Our family absolutely loves to travel. We had the pleasure of visiting the Dominican Republic over the winter holidays with the whole family- something school and work schedules rarely permit. Our adventures included exploring the beautiful beaches, learning to kitesail, and even eating delicious local bean dishes every day!

Cooking With Iluminada

We stayed at a lovely house right near the shoreline during our trip. Every night we ate beans for dinner, prepared by an elderly Dominican woman named Iluminada. She was a fantastic cook, carrying on the generational preparation of local dishes with fresh local ingredients.

Aware of the Randall Beans passion for beans and great cooking, Iluminda was kind enough to share with us her ancient family recipe for fresh beans and rice. The recipe summary goes something like this:

Cooks are encouraged to only buy beans heirloom Habituales from local merchants. These make up the bulk of the normal, habitual meal of beans and rice, most often served with some sort of protein such as chicken or shrimp. The recipe calls for onion, chicken bouillon, fresh coriander, thyme and a pinch of garlic. Start by cooking the beans on in their own pan. Once they are cooked through, add water to cover them and drop in half the onion, all the veggies and herbs, and cook in the new mixture until it comes down to a stewy consistency. Remove the onion and herbs and serve over a big pile of rice.

We ate this dish all sorts of ways; with chicken, fish, prawns and shrimp to name a few. It’s a great homey, down to earth meal, and every plate was made with love by the wonderful Iluminada. Make sure to try coconut milk with your Habituales if you prepare this dish at home!

Check out these great photos of the brightly colored beans and the finished dish:

Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic Photos


Kitesurfing: Powered By Beans

Our son Holden went surfing every single day, powered by plenty of delicious beans. The most exciting experience of our trip was watching Holden learn to kitesail on the wind. After a few attempts, he was up kite surfing and sailing. You can find the video of his surfing adventure on our Facebook page!