New food challenge week 4-plaintains Recipe 1: Puerto Rican inspired stuffed sweet plantains #gf #healthyeating

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So this post is a LONG TIME COMING!  Like 2.5 months!  Note to self: if you want to use plantains,  they take FOREVER to ripen… So don’t have a time line.
It worked out because I am moving so I was able to work on other projects (wait til you see! )  and packing.
Then last week,  one plantain ripened… And unbeknownst to me,  my boyfriend decided to cook with it… So no pictures.
But I will tell you briefly what he did,  if you want to skip down to this recipe,  it starts in the next paragraph. He made a salsa to top the chicken.  He baked chicken and cut and cooked the plantain on the stove over medium heat until it fell apart… In the same pan.   This was important because they both had a bit of the flavor!  He seasoned with salt,  pepper,  garlic,  and Sriracha sauce and added a bit of raspberry jalapeño jelly in.    When it was melted and the chicken cooked, he topped the chicken with the salsa and served… It was delicious; sweet and spicy!

OK but onto this recipe!    For this recipe I was inspired by Gina’s skinny recipes version found here.   But I’ve actually had this before.   When I was in vet school in the Caribbean,  a girl from Puerto Rico made this for me and I fell in love.   But she couldn’t really tell me the recipe for whatever reason,  so I was a bit intimidated by how to cook this.   Then I saw Gina’s version and I knew I could do it!
So mine is actually a lot different from hers,  because well, I don’t follow recipes well and I only had like half the ingredients she used lol.
So you will need…
-2 RIPE plantains (mine were yellow and soft)
-1/2 pound ground beef
-8 Oz tomato paste
-Sriracha sauce
-salt
-pepper
-garlic
-rosemary
-thyme
-cumin
-pepper jack cheese
-cilantro
– 1/2 an onion
– 1/2 a tomato

My sides
-black beans in a can
-rotel or diced tomatoes in a can
-salt
-pepper
-garlic
-cilantro
-rice

1. Heat the oven to 400.
2. Take a small knife and make a few shallow cuts in the skin of the plantain,  all the way around and from top to bottom,  to make it easier to peel.   Peel the plantains.
3. Grease a baking dish.   Make a slit in the plantain, from top to bottom,  about halfway through.   Mine were very  soft so they went all the way through… Oops.  It’s fine this way,  just makes a banana boat with holes hehe.

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Notice the ugly brown spots?  Down worry,  it was a little bit of the rind(?) left over that did not effect the overall product.
4. If you are going to make my dish,  now would be a good time to start your rice.

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(yes I use a rice cooker…. Stop judging me… For whatever reason,  I am inept at cooking rice lol)
5. Cover the plantain dish with foil then place in the oven.  Let cook for about 40 minutes or until the plantain is super tender.    You can actually smell how sweet it is when it is ready.
6. Cook your ground beef in a pan with olive oil over medium heat.    Season with salt,  pepper,  garlic,  rosemary,  thyme, a dash of cumin, and cilantro.

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6. Dice tomato and onion while meat and bananas cook. Shred your cheese.

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7. Open a can of black beans and rotel,  if you are doing my sides, and put in a pot with garlic,  salt,  pepper,  and cilantro.   Cook over medium low heat.

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8. When the meat is done cooking,  drain and add back to pan.   Toss in the onions,  tomatoes,  and a can of tomato paste and put over low heat.

9.Drizzle a bit of Sriracha sauce over the meat,  stir,  and let simmer… You can skip this if you are heat sensitive,  but it really was not spicy at all.

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Check and stir your black beans now.

10.  About now,  your plantains should be almost ready.   Test with a fork,  if it’s super soft, you’re good to go.

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11. Use tongs to widen the slit you made earlier.

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12.Stuff it with the meat mixture you made. Its kinda difficult to do this so use a spatula or spoon to scoop it in with one hand while using tongs in the other to hold open the plantain.
Top with shredded pepper jack cheese.

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13. Place back in the oven,  uncovered,  for another 5 minutes or so,  until the cheese is melted.
14. Stir your black beans
15. Everything should be wrapping up about now.  I threw the extra cheese over the extra meat in the pan and let it melt.   This extra meat is really helpful to have on the side because once you start eating the plantain,  you find yourself wanting more of the filling too!

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16.  Plate and serve hot!

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So yummy!!!!

I hope you enjoyed this recipe!  Stay tuned because I have one more plantain  recipe before moving on to next week!

Please comment as I love to hear from my readers!

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