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Plantain filled with Pesto Version 2 High Res

Need to stock up on your vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber and potassium? Look no further than the plantain. You’d be forgiven if you’ve never heard of this “superfood”. While it’s gaining more and more popularity, it’s still relatively unknown. Found at many dinner tables in Central America, the Caribbean and West and Central Africa, plantains are VERY healthy and a great addition to your weekly meals. For lots of interesting ways to cook with this amazing superfood, chef and author Lisa Roukin shares 5 recipes from her cookbook ‘My Relationship with Food’, along with her top tips. Our favourite? The tasty and nutritious rainbow pizza!

Eat the Rainbow Plantain Pizza Verison 2 Low Res

Eat the Rainbow Plantain Pizza
{serves 1-2}

1 large plantain, very ripe with black skin, mashed
1 large egg beaten
30g almond flour
30g coconut flour (you may need extra coconut flour to help bind it together)
garlic granules
sea salt

2 tbsp. tomato puree
2 tsp. sundried tomato paste
1 tsp. agave nectar, light & mild
2 tbsp. water
sea salt
black pepper

12 cherry tomato, sliced
½ red onion, sliced
6 large green olives, pitted and sliced
50g sweetcorn
75g broccoli
50g mozzarella, grated
olive oil
mixed herbs
sea salt

flavoured chilli sauce or oil

Preparation time – 20 mins, cooking time – 23-35 mins

Pre-heat the oven to 425°F, gas mark 7, 220°C (200°C fan-assisted). Put the plantain in a bowl and mash with the back of a fork until completely smooth. Add the egg and beat in with
the plantain, blend until mixed together and then season with sea salt and garlic granules. Add the almond and coconut flour and combine together until a thick paste and shape in to a ball.

On a baking tray pre-lined with baking parchment or silicone baking mat, pat your plantain mixture evenly on the mat into a round shape (9 inch), ½cm thickness and smooth it out so there are no bumps at the top. Place it in the oven for 20 minutes.

Whilst the pizza base is in the oven, make the tomato sauce. Mix together the tomato puree with water, until a smooth consistency, add the sundried tomato paste, agave nectar, sea salt and black pepper and mix together.

Slice the vegetables and set aside, do not mix them together.

Depending on your oven, you may need to turn the tray round half way to make sure it’s evenly cooked.
Once the base is cooked, take it out of the oven and carefully flip it over. Smooth the tomato sauce over the base and top with the grated mozzarella pieces. For the rainbow effect, place the vegetables round the pizza working from the outside in, one vegetable after the other, keeping them uniformed and separate from each other. Top with sea salt and mixed herbs and a drizzle of olive oil. Place back in the oven for a further 9-10 minutes.
Once cooked take out, and drizzle chilli sauce or oil over the pizza.

LISA’S TIP – “You can find plantain in most large supermarkets or speciality food shops. Plantains are from the banana family, but are seen as a vegetable and not a fruit. They need to be cooked before they are eaten as unsuitable to eat raw. They are highly nutritious, good source of potassium and vitamins A and C. You can make this dairy free by not adding the mozzarella cheese.”

Grain Free Plantain & Pecan Loaf Version 2 High Res
Grain Free Plantain & Pecan Loaf

{makes 1 loaf (2 lb loaf tin)}

2 plantains, mashed, ripe (yellow/black), save a ¼ of one for the topping
8 eggs, large
80g coconut sugar
50g flaxseed, sunflower seed, pumpkin mix (I recommend Linwoods)
50g chestnut flour
40g pecans, chopped
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste or 1 vanilla pod, deseeded
1 tsp. bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp. baking powder
sea salt

20g pecans halves
¼ plantain, from above, sliced

Serving suggestions
Almond butter, cashew butter or chia seed jam

Preparation time – 20 mins, cooking time – 60 mins

Pre-heat the oven to 325°F, gas mark 3, 170°C (150°C fan-assisted).

Line a 2lb loaf tin with baking parchment or cake tin liner.

Cut off the ¼ of a plantain and reserve for the topping. In a mixing bowl, mash the plantains until smooth.

In a separate large mixing bowl, beat the eggs until smooth, add the coconut sugar, flaxseed mix, chestnut flour, vanilla, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and sea salt, then add in the plantains and mix together. Add the chopped pecans and stir until combined then pour the mixture into your 2 lb loaf tin smooth out the mixture until level.

Cut the reserved ¼ of the plantain in half length ways then cut into slices and place on the top of the mixture with the pecan halves and bake in a pre-heated oven for 1 hour.
Remove from the oven, take it out of the tin and place it on a wire rack to cool.

LISA’S TIP – “This plantain and pecan loaf has an incredible light texture. Although being grain free, it is packed with an overload of nutritious ingredients. It is wonderful served as it is or the flavour, taste and texture of the bread is enhanced either by popping the toaster or under the grill served with lashings of your favourite nut butter or chia seed jam.”

