Tostones (Fried Green Plantains)

Tostones
Oh tostones, how I love you. Seriously, I am a bit obsessed with these things. I have to really try hard not to throw green plantains into my grocery cart every single week.

The first time I tried tostones was in a Columbian restaurant in Mexico City last summer. In Mexico City? Yep. This Columbian restaurant was amazing, I went several times throughout my visit. After returning to San Antonio, I was obsessed with replicating these delicious plantains. There’s something about the crunchy outside and soft inside that is soo good. If you’re missing french fries, starchy food or just need carbs to supplement your intense workouts, tostones will do the trick. I love to eat mine with guacamole, Frank’s Hot Sauce or salsa. I also love to make empanadas, burger buns and tostadas out of these things. More green plantain recipes coming soon. 😉

Tostones (Fried Green Plantains)
Makes 12 tostones

Ingredients:
3 dark green plantains
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup coconut oil
Salt

Directions:
1. Heat a medium size saucepan on medium heat and add the coconut oil.
2. Peel plantains, rinse and dry them with paper towels. If you’re not sure how to peel plantains, just Google “how to peel a plantain”.
3. Cut each plantain into quarters.
4. Carefully place plantain quarters into hot oil with tongs. Turn plantains every 2 minutes until all sides of the plantains have been cooked. You may need to do this in batches.
5. Remove plantains from oil and place on a plate lined with paper towels.
6. Line a tortilla press with wax paper and one by one, place each plantain in the tortilla press and smash softly. The idea is not to press down too hard or the plantain will crack or break into pieces. If you don’t have a tortilla press, using a large mug or bowl will work just as good.
Tostones
Tostones
7. Place smashed plantains back into the oil and fry each side for 2 minutes. Remove from oil and place back onto paper towel lined plate.
8. Add a few pinches of salt to the hot tostones and serve with your favorite salsa or guacamole.

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Mango Pineapple Margarita

Mango pineapple margarita
In honor of National Margarita Day, I made my favorite mango pineapple margarita for you all! This recipe is SUPER easy and only takes a couple of minutes to put together. Hope you all have a fabulous weekend and enjoy the gorgeous weather.

Margarita

Mango Pineapple Margarita
Makes 2 margaritas

Ingredients:
1 cup frozen mango chunks
1/4 cup orange flavor sparkling water (I used LaCroix)
2 oz tequila
1 oz fresh pineapple juice
Pineapple and lime for garnish

Directions:
1. In a blender, add all ingredients and blend for 30 seconds or until mango chunks have been blended and mixture is nice and creamy.
2. Serve in a martini glass with pineapple and lime garnish.

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Mango Avocado Salsa Topped Tilapia

Mango avocado topped tilapia
Today’s recipe was inspired by the springlike weather we’ve been having here in San Antonio. I spent my weekend trying out my new b-cycle membership, dining al fresco at a new restaurant and running errands. This mango avocado salsa is so fresh and delicious, sometimes I eat it with a spoon right out of the bowl. 😀

I actually did not like avocados or mangos until a few years ago. The texture of the avocado and sliminess of the mango freaked me out. My history with avocado goes back to my thyroid cancer diagnosis and having to start the low iodine diet. My first time going on the low iodine diet was very difficult as I was being deprived of pretty much all the food I ate on a daily basis. I was forced to try different food to keep me full. My husband convinced me to try homemade guacamole with homemade corn tortilla chips and man, I was in heaven. Since then, avocados are always well stocked in our pantry.

Mango avocado salsa

Mango Avocado Salsa Topped Tilapia

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:
Mango Avocado Salsa
1 mango
1 large Haas avocado
1/4 cup cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 tsp salt
Pinch of black pepper

Tilapia
4 tilapia fillets
1 tsp EVOO
Juice of half of 1 lime
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with a large piece of foil.
2. Drizzle the EVOO on the foil and place the tilapia fillets on top. Season the top of the tilapia with salt, pepper, cayenne and lime.
3. Cover the tilapia by folding the foil over on all sides, you might need an extra sheet of foil to cover entirely (this keeps the tilapia moist). Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
4. While the tilapia is baking, peel and dice the avocado and mango and roughly chop the cilantro and place in a bowl. Add the lime juice, salt and pepper and carefully combine everything. Put in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
5. After the tilapia has baked for 15 minutes, turn the oven to broil and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
6. Remove tilapia from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Pour mango avocado salsa on top or on the side of tilapia fillets.

This tilapia goes great with a side of sautéed asparagus or a spinach salad. Enjoy!

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Slow Cooked Pork Carnitas Lettuce Wrap Tacos

Lettuce wrap pork carnitas tacos
Whoa, that title is certainly a mouthful! Couldn’t think of an easier way to describe these simple, but delicious tacos. I love throwing food in the slow cooker in the morning and coming home to a delicious meal. I don’t mind cooking dinner every night, but it can be hard with my work schedule and my husband’s busy school schedule. During the week, I only get to spend a couple of hours a day, at most, with my husband and usually weekends are spent running errands and more school work for him, so if I can spend less time in the kitchen, I try. In less than three months, our lives will be much easier when he finally receives that master of architecture degree! Woohoo!

Now, onto these carnitas. I usually make carnitas with pork shoulder, but pork loin roast was on sale so I decided to try it and it came out just as great. My husband loves crispy carnitas so after they’ve been slow cooked, he likes to toss them in a little EVOO in a pan to get them extra crispy. They are delicious right out of the slow cooker though, so choose which one you prefer.

Slow cooked pork carnitas

Ingredients:
2 lbs boneless pork loin roast
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp black pepper
Leaves of romaine lettuce
Cilantro
Tomato
Avocado Slices

Directions:
1. In a slow cooker, place a tblsp of EVOO and half of the onions and garlic.
2. Season the pork with salt and pepper and place in the slow cooker. Add the remaining onions and garlic on top of the pork, along with another tblsp of EVOO.
3. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. Roughly shred the pork with a knife and fork and mix it with all the onions, garlic and juice from the bottom of the cooker.
4. For crispy carnitas, throw some of the shredded pork into a pan with a tblsp of EVOO and toss around on medium to high heat for about 5 minutes until most of the carnitas get crispy. You don’t want to overcook them or they’ll become dry.
5. Place leaves of lettuce on a plate and add a generous amount of carnitas on each leaf and top with cilantro, tomato and avocado slices.

Try these tacos with your favorite salsa or my paleo avocado cilantro crema, it’s divine!

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Paleo Avocado Cilantro Crema

Avocado cilantro crema
I LOVE avocados, especially guacamole and that “green sauce” they serve you at restaurants. There’s one particular Tex-Mex restaurant in Houston that serves the best “green sauce” and I swear I could eat a gallon of that stuff at one time. The problem with that sauce is that it probably contains sour cream and a whole bunch of other bad stuff, not to mention it’s served with addicting corn tortilla chips. I’ve managed to make a close dairy free version of this beloved sauce. It goes well as a dip, for plantain chips or veggies and is also amazing drizzled over grilled chicken, fajitas, casseroles and tons of other dishes. It’s super creamy with a little bit of a kick from the peppers.

Ingredients:
1 ripe large Hass avocado
1/2 cup cilantro, stems removed
10 green chile piquín peppers (add more if you like it really spicy)
Juice of 2 lemons
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (coconut milk could be substituted)
1/2 tsp salt

Directions:
1. In a blender, add all the ingredients and purée until it reaches a nice, creamy consistency.
2. Pour in a bowl and serve immediately or store in an air tight container for up to two days in the refrigerator.

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