Cuban black beans: one pot

Cuban Black Beans: One pot, three dishes.

Cuban Black Beans


The secret to this dish is to rest it overnight to allow the flavours to develop. It freezes beautifully so it is a great thing to make in a batch when you are busy. Below are a few different ways to serve the black beans. One pot, three dishes.

Cuban Black Bean Soup

Cuban Black Bean Soup

Place beans and vegetable stock in a blender or food processor. The quantity is one cup of beans to half a cup of stock.
heat soup in a saucepan and serve with sour cream or good quality Greek yoghurt, fresh cut chili, lime wedges and fresh coriander.

Roasted Capsicums with Beans

Roast stuffed Capsicums

Stuff the bean mixture in to halved capsicums. Place on a baking tray and sprinkle with good quality cheddar or nutritional yeast. Roast on a medium heat for 35 minutes. Serve with a fresh salad. This is also good with spoonfuls of homemade guacamole on top once it has been roasted.

Enjoy x

Journey to Wellness

“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche

Storm out to sea

I came across a word this week that gave me pause. I was in the middle of painting listening to Dan Buettner talking about living to be 100 when I paused with my brushes in mid air and just floated on this wonderful word. Ikigai. Ikigai is a Japanese word for sense of purpose and reason for being. Essentially it is a reason to get out of bed.  In Japanese culture it is thought that every single person has an Ikigai but finding it requires a deep soulful journey and not all will take it. I love the word. I love the concept. As I understand it Ikigai is about peeling back the layers and fearlessly becoming our authentic self. We don’t have a word for this in English. We do not have a word or a concept that speaks of our deepest nature, or assumes a distilled essence that is us and our reason for being. Ikigai is passion, a purpose, a way to make money and a responsibility to yourself and the planet. Ikigai is like a tenuous thread that links us to the world and offers it a unique gift that only we have.

Living in nature is always a reason to get out of bed

Ikigai is about peeling back the layers and fearlessly becoming our authentic self.

I can’t stop thinking about Ikigai and the fact that the society I belong to has nothing like this word to offer me. Luckily we are globally positioned in a digital age, we can cherry pick from ancient cultures and schools of thought.

One of the reasons I love the concept of Ikigai so very much is because I think I am on the path to finding my own. When I got sober and started to eat clean my life changed in all sorts of big and little ways. My desire to eat clean wholesome food reignited a passion for cooking and I started to share recipes on a blog that led me to blogging here. My passion for health was borne from a genuine sense of wellness and connectivity to myself, and to my place in the world. I can not say wellness is my Ikigai but I feel as though I am on the path to my Ikigai through my personal journey to wellness.

Painting is part of my Ikigai

Dan Beuttner  describes Ikigai as a reason for getting out of bed and claims that Ikigai is one of the reasons so many people in Okinawa lead such long and healthy lives. For me art is a reason to get out of bed. I love to paint and I love to have a medium to express myself creatively. I have struggled against my own mediocrity, ego and judgement. Now I just paint. When I think about cooking and painting I can see there is a link. I can see that my Ikigai is something that is made from my hands and makes each day a rich one. I have always gotten out of bed for food but now that I am cooking wholefood I feel as though I am serving myself and the people I love health. Not just healthy food but a bowl of health, a bowl of fresh nutrient dense food that heals, nourishes and tastes amazing.

Base camp on my journey to find my Ikigai

My Ikigai is like a shape. A shadow. It is like waking up from a dream and trying to catch the tail of delicious story as it slips form your consciousness. I am tantalizingly close, I can feel it but I cannot know it. There is more of my path and story to be revealed to me on the journey. Please God may I not lose my way.


Cuban black beans: one pot

By: Bell Harding

Three Cuban meals in one pot of beans and some Japanese wisdom on finding my authentic self.


Prep time

Cook time



  • 2 cups black beans soaked overnight
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions – finely diced
  • 2 celery sticks – diced
  • 1 x red or green – capsicum finely diced
  • 6 cloves garlic – chopped or pounded in mortar and pestle
  • 2 green chili – diced
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves – preferably fresh
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • fresh coriander and lime wedges to serve


  • Place onions and extra virgin olive oil in a heavy based saucepan and cook on a medium heat for 20 minutes. Add celery, capsicum, chili, bay leaves and garlic and continue to cook for a further 5 to 10 minutes. Place the soaked drained beans in the pot with water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat so that the beans are on a gentle simmer and leave for 50 minutes with the lid on.
  • Toast cumin in a dry frying pan until fragrant and pound in mortar and pestle. Add cumin, oregano, salt and apple cider vinegar to the pot and cook for a further 5 minutes. Make sure you add the salt right at the end otherwise the beans will not soften.


Tried this recipe? Mention @wellbeing_magazine or tag #wbrecipe!

Bell Harding

Bell Harding

Bell is wholefood cook and a barefoot gypsy. In search of a life less ordinary, she packed a tent and art supplies and took to the road. Seeking the dirt and poetry in the Australian landscape, she also discovered a path to wellness. Bell discovered what it means to be well by healing herself from weight gain and alcohol dependence. She draws on a professional career in cooking to create recipes that celebrate real food and shares her journey as a curious nomad.

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