These super simple, gluten-free, paleo-friendly tortillas are ready for your favorite taco fillings or as a side with a Costa Rican “casado” lunch!
It’s Taco Tuesday and we’re heading to beautiful Costa Rica to celebrate! A few years ago, I took a trip to Costa Rica with my then boyfriend and it was the most amazing place I’ve ever been. When I saw this month’s Recipe Redux theme of creating a vacation-inspired recipe, it was no surprise that I immediately thought of my time as a Tico (Costa Rican native).
If you ever have the chance to visit Costa, take it. I’ve spent the past 5 years since my trip day-dreaming about my next one, which I’m thinking may have to include a yoga retreat. Costa Rica is known for incredible surfing, gorgeous beaches and beautiful wildlife preserves. We visited Jaco Beach on the West coast of the country and took an overnight trip inland to check out the Arenal Volcano and hot springs. Most of the time was spent enjoying the sunshine and Pacific Ocean views from the beach.
Since this post is supposed to be about food and not beaches, let’s talk Tico eats. Costa Rica isn’t particularly known for their cuisine, but this foodie loved it nonetheless. We enjoyed fresh papaya and guava everyday and the coffee was out of this world. I don’t even like coffee (seriously, don’t touch the stuff here), but I drank it every single day at breakfast. It was so strong and delicious, I just couldn’t resist!
The Tico diet is rich in starchy foods (carbs FTW!) with staples like rice and beans, potatoes, plantains and corn tortillas. Pork, beef and chicken were readily available, with more fish along the coastal towns.
The typical lunch is called a “casado”, a plate consisting of all the above mentioned items–rice and beans, plantains, salad, a tortilla and occasionally cheese or meat. It’s a super filling and cost effective meal, with simple flavors and prep methods.
These meals are often served in sodas, which is not a sugary drink, but a local family-run restaurant. Sodas are the place to get a feel for the local scene and flavor. It feels like you are eating right in the home kitchen of a native, often because you are! They are small joints, rarely have menus and the owners make you feel right at home. Here’s a snapshot of our favorite soda in Jaco, way different than what you might think of for your favorite local restaurant, right?
Instead of recreating a whole casado meal for this RR challenge, I was inspired to combine the plantains and tortillas into one new creation. Well, technically plantain tortillas aren’t anything new–paleo fanatics have been doing this for awhile—but having never made homemade tortillas on my own, I wanted to take a stab at it! I used green plantains for the tortillas, as they are more starchy and less sweet than yellow. Preparing them is super simple-just slice, boil and peel.
Once the dough is formed (full recipe below), it’s just a matter of flattening the dough into tortillas and heating on a griddle to cook. I don’t own a tortilla press (though I’m thinking now I should get one…), so I used a trick I learned from Lindsey, slicing a ziploc bag open and flattening the dough in between the two sides.
To kick up the flavor of the tortillas, I added a recent fave find from Trader Joe’s: Chile Lime Seasoning! Just a little bit goes a long way in these delicious tortillas. Boyfriend and I opted for an early Taco
Tuesday Monday and filled our fresh tortillas with spinach and tempeh! So good!
- 3 green plantains
- 1 teaspoon chile lime seasoning (Trader Joes brand*)
- Water, as needed
- Slice plantains into 1 inch pieces.
- Bring water to a boil in a large pot and add plantain slices.
- Boil for about 20 minutes or until fork tender.
- Drain and peel plantains. The peel should slide easily off each section.
- Place plantains and chile lime seasoning in a food processor or blender and pulse until a dough forms. (If you don’t have one, simply boil the plantains a few minutes more and mash in a large bowl)
- Separate dough into 6 portions and form balls about the size of a palm. Add small amounts of water as necessary to keep dough moist.
- Using a large ziploc bag with the sides opened, flatten each dough ball form a flat circle. <---If you have a tortilla press, use that instead! ;)
- Heat a skillet or griddle and place each tortilla on medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes each side.
- *If you don’t have chile lime seasoning, you can substitute a little chile powder, lime juice and salt.