Nigella Seed Plantain Pancakes Version 1 high Res
Nigella Seed Plantain Pancakes

A superfood, high protein, grain and dairy free pancake which can be packed with a choice of your fillings, whether you make it a savoury or sweet combination. They are so nutritionally versatile that anything goes.
{makes 6}

6 large eggs
1 plantain, ripe (yellow/black)
1 tbsp. nigella seeds
2 tbsp. rapeseed oil
sea salt

smoked salmon

Preparation time – 10 mins, cooking time – 20 mins
Blend the plantain in a blender until smooth. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl, by hand. Stir in the blended plantain together with the nigella seeds, sea salt and mix together.

Heat your frying pan over a medium heat and lightly brush your pan with the rapeseed oil. Using a medium sized soup ladle, pour the mixture into the frying pan and move your pan around so the mixture coats the bottom of the pan.

Once the pancake starts to bubble, carefully, using a spatula, lift the pancake up and flip it over, cooking it for a further minute until there is a light golden colour.
Serve with your choice of filling.

LISA’S TIP – “These are grain free, dairy free and high protein pancakes, which can be made in advance and be kept in the fridge for 2-3 days and you can either eat it cold or heat up over a frying pan. Nigella seeds are full of goodness, traditionally used to help reduce inflammation, it may also help allergy sufferers by preventing the release of histamine. Nigella seeds are also said to have anti-cancer effects and have antioxidant benefits.”

Plantain & Tomato Chutney Version 2 High Res
Plantain & Tomato Chutney

{makes 500ml}
1 shallot, finely sliced
400g cherry tomatoes, sliced
1 plantain, ripe (yellow/black skin), cut down the length and then half again and into slices
4 Medjool dates, pitted and sliced
60g sultanas
½ chilli, deseeded and finely sliced (optional)
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. sun-dried tomato paste
2 tbsp. tomato puree
4 tbsp. cider vinegar
2 tbsp. agave nectar
sea salt
black pepper

Serving suggestions
corn chips

Preparation time – 20 mins, cooking time – 25 mins

Prepare your kilner jars by sterilizing them.

Sauté the onions on a medium heat until soft and translucent then add the plantain. Continue stirring and add in the tomato puree and sun-dried tomato paste. Add the dates, sultanas and continue stirring on a medium heat. Add the cider vinegar, stir and then and the sliced tomatoes and chili. Add the agave nectar and season with sea salt and black pepper bring to the boil and then, cook on a low heat and simmer for 25 minutes.

LISA’S TIP – “This chutney can be kept in the fridge for month in sterilized jars. This chutney recipe is a great way of using an excess of tomatoes that you may have on hand throughout the summer months. Delicious to have on hand during the summer months served with any BBQ and over the winter season, delicious served with cheese and bread.”

Plantain filled with Pesto Version 2 High Res
Plantain filled with Pesto

{serves 4}

4 plantains, ripe (yellow and brownish)
1 tbsp. olive oil

Homemade pesto
3-4 tbsp. olive oil, less oil makes the pesto coarser
50g pine nuts, toasted
15g basil leaves
25g grated parmesan
sea salt
black pepper

1 bag of rocket
10g pine nuts, toasted
150g cherry tomatoes, sliced
40g parmesan shavings
olive oil
sea salt
black pepper

Preparation time – 20 mins, cooking time – 40 mins

Preheat the oven to 400°F, gas mark 6, 200°C (180°C fan-assisted).

Place the plantains on a large baking tray covered with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Brush each side of the plantain with 1 tbsp. olive oil and bake in the pre-heated oven for 30 minutes, turning the plantains over after 15 minutes, and continue to cook.

To make the pesto, put the pine nuts, basil leaves, parmesan, sea salt and black pepper in a pestle and mortar and coarsely bash together, check for seasoning, then decant to a bowl and add in the olive oil, for a coarser texture, add in 3 tbsp. olive oil.

After 30 minutes remove the plantains from the oven, using a knife make a slit halfway through the plantains down the length. Fill each plantain with the pesto and place back in the oven for 10 minutes.

When you are ready to serve garnish the plate with the rocket, sliced cherry tomatoes, parmesan shavings and drizzle with olive oil, season with sea salt and black pepper and sprinkle the toasted pine nuts on top of the plantain.

LISA’S TIP – “The combination of the sweetness of the plantains complements the saltiness from the homemade pesto. Using a pestle and mortar creates a luxurious sauce with a rich, deep flavour and beautiful silky texture that is superior to what a food processor will create. This is also a fantastic vegetarian option to be served on a BBQ for your non-meat eater friend. But be sure to make plenty, as your meat eater friends will want to dip in!”

*updated April 2020*

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