Tostones with Chimichurri Aioli

I used to hate mayo. I absolutely despised it. I wasn't completely sure why I hated it, considering I could tolerate it in conjunction with another item (mixed into chicken salad, as a dip or spread, etc). But plain mayo? Nope, never, see ya later.

I think my "dislike" for it came from a place of fear. Fear that mayo was unhealthy, fattening, and bad for you. Funny how the mind works when it comes to food and food fear.

However, all of this changed when I completed my first Whole30. By this time, I didn't claim to hate mayo anymore, I just didn't use and rarely bought it. I substituted greek yogurt in most dishes where mayo would be necessary. But, as any veteran Whole30-er knows, you can't complete a Whole30 without the magic that is Whole30 compliant mayo. Now, I don't typically like to shell out $$ for items I know I can make at home, and most Whole30 compliant mayo are pricey, so I set out to learn how to make my own.

I think this may be one of my favorite things I took away from Whole30. I'm a huge fan of anything I can make from scratch. I haven't bought bottled salad dressing, vegetable or chicken broth, or jarred pasta sauce in 3+ years, love to make nut butter and nut milk when time (and $$) persists, and recently started making my own cleaning products and room sprays. But homemade mayo, that takes the cake (not literally, that would be gross).

It is the perfect vessel for any savory, decadent tasting dip. Once of my go-to suggestions for when meals become routine and boring - make a dip or sauce and switch it up with each new meal. This way, when you're sick of the same roasted vegetables and chicken, you have something new to dip or drizzle. The possibilities are endless. Blend it with herbs, coconut milk, and lemon juice for ranch dressing, blend with chipotle and lime for chicken or fish lettuce wraps/tacos, and mix it together with classic chimichurri and dip your plantains in it! I say this every time, but I think this chimichurri aioli might be my new favorite...

Instructions plus photos for how to cut plantains below:

Ingredients:

2-3 plantains (green or very lightly yellow for tostones)

sea salt for sprinkling

2 Tbsp. coconut oil, divided

For the aioli:

1 lime, juiced

1 garlic clove

1 tsp vinegar

1/4 tsp smoked paprika

1/4 cup parsley

1/3 cup cilantro

2/3 cup mayo

salt and pepper

Instructions:

1. Peel the plantains by chopping the ends off and making an incision along the side. Peel away the outer layer.

2. Cut the plantains into 1 inch chunks and set aside.

3. In a food processor, or using your immersion blender, combine all aioli ingredients except the mayo and blitz 2-3 to combine. Just enough to finely dice the herbs without blending into a sauce. Once blitzed, add in the aioli and pulse a few times to combine. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, taste, and adjust according to preference. Set aside in the refrigerator to thicken up.

4. Heat a large tablespoon of coconut oil over medium high heat in a large pan. Once hot, add in the plantains. Depending on how large your pan is, you may need to do this in batches, you don't want to crowd the pan.

5. Cook on each side for 2 minutes, or until golden. Remove to flat surface (like a cutting board). Turn off heat.

6. Using another flat surface (cup, plate, etc) smash down on the plantains. Quickly peel them off the surface if they stick, and set aside. Continue to smash until all plantains are flat.

7. Heat another tablespoon of coconut oil in the same pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the plantains back in, and cook on each side 2-3 minutes, or until golden and crispy. I check each plantain and remove when they are done, some took longer than others.

8. Set on a plate or serving tray and sprinkle immediately with sea salt. Serve with chimichurri aioli as a side dish or appetizer!

#whole30 #whole30snack #vegetarian #plantains #tostones #aioli #chimichurri #snack #dip #appetizer