Live Real. Eat Real.

Tajaditas Dulces de Platano

As the voting for Shape.com’s Best Healthy Eating Blog competition winds down, I am now a “front-runner” (apparently 7th place out of 20 makes me a front-runner) and have been asked to submit a short essay about myself and my blog (thank you SO MUCH for your help, Jen!!) which I’ll post here as soon as they tell me what format to submit in.

Aw, to hell with it – they’re getting a Word document.  I just hope they can read it.

This week, I’m going to talk a bit about something called The 80/20 Rule.  Popularized by Mark Sisson (sorry, Beloved, I know you’re upset with him because he hasn’t mentioned the Shape.com contest), it’s the idea that if you eat “cleanly” 80% of the time, you can eat less desirable foods the remaining 20%.  For some people, that means not necessarily sticking to their diet when they go out to eat, for some it includes things like the occasional beer and pizza, and for a few it means potato chips, ice cream and candy bars.

Because I simply cannot tolerate gluten-bearing grains or cow’s dairy at all, for us it means things like using more natural sweeteners than we probably should and occasionally consuming legumes, white rice, corn and white potatoes.  The corn and potatoes are mostly seasonal additions to our diet – we eat them two or three times in the fall when they’re at their peak – and the white rice is almost exclusively an indulgence when eating at our favorite Japanese restaurant.  Legumes, mostly in the form of properly prepared dried beans, have become a recent occasional indulgence – but more on that in a couple of days.

Another part of the 20% in our household is indulging in the occasional non-local (but still organic and sustainably grown/sourced) food.  This weekend we visited a marvelous natural foods store in Akron and purchased squid, sea scallops and 3 large plantains.  The squid and scallops are on the menu for later this week, and the most ripe of the plantains became part of breakfast Sunday morning in the form of this delicious South American/Caribbean side dish.

Tajaditas Dulces de Plantano roughly translates into sauteed sweet plantains (tajaditas is the diminutive form of tajadas, which means “slice” or “slab”).  Rather than sauteed, these are fried in coconut oil but you can also use a combination of olive oil and butter if you prefer.   Make sure your plantains are very ripe, or the taste and texture of the dish will suffer.

Tajaditas Dulces de Platano

Tajaditas Dulces de Platano

serves 3

¼ cup coconut oil
1 large very ripe plantain, peeled and cut in 1-inch-thick slices
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
kosher or sea salt, to taste

Heat coconut oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Gently toss plantain slices with brown sugar, then place into hot oil. Fry until the plantains begin to turn golden brown and the sugar begins to caramelize, about 2 or 3 minutes per side.

Drain plantains on a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt before serving.

Nutrition (per serving): 161 calories, 9.3g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 2.4mg sodium, 297.7mg potassium, 21.4g carbohydrates, 1.4g fiber, 11.3g sugar, <1g protein.

Printable version (requires Adobe Reader)


10 comments

Be says:

Hey, the “80/20 rule” has been around long before Sisson was knee high to a grasshopper so you don’t have to credit him for that (I wouldn’t). Actually I think it is more like the 90/10 rule, but who’s counting? These were definitely a good use of indulgence!

MamaBadger says:

I like the idea of 80/20. Simply put, it’s just a reminder that “treat” are supposed to be occasional, not every day items. Ice cream and potato chips shouldn’t be an every day part of ANYONE’s diet! I made a new rule for my shopping, though. Knowing what we like to snack on, now it has to go on the shopping list. No more adding things we see on a whim. That holds me much more accountable for what comes into the house, and what we eat, in the end.

Why hasn’t Mark mentioned you? You mention him all the time. It’s the least he could do.

Yes, yes, and yes! These are my favorite type of Spanish dish. When my in-laws order out, I can usually be found stalking this tray. Now, I can make my own! (Tons of plantains readily available down here.)

Paleo Spirit says:

Since changing my diet to paleo I have grown to love several “new” foods and plantains are one of them. The taste changes so dramatically as they ripen – going from almost a potato-like, starchy taste and consistency to very sweet like a banana. Your photo is so beautiful that it really makes me want to try this recipe. Nicely done!

Chowstalker says:

Congrats on being a front runner Jan! And sorry to read about the burn. :-( Hope it’s healing well.

We were actually talking about the 80/20 rule this weekend, and I said that I think it should be closer 95/5. we typically stick to 2 meals per day, so for us that equates to one “non-paleo” meal every 7or 8 days. That’s about all that I can handle.

Lisa says:

Congratulations on your front-runner-ness. And have you ever tried Peruvian food? They don’t even serve bread at the restaurants. Everything is rice, potatoes, fish, beef and pepper upon pepper upon non-spicy but delicious pepper.

I could live on fried plantains.

Frank Mosher says:

Absolutely the worst recipe for “fried bananas” I have ever read, even if I did have access to Coconut Oil and Coconut Sugar? What kind of readership do you attract?

Jan says:

Well, let’s see – I was up for Shape Magazine’s healthy blogger award, I cannot tolerate gluten or the casein in cow’s milk, I referred to Mark Sisson and his 80/20 rule, I avoid grains and legumes, I try to only eat organic, local and sustainably grown/raised foods and one of my commenters is know as “Paleo Spirit.” I’ll let you figure it out.

BTW, you can find both the coconut oil and the coconut sugar in the organic section of just about any major grocery store. If all else fails, you can source them on the internet – since you figured out a way to tell me this is the worst recipe for fried bananas you’ve ever read, I’m willing to bet you have access to that.

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