Can you believe I almost named this recipe 'PEPPERED "STEAKS"'? I was going for the whole juicy-alternative-to-regular-steak thing but decided against it. It wouldn't have been such an atrocious idea I suppose, after all I've dabbled in spicy burgers and meat-less pies in the past. But let's get real - it tastes nothing like a steak, maybe looks like a steak with the right angle and lighting, but yeah... Let's celebrate it for what it is this time around - beans and plantain (classic combo) under a different, arguably chic guise.
Long before I even considered a plant-based diet as a valid way of eating, I used to tease a veggie friend of mine for eating things like veggie burgers and veggie sausages and veggie mince etc etc. I always wondered why so much effort went into making mock versions of meat products. I can't speak for any of the vegetarian/vegan food production companies, but I've come to realise that there's something fun about trying to re-appropriate long-standing dietary favourites that I once thought I couldn't live without. The creative side of me wants to push the boundaries of what food can be transformed into. A bit like a mad scientist in a lab, without the fly-away hair and villainous laughter of course...
- 1 cup cooked beans (I used black-eyed beans)
- 1 very ripe banana
- 1/4 cup wholegrain flour
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- Ground black pepper
- 2 large tomatoes (chopped)
- 1 small onion (chopped)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Salt to taste
Mash the beans and ripe plantain in a large mixing bowl to form a smooth or chunky texture, depending on which you prefer. Add the wholegrain flour, ground ginger and crushed stock cube, give it a good mix to achieve a light, sticky mixture.
Line a baking tray with some greaseproof paper and drop two to three tablespoons of the mixture on at a time (use the back of the spoon to spread it out a little and form roughly round shapes). Lightly sprinkle each 'cake' with black pepper.
Bake in a pre-heated oven, gas mark 6, for 20-25 mins or until brown and firm to the touch.
Leave to cool for a few minutes and serve with a refreshing tomato/onion salad (chopped tomatoes and onions tossed with 1 tbsp olive oil and salt to taste).