Vegetarian Plantain Bowl

For the past month, Ricky and I have been doing "meatless" Monday. Largely inspired by my work fam over at Territory Foods and our #iplanted campaign, we've been incorporating more plant based meals into our weekly rotation.

We both love our fruits and vegetables, and have never had an issue incorporating them into our diets and making sure that our plates are mostly comprised of plants. However, it's been very interesting and eye opening to so consciously take a look at the impact more veggies can have on our bodies and on our planet. If you want to read more, a very talented colleague of mine wrote this wonderful piece on it.

It's been fun to explore new vegetarian recipes, and while we both rely heavily on Territory's vegetarian meals for lunch, I cook at home each night. We've tried killer veggie burgers (recipe coming soon), vegetarian tacos, curry, veg power bowls, and this spicy plantain bowl. I love plantains so much, I could eat them at every meal. Sweet, savory, for breakfast or for a snack, they're one of my favorite starches. This bowl is vegetarian as is, with some notes at the bottom to make it completely vegan. However, feel free to doctor it up with some cheese or meat - it would be great with shrimp!

Also, for the record, no I am not a vegetarian. Nor am I trying to sway anyone one direction or another, as I'm a firm believer in one diet does not fit all - you do you, friend. I will say though, I think we can all agree on the benefits of including more veggies into our diets.

Ingredients:

1 large plantain*

1 cup black beans

2 cups cooked brown rice, divided

2 Tbsp coconut oil 1 tsp Jamaican seasoning blend

pinch of salt and pepper

For the pico:

1/3 cup chopped tomatoes

1/4 lime

1 tbsp finely diced red onion

1/2 tbsp chopped cilantro

pinch of salt and pepper

For the cabbage slaw:

2 cups cabbage, thinly sliced

1/2 lime

1 tsp oil

1 Tbsp chopped cilantro

salt and pepper to taste

For the pineapple chipotle sauce*:

3 tbsp mayo

1 tsp chipotle in adobo

1/2 lime

4-5 small pineapple chunks or 1.5 tbsp pineapple juice (I use frozen tidbits from Trader Joes)

Pinch of salt and pepper

1-2 dashes of garlic powder

Instructions:

1. Start by cooking your rice according to package instructions. While rice cooks, begin by prepping all the cold ingredients.

2. For the sauce, add all ingredients to a wide mouth jar and blend using an immersion blender. Set aside.

3. For the cabbage slaw, add the sliced cabbage to a bowl. Squeeze half a lime and drizzle with a teaspoon of oil. Toss to combine, then add in the cilantro and season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss again and then set aside.

4. For the pico, add the tomatoes, cilantro, and onion to a bowl and toss to combine. Squeeze 1/4 of a lime over the mixture and season to taste lightly with salt and pepper. Set aside.

5. In a small stock pot, heat the beans over medium to low heat. Add in a teaspoon of teaspoon of jerk spice blend, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes, just until beans are warm but still whole (do not over cook), stirring frequently. Once beans are warm set aside and cover to keep warm.

6. Peel and chop the plantain. I like to cut my about 1/4 inch thick on a diagonal.

7. In a large skillet heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Once hot, add in the plantains without crowding them (you may have to do this in batches depending on how big your skillet is. Cook for 2-3 min per side, or until golden brown.

8. Assemble bowls: divide rice into two bowls (how much is up to you, refrigerate any leftovers), top each with half of the black beans, cabbage slaw, and then evenly divide out the plantains. Top each with the pico, drizzle of pineapple sauce, and an extra lime wedge!

Notes:

1. For this recipe I like to either use plantains that are light green/yellow or yellow with few brown spots. The more yellow/brown the sweeter the plantain, so pick according to your taste buds! I tend to the love the more savory/starchy plantains for this dish.

2. You will have leftover pineapple aioli. It's delish with shrimp, chicken, or tortilla chips! You can also sub vegan mayo to make this entire dish vegan!

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