Here's a sweet & savory fave by Chef Yadira Garcia & her team!
A cousin to Lasagna, this sweet and savory dish is loaded with layers of cheese, beef, and delicious sweet plantains.
Yet another wonderful recipe brought to you by Chef Yadira Garcia (@HappyHealthyLatina), Loisa's Head Chef & Educator and a partner in our business, Chef Irbania Tavares (@irbania), and Chef Nikki Gurley (@chef_gstackz). Also blessed to work with photographer and stylist Rosanna Añil (@nycfoodmuse) to capture all the magic!
About Chef Yadi Garcia
Yadira Garcia is a trained Natural-foods Chef and certified Integrative Health Coach, of Dominican descent who grew up in the South Bronx of New York City. She is now leveraging her education as a community Shef-Tivist, educator, and speaker under the platform she created Happy Healthy Latina, INC. With her platform she helps address food justice, nutrition education, and health inequities in NYC. Together with her team she works with several community based organizations, NYC Public Schools, and NYC Urban Farms as a culturally relevant food justice workshop curriculum creator.
Find and follow Yadi on Instagram at @HappyHealthyLatina
- 4 very ripe plantains (about 3 ½ pounds), peeled and sliced lengthwise, ¼ inch thick
4 tbsp olive oil, divided by tbsp (plus more to grease the casserole)
1 lb ground beef (90% lean; can substitute with crumbled tempeh for vegetarian alternative!!)
- 1 small onion, minced (about 1 cup)
- 1 small red bell pepper, minced (about 1 cup)
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tsp Loisa Oregano
¼ tsp Loisa Sal de Mar, more to taste
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 ½ cups Monterey jack, cheddar, mozzarella or vegan cheese, shredded and divided into 1/2 cups
- 2 large eggs*, beaten (or your favorite vegan egg substitute)
For the meat
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Lightly grease a 9x13 (or similar) casserole dish.
In a small bowl, add 3 tbsp of olive oil. Brush each plantain slice with olive oil and place it flat, side by side, in one or two baking sheets.
Bake the plantains for 12 to 15 minutes until the bottom of the plantains are caramelized and golden-brown.
While the plantains are baking, add 1 tbsp of olive oil to a large skillet on medium heat. Once the oil is hot (not smoking) add your beef (or crumbled tempeh) to the pan.
Continue cooking the meat, breaking it up into tiny crumbles, for 5 minutes or until browned.
Add the tomato sauce and cook over low heat for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, remove the plantains from the oven and turn each plantain slice. Bake for 5 more minutes. Remove the baking sheet/s from the oven and let cool slightly.
Assembling the Pastelón
Adjust the oven temperature to 350°F.
Cover the bottom of the casserole dish with a single layer of the plantain strips. Spoon half of the ground beef mixture onto the plantains. Top with ½ cup of shredded cheese. Repeat with another layer of plantains, meat, and cheese (reserve the remaining ½ cup of cheese). Top with a final layer of plantains.
Pour the beaten eggs over the plantains. Bake the pastelón, uncovered, for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with the remaining ½ cup of cheese. Return the dish to the oven and cook for an additional 5 to 7 minutes, until the cheese has melted.
Remove the pastelón from the oven. Allow it to cool for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving, which helps it maintain its shape when sliced.