Guatemala: Rellenitos de Platano

Posted by on Sep 25, 2014 in Recipes | 4 comments

Today we head north to Central America on our VeganMoFo world tour to linger for a while in Guatemala. I’ve been to Guatemala twice and while I spent some time in Guatemala City, I spent most of my time in the small, but absolutely lovely Antigua. And both times I really loved it. I think I’ve walked down every single street in Antigua at least twice and possibly thrice. I adored browsing its art galleries, scouring its stores for little treasures, bargaining with Mayan women for trinkets, and exploring its bustling fruit and vegetable markets.

In the Market

In the Market

A Horse in Antigua

A Horse in Antigua

One of the many old churches...

One of the many old churches…

The first time I visited, I hiked Pacaya Volcano about an hour outside Antigua. The ride was gorgeous, through winding mountains and beautiful countryside. The hike was pretty incredible, and very hard. I remember at one point standing in volcanic ash knee deep, my thighs shaking, trying to convince myself to just keep going (I really had no choice!). Streams of lava were slowly flowing down the sides of the volcano and I remember standing on volcanic rocks that were still quite hot. It was beautiful and energizing being so close to something so potentially powerful. We hiked up in the afternoon and down after dusk in the dark, all the better to see the glow of the lava, with torches lighting our path. The little store at the endpoint did brisk that business that evening as we all tried to replenish our depleted energy before the long bus ride back to Antigua.

On the way to Pacaya Volcano

On the way to Pacaya Volcano

Pacaya Volcano

Pacaya Volcano

Hot lava!

Hot lava!

The second time I visited with my friends Paul and Marina and the highlight was the day we spent on Lake Atitlan, a stunning lake surrounded by volcanoes. We got up early and took a car ride to Panajachel and then a boat to the stunning Casa del Mundo, a gorgeous hotel perched on a cliff over the lake. It’s accessible only by boat or by foot and that day there were only a few other guests. We swam in the crystal clear waters, lazed in the sun, and ate a delicious meal before we took the boat, and then car, back to our hotel. After that day of lazy, heavenly bliss, we were kicking ourselves that we didn’t stay there for longer. No question that I would do that again in an instant.

Lake Atitlan

Lake Atitlan

Look at that amazing blue!

Look at that amazing blue!

On the Cliffs of Lake Atitlan

On the Cliffs of Lake Atitlan

The great thing about Guatemala is that it is one of those places you can travel to on a shoestring budget and still feel like you’re travelling in luxury. I stayed in lovely little guesthouses both times, with beautiful furniture, lovely courtyards, and scrupulously clean and comfortable rooms. And although it is definitely a tourist magnet, it’s also has its charms and is so beautiful that it really is worth a visit. Plus, it’s fun. It’s the kind of place you can go and just disconnect for a while.

Archway

Archway

Fountain

Fountain in Antigua’s Parque Central

Beautiful!

Beautiful!

I don’t really remember what I ate in Guatemala, apart from lots of yummy seasoned black beans and rice and salads. But I do know I didn’t go hungry, at all!

Yellow makes me happy!

Yellow makes me happy!

So a kitty wanted some hugs...

So a kitty wanted some hugs and who am I to say no? 

Today I’m bringing a recipe for an easy, already vegan, sweet treat that I tried in Antigua called rellenitos de platano. Essentially, that translates to little plantain fatties!

Rellenitos de Platano

Rellenitos de Platano

They are essentially sweet plantains stuffed with black beans. The beans are prepared “volteados,” which means flipped. Essentially, you cook puréed black beans in a pan until they flip, or really, fold themselves into a cylinder. It looks funny, but they are really tasty. 

Black Beans Volteados

Black Beans Volteados

 

And they are really easy to make, especially if you are lazy like me and use canned black beans.  

Yummy!

Yummy!

And even though they are sweet, they are pretty much health food! 

Rellenitos de Platano
Yields 8
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Plaintains
  1. 4 ripe plantains
  2. 2 tbsps – ¼ cup coconut palm sugar (it may not be needed if your plantains are really sweet)
  3. 1 ½ tsps. cinnamon
  4. ¼ tsp vanilla powder
  5. pinch of salt
Beans
  1. 1 can of beans (about 2 cups)
  2. 1 tbsp coconut palm sugar
  3. 1/8 tsp allspice
  4. ¼ tsp cinnamon
  5. Pinch of salt
  6. ¼ cup water
  7. ½ cup masa
  8. Aroma-free coconut oil, for frying
Plantains
  1. Slice plantains into ½ inch discs.
  2. Bring a large saucepan filled with water to a boil, add plantains and boil for 15 minutes until yellow and fully cooked.
  3. Drain the plantains and transfer to a mixing bowl, and mash together with the cinnamon, vanilla powder and salt.
  4. Add sugar a tbsp. at a time, if needed, to taste.
Beans
  1. Drain and rinse beans.
  2. Add beans with ¼ cup of water, sugar, salt and spices to a blender and blend until smooth. Add more water as needed to blend, but you don't want to add too much, otherwise it will take longer to cook.
  3. Add a little aroma-free coconut oil to a pan and when hot add the bean mixture.
  4. Stir constantly using a wooden spoon until the mixture essentially folds itself into a cylinder and is pretty dry.
Putting them together
  1. Put your masa in a small bowl.
  2. Take a ¼ cup of the plantain mixture and roll it into a ball.
  3. Flatten the ball, press a dent into the middle and add a tbsp of your black bean mixture.
  4. Wrap the plantains around the black bean mixture.
  5. Roll the rellenito in the masa, set aside and repeat until you have used all of the plantain mixture.
  6. Once you have made all the rellenitos, heat a pan on medium-high.
  7. Add some coconut oil to the pan, just to give it a light coating.
  8. Add the rellenitos and sauté on each side until golden brown.
  9. Eat right away!
Vegan Sweet and Simple http://vegansweetandsimple.com/
I served mine with an easy pineapple salsa, which is not at all traditional or required. They are delicious all on their own! 

Mmmmmm!

Mmmmmm!

They are best served piping hot, fresh from the pan. But they refrigerate well and can be easily heated up, and I enjoyed more than one cold! Yum!

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4 Comments

  1. excellent post! First of all, those plantain fatties look absolutely delicious! Ah – I just want to bite into them! And, your pictures and stories of Guatemala are so enticing. I’ve never really considered it as a destination, but the pictures you shared are so beautiful. :)

    • Haha! I’d definitely put Guatemala on your go-to list. It’s so easy, and inexpensive, and just lovely!

  2. I was lured in by the plantain patties but oh my gosh, the black bean thing is amazing! It’s like it cooked down into a pancake! I cannot wait to make that!

    • It is pretty cool! It’s not a pancake exactly, more like a log. I actually had some left over after making the rellenitos so I ate it almost like cheese on crackers. OMG. So good!

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