If you’ve never traveled to Central or South America, you may never have been introduced to plantains. Well then, let’s get you acquainted. Chances are you can find them in your local grocery store and you might have wondered why those bananas were so hard and green. Plantains are related to bananas but you have to cook them before you eat them.
I could eat plantains by the dozen and, when I was in Costa Rica last summer, I probably did. No guilt. Plantains will really test your patience though, you have to wait for them to turn brown. Really brown. Our grocery store sells them green. Really green. I have to wait weeks for them to turn. I’m not a very patient person, especially in regards to food, and too many times I’ve been tempted to just try cooking them a little green. Do not do it. Remember: brown.
When I first started preparing plantains at home, I fried them in butter. Delicious. Highly recommended. But since I’m supposedly healthy and offer healthy recipes, I stared baking them instead. You really can’t beat baked plantains with honey for an au natural dessert.
Baked Plantains With Honey
2 plantains, peeled and sliced on a diagonal
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Spray baking sheet with oil and place sliced plantains on sheet.
Bake for 25 minutes, flipping plantains once after 15 minutes.
Drizzle with honey and serve warm.
It seems impossible, really, but it appears as if I’ve married someone who eats even more granola than I do. I thought it couldn’t be done. It really is ridiculous how quickly we go through granola.
Because we (and I mean Dave) were eating so much granola every day, I actually got a sick of making it so frequently and so I told Dave to just buy some from the store. Well, that didn’t last long because I have yet to find a packaged granola that I actually enjoy. I know I’ve said that before but it’s as true now as it was then. Warning: if you make this almond mango granola, you’ll never go back to granola from a box.
I’ve never made a top ten list for food, that would be near impossible, but I can easily say that twice baked potatoes are at the tip top of my favorite comfort foods. And it goes without saying that sweet potatoes are one of the greatest things on earth. That got me to thinking, why have I never heard of twice baked sweet potatoes? I’ve never seen it done, ever. Well, that had to change.
So what to mix with the sweet potato puree? Goat cheese was the answer that came quite easily. It is it the answer to most of my major life questions.
A little milk and cumin to add to the mix and that was it!
At the end of the last school year, one of my tiny first graders handed me a box that was about as big as she was as a thank you gift. Upon opening it, I found a strangely shaped clay vessel that I couldn’t identify. Wikipedia quickly helped me get up to speed on the tagine inside. A tagine (or tajine) is both the pot that cooks the food and the dish itself. What a fun and unique gift!!
My tagine had sadly been collecting dust and I was not okay with that. It was time to give Moroccan cooking a try! Now, I did what I always do when I’m making a recipe I’m absolutely clueless about: I googled “Moroccan tagine recipe,” or something of the sort, and clicked on the first hit with a 5 star rating. Perhaps it was not the most authentic recipe, but it would do for giving me ideas about where I wanted to go.
I’ve only dabbled in “raw” cooking over the past couple of years, and though I could never or would never choose a completely raw diet, I’m pretty impressed by the versatility of nuts (which serve as the base for many raw dishes) and the truly appetizing meals you can create. This mock tuna salad has proven to be one of my favorites in raw cooking thus far. I love serving it in endive leaves! So dainty and fun to eat but they also add a little bit more crunch alongside the celery and grapes in this dish. If you’re a little weirded out by eating “mock” food, this is a great starter recipe to try (and then don’t forget to comment and tell me how surprised you were to actually like it!).
I know that less than a week ago I posted my favorite veggie burger ever. Is it overdoing it to say that this is my favorite salsa ever? That nothing else compares? That any tomato salsa I’ve ever had doesn’t even hold a candle to this beauty here. No, not overdoing it in the least. Black Bean Corn Mango Salsa (yes, how original of a name!) was introduced to me by my former roommate, Megan. Craigslist really came through for me when I first moved to Denver as Megan and I are kindred spirits in the food department. Really, we were a perfect fit: she preferred the burnt edge pieces and I got to eat the moist, sometimes undercooked middle. A loaf of banana bread didn’t last long at our place.
Megan and I both made a lot of black bean corn mango salsa the three years we lived together, although we never really had a recipe. I remember both of us asking each other, “What are the ingredients again?” Upon making this post, I finally had to write down what I actually use in the salsa. Thanks, Meg, for such a great dish!
These sweet potato black bean quinoa burgers are my absolute favorite wintertime meal. I’ve shared the recipe time and time again with friends and I’m a little surprised that sweet potatoes have been in season so long and this is the first time I’ve made them! Take a look at the list of ingredients: healthy, healthy, healthy. This recipe can easily be made gluten free by subbing gluten free bread crumbs. Also, for those of you trying to eat low-carb, I like to use a wide-leaf lettuce and make a wrap rather than serving the patties on a bun. Just don’t skip out on the bread crumbs altogether or the burger is likely to fall apart.
The scissors featured above may be my favorite kitchen tool. Snip, snip, snip! They have changed my life for removing cilantro leaves from the stem.
Healthy eating in January is going fairly well, at least according to my standards. I’m sure others would say my attempts at clean eating have been abysmal. I’d like to think that several nights of this spaghetti squash “pasta” balances out the two beignets Dave brought back for me from Cafe du Monde. I don’t care what kind of eating plan I’m on, if I’m given a beignet from Cafe du Monde, I’m eating it. And they were delicious, by the way.
This “pasta” is delicious too, since that’s what I’m supposed to be talking about after all. Dave likened it to spaghetti and meatballs, with vegetable stand ins. Now, don’t go thinking that the spaghetti squash is going to taste like a what pasta, it doesn’t and won’t. But, it’s tasty in it’s own sense and I just can’t get enough of the lemony zing with the rich flavor of the portabella mushrooms.