I came across Skinnytaste’s Cuban Picadillo when looking for easy recipes that I wouldn’t mind eating multiple times during the week. Last week’s Skinny Chicken Enchiladas were delicious and I most definitely did not get tired of eating them throughout the week. I was very pleasantly surprised with how great they tasted and I can’t wait to make them again. Hopefully this will be the case with today’s recipe!
The main dish is Cuban Picadillo, which is made of ground beef. You can make it with ground turkey or chicken too but since I had done those dishes before, I decided to try a new recipe. The meal consisted of Cuban Picadillo with a side of cooked black beans, brown rice with broccoli and my attempt at baked plantains (more on that later). Unlike last week’s Skinny Chicken Enchiladas meal, this entire meal was easy to make with little prep ahead time.
I used three recipes to make the entire meal:
- Skinnytaste’s Cuban Picadillo
- The directions on the back of the brown rice bag (I’ll write them below)
- The Artisan Life’s Oven Baked Sweet Plantains
Here’s a quick glance at the order I decided to make everything:
- Started making the brown rice and left frozen broccoli bag thawing on the counter.
- While rice was cooking, prepped the plantains and placed them in the oven.
- Started cooking the meat.
- While meat was cooking, began chopping the vegetables for the Cuban Picadillo and finished baking plantains.
- Finished making the Cuban Picadillo.
I felt that this time around everything just flowed. While one thing was cooking I was able to begin another step or start cleaning up in between. I don’t have that much counter space so I am always tidying up and making sure my area is clean. One note about the cooked (not canned) black beans, I had some in the freezer, so I just defrosted them in low heat on the stove.
Before I list the ingredients, please note that I altered the recipe slightly from the original source. I wasn’t able to find a package of 1.5 lbs of organic lean ground beef, so I bought two 1 lb packages and increased some of the ingredients to add more flavor given the extra meat.
- 1/2 large chopped onion (I used one whole yellow onion)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (I used 4 cloves of garlic)
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1/2 pepper, finely chopped (I used one whole red pepper)
- 2 tbsp cilantro
- 1-1/2 lb 93% lean ground beef (I used 2 lbs 90% organic lean ground beef)
- 4 oz (1/2 can) tomato sauce (she suggested Goya) (I used the entire can)
- kosher salt
- fresh ground pepper
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1-2 bay leaf
- 2 tbsp alcaparrado (capers or green olives would work too)
- Brown the meat on medium flame in a large sauté pan and season with salt and pepper. Use a wooden spoon to break the meat up into small pieces. When meat is no longer pink, drain all juice from pan.
About my pan, I’ve been using a cast-iron skillet. I recently bought it on Amazon and really like it! I try to make most of my meals on it. I had never owned a cast-iron skillet before and it has really made a difference in my cooking! Mine is 12 inches and you can find it here.
- While the meat is cooking, chop onion, garlic, pepper, tomato and cilantro. I used a food processor to chop each ingredient individually.
- Add the sofrito (onion mixture) to the meat and continue cooking on a low flame. Add alcaparrado and about 2 tbsp of the brine (this adds great flavor) cumin, bay leaf, and more salt if needed.
- Add tomato sauce and 1/4 cup of water and mix well (since I used the entire can, I added 1/2 cup of water).
- Reduce heat and simmer covered about 15-20 minutes.
Nutritional Information (for original recipe)
(Serving Size: 1/2 cup)
|Total Fat||7 g|
|Sodium||237 mg (without salt)|
|Total Carbohydrate||4.5 g|
|Dietary Fiber||1 g|
BROCCOLI BROWN RICE
- 1 cup of brown rice
- 2 1/2 cups of water
- big pinch of salt
- 1 bag frozen broccoli florets
- Combine rice, water and salt in a pot.
- Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat, cover with lid and simmer for 45-55 minutes.
- Turn off heat but leave on top of hot stove and add frozen broccoli. Mix and let stand covered for 5-10 minutes.
This recipe for brown rice beats last week’s recipe and will be my go-to recipe from now on!
OVEN BAKED SWEET PLANTAINS
Full disclosure, these plantains did not turn out the way I planned. I had to change the recipe in the end in an attempt to fix it. I’m not sure if the plantains weren’t ripe enough (I had never bought plantains before) or if I overcooked them, but in the end they were very dry and tasteless.
- 2 very ripe plantains
- 1 tablespoon of oil (vegetable oil, coconut oil, etc. – I used coconut oil)
- Preheat the oven to 400º Fahrenheit.
- You don’t peel plantains like bananas. Instead, you cut the ends off and make a slit down the peel from end to end and just unwrap the plantain. Cut your plantains on the diagonal into slices about ½” thick.
- Place the plantain slices in a bowl, add the oil, and toss them gently to coat them.
- Arrange the plantain slices on a baking sheet and place on the middle rack of the oven once it’s heated.
- Cook for 15 minutes then carefully flip the plantains with a pair of tongs.
- Cook for an additional 10 minutes, or until you’re happy with the level of caramelization on both sides.
- For super delicious plantains, turn on the broiler when the plantains have about 5 more minutes of baking left. Keep a careful eye on them and remove them from the oven when the tops are looking nice and caramelized, even if the 5 minutes isn’t quite up. (I didn’t do this step.)
What I did to “fix” the plantains was drizzle with organic cane liquid sweetener and microwave for 10 seconds. This softened them up a bit and made them a little sweet. Yes, I know, not as healthy, but definitely more edible! 🙂
Overall I was very happy with my meal and excited for the meals that I packed for the week! The random addition of broccoli to the brown rice is my attempt to start including more vegetables in my meals and I liked how it turned out. I also packed as a side dish one sliced tomato marinated in white vinegar, a drizzle of Lucini Limited Reserve Organic Premium Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Himalayan pink salt.