Main Courses · Recipes

Southwestern Beans & Greens

Considering how hard it can be to find quality produce on my island more times than not, I was excited when I first spotted beautiful emerald-green kale at the local market. Not only was it a new addition to the somewhat limited selection they typically offer, but it was still fresh & in good shape, unlike many of the other items that have gone off by the time they reach us. I scooped up three bunches without a plan as to what I’d do with them. If I’ve learned anything living on an island, it’s that you buy something as soon as you see it, multiples if possible, because you can’t be sure they’ll ever have it again. This also presents challenges when recipe developing for this blog as you can imagine. If something doesn’t work out the first time, I may not have a second chance to try it again because I may not be able to find the same ingredients again.

Kale was always one of my staples when we lived in the states. My go to uses are usually in a salad, smoothie, or made into chips if I’m feeling snacky. But this time I wanted to try something a little heartier that also made use of some other veggies I had on hand. I love Italian style beans and greens, so I thought a spicy Mexican version would be delish…and was it ever! Although I typically like to rinse canned beans to get rid of some of the excess salt, it helps to keep the liquid in this recipe as it provides a nice, thick sauce. Topped with fixings like chopped tomato, avocado, and cilantro, it’s still vegan. If you choose to add sour cream and some shredded cheddar, it’s still vegetarian (you could use vegan versions too! I love Daiya vegan cheese products!). If neither of those are concerns of yours, then throw in some chopped chorizo while cooking the onion and pepper to give it a meaty boost. Like many of my recipes, it’s customizable to suit your tastes. It’s healthy, filling, relatively inexpensive to make, and keeps well in the fridge for grab ‘n go lunches during the week. If you feel you need more to make it a meal, try it over rice or in taco shells.

Southwestern Beans & Greens


  • 2 tablespoons coconut or olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper, any color
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups roughly chopped kale (spinach may also be used)
  • 1 teaspoon each cumin, coriander, and paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 can black beans, with liquid
  • 1 lime, half juiced and half cut into wedges reserved for serving
  • toppings as desired, suggestions are: chopped tomato, avocado, cilantro, scallions, sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese


Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper and saute for about 5 minutes or until softened. Add jalapeno and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in kale, cumin, coriander, paprika, salt, and black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-5 minutes or until kale is wilted. Add beans with their liquid and the juice of half a lime. Give everything a good stir to combine and cook for 3-5 minutes or until heated through. Divide into serving bowls and serve with lime wedges and a selection of prepared toppings. If desired, serve with hot cooked rice and/or taco shells as well. Refrigerate leftovers in a tightly sealed container for up to a week.


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