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  • Writer's pictureLeigh

Cheap and Nutritious Latin Dinner: Beef and Plantains

Are you in need of a delicious main dish that will be filling, tasty, not to expensive, and easy to make? Try Beef and Plantains. A little like picadillo, this dish features ground beef, tomatoes, raisins, sweet bell peppers, and olives. Rather than serving it with rice or potatoes, the ground beef mixture goes atop plantains, which cook in the air fryer and have nice crispy texture on the outside. If you don't have an air fryer, you can cook the plantains in a skillet with a bit of oil until they're brown and pierce easily with a fork (saute them over medium high heat, turn down the heat to medium or medium-low, add a bit of water, cover them for 10 minutes, remove the cover, and saute them a bit more). A mixture of Colby Jack and cheddar cheeses melts over the mixture and provides cheesy goodness. This is a great dish for a simple supper and makes fantastic leftovers for lunches during the week.

Beef and Plantains -- Serves 4+

2-3 teaspoons of canola oil

1 onion, chopped

1-2 sweet red, yellow, or orange bell peppers, chopped (or a mixture--about a cup)

2-3 cloves of chopped garlic

1 teaspoon of dried oregano

1 teaspoon of dried cumin

1/2 teaspoon of dried coriander

1 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon of pepper

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 - 1 1/4 pounds of lean ground beef (93 percent)

1 14-15 ounce can of diced tomatoes

2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar (or to taste)

1/3 cup of raisins

1/3 cup of olives (green, black, or whatever you have)

3-4 plantains, peeled and cut into pieces/chunks

1/2 cup of cilantro, torn or chopped (a handful)

1 -1 1/2 cups of shredded Colby Jack and cheddar cheese

Heat the oil in a large chef's pan over medium-high heat. When it's hot, add the onion and pepper and saute them for five minutes or so until they soften. Add the garlic, spices, and salt and pepper and keep sauteing for a minute or so. Break up the beef and add it to the pan with the veggies. Saute the beef for 5-10 minutes until it's mostly cooked and browned a bit. Turn down the heat and add the tomatoes, red wine vinegar, raisins and olives. Let the mixture simmer for about 15 minutes. While the mixture is cooking, put the plantains in the air fryer, spritz them with a bit of oil and cook them at 360 degrees for about 15 minutes, tossing them midway through. If they're not done at the end of the cooking time, cook them a little longer. The plantains should be crusty brown on the outside and pierce easily with a knife. When the beef mixture is done, stir in half the cilantro, and sprinkle on the cheese. Serve the plantains topped with the beef mixture and sprinkled with a little more cilantro, if you like.

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