I’m writing this post as I’m defrosting these quesadillas. The smells coming from the oven are making my mouth water.
Plantains are a very starchy vegetable, which makes them perfect for “molding” into things. Like with those plantain cups from Thursday. Oops, bad planning on my part! Today, I’ve made a Paleo plantain-rice “tortilla” (made with just plantain, egg and coconut flakes) that’s one of my most tastiest creations.
You’ll definitely be seeing more of these on the blog… and the cookbook (hint, hint.)
Since plantain is very starchy, you have to be careful if you’re going low-carb or you’re diabetic. In a medium zucchini, for example, there’s about 6 g of carbs. In one medium plantain, there’s about 57 g.
These are just too good to give up (the flavor is incredible!), so just make room in your daily nutritional intake to fit these in.
The coconut flakes and plantain are a match made in heaven – the sweetness of the coconut matches the savoriness of the plantain. While the plantain roasts in the oven, some of its sweetness comes through also.
The consistency is perfect – not too stiff and a bit pliable. If you try to fold these (like a taco), they’ll most likely break in half, unless you’re careful. I tired this, actually. The first time, they broke in half. With the second batch, I roasted them for about 13 minutes instead of 15-17 and they were a bit softer, so they worked like soft tacos!
I call this a quesadilla, but really, it’s a cheesy-delicious chicken sandwich with Mexican seasonings. The Mexican spices are simple but robust – cumin, oregano, salt, chili powder and garlic.
Adding seasonings to food is a low-calorie, low-sugar, low-carb, low-fat way to add strong flavor to your food. I never cook with butter, so I’ve learned to effectively use fresh herbs and spices to compensate.
As for these “tortillas” – they’re much easier to make than they look. All you do is take one plantain, spiralize it, rice it and combine it with an egg and a tablespoon of coconut flakes. Then, you place it on a baking tray and mold it into a “tortilla” and just bake it for 15-17 minutes.
Voila – two gluten-free and Paleo tortillas ready to be piled up with chicken, veggies and most importantly, cheese.
These quesadillas are thick – you can spread out the plantain-rice mixture even more to create a thinner “tortilla.” Remember – they puff up slightly as the plantain cooks with the egg and hardens.
I really hope you all try this – and hashtag #inspiralized or @inspiralized so I can see!
And, to circle around back, they can be frozen and defrosted for later – and are even better that way.
Nutritional Information & Recipe
Gluten Free Plantain Rice “Quesadillas”
- 1 medium-ripe plantain peeled, Blade C
- 1 tbsp coconut flakes
- 1 egg
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/3 heaping cup of small-cubed chicken
- 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 1/2 tbsp chopped cilantro
- 1/4 small avocado peeled, insides small-cubed
- 1/2 large jalapeno seeds removed, finely diced
- 1/8 tsp cumin
- 1/8 tsp dried oregano
- 1/8 tsp chili powder
- 1/8 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 cup shredded mexican cheese mix
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Place your plantain noodles into a food processor and pulse until rice-like. Then, add the rice into a bowl with the egg and coconut flakes. Season with salt and pepper and mix to combine thoroughly.
- Place down a parchment-paper lined baking sheet and coat the paper with cooking spray. Roll half of the plantain mixture into a bowl and place down on one side of the baking tray. Push the ball down on the parchment paper and smooth out with fingers until its spread out evenly into a circular shape. Round the edges with your fingers. Repeat on the other side of the baking tray with the rest of the plantain mixture. NOTE: if you'd like to make thinner, larger "tortillas" - use two baking trays to really spread out the mixture.
- Bake in the oven for 15-17 minutes or until hardened.
- While the plantain mixture is baking, place a large skillet over medium heat and coat with cooking spray. Add in your chicken and cook for 3-5 minutes or until cooked through and starting to brown.
- Add in the onions, red bell pepper, jalapenos, cilantro, avocado and spices (cumin, oregano, chili powder, garlic powder). Cook for about 5 minutes, tossing frequently, or until vegetables have softened. Set aside.
- When the plantain tortillas are done, place one in a large skillet over medium heat and top with half of the cheese. Top with as much of the chicken mixture as you can fit on and then top with remaining cheese. Top finally with the other tortilla. Let cook for about 2 minutes, pressing down firmly on the top of the "quesadilla" with a spatula. Then, carefully flip over and repeat for another 2 minutes or until cheese melts.
- Remove from heat, let cook for 30 seconds and then slice into fourths.