    I will have to try this recipe! I haven’t had too much exposure to Cuban food, but what I had I remember liking.

    I hear you about travel. I do love to have my souvenirs from the places we go to, but getting to see different cultures and out of the way places enriches my life in ways that I could never have imagined before I started seriously traveling. I’m glad you had such a good time at the conference.

  7. says

    Awe, loved your overview of BlogHer, it was so amazing to meet you in person at the conference. You’re everything and more I expected, you’re kind, beautiful and so supportive of others, a true inspiration Liz :) The recipe looks super good too, I mean, black beans and rice, YUM!

  8. says

    I love all of your photos! I totally agree, I loved BlogHerFood because I was able to hang out with some amazing people! It was a total blast I can’t wait to go back next year! Ps. Love the recipe too!


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