Tostones

My ex, with whom I am very friendly and gave me my beautiful J, is Puerto Rican. So at various family gatherings I picked up a few things. I thought I’d share an authentic recipe for tostones, or fried green plantains (platanos). First, you will find 2 types of plantains at the store, yellow and green. For this dish, the greener, the better. The yellow ones are riper and have a sweet flavor, like a cross between a sweet potato and a banana. Plantains also look like bananas. But don’t use bananas. Yuck.

TOSTONES

-green plantains (amount can vary, but for Mr. Dawn and I, I usually use 3)

-coconut oil (or whatever oil you like for high heat frying)

-salt

Peel plantains. This can be hard. I usually cut the ends off then make a lengthwise slit along the peel on the outer curve of the plantain.

Slice into about 1/2 inch slices.

On medium high heat, heat up enough coconut oil to make a level of about 1/4 inch of oil in the pan. We’re not deep-frying, but be generous!

When it’s nice and hot, place slices in and let them sizzle until lightly toasted, then flip them with tongs and repeat.

Remove tostones from pan and place on cutting board. Use a thick drinking glass and lightly press each tostone into a flatter disk. I don’t really measure, but just smoosh ’em up! Don’t mash them like mashed potatoes, you want individual little lightly smooshed disks.

Place smooshed disks back into hot pan and refry on both sides until nice and crispy and golden brown. Remove to paper towels to drain and salt lightly.

These have a flavor similar to a french fry. Mr. Dawn puts sriracha and ketchup on his, and I use a traditional mojo (“mo-ho”) sauce. Mojo is a blend of garlic, lemon or lime juice, and oil (and a pinch of sauce). It is delicious, and you can find many variations online.

We had vegetarian for dinner tonight and had tostones with big green salads. YUM.

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Mostly Vegetarian Cauliflower Slow Cooker Curry

Here’s one of the ones I’ve had written down for a while, but I’ve yet to get to you guys! This is veggie, except for the fish sauce.

Slow Cooker Cauliflower Curry

-1 head cauliflower, chunked up

-1/2 head of kale, washed and stemmed and cut up

-1 medium to large onion, chopped

-2 TB green curry paste

-2 TB fish sauce

-1 can coconut milk

—-Dump all in slow cooker, stir, and cook til tender, maybe 4-6 hours. Yum. Maybe add a little butter at the end for a nice finish.

Asian-ish Chicken Thighs

Recipe time!!!

Asian Chicken Thighs—

8 bone-in, skin on chicken thighs

1 TB red curry paste

2 TB garlic chili paste (I used Roland brand)

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

2 TB soy sauce (or tamari)

juice of 1 lemon

1 TB fish sauce

2 TB honey

2 TB oil (I used grapeseed because that’s all I have right now, but normally I would use coconut oil)

-Preheat oven to 400f. Place all ingredients except chicken in a jar and shake to combine. Pour over chicken thighs in a bowl and let marinate for 30-60 minutes. Place chicken, skin side up, on a baking sheet or roasting pan. I lined mine with foil for easier cleanup. Sprinkle the top of the chicken with a little salt, then place in oven for about 30-40 minutes, or until temperature reaches 180f.

-Optional but totally worth it: Place chicken under broiler for a few minutes after cooking to crisp up the skin. Mmmmmm I LOVE crispy chicken skin!!! Mr. Dawn and I are like that old nursery rhyme: “Jack Sprat would eat no fat, his wife would eat no lean…” He hates any fatty meat, and I love it. T-Lo loves it too. He gobbled up 3 thighs with crispy skin and 2 helpings of braised cabbage from the Primal Blueprint cookbook.

Life Is Good

Life is good. No, really!!! I seem to have emerged from the sluggishness I was in. A lot of it has to do with starting my new job. I love the job. Of course I’m only 2 weeks in, but still, I really enjoy what I’m doing. I’m busy, the day flies by, and I’m nurturing little people with special needs. It’s a win-win.

I think I am a creature who needs habit and routine. I like to think of myself as a free spirit, so spontaneous and whatnot. However, when it comes to day to day living in general, I am doing so well with this new routine. I work Monday through Friday, I have a set wake up time, I have a set morning routine, I work, I get home and do the domestic thing and relax a bit, and the weekend is for play. I have been thriving. I’m sleeping better most nights and my mind is calmer. Good old-fashioned work, doing for others, has helped me a lot.

I’ve dropped 12 pounds in the last 3 weeks. I think most of them have been during the last 2 weeks of working! I don’t sit down much, I’m lifting little ones, I’m moving and singing and dancing and laughing and scolding (sometimes!). My diet is much much much better. I eat a hearty breakfast and my lunch is lighter, but 100% primal, and dinner of course is primal. We have a cheat meal on the weekends and don’t feel even the slightest bit guilty about it.

The children’s diets are being dialed in as well. I’ve gotten rid of the cereal and instant oatmeal crutch I was using in the morning. I make eggs and bacon or sausage. J likes whole milk yogurt with a little honey and wild blueberries. He still has the time at his dad’s and 2 lunches a week at school (due to being dropped off by his dad), but I think we are alright!! I will continue to explore breakfast options. For me, eggs are a good thing, but I also like leftovers.

I have two new recipes here on notecards that I have to get to you guys. I just haven’t been motivated to get on here much lately, and we’ve been busybusybusy!!! Soon, though.

That’s life from this end. How are you?