This is an easy vegan version of the pinto or “colorada” beans that accompany many Dominican meals. It uses a little smoked paprika to give the pinto beans a rich, almost meaty taste. Although... usually a side, these beans will make a tasty protein-packed meal with some brown rice and a crunchy cabbage salad. They are equally delicious as a filling for a burrito. Beans are great sources of protein, and when eaten in combination with a whole grain like brown rice, or a whole-wheat tortilla as suggested here, they will give your body complete protein — important to know if you are moving toward a vegetable-based diet to reduce your risk of cancer recurrence.
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven, or heavy-bottomed pot, over a medium-high heat. Add cumin and let it sizzle for 30 seconds. Add the onion, carrot, celery and oregano. Sprinkle with salt and cook for 2 minutes. Partially cover and turn the heat down to medium-low and sweat for 10 minutes or until they are tender and beginning to caramelize.
Add the smoked paprika and cook for 1 minute, stirring to mix.
Add the cooked beans and their liquid, or if using canned, add just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil then reduce to a low simmer and cook, covered for about 30 minutes. Add a little water if the beans look too dry, taste for salt. Serve with Basic Brown Rice or in a burrito.
Always drain and rinse canned beans before using to get rid of the excess salt.