Jerk Meatball and Cauliflower Rice Bowls
with seared plantains
In these cold winter months it's fun to have a taste of summer, so we're serving these Jerk meatballs over cauliflower rice with pineapple salsa and seared plantains.
- Beef, ground and lean - 1 1/2 lbs
- Eggs - 1
- Almond meal - 1/4 cup
- Jerk seasoning - 2 tsp
- Salt - 1/2 tsp
- Black pepper - 1/4 tsp
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Cauliflower florets - 1 lb
- Ghee - 2 Tbsp
- Shallots - 2 cloves, diced
- Jalapenos (opt) - 1/2, diced and seeded if you want less heat
- Avocados - 1, chopped
- Pineapple - 1 cup, diced (use fresh or canned)
- Cilantro leaves - 2 Tbsp, chopped
- Lime juice - 2 tsp
- Plantains, large - 3, peeled and sliced (ripe plantains resemble bananas but should be very dark brown on the outside)
- Oil, cooking - 2 Tbsp
- Cauliflower rice - Pulse florets in a food processor until broken up into ‘rice’-sized bits. Cook rice in one of two ways: 1) Microwave for 4 to 5 minutes and then fold in ghee. Season with some salt and pepper; or 2) Heat a pan over medium-high heat and add ghee. Saute cauliflower in heated ghee for ~5 minutes, until tender but still crunchy. Season to taste with some salt and pepper. Watch this video for the full how-to on cauliflower rice. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Make meatballs - Combine ground beef, egg, almond meal, Jerk seasoning, salt, and pepper. (Note: If using a pre-seasoned blend of Jerk seasoning, you may want to reduce the salt and pepper amounts.) Form into 1” / 2.5 cm meatballs. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
- Shallots / Jalapenos - Prep as directed and combine. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Plantains / Avocados / Pineapple / Cilantro - Prep as directed.
- Make salsa - Combine shallots, jalapenos, avocados, pineapple, cilantro, and lime juice.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add cooking oil (portion for meatballs) and then add meatballs to heated oil.
- Saute until meatballs are browned and cooked through (if they are browning quickly and not cooked on the inside, you can add a splash of water and cover with a lid to help them cook more evenly), 7 to 9 minutes.
- While meatballs cook, heat a nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add cooking oil (portion for plantains) and then plantain slices to heated oil. (Cook in batches if your pan isn't large enough to hold all of the slices without overlapping.) Sear plantains until golden brown and tender, 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Season with some salt.
- If cauliflower rice was made ahead, reheat in the microwave.
- Assemble bowls by topping cauliflower rice with meatballs, plantains, and pineapple salsa. Enjoy!
This was an unexpectedly good combination of ingredients. I added too much jerk seasoning to the plantains, and I’m not sure it’s even necessary if your plantains are ripe enough, but even so it was enjoyable.0 Helpful
Plantains took forever to ripen and never really got there, probably picked too early, so tasted starchy. Didn’t have pineapple, so used frozen mango for sauce without jalapeños, sauce made the meal special.0 Helpful
Filling, even without the bun! I added hot sauce on top for extra spice.0 Helpful
Burgers were great and flavorful. Couldn't get plantains so baked some sweet potatoes.0 Helpful
Wow, this was an unexpected win! I often feel like the veggie meals don't quite measure up to the meat versions, but I actually think the veggie one might have won this time. Everything just fit together so well. The plantains at the store were all green, so I had to let them ripen for 10 days, and they still probably could have used a little more time. We made pineapple salsa instead of sauce--took out the yogurt and didn't blend it, added some extra cilantro and green onions. The leftovers were still quite good, though the plantains were better fresh off the stove.0 Helpful
I think I would have liked this better with ground chicken. The plantains were fun and easy— but I bought the ripest ones the store had and it took over a week to get them ripe enough.0 Helpful