We looovvveeee plantains, and also enjoy finding new ways to cook with them. These ground beef and plantain bowls are a simple, no-fuss preparation and great for folks new to cooking with plantains.
What Are Plantains?
Plantains look like oversized bananas, and they can range from green to yellow and brown, depending on the ripeness. Green plantains are more starchy when cooked, like a potato. The green ones are great for making plantain fries as an example. The yellow and brown ones are more ripe and are sweeter. They are softer and what we used for these ground beef and plantain bowls. We love plantains because they are not only delicious but also a great resistant starch, which is good for digestion.
Calling All Plantain Newbies
Before we really started cooking with plantains, I think I was intimidated by them, like I didn’t know what to do with them. They seemed so exotic and I didn’t get why you’d buy these huge green bananas. Intrigued, I looked online, and a lot of recipes required frying them, which sounded scary. So, I just avoided them all together. Then one day we decided to just go for it and haven’t looked back.
This recipe for cooking plantains is about as easy as it gets! All you do is score the plantains, peel them and then slice them into about 1/4 inch thick rounds. Place them on a parchment lined baking sheet, and drizzle avocado oil on them. Season the rounds with sea salt, and transfer the baking sheet to the oven. All you have to do is pull them out, flip them over and add more sea salt about halfway through. It’s really that easy!
The Green Sauce
Well, it’s safe to say you’ll be putting this recipe’s green sauce on everything once you make it. We use the leftover sauce as a dip for veggies or over any other leftovers as we clean out the fridge throughout the week. This yummy sauce is made with ripe avocado, fresh herbs, sunflower seeds and a few other things. It’s the perfect creamy addition to these ground beef and plantain bowls.
Other Recipes With Plantains
We’ve got some other recipes with plantains on our blog. Make sure to check them out!
Your Turn To Make Our Ground Beef And Plantain Bowls
Whether you are new to plantains or you see them as an old friend, get to it already and make these ground beef and plantain bowls. They’re a tasty and easy concoction! Let us know how it goes by leaving a comment below. Also, take a photo and tag us on Instagram @realsimplegood, so we can check it out!
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Ground Beef and Plantain Bowls (Paleo + Whole30)
For the green sauce:
- 1 avocado
- 1/2 cup parsley, packed
- 1/2 cup cilantro, packed
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 lime, juice of
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- Sea salt, to taste, (about 1/2 tsp)
For the plantains:
- 3 plantains
- 2 tbsp avocado oil
- sea salt
For the rest of the bowl:
- 2 lbs grass-fed ground beef
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- Salt and pepper
- 8 cups kale, roughly chopped, (or sub other greens)
- To prepare the sauce, place all sauce ingredients - except sunflower seeds and sea salt - in a food processor and pulse until incorporated. Add in the sunflower seeds and pulse until smooth. Add more water if desired depending on the consistency you want. Taste and season with salt, as desired. Place in a container and refrigerate.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Score plantains lengthwise and peel. Then, cut them into rounds about a 1/4 inch thick and place on baking sheet. Drizzle with avocado oil and season with salt. Place in the oven to bake for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and flip them over and season with more salt. Place back in oven and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the tops have browned. Watch after you flip the plantains and remove them from the oven once they are browned but not burned.
- While the plantains are baking, prep onion as noted. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add in onion and ground beef to cook. Break the beef up and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beef is browned and cooked through. Season beef with chili powder and salt and pepper to taste after it is browned.
- Add kale to the skillet and mix to incorporate. Cook until the kale has wilted, about 2-3 minutes.
- To serve, start with some of the beef mixture in a bowl and add in some plantains. Top with green sauce and enjoy.
Considering there is avocado in the sauce, how long does the sauce keep for?
It will keep for a few days in the fridge. Enjoy!
What can be used in place of sunflower seeds to make it AIP?
You can omit the seeds completely and the sauce will still work, it just won’t be as thick. Try starting with 1/2 cup of water first and adding more if desired to get a consistency you like. Enjoy!
Wow! Another winner! Even my picky eater liked this one!
Glad to hear that Carol! Thanks for coming back to leave a rating and review 🙂
Can I use a spoonful of sunflower butter instead of sunflower seeds?
That would probably work fine! Let us know how it goes if you try! 🙂
Do you use green plantains or ripe ones for this recipe?
We used ripe plantains for this recipe because we thought a hint of sweetness paired well with the rest of the flavors in the bowl. We hope you try the recipe and let us know how it goes!
Just made this tonight. It turned out great! The only thing I might do next time is add a jalapeno to the green sauce for a little heat. Thanks for a great recipe!
Yum! That sounds like a great add! We’ll have to try that too! Thanks so much for trying our recipe and coming back to share! 🙂