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Canoas (Ripe Plantain "Canoes" Stuffed with Ground Meat)

Cooking Light
Yield 16 servings (serving size: 1/2 stuffed plantain)
Fill baked plantain halves with a mixture of ground beef, ham, bell pepper and tomato sauce for a hearty Puerto Rican appetizer.

Ingredients

  • Stuffing:
  • Dash of salt
  • 2/3 pound ground round
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped lean smoked ham
  • 3 tablespoons tomato sauce
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh culantro
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Plantains:
  • 8 yellow plantains, peeled
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

Nutrition Information

  • calories 170
  • caloriesfromfat 25 %
  • fat 4.7 g
  • satfat 2.1 g
  • monofat 1.8 g
  • polyfat 0.2 g
  • protein 5.9 g
  • carbohydrate 29 g
  • fiber 2.2 g
  • cholesterol 18 mg
  • iron 1 mg
  • sodium 116 mg
  • calcium 33 mg

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.

  2. To prepare stuffing, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add salt and beef; cook 2 minutes, stirring to crumble. Stir in bell pepper and next 7 ingredients (through bay leaf); cook 5 minutes or until bell pepper is tender. Discard bay leaf.

  3. To prepare plantains, working with one plantain at a time, cut a small portion from the outer curve to make a flat surface. Make a lengthwise cut on the inside curve, being careful not to cut all the way through (plantain will now resemble a canoe). Carefully scoop out about 1 tablespoon of plantain from center cut to allow room for filling. Repeat with remaining plantains. Place plantains on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Brush oil evenly over plantains. Sprinkle plantains with 1/4 teaspoon salt and red pepper.

  4. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until plantains are tender; let cool slightly. Fill each plantain with 1/4 cup stuffing; top each with 1 tablespoon of cheese. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until plantains are tender and cheese melts.

Cook's Notes

Use a spatula or dough scraper to hold open the hot plantain while you fill it.