Saturday, July 23, 2016

Vegan Cuban Bowls



It's been awhile...once again. It's been so long since I've posted a recipe that I logged on to post a recipe and now I can't remember what I put in it...

But today I've got a FANTASTIC recipe shared with me by my friend Tiffany. Tiffany has a blog where she shares her great recipes. She makes great food, so I was really excited to try this recipe, especially since it uses plantains. I love them, but I've never made at home before. 

The key to the plantains (which Tiffany shared with me) is to let them get nice and dark. You pretty much want them almost black. This makes them sweeter and oh so yummy. My grocery store almost always only has green plantains. This time I bought two and one of them ripened in about five days and the other is still going. Be patient, it's worth it. 

And as you can see we did not eat ours in a bowl, any dish will do. My husband opted to eat his with some sour cream (non vegan), but I ate it without and it was still amazing. I also warmed my canned, rinsed beans with a little vegetable broth, salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder just to add another layer of flavor. Oh and the coconut oil is also key. It brings such a wonderful hint of flavor to the dish. I don't like heat in my food, so I left the jalapeno out of the pico de gallo, but if you do, then leave it in!

My husband LOVED LOVED LOVED this recipe. He came home and saw the plantains and he was like a little kid in a candy store. He kept exclaiming how good it was and extolling my cooking talents. So, Tiff, thank you! My husband is now convinced I'm a wonder in the kitchen. 

 I hope you enjoy this as much as we did! 

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Vegan Cuban Bowls
Prep time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 20 minutes Servings: 3

For the Pico de Gallo:
1 cup diced tomato
3 Tb chopped cilantro leaves
3 Tb minced red onion
1/8 tsp salt
1 Tb minced jalapeno (optional)

For the Cuban Bowls
2 Tb coconut oil, divided
2 cups cubed red sweet potato (yam)
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1 large, ripe plantain
1 14.5oz can black beans, rinsed
3 cups cooked brown rice
1 avocado, sliced
lime wedges


  • Combine the tomatoes, cilantro, onion, jalapeno, and ⅛ teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Toss well and set aside to let the flavors come together.
  • Peel the plantain by drawing a sharp knife along the long ridges down the sides (there should be three or four), then peeling off each side of the peel in sections. Slice the plantain crosswise on an angle into coins.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the cubed sweet potato as well as the cumin and ½ teaspoon salt. Toss well, then turn the heat down to medium. Saute until golden brown and fork-tender; 5-7 minutes. Transfer the cooked sweet potato to a bowl; tent with foil to keep warm.
  • Add the remaining tablespoon of coconut oil to the pan and allow it to melt. Fry the plantain pieces until golden, about 1 or 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to drain.
  • Warm the black beans in a small saucepan set over medium-low heat (or by microwave in a covered bowl).
  • Assemble the bowls by dividing all of the ingredients equally between the two bowls in the following order: brown rice, black beans, sweet potatoes, plantains, avocado, and pico de gallo. Serve with lime wedges for squeezing.


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