Heart disease is the leading cause of death of all Americans with Latinos being particularly at risk. ¿Por qué? Latinos have high rates of diabetes, high blood pressure, and excess weight. Fortunately, healthy eating can reduce your risk of heart disease. Many traditional Hispanic dishes are as healthy as they are delicioso. For the final week of American Heart Month and in celebration of Dominican Independence Day, serve a heart-healthy traditional Dominican breakfast dish, mangú.
The Dominican Republic celebrates its Independence Day on February 27, commemorating the end of the Dominican Independence War in 1844 which resulted in the nation's independence from neighboring Haiti. This day culminates a month of carnival celebrations complete with parades, costumes, and fiestas with friends and familia.
My favorite way to honor culture is through good food. A Dominican amiga recommended I try her favorite dish from home, mangú. This dish is hearty yet simple--mashed green plantains topped with pickled onions. I immediately loved the complex sabor: tart onions balance the natural sweetness of the plátanos.
This receta is as nutritious as it is delicious. Main ingredient plantains are rich in potassium and vitamins A and C. Low in fat, calories, and cholesterol, this fruit is a smart choice which will help you maintain a healthy blood pressure. Also, plantains are full of fiber which keeps you feeling full longer, making it easier to maintain a healthy weight.
Healthy Tips: Cook with olive oil instead of butter. If you crave more flavor, skip the salt and add a chopped jalapeño pepper into the plantain mash.
- 5 green plantains
- 3 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 red onion
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Peel the plantains with a knife and cut into small pieces.
- Bring water to a boil and add the plantains. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.
- As plantains are cooking, peel and cut the onion into small rounds and place in a bowl and mix in vinegar and salt. Heat olive oil in a small skillet then add the onion vinegar mixture. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- When plantains are soft, turn off the stove and pour about 1 cup of the plantain water into a measuring cup. Strain the remaining water from the pot, then gradually pour the cup of water back onto the plantains while mashing with a potato masher until smooth.
- Serve mashed plantains with onions on top. Enjoy!
Dominicans traditionally enjoy this breakfast dish with fried cheese and salami or bacon. I keep my meal vegan and serve mangú with sautéed spinach and whole-grain toast.
Craving more plantain dishes? Try the savory fried green plantain tostones recipe which I share in Meatless Monday: Colombian Independence Day Patacones with Hogao Sauce. My all-time favorite Hispanic dish is sweet fried ripe plantains which I share in Meatless Monday: Hispanic Heritage Month Plátanos Maduros Recipe.
We can impact our life-long health by making smart choices on a daily basis, starting with what we eat. This Meatless Monday, serve sabroso mangú to celebrate Dominican Independence and your commitment healthy living. It is easy to reduce your risk of heart disease when healthy recipes are this delicious!
¿Need Meatless Monday inspiration? Click here to read more of my recipes.
A teacher by day, The Wise Latina Club’s Natalie Wagner Fierro is the co-founder of the Institute for Student Health. She equally loves food (cooking or dining in Washington’s restaurants) and burning calories by distance running, practicing yoga, and archery. Click here to read more about and connect with Natalie.
Edited by: Viviana Hurtado, Ph.D.What are your favorite Dominican dishes?