Sincerely Carolina

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Bananas for Plantains.

by caroline

For Thanksgiving this year, Dan and I are heading to his parent’s house in Florida. Naturally, we will get to spend some wonderful time with his family and soak up some warm weather, but one of the things I am most looking forward to is my mother-in-law’s Cuban food. :)

Sure, she makes all kinds of great dishes, but her ethnic heritage lends a special touch to her dinners. My favorites are her black beans and rice and spiced fish … oh, and what Cuban meal would be compete without plantains? (Note: Plantains are those extra large “bananas” you can spot alongside the actual bananas in the grocery store.)

Mmmm … plantains. Just thinking about them made me want to eat them. Like, right away. Like now.

So, we went ahead and made some …

Now, it should be noted that these plantains are a slightly different version than the ones my MIL makes (she doesn’t use cornmeal and her cooking method is not the same). But when I spotted these in Dreena Burton’s Eat, Drink and Be Vegan (L.O.V.E. this book, by the way), I knew they were something I had to try. I made sure to use gluten-free cornmeal, but other than that was safe to use the recipe as is.

Check ’em out:

Cornmeal-Crusted Plantains (from Dreena Burton’s Eat, Drink and Be Vegan : gluten-free and vegan)

(Print me!)

  • 1/4 cup gluten-free fine cornmeal
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 lb to 1 lb  ripe plantains (these babies should be fairly blackened), peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Lime wedges, if desired (for serving)


On a plate or in a large bowl, combine the cornmeal and salt. Toss plantain slices in cornmeal and salt mixture, making sure to coat both sides.

In a large frying pan on medium-high, heat oil. Carefully place the coated plantains in a pan and cook for 4-6 minutes each side, until golden brown.

Serve ’em hot with lime wedges. (Squeeze a little lime on top of plantains for an extra kick!)


OK, so these plantains were an awfully tasty treat (served up alongside some black beans and rice = heavenly), but I will definitely have to say that there are just no comparisons to the ones I will be feasting on in a few weeks. But how can one possibly compete with that?!

In the mean time, these guys are a great option for tiding me over …