Last night I got to experiment with plantains. I recently bought this cookbook so for dinner last night I decided to make Cuban Burgers. I have only ever had plantains in one form from one restaurant and that was probably 6 years ago because the restaurant went out of business and I had to get over the absence of plantains in my life. I really didn’t know what to do with them but when I saw this recipe I decided to be brave and try to make it. The plantains were the buns!
I peeled the plantains and sniffed them a little and they smelled a lot like bananas. My husband was next to me and he took a bite out of one and immediately informed me it was disgusting, so I was hesitant about using them for buns because they tasted like chalk. But, I did it. I cut 2 really big, peeled plantains into 2-inch chunks and put them in a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes to soften them.
So once they had softened, I removed the pieces with a slotted spoon and looked at the recipe directions. It said to smash the plantain bits with the back of a plate. I’m not sure if I read into things too closely, but I immediately pictured myself holding a plate above my head and literally smashing it into a million pieces as soon it made contact with the plantain. So then I realized you were supposed to gently put a plate on top the plantain and press down really hard to flatten it. The plantains got stuck to the back of the plate so I flicked them off with a spatula and dropped them (gently) into my frying pan with my hot, melted coconut oil.
I seasoned them with a bit of salt, and cooked them about 3 minutes on each side until they were crispy.
And voila! Plantain buns! No gluten, sugar, or any processed junk. And fairly low-carb. They were actually REALLY GOOD. It turned out to be a fork-and-knife burger, but the Cuban Burgers were amazing. I will definitely make them again.
This afternoon, in preparation for dinner tonight, I made plantain chips. I actually messed these up because I clearly can’t read recipes right. I was supposed to slice them in half lengthwise and then slice them into long strips using a mandolin slicer. Instead, I made coin-sized chips, and I remember while awkwardly holding this foot-long plantain vertically, it felt like an odd/dangerous way to cut it. Oh well.
Once I had finished incorrectly slicing them, I coated them with a mixture of melted organic palm shortening, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, cayenne, and salt. Then I put them on a foil-lined baking sheet and baked them at 400 degrees for 17 minutes. They turned out reaallllly tasty. These chips are the base for our Chili Pie tonight. I would say they’re like a better, fancier Frito. Basically, I’m just going to make a batch of chili and dump the meat over the chips and add some pickled jalapeno and raw onion chunks. I love this book!
So once I finished the chips, I thought I would try out the Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe next. I actually found tapioca flour last Sunday in Kroger, fully expecting it not to exist, but there it was, and it was cheap! Way cheaper than almond flour. So I bought a bag so I could make this recipe. The dough for these cookies contains butter, coconut sugar, tapioca flour, coconut flour, salt, baking powder, an egg, and chocolate chips — I used the Enjoy Life brand because they’re dairy-, nut-, and soy-free. So I was super disciplined for the making of this recipe.
I would compare the dough mixture to the consistency of really fluffy icing. I was surprised how much it puffed up. I put these suckers in the oven for 13 minutes, and I ended up taking them out 2 minutes early because I was convinced they were burning. There was certainly a lack of that “fresh-baked cookie” smell with these, so I was preparing myself for disappointment when I took them out.
But as soon as I tasted one, it was like Christmas in my mouth. I ate 3 and I feel good. If you’re a paleo eater or want to avoid gluten and processed sugar, this cookbook is excellent! Click here to buy it from Amazon… it’s got great reviews! I think I need to go leave one myself. Hop on over to the authors’ blog, Health-Bent.com, for some free paleo recipes.