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Paleo Cuban Okra Plantain Quimbombo

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What is quimbombo? This is a traditional Cuban dish with okra, pork, plantains, and the cuban sofrito (onion, garlic, and green bell pepper). The Cuban cuisine has a lot of influences and African is a big gastronomic influence. A lot of pumpkin, okra, squashes, and stews of African origin are blended with the Cuban flavors and culinary traditions. Cuban food is good (slightly biased), but one thing is that is ins't the healthiest of the cuisines. A lot of Cuban dishes are fried and with very few vegetables, which isn't good for ones health. A lot of starchy carbohydrates and white bread make up a large portion of the diet as does sugar. Heck Cuba was the capital for years as the sugar kings of the Caribbean. Changing a few things to the recipe makes this traditional Cuban recipe a healthy paleo and gluten free deliciously nutritious one. 

Eating a more health conscious way is extremely important. I am not one to let go of flavor, but a few tweaks to a recipe or ones eating habits can make a big difference in ones overall health. You will have more energy, feel better, loose weight, boost your mood, and increase the longevity of your life. A good base of nutrition and intentionally putting in effort to eat well and balanced 80-85% of the time can seriously improve your well-being. 

By skipping the white rice which is traditionally served with Cuban dishes and quimbombo to soak up all the delicious sauce this recipe is swapping it with quinoa. Quinoa is a whole grain and complete non-animal protein. It will soak up all the delicious sauce, but is adding more fiber to your diet and makes this recipe part of the palo gluten-free category. So if you are looking to reduce your white simple carbohydrate intake this complete and balanced meal is one to make. 

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Recipe

Yields 4 servings 

Time 30 minutes 

Ingredients 

1 lb of no bone pork chops - diced 

1 small yellow onion - finely diced 

1 garlic clove - minced 

1 small green bell pepper - small dice 

2 cups fresh okra - sliced in rounds

1 cup diced canned tomatoes 

2 tsp tomato paste 

1 bay leaf 

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 

2 ripe plantain - cut in rounds

 2 teaspoons sea salt 

1 teaspoon black pepper 

1 lime - juiced 

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup cooked quinoa 

Method

1. Prepare quinoa as directed on the box. 

2. Is a dutch oven or ceramic pot heat the olive oil over medium heat. Once hot add the onions and a pinch of salt to let them sweat for a few minutes. Then add the green bell pepper and garlic. Season again with another pinch of salt and pepper. Let this cook for 5 minutes. 

3. Season the pork chunks with salt and pepper. Add it into the pot with mix everything together. Let this cook for another 5 minutes. Add the diced tomato sauce, tomato paste, and plantains and stir. Bring this to a light boil add the dried oregano and bay leaf. Lower the heat to low and cover the pot, let this cook for 15 minutes. 

4. Once the pork has cooked and the plantains have softened add the okra into the pot and stir. Season again with a few pinches of salt and pepper. Let this simmer for 5-7 minutes until the okra cooks. Once the okra has cooked remove the bay leaf and add half the lime juice. 

5. Serve quinoa and quimbombo together on the plate. You can squeeze a bit more lime juice if you would like. Enjoy! 

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