Saturday, September 28, 2013

Cuban Mashed Plantain Lasagna (Paleo-Zone)

So this recipe is another one inspired from a recipe we tried a few months back using plantains. I had actually never in my life cooked with plantains, and had only eaten then once before. I didn't even know they sold them at the grocery store, ha! But I decided to give them a try, and make a cuban lasagna type meal---and it was delicious! But it used plantains and cut them into long strips and them broiled them, and it honestly took me a very long time to make it! So I eased up the steps and decided to just make mashed plantains for a bottom layer in the lasagna, and see if I could accomplish a similar taste with less ingredients and way less steps. Success!!

This looks like a lasagna, but it really has a very different unique taste. If you don't want to use plantains, you could use mashed sweet potatoes, yucca, or celery root for the base and it would be equally as good.

Plus this recipe is Paleo-Zone too, so if you are looking for (yet another) casserole for your Zone arsenal, this is it!

My store doesn't sell ripened plantains, so I definitely had to let these puppies soften up for about 8-10 days on my counter before they were ready. So this recipe takes a little foresight. You want your plantains to be pretty soft and ripe, just like a banana.

Ingredients
1) 2 pounds of ground meat (I used beef)
2) 5-6 ripened plantains (for Zone: 20 ounces, measured after peeling. This was 5 plantains for me)
3) 1 pound of green beans (or 2 cans)
4) 1 cup of tomato sauce, or 1 cup of homemade sofrito (Recipe) -- Sofrito is basically just blended up tomato, onion, peppers, garlic. I made a batch and it gave me 4 cups of this goodness, highly cutting back on my prep for many meals!
5) 1 cup of green olives, sliced or diced
Extras: You can add in 1 tsp of cumin and 1 tsp of turmeric for added Cuban flavor if you want

(ZONE: 24 blocks. We measured out three 5-block meals, and three 3-block meals from this recipe).

Instructions
1) Peel your plantains.
2) Throw your plantains into a food processor, and mix a few minutes until smooth.
3) Layer your mashed plantains into a 9x13 pan, making an even layer.
4) Cook plantains at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, to give them a head start.
5) Cook your green beans, if they are frozen, according to the package.
6) Brown your ground beef over medium-high heat in a large pan. Add in your 1 cup of tomato sauce of sofrito and 1 cup of chopped olives, and mix.
7) After your plantains have semi-cooked in the oven, layer your green beans on top. Reduce heat to 350 degrees.
8) Next, layer your meat/tomato/olive mixture on top.
9) Cook at 350 for 45 minutes, until bubbly.










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