Pura Vida! Chile Lime Plantain Tortillas

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!

Tortilla fold

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).

Costa Rica 1

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.

Costa Rica 2

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. 

Plantains

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.

Casado

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?Soda Costa Rica
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.

Plantains

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.

Ziploc Bag

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!  

Plantain Tortillas

Chile Lime Plantain Tortillas

Yields 6
Gluten-free, Paleo-Friendly tortillas using just two ingredients


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Prep Time
30 min

Cook Time
10 min

Total Time
40 min

Prep Time
30 min

Cook Time
10 min

Total Time
40 min

Ingredients
  1. 3 green plantains
  2. 1 teaspoon chile lime seasoning (Trader Joes brand*)
  3. Water, as needed
Instructions
  1. Slice plantains into 1 inch pieces.
  2. Bring water to a boil in a large pot and add plantain slices.
  3. Boil for about 20 minutes or until fork tender.
  4. Drain and peel plantains. The peel should slide easily off each section.
  5. 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)
  6. 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.
  7. 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! ;)
  8. Heat a skillet or griddle and place each tortilla on medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes each side.
Notes
  1. *If you don’t have chile lime seasoning, you can substitute a little chile powder, lime juice and salt.
KH Nutrition http://khnutrition.com/

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California Adventures with ClifBar Pt. 2

And we’re back today with more California fun!  Before we dive into more of my adventures with Clif Bar & Company, be sure to check out Part 1 of the trip here.  

Cliff HQ

For Day 2, we headed to Clif HQ for a tour and introduction to the company as a whole.  Years ago, long before receiving the invitation to this trip, I had heard about Clif being an awesome company to work for. Some family member of a friend of a friend worked for Clif and talked about how progressive the company was in creating a healthy and sustainable work environment and that has always stuck in my mind.  We visited HQ on a Thursday, which is was perfect for getting a feel for company culture, as Thursdays are when they host a weekly company-wide meeting and provide free breakfast for everyone.  The meeting always starts with a letter or “good news” praise for the company as a whole, a department, or even a specific employee.  Nothing like starting the day off on a positive note! I love it!

Kit

Kit (co-owner of Clif)

The best place to start in explaining Clif company culture is with the five aspirations that serve as their guide for doing business.   The 5 aspirations focus on sustaining Clif’s Business, Brands, People, Community and the Planet.  Their commitment to these aspirations were apparent during our tour of HQ and the farms, as well as in our interactions with employees.  

Sustainability Clif

The HQ building itself is LEED Certified, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.  This means there is a focus on conserving water and energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  The interior, including furniture, artwork and sound panels are all from recycled sources.  Large windows and garden areas allow for natural sunlight and solar panels on the roof create the heat for hot water.  The work area is open, with half walls separating cubicles, some of which house standing desks (which I’m a big fan of).   To create some division and privacy, plants are used as natural dividers and to add a little greenery.  

Clif HQ

As far as sustaining their people, Clif totally rocks. For starters, everyday is bring your dog to work day.  What could be better than a workplace where there are always pups hanging around?! I’m not sure Rocky would go for it, but my friend Gus here sure seemed to like going to work for Clif!

Gus

If the dogs aren’t enough to convince you how great Clif is to their people, there are just a few more perks.  There is a subsidized daycare (called Base Camp–so cute!) right next door to HQ, so parents can check in with their kids during the workday.  There are dedicated mommy rooms for breastfeeding, with pumps and all supplies provided, so nursing moms don’t have to lug everything to work each day.  Employees are also incentivized to leave their cars at home and bike to work, or switch to a fuel-efficient, low-emission vehicle.  

Clif HQ also has an on-site fitness center, with classes and a rock-climbing wall.  Oh, and employees get a 30-minute paid break each day to utilize the fitness center.  That’s right–THEY GET PAID TO WORK OUT DURING THE DAY.  

RockClimbing

Massage therapists, chiropractors, acupuncturists and health coaches are also available on site.  Clif offers telecommuting and flexible work weeks, with an option to work 80 hours in 9 days and get every other Friday off.  After seven years with the company, employees are rewarded with an opportunity to take sabbatical for personal development and growth.  I mean, seriously?! 

Clif is also committed to the community, allowing employees to volunteer (on company time) to serve any non-profit organization of their choice.  This year the goal is 11,440 hours of service, which they track on this awesome board in the office.

Volunteer

HQ also has a cafe, which is employee run and focuses on local, sustainable food.  Breakfast is served for free daily and lunch is subsidized.  They have soups, salads, sandwiches and more, plus they receive some produce from the Clif Family Farm too!  

Kali's

Last, but not least, there is an entire wall at the office which is stocked daily with all Clif products, which employees can grab and snack on during the day.  We were allowed to snag some goodies on our tour, so you know I grabbed some of those Kit’s Organic Fruit & Nut bars!  The Dark Chocolate Chili Almond is my jam!

Clif Bars

After our tour, we broke into groups to build our own Clif bars.  Erica, Toby and I created a Matcha Machine bar with almonds, matcha, blueberries and mulberries.  We ran out of time to bake and taste-test, but I’m pretty sure we had a winner!

DIY Bar

During lunch, we sat in on a panel discussion with Clif athletes Maghalie Rochette, Lakey Peterson and Kimmy Fasani.  It was awesome to see what these badass women are doing in their respective sports and hear how they like to fuel their workouts.

Athlete Panel

After spending the day learning about the Clif company, we were treated to an energizing yoga class to end the retreat.  It was the perfect mix of heart-pumping movement and calming breathing techniques that I love in yoga.

Yoga clip

As you can probably tell, I had a great time experiencing the Clif company culture with incredible colleagues.  I was beyond impressed by the transparency of the brand and their willingness and interest in creating open dialogue with us nutrition professionals.  Big thanks again to the Clif team!  Here’s hoping they keep making waves and inspire other companies to follow suit with their dedication to health, wellness and sustainability.

What are some of your company perks?  Have you ever had a bring-your-dog-to-work day?  What’s your favorite Clif bar product or flavor?  Tell me about it in the comments below!

Disclosure: All of my travel and accommodations