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Plantain, one of my favourite vegetables. Quietly sweet with a wonderful bite. Grilled to perfection they retain a beautifully soft interior. They are great for marinating and even more exciting- they are great for you…

Plantains are rich sources of B-complex vitamins, particularly high in vitamin-B6(pyridoxine). Containing more Vitamins A, C and Potassium than their Banana brothers. They also provide adequate levels of minerals such as iron, magnesium, and phosphorous and 2.3 g of dietary fiber per 100 g. One single plantain will happily serve two people. And for 50p each, they are a great way for the vegetarian/ vegan/ anyone, in need of a range of vitamins and minerals*.

I made this dish from memories of an amazing cafe i used to frequent in Liverpool. Breakfast was a hearty plate of Grilled Plantain, Spicy Beans, Rice, Salad (and Chips for some reason). That was my first encounter with the vegetable and i’ve had a soft spot for it ever since.

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(Serves 2, Vegan, Gluten- free)

Plantain:

  • 1 ripe Plantain (will look like a very ripe Banana)
  • 1 tablespoon Paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chilli Flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Sea Salt
  1. Mix the spices and salt in a small cup and sprinkle half onto a large plate
  2. Peel the plantain and cut into 1/2 inch thick disks, arrange in one layer on the spice plate
  3. Sprinkle the remaining spices on top, cover and leave for at least one hour
  4. To cook, heat a griddle pan on a high heat, add the plantain and cook for 2 minutes on each side

Spicy Black Beans:

  • 1 cup of cooked Black Beans
  • 1 Celery Stalk, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 a baby Leek, roughly chopped
  • 1 small Red Onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 1 medium Red Chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of Tumeric
  • 1 teaspoon of Garam Masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Caraway Seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Coriander Seeds
  • juice of 1 Orange
  • 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil
  1. In a heavy based pan/ skillet, heat the oil, onion, leek and celery for 3 minutes (you want some bite)
  2. Add the beans, garlic, chilli and spices and cook for 5 minutes on a medium heat
  3. Add the orange juice, stir and turn off the heat

Serve with Wild Rice (cook 1/2 cup rice to one cup water for 25 minutes) and plenty of salad.

 

 

 

(*Source: http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/plantains.html)

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