Simple, Inexpensive Side Dish: Baked Plantains
I'm a real fan of plantains. They are nutritious, cheap--several should cost less than a dollar--and easy to prepare. Although plantains are in the same family as bananas, plantains are more similar to a potato in terms of calories and starch. They are gluten-free, paleo-friendly, and easy to digest. Plantains also are high in fiber, antioxidents, like vitamin C, and have plenty of vitamin B-6, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin A. Besides all that, plantains taste good. One of the most prevalent cooking methods is to fry plantains, but that adds an awful lot of unnecessary fat to them, not to mention being extremely messy. I much prefer to bake plantains with just a sprinkling of cinnamon and garlic. The plantains become soft, a bit caramelized, and develop an incredible flavor in the oven. Try baked plantains with almost any grilled or simply cooked meat. I think they're especially good alongside roast pork or chicken.
Simple Baked Plantains -- Serves 4
3-4 plantains, peeled, halved crosswise and lengthwise
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat a casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Place the plantains in the dish, cut side up and not overlapping. Sprinkle the plantains with the garlic powder, cinnamon, and salt. Bake the plantains for about 30 minutes or until golden and a bit browned on top. Serve the plantains hot.