Heat the oil in a skillet, add the beans and the spices (cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper), stir and cook over medium-high heat for about 3-5 minutes or until the beans are hot, stirring occasionally. Set aside. If you don’t want to use oil, just add some water or vegetable stock.
for the plantains
Heat the oil in a skillet, add the plantain slices and cook over medium-high heat for about 3-5 minutes each side or until golden brown. Remove from the heat, add the plantain slices to a bowl, add salt and pepper and set aside. If you don’t want to use oil, just bake the plantain slices at 375ºF or 190ºC for 15 minutes for one side and 5 minutes more for the other side or until golden brown.
for the mashed avocado
Mash the avocados with a fork, add the lemon juice and the salt and mash again until well combined.
for the vegan arepas
Split the arepas in half with a serrated knife. Spread the mashed avocado, add some plantain slices, some black beans and finally, some chopped red onion. Repeat with all the remaining arepas.
Best when fresh, keep leftovers (separate from each other) in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
I cooked the black beans from scratch, so I used 1 and 1/2 cups or 250 g of cooked black beans. Add more or less salt depending on your taste and also if you’re using salted or unsalted beans. You can omit it if you want.