By Goodnews Buekor
Do you think only yellow bananas exist or are available at the grocery store? Think again. Bananas are grown in more than a thousand different varieties around the globe and plantain is one of those varieties, mostly grown in tropical areas.
In a Journal, “Banana and Plantain: An Overview with emphasis on Pacific Island Cultivars “Ploetz, R.C, and his colleagues, revealed that there are over 300 to 1000 cultivars of bananas and plantains, amazing right? However, we are familiar with just a few, and plantains happen to be one of those.
Unlike yellow bananas which are also called “sweet bananas,” plantains are less sweet and starchy.
Firstly, plantains are one of my favourite foods to eat. Secondly, besides the fact that it is super nutritious (they are rich in fibre, vitamins A, C, and B-6, magnesium, and potassium), they also help in weight control, enhance digestive health, are good for the heart, and are rich in antioxidants. Now you know why I don’t share my yummy plantains, especially when they are ripe.
Had a hectic day at work, don’t know what to make for lunch or dinner and maybe you have some plantain in the kitchen? Here are some simple recipes you can make out of your plantain:
- Stuffed baked plantains
This is a simple plantain recipe that I often try out. It is prepared using ripe plantains, stuffed with seasoned grounded beef, and topped with sliced cheese. In Spanish, this recipe is popularly known as “Canoas de Plátano Maduro” because after the plantains are fried or baked (which is much healthier), they are shaped into canoes before filling with it the meat mixture.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Ingredients for two or three servings
2-3 ripe plantains
2 tablespoons canola oil
½ pound ground meat
½ medium onion chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
½ cup tomato sauce
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 small green, yellow or red pepper
2 tablespoon parsley
½ cup grated cheese optional
Salt and pepper as needed
How to cook
- Preheat the oven to 400 °F. Cover baking pans using foil paper and apply some cooking spray or oil.
- With a sharp knife, slice both ends off the plantains. This will make it easy to pull the skin off the plantains. Slit a shallow line down the long seam of the plantain and gradually remove the plantain peel.
- Place plantains on a tray and lightly spray, bake for about 10 minutes, turn and bake on the other side for another 10 minutes or until golden brown and tender.
- While the plantains are baking, add two tablespoons of oil to a saucepan. Go ahead to add onions, garlic, and tomato sauce. Allow it to simmer for about 10 minutes, not forgetting to stir often to prevent burning. You could add 1/2 cup of water if it is too dry.
- Then, add ground meat and continue to cook for about ten or more minutes.
- Lastly, add green pepper and parsley, and adjust the seasoning to your preferred taste
- Remove baked plantains from the oven and allow cooling for a couple of minutes; make a horizontal slit in the plantains, and fill with equal amounts of meat mixture.
- Sprinkle with cheese; if preferred, place in the oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Serve warm.
- Gizdodo (Gizzard and plantains)
Gizdodo is a Nigerian dish with Gizzard and plantain. It can be served as a side dish with Rice, Yam, or Chips.
Pro-tip: Use firm plantains so that it doesnt get too mushy.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Ingredients for four servings
1 Cup Gizzard (cooked and diced into tinier pieces)
4-6 Medium Plantain ripened, but firm plantain is better
2 Small Green Bell Peppers
2 Small Red Bell Peppers
1 Medium Onion
1/2 Cup of Oil
2-3 tbsp Tomato paste
1 Seasoning Cube
Salt to taste
How to cook
- Cut the plantain into diced shape, fry and set aside
- Add some vegetable oil to another saucepan
- Add some tomato purée to the hot oil and stir
- Add chopped onions and pepper
- Allow frying a bit while you stir continuously
- Add the chopped buzzard and stir (you could add your meat stock or some water if it gets too dry).
- Add seasoning and a little salt, then stir
- Add fried plantain and stir
- Add your sliced bell peppers
- Allow simmering for a few minutes.
Viola, the Food is ready to serve. Serve warm, preferably!
So, when you return from work with no idea for lunch, dinner, or even breakfast, these easy plantain recipes can serve perfectly. I believe you would enjoy them, the way I always do. These recipes can never go wrong.