Stuffed Baked Plantains – roasted plantains filled with seasoned ground meat, tomatoes, onions, bell pepper, and spices, topped with cheese for lunch, dinner or even breakfast- very comforting! 

This recipe is easy to make, instead of frying the plantains, I roast them in the oven to cut out some calories, so I can eat two.  Then, I slit open the plantains and fill it up. For the filling, I sauté tomato sauce with onions, smoked paprika, garlic, bell-pepper and ground meat-you can use any ground meat; chicken, turkey or beef. Then I place the seasoned meat in the plantains, topped with cheese.
When buying plantains  it is important to get the correct one; It is should be ripe, yellow and firm, Not overly ripe (Dark skin) because it would end up mushy.

* 2-3 ripe plantains
* 2 tablespoon canola oil
* ½ pound ground meat
* ½ medium onion chopped
* 1 teaspoon minced garlic
* ½ cup tomato sauce
* 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
* 1 small green yellow or red pepper
* 2 tablespoon parsley
* ½ cup grated cheese optional
* Cooking spray
* Salt and pepper as needed

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line baking sheets with foil and coat with cooking spray or oil.
2. Using a sharp knife, cut both ends off the plantain. This will make it easy to grab the skin of the plantains. Slit a shallow line down the long seam of the plantain, peel only as deep as the peel. Remove plantain peel by pulling back.
3. Place plantains on tray and lightly spray, bake for a about 15, turn and bake on the other side for another 15 minutes or until golden brown and tender.
4. While the plantains are baking, add 2 tablespoon of oil to a sauce pan, followed by onions, garlic and tomato sauce. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning, add about ½ cup of water if needed.
5. Then, add ground meat and continue cooking for about 10 or more minutes.
6. Finally add green pepper and parsley, adjust for seasoning
7. Remove baked plantains from oven cool for a couple of minutes, make a horizontal slit in the plantains, stuff with equal amounts of meat mixture
8. Sprinkle with cheese, if desire place in oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Serve warm

By African Bites

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