I am so excited to share today's Plantain Salad recipe with you guys! Plantains are one of my absolute favorite foods, so any recipe that includes them is bound to be a favorite around here. This Caribbean inspired salad is packed full of flavorful veggies and is complete with a creamy vegan Cilantro Lime Dressing.
What Is A Plantain?
If you've never tried a plantain before, you are in for a treat with this Plantain Salad recipe. Plantains are a fruit that very closely resembles a banana. However plantains and bananas are very different. Plantains are less sweet, and much starchier. Unlike bananas, plantains are typically not eaten raw. Therefore it is common to see fried plantains, or plantain chips.
Plantains are a great plant based starch that is full of nutrients. Plantains contain fiber,
How To Tell If A Plantain Is Ripe:
Trying to find the perfect plantain can be quite tricky. If they're not ripe, they can be super starchy, like a potato. This is not all bad, I do love under ripe plantain, however for this Plantain Salad recipe, it's important to use a perfectly ripe plantain. Ripe plantains are soft and sweet, and the perfect addition to salads.
Unlike some other fruits and vegetables, plantains can be very tricky to tell if they're ripe or not. Ripe plantains don't appear ripe, they actually appear almost rotten. You can tell if a plantain is ripe by looking for black spots. You want the plantain to be mostly covered in black spots and look like it has had a rough beating.
When you open a ripe plantain it will be soft, but not soft like a banana. It should still be firm, but have a little give to it.
Ingredients For This Plantain Salad:
For The Plantains:
- Ripe Plantains - It is crucial to use ripe plantains and not green plantains. Green plantains contain much more starch, and therefore are much chewier. Ripe plantains are naturally sweet and soft when cooked.
- Smoked Paprika - Smoked paprika is one of my favorite spices. It adds a deep smoky flavor to whatever you make. I think that the smoky flavor adds the perfect flavor to the sweet ripe plantains.
- Garlic Powder - Is there anything that doesn't taste good with garlic powder? I love adding garlic powder to everything i roast.
- Onion Powder - Just like garlic powder, I love adding onion powder to anything I roast.
- Cayenne Pepper - This ingredient is completely optional. If you like spicy food, add it, if not, feel free to omit.
For The Salad:
- Romaine - Feel free to use any green. I love using leafy greens like spring mix in this salad for a nutrient boost.
- Cherry Tomatoes - You can use any variety of tomatoes, however I always prefer using small tomatoes like cherry in salads, because they don't cause the rest of the salad to get soggy.
- Quinoa - Is one of my favorite whole grains to use in recipes, because it is full of fiber, and a complete protein. Brown rice, or millet also works great in this recipe.
- Black Beans - Any bean variety works great in this plantain salad. However, I love using black beans. If you're not a fan of beans, you can also use tempeh, or tofu for a plant based protein option.
- Avocado - This is optional since the cilantro lime dressing is avocado based, but who doesn't love extra avocado?
- Corn - You can use fresh corn on the cobb, or you can use frozen, canned corn for a quicker option.
- Red Onion - You can use any onion variety. I love using red onions, because they contains extra antioxidants.
For The Cilantro Lime Dressing:
- Avocado - One of my favorite oil-free dressing bases. Avocados are naturally high in healthy fats, but are also high in fiber and macronutrients which make them a great option for plant based salad dressings.
- Lime Juice - Make sure that you juice fresh limes, and don't use pre-made lime juice. Pre-made lime juice is often full of artificial ingredients and preservatives. Do yourself a favor and use nature's best: fresh limes!
- Cilantro - Adds the perfect flavor and extra nutrients.
How To Make This Plantain Salad:
This Plantain Salad is the perfect easy vegan salad. It uses simple ingredients and requires hardly any cooking.
Begin by preheating the oven to 400. While the oven is preheating, cut the plantains into rounds. Place on a baking sheet and top with the spices. Toss and ensure that everything is evenly coated. Place in the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes.
While the plantains are in the oven, cook the quinoa according to package instructions. While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the remaining vegetables (if using fresh corn make sure to boil it at this point). Dice the onion and avocado, cut the cherry tomatoes in halves, and the corn vertically.
Roughly chop the romaine and add to a large bowl. Strain and rinse the black beans and add to the bowl. Add all the vegetables (including the plantains) and quinoa. Make the cilantro lime dressing by combining all ingredients together in a blender and blending until smooth.
Pour over the Plantain Salad and toss. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is This Plantain Salad Good For Weight Loss?
If you're looking for more vegan salads for weight loss, this Plantain Salad is for you. It's packed full of nutritious whole foods plant based ingredients that are low calories, and high fiber. this means that you will stay full for longer, all while maintaining a calorie deficit.
This salad is also great for weight loss, because it contains a wide variety of plant based diversity. When you consume a diet that is diverse in plant based ingredients, you build a healthier gut microbiome. If your gut microbiome is healthier, your body can digest food better, which can lead to weight loss.
What Is The Healthiest Way To Eat Plantain?
If you've had plantains before, there's a good chance the plantains you had were fried. Frying plantain is the most common way to cook plantains. It sure is delicious, however it is not the healthiest way to prepare plantains.
If you generally like to avoid oil like me, I recommend trying out different healthier ways to eat plantains. My favorite way to cook plantains is with the air fryer. The air-fryer creates the perfect crispy outside, and a warm creamy inside. The only issue with cooking plantains in the air fryer is that sometimes the plantains can get super sticky, and they're hard to remove from the air fryer.
My second favorite healthy way to cook plantains is with silicone baking mats. Silicone baking mats are the perfect way to bake and roast foods without any stickiness. They're naturally nonstick, and you can bake just about anything on them. The food still gets crispy as if it were being baked with oil, but it is a completely oil-free method!
The last oil-free method for cooking plantains is steaming. Steaming plantains can be a great way to keep the nutrients in tact, and have a soft texture. Depending on what you plan to do with the plantain, this is a great option!
Can You Eat Plantains Raw?
Plantains may look just like a banana, but they are very different. Unlike a banana, it is not common to eat a plantain raw. Technically you can eat a ripe plantain raw, however it is not recommended. Plantains are a starchy food much like a potato, and do not develop any sweetness until they are very ripe. Therefore if you do decide to try plantains raw, I recommend waiting until they are super ripe.
- Sweet And Salty Buddha Bowl
- Raw Vegan Taco Salad
- Cauliflower Tabbouleh Salad
- Rainbow Sweet Potato Kale Salad
- Pesto Buddha Bowl
- 1 Air fryer optional
For The Plantains:
- 4-6 plantains depending on size
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne optional
For The Salad:
- ½ red onion
- 1 avocado
- 3 cobbs corn
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes 1 box
- 1 cup dried quinoa
- 3 heads romaine
- 1 can black beans
For The Cilantro Lime Dressing:
- 1 avocado
- 2 limes juiced
- ½ cup cilantro
- Begin by preheating the oven to 400.
- While the oven is preheating, cut the plantains into rounds. Place on a baking sheet and top with the spices. Toss and ensure that everything is evenly coated. Place in the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden and crispy.
- While the plantains are in the oven, cook the quinoa according to package instructions.
- While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the remaining vegetables (if using fresh corn make sure to boil it at this point). Dice the onion and avocado, cut the cherry tomatoes in halves, and the corn vertically.
- Roughly chop the romaine and add to a large bowl. Strain and rinse the black beans and add to the bowl. Add all the vegetables (including the plantains) and quinoa.
- Make the cilantro lime dressing by combining all ingredients together in a blender and blending until smooth.
- Pour over the Plantain Salad and toss. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Wow, what a salad! The plantains are amazing and totally bring it all together. And the presentation - gorgeous!
This salad is something everyone must try! So many colors, so healthy with amazing flavors, wow!
What an amazing salad! I've never thought of adding plantains to a salad...so good!!
This vegan plantain salad looks wonderful, full of fresh and delicious flavours with a creamy avocado lime dressing. Thank you.
This salad is both beautifully and delish
this plantain salad turned out so so delicious! the plantains really bring everything together!
I never bought or ate a plantain
Is there anything I need to know before buying?
They're the best! Check out the "How to tell if a plantain is ripe" section! Aside from that they're pretty straight forward.
now i wonder why i haven't made anything with Plantains before. this Plantain Salad is life!