By Elena Johnson
While thinking of ways to use plantains in a savory main course, I came up with this recipe for a hearty Meat-Free Puchero. This version pairs a number of sweet flavors – plantains, sweet potatoes, and carrots – with savory flavors from a vegetarian meat alternative (such as Gardein) and a broth of vegetable stock and tomato.
This one-pot meal is not only packed with flavor – it’s chock full of vital nutrients including Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Potassium, Folate, Calcium, and more. It’s also cholesterol-free, making it a perfect meal for the whole family to enjoy!
3 Tbsp. canola oil
3 plantains, cut into 1 ½ inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 inch piece of ginger, thinly sliced
9 oz. bag Gardein Beefless Tips
1 tsp. Chinese 5-spice powder
6 oz. can tomato paste
1 bay leaf
2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt
2 quarts vegetable stock
1 medium russet potato, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces
1 head bok choy, or 2 heads baby bok choy, roughly chopped
Heat canola oil in large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add plantains and fry until browned on all sides. Remove plantains to wire rack set over paper towels to drain.
Sauté onion, garlic, and ginger in same pot until onion begins to turn translucent. Add beefless tips and Chinese 5-spice powder. Brown beef on all sides.
Add tomato paste, bay leaf, pepper, salt, and vegetable stock. Stir well. Once tomato paste dissolves, add potato, sweet potato, and carrots. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are cooked.
Stir in bok choy and fried plantains. Heat through gently. Adjust seasoning.
About the Author
Elena Johnson is a second-generation Filipino American living in Baltimore, MD. As a vegan chef and caterer she has been reinventing her family’s recipes and sharing these vegetarian versions of Filipino comfort food with friends, relatives, and those unfamiliar with the flavors of the Philippines. Elena is also the Special Projects Manager at Compassion Over Killing, a national animal advocacy organization focusing on cruelty to animals in agriculture and promoting vegetarian eating as a way to build a kinder world for all. Elena combines her passion for vegetarian food with a love of teaching by offering cooking demonstrations to the public. To learn more about why she went veg, visit TryVeg.com. Questions/feedback: email firstname.lastname@example.org.