Hi all — it’s time for a recipe!
I know I haven’t been the best at bringing you consistent posts over the past couple of weeks! BUT I have been hard at work making back end changes on the website, getting my email list under control so you can actually get notified of my recipes, and of course, I’ve been cooking and going out and having all this fun that I try to bring back to you guys on the blog! It is exhausting, but someone’s gotta do it. 🙂
I volunteer as tribute!
This one comes from Gina over at SkinnyTaste and if you have never heard her or checked out her site, I recommend it! She has tons of healthy and easy weeknight recipes, complete with Weight Watchers points and nutritional info for anyone in need. She even has a couple of cookbooks on the market and they are awesome. Check them out! I actually gave one as a wedding present just a few days ago. I knew our bride was a wise one by putting it on the registry 🙂 I’ve found lots of recipes that have entered my rotation on SkinnyTaste, and given our love for all things plantain, this one definitely made the cut!
A pastelón is a plantain “lasagna” which includes sliced and sauteed plantains taking the place of pasta in forming layers for the lasagna, and a filling made usually of ground meat, garlic, onions, butter, and spices. The result is a sweet and savory hearty dish that will fill you up from one “small” square.
For anyone wondering, plantains are the starchy relative of the banana often used in Caribbean and African countries’ cuisines. Plantains are typically served cooked, either by frying or sauteeing as an appetizer or as part of a meal. They are a little different in that the skin should be brown when using ripe plantains. This occurs as the fruit matures and converts more starch to sugar. Just like a banana, plantains are high in both fiber and potassium.
Here we used ground turkey and sauteed it with tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, and spices to form a tasty picadillo filling layered in with the plantains. The lasagna is held together with cheese and egg, and is then baked to melty perfection.
The recipe calls for an edible garnish of alcaparrado, a mix of olives, pimientos and capers, but I just used capers since olives are not really welcome in this house unless they are in the form of olive oil! Not a fave.
I recommend going bravely outside of the box and trying this one for anyone looking for some easy, make-at-home Cuban food. Some of the ingredients may sound foreign but they should all be right at your neighborhood grocer.