Happy New Year! I’m finally back home after a 2-week road trip to LA with my mom and it was so much fun. It was challenging at times to stick to the Autoimmune Protocol while traveling (my mom has rheumatoid arthritis), but it was a great learning experience for me and I’m going to share soon about how we stuck with it the whole trip so stay tuned!
In the meantime, I made this sardine salad the other day for lunch and it was so darn delicious so I want to share it with you all! If you don’t like sardines, I think this recipe can change your mind. It’s simple and yummy, and the tostones (fried plantains) really do a great job of balancing the flavors of the whole dish. The name of this salad really says it all!
If you have never had sardines before and you just don’t like it because of its appearance or smell, I highly recommend you try it! It’s actually a lot tastier than you think and it’s full of healthy Omega-3 fats, as well as heart-healthy vitamins and minerals. I consider it a superfood because it’s so nutrient dense.
Canned sardines are also a great way to incorporate high quality seafood without blowing your budget. I always suggest you buy wild-caught seafood and the canned versions are significantly cheaper than the fresh cuts of fish.
I hope you start 2017 with healthy and delicious meals like this Start-Loving-Sardines Salad. Cheers to new beginnings!
4-5ozcanned sardines (preferably wild-caught and in olive oil)
1bunch of kale, stems removed and chopped roughly
1tsp+ 2 tbsp coconut oil or ghee
1/2greenish yellow plantain, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices
1/2avocado, peeled and cut into slices
Juice from 1/4 lemon
Open up canned sardines and set aside.
Heat coconut oil or ghee over medium heat in a skillet.
Sauté the kale leaves in the oil stirring frequently for 1 minute. Season with salt. Pour the oil or water from the sardine can over the kale and cook for 4-5 more minutes until the liquid is evaporated and the kale leaves are wilted down.
Place the cooked kale on a plate. Lay the drained sardines on the bed of kale.
Heat 1 tbsp of coconut oil or ghee over medium heat.
Place the plantain slices in the oil and cook for 3 minutes on each side until golden in color.
Remove the plantain slices and place them on a cutting board. While still warm, use a flat bottom of a mug or a bowl to flatten each plantain slice to about 1/4 inch thick.
Return the flattened plantain slices to the pan and fry for 2 minutes, 1 minute on each side. Salt both sides.
Place the fried plantains on top of the kale. Add avocado slices.
Squeeze 1/4 of a lemon over everything and serve.
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Two things I don’t understand in the world (among many): how fax machines work and people who don’t like fries. If it was acceptable and my body felt okay doing it, I would eat a whole basket of fries for a meal. They are the best! Unfortunately, I don’t feel well doing that, especially when I eat fries at a restaurant.
It’s not that fried foods are bad in itself, it’s because restaurants usually use awful oils that are oxidized and so inflammatory to our bodies. This is why I usually make fries at home using potatoes or sweet potatoes and healthy, stable oils. Recently, I tried using plantains for the first time to make curly fries, and I couldn’t believe how I amazing they turned out!
I don’t think fries are worth eating if they aren’t crispy and crunchy. Spiralizing plantains and baking them in the oven in high heat yields the crispiest and tastiest fries and I honestly couldn’t stop eating them!
I love garlicky fries so I tossed them in raw garlic before baking them, but if you don’t like garlic, you can leave them out. The best thing is that they are a healthy starchy snack and I feel great after eating them. If you love curly, crispy fries (AND YOU SHOULD), you gotta make these!
About 2 weeks ago, I went to an extremely popular Puerto Rican restaurant called Sol Food in my neighborhood where the line is always out the door. They make these amazing tostones that I’m obsessed with, which are basically double fried and smashed green plantains that are perfectly crispy and dreamy, especially dipped in hot sauce. I remember the first time eating them exclaiming, “I CAN’T believe these are gluten free!” maybe about 5 times. Anyway, immediately after eating there last time, I went to buy green plantains and placed them in my fruit basket so I can recreate Sol Food’s delicious tostones at home.
And since I’m the worst and either extremely forgetful or extremely lazy, that’s where the green plantains have been hanging out ever since, turning yellow to brown to black. I found them a few days ago looking sad and lame and begging to be turned into a sweet treat.
So while my tostones dream has been crushed temporarily, I resorted to making these coconut plantain medallions which was a spontaneous idea that came to me after frantically scanning my pantry to see what I can do with the overripe plantains. Not only are they deliciously sweet, the coconut flakes go so well with the caramelized flavor of the plantains. I felt like I was eating cookies that are both chewy and crispy which, in my opinion, is a texture match made in heaven.