Cheap Eats: Plantains with Black Beans and Collard Greens

Here at The Billfold, we love cheap and easy recipes, and a few of you have been emailing me your favorites (please continue to do so!). Here’s a cheap and easy recipe for plantains by reader Desiree Fields.

I bet you can get all these ingredients at your local not-Whole Foods market for $7 (not including oil, spices, or vinegar).

• 4 ripe yellow plantains (look like overripe/rotten bananas, i.e. more black then yellow)
• Sour cream
• One big can of black beans
• One big bunch of collard greens, washed and sliced into ribbons
• Plenty of garlic, chopped
• 1 small diced onion
• A splash of beer (pilsner, lager, Corona)

Ingredients from your pantry: olive oil or canola oil, salt and pepper, oregano, red pepper flakes, paprika, cumin and coriander, apple cider vinegar 


Saute onions and garlic in a deep saucepan, add beans (I leave all the liquid in the can), and keep cooking on medium low, uncovered, stirring occasionally. Add cumin, coriander, oregano, or whatever herbs you like. Throw in a splash of beer.

Slice plantains on the diagonal, not too thick. In a large, heavy skillet (I use a 12″ cast iron), heat a few tablespoons oil, add about half the plantains. Cook over medium heat until browned on one side, flip to other side. You may need to move the plantain pieces around depending on how (un)evenly heat is distributed in your pan. Make sure they don’t stick! Adjust heat as needed (I often need to turn down a bit). After they are cooked, remove from pan onto a plate covered with a paper towel, and add the next batch of slices (helps to have a helper for this part), and add more oil as needed, cook as the first batch.

When the plantains are done and the beans have cooked down so they’re not too liquid-y, put a little more oil and some diced onions and garlic into the big skillet, saute for 30 seconds, and add sliced greens along with salt, paprika, and cumin. Saute until cooked down but still green. Add black pepper and/or red pepper flakes. Finish with a teaspoon or so of apple cider vinegar.

Serve plantains with a dollop of sour cream, along with black beans and collard greens. Add hot sauce as you like! Authentic and delicious, but also super affordable!


Photo: luigig/Flickr



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