CUBA: Black Bean Oatmeal

Photography: Vanessa Lewis

Part a series of breakfasts from around the world featured in Little Tables by Vanessa Lewis, published by Beatnik.

CUBA: Black Bean Oatmeal | Gluten-free

Steel-cut oats – also known as coarse oatmeal, or Irish or Scottish oats – are coarsely chopped, as opposed to rolled oats which are steamed and rolled. They look like chopped rice, take longer to cook than rolled oats and retain a chewy consistency.

Serves 4

Photography: Vanessa Lewis


  • 90g (3.2oz) steel-cut oats (gluten-free if required)
  • 750ml water
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 pieces of firm, ripe plantain or sweet potato, chopped
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 yellow pepper, diced
  • 125ml good-quality chicken stock (gluten-free if required)
  • 425g (14.9oz) tin black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • salt and pepper, to taste

To Serve

fresh coriander


  1. Boil the water and add the oats.
  2. Reduce heat to low then cover and cook for 15 – 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Pour 1 tablespoon of the olive oil into a medium, heavy-bottomed frying pan and warm over medium heat. Add the plantains and cook for 4 – 5 minutes – or, if you’re using sweet potatoes, 20 – 25 minutes – until they’re golden brown. Turn them occasionally so they don’t stick to the pan. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  4. Heat the rest of the olive oil in the pan and fry the onion and yellow pepper until the onion is translucent and the pepper is soft.
  5. Add the beans, chicken stock, cumin, salt and pepper to the pan and cook for 20 – 25 minutes, or until the beans are piping hot.
  6. Divide the oatmeal into bowls and spoon the bean mixture over it.
  7. Serve with fresh coriander.
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