Healthier Moros y Cristianos

A smoked turkey leg stands in for the ham hock in this health-spruced version of the Cuban classic. The vegetables are sautéed in olive oil instead of bacon fat, and the beans are served over brown rice.

Country of Origin
Preparation time

3 cups dried black beans
1 smoked turkey leg
2 bay leaves
Kosher salt
1 1/2 cups brown rice
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup mixture of fresh cilantro and parsley leaves, minced


1. To quick-soak beans, place beans in a saucepan with water to cover. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and let stand for 1 hour.

2. Drain beans and place in a large saucepan. Add turkey leg and bay leaves and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, skimming off any foam. When beans start to tenderize, season with salt to taste. Continue cooking until beans are fully tender, adding water if necessary, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Discard bay leaves. Remove turkey leg.

3. After beans have cooked 1 hour, begin cooking brown rice according to package directions.

4. Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven or large, deep skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper until pepper is soft, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, cooked beans, tomatoes, and broth. Cook over medium-high heat until most liquid evaporates, about 15 minutes. Add half of cilantro-parsley mixture. Serve with the rice and garnish with the remaining cilantro-parsley mixture.