During the winter (and it hasn’t even officially arrived yet!) I always crave what I consider to be summer/tropical climate foods.  It seems that I can’t get enough of mangoes, pineapples, tomatoes, and other types of foods that are clearly not native to New York.  For me, there is something about the fresh and snappy taste of salsas, fresh herbs, and the feeling of being completely satisfied by a meal that doesn’t feel “heavy” in any way.  I should also add that summer is my favorite season, so I am completely biased towards my love of more summery types of foods. 

When it is cold outside, I start dreaming of the beach.  This meal not only reminds me of the beach but it also brings back happy memories of trips to the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica.  I hope you like it as much as I did!

Brown Rice Plantain Pancakes

1 ripe plantain, peeled and diced
1/2 c. pureed silken tofu
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 jalapeno, chopped fine
1/4 tsp adobo sauce/Chipotle hot sauce
1 c. cooked brown rice
1 tblsp. whole wheat pastry flour/spelt flour
1 tblsp. coconut milk or water
coconut oil or olive oil

Puree the plantain in  a blender or food processor or mash it really well with a fork and put into a mixing bowl.  Add the rest of the ingredients except for the oil and mix to combine.  It will be lumpy. 

Heat a seasoned cast iron skillet or nonstick skillet over medium high heat.  Add a bit of oil so pancakes do not stick.  Pour a heaping tablespoon of batter on the pan and cook till bottoms are golden brown and flip them to cook the other side.  Adjust the heat as necessary.  Serve hot or cold.  I brought the leftovers for lunch at work and ate it cold and it was delish!

*I haven’t tried it, but I think these would be great if they were done on a waffle iron as well.

Black Bean Mango Salsa

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 red/yellow/orange pepper, seeded and chopped
1 mango, chopped
1 garlic clove, grated
The rest of the jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 handful of cilantro, finely chopped
juice of 1 lime
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and add salt and pepper to your liking.  Serve on top or on the side of your pancakes.