Friday, April 29, 2011
Yesssss. Pastelón. This was a favorite dish in my home on special occasions. If it was a birthday, shower, someone leaving home (or coming back), a major holiday or other cause to celebrate...pastelón was present.
Just a few weekends ago I attended my cousin's 50th and there was faithful pastelón, right next to the arroz con gandules. I watched as person after person placed a big chunk of it on top of their rice, as drool formed in the sides of their mouths and water collected in mine. Yet my choice to be vegan transcends pastelóny goodness and I passed on this my favorite dish.
Albeit when the idea came to me for this blog, it was the first dish that came to mind. What makes this puerto rican lasagna so good is the sweetness of the plantains mixed with the saltiness of the beef and cheese. I knew that Daiya vegan mozzarella cheese would be perfect, but couldn't decide what to use instead of beef. It was a toss between soy-based vegetarian beef substitutes, black beans or mushrooms. In the end, I decided to go with basic black beans - and it was perfect!
So without further ado, here is my vegan pastelón recipe. My dinner guests (and hubby) raved - but more importantly, it passed the true taste test and lived up to MY expectations. Enjoy!
3 cans black beans
1 onion, minced
1 tbsp sazón
8 green pimento stuffed olives, quartered
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup tomato sauce
2 cups vegan mozzarella cheese (I used 1 bag of Daiya Cheese)
sea salt to taste
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut plantains in half and boil in a large pot until soft and bright yellow (about 45 minutes).
While plantains are boiling, place beans in a colander and rinse well, smooshing a little with your hands as go to create texture. Combine beans, onion, olives, and sazón in a heated large skillet at medium-high heat with 2 Tbs of olive oil.
Mix well until heated through and onions are soft. Add in tomato sauce and sea salt to taste, set aside.
CAREFULLY peel plantains (they're super hot) and place in a bowl to be mashed.
In a baking safe pan, start with a layer of plantains, then beans, then cheese. Repeat.
Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Eat up! Serves approx 8.
PS: I did end up with leftover bean mixture, but I just refrigerated it and used it for other recipes like black bean quesadillas. Mmmm...