When I was growing up, pastelon was one of my favorite dishes. When I would visit my grandma (who was the best cook ever) in Puerto Rico, she would always make it for me.
When she passed away, I didn’t go to Puerto Rico nearly as much because she wasn’t there to visit.
It’s very hard to find a place in the states where you can buy Pastelon or piononos (same thing, just looks different). So that was pretty much the last I had of it. It’s been years!
Especially when I got in to fitness, because Lord knows the original version of these (lard, deep fried, not so lean ground beef, etc) isn’t any good for you- still delicious though!!
With this pregnancy I have been craving a lot of Puerto Rican and Colombian food from my childhood (I’m a mix of both). Needless to say, I ABSOLUTELY needed some pastelon in my life!
Being that I tend to get gestational diabetes, I really had to make it healthy since it’s a matter of mine and my baby’s health. So here is the healthy, but still delicious, version of a pastelon:
- 1.25 lb lean ground turkey
- 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1/2 cup green bell pepper, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp cilantro
- 4 oz (1/2 can) tomato sauce
- fresh ground pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tbsp alcaparrado (regular olives will work too)
- coconut oil spray
- 4 ripe plantains, peeled and sliced into thin strips (the darker the plantain, the better. Do not be afraid of plantains with a lot of black- they’re good!)
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 3 large egg whites, beaten
- 2 tbsp almond milk
- 1 1/2 cups reduced fat shredded Mexican blend cheese
- Brown the ground turkey on medium heat in large sauté pan and season with salt and pepper.
- Break the meat up into small pieces.
- Add the chopped onions, garlic, pepper, tomato and cilantro and continue cooking on a low heat. Add alcaparrado (or olives) cumin, oregano, bay leaves, and more salt if needed.
- Add tomato sauce and 1/4 cup of water and mix well.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer covered about 15 minutes.
- Preheat to oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a 9 x 9 baking dish with oil.
- Heat a large non-stick sauté pan over medium heat. When hot spray with oil to lightly coat the bottom.
- Cook plantains for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden; set aside.
- Assemble by layering the plantains, then the cooked turkey filling, then about 1/4 cup of cheese and repeat. You want to finish with a layer of plantains.
- Beat the egg and egg whites with 2 tbsp of almond milk and pour over the pastelón to help bind everything, letting it sit for a minute or two to soak in.
- Top off with the remaining cheese.
- Cover tight with foil and bake in the oven 30 to 35 minutes, or until completely heated through.
- Cut into 9 equal pieces and serve.
21 Day Fix:
- Serving Size: Cut in to 9 pieces, then 2 slices are 1 serving. If you want to use less containers, eat one slice and cut the container count in half (I wouldn’t count the green at all if eating just 1, though).
- Containers: 1 red, 2 yellow, 1 blue, 1/2 green