Pastelon Dominicano

The Dominican pastelon is more like a casserole. A main element of Dominican cuisine. There are more than six variations in the Dominican Republic the most popular ones being pastelon de platano maduro(yellow plantain casserole) and pastelon de yuca(cassava casserole). Pastelones can be found in other Latin American Countries like Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Panama and Cuba, specially the eastern part which has great Dominican influence. Pastelones are usually stuffed with ground meat or chicken. (source: Wikipedia)

Here’s my very simple version of this dish.

Ingredients:
Depending on size of dish to be used..
-4 ripe plantains
-1 lb. of lean ground beef
-2 eggplants
-1 tbsp of tomato paste
-1 green pepper
-1 red pepper
-1 onion
-1 tsp of garlic powder

Directions:

Peel plantains and boil until soft.

Cut eggplants lengthwise and place on baking sheet. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and bake for about 20 mins at 350.

Cook lean meat in skillet and add peppers, onion, tomato paste and garlic powder. Feel free to add any seasoning you would like.

Once plantains are done let them cool for a bit and mash them with a fork. You may want to take out the black seeds from the inside of it.

When you have the main 3 ingredients ready; mashed plantains, cooked meat and baked eggplants it is time to put it all together. Start by layering with plantain and then eggplant followed by the meat. Continue until all your ingredients are finished.

When finished you can sprinkle some low-fat cheese on top and bake for another 20 minutes at 350 until cheese is bubbly.

This dish was very tasty and I know that because my husband and I fought over the last piece!!! Hope you enjoy it. This is a great balance of protein and carbs as the ripe plantain is a complex carb with lower glycemic index.

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2 Days Away from MIAMI ING 2012

Time is approaching quickly and I’m as excited and nervous as it would be my first race. I’ve prepared a few months for this race but these two days before are critical! Water, water, water and some more water is all I’m thinking about. Being hydrated is so important for any type of race. Today I also started some carb loading. I get to eat a whole sweet potato today and another tomorrow. This is exciting to me as I limit my carbs and usually only have half as my serving. A quick light workout today, and nothing else to do but to get mentally prepared.

For those running GOOD LUCK! I hope to see some familiar faces out there. 🙂

My lunch today. 1 sweet potato and Eggplant Lasagna.

Roasted Eggplant

The easiest way for me to cook anything is by putting it in the oven. When I cook you can find my oven with 4 different trays going all at once. Whether is protein or vegetables I place them all together resulting in better time management in the kitchen. Recently I gave it a try with eggplant.

Just slice the eggplant and place it on a baking sheet. Try to layer them so that they are not directly on top of each other. Sprinkle some olive oil, pepper and oregano. Flip them and do it again. Super easy! Bake them at 350 for 25 minutes.

Now you have a vegetable side to last a few servings.

Eggplant Lasagna

I’ve become an expert at doing (insert vegetable) lasagna. It is so easy and what I love the most is that you make one dish and you are good to go. You get in your vegetables and protein without too much hassle.

Here I tried it with eggplant. I cut the eggplant lengthwise and placed it on a baking sheet and sprinkled it with some pepper. Bake it for about 20 minutes.

In the meantime cook about a pound of ground turkey, pork or beef with any seasoning of your liking. In this case I just added some low sodium pasta sauce to the meat.

Once ready take eggplant slices and sprinkle some olive oil on them. On an oven safe dish start layering up the meat sauce and the eggplant, starting with some sauce at the bottom.

Top off with sauce and sprinkle some low-fat cheese on top. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes until cheese has melted and meat sauce is bubbling up.

Eggplant and Basil Saute

I love eggplant but it’s tough to find a dish that it doesn’t include red sauce or breading. Here’s a recipe that is so easy and makes eggplant a great side to any protein.

Ingredients:

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch slices
4 large fresh basil leaves
2 tbsp dried oregano

Heat oil and garlic in skillet over medium flame and stir for one minute. Add eggplant slices. Cover and turn every five minutes for twenty five minutes. Sprinkle with basil and oregano and continue cooking for five minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for five minutes.