Ah, the grain bowl. It’s safe to say that this ubiquitous meal has now successfully penetrated our collective breakfast, lunch, and dinner repertoires as well as the menus of our favorite eateries.
And it’s awesome! These one-bowl meals are infinitely versatile, and whole grains are full of fiber, plant-based protein, and essential micronutrients, which keep us healthy and feeling satiated. But if you’re like me, you’re probably feeling just a little tired of grains.
The solution: green plantains.
You’ve probably tasted these before at a Latin restaurant. As deep-fried tostones, they are commonly served as a side; they are also the base of mofongo, a popular home-style dish of mashed plantains mixed with other ingredients like chorizo.
In this recipe, plantains are the starchy replacement for grains. Plantains are rich in potassium and fiber as well as vitamins A and B-6 and are lower on the glycemic index than both brown rice and white potatoes.
To create this vegan, gluten-free plantain bowl, I called upon my other favorite Latin ingredients: cilantro, lime, and black beans.
What I love about this bowl is that all the ingredients can be prepped in advance to help speed along weeknight cooking; only the plantains need to be cooked à la minute, which nonetheless happens fairly quickly. I also love the contrast between fresh crunchy vegetables and crispy warm plantains. Mm…
At the store, look for firm green plantains with a few brown spots. Avoid plantains with molding on the ends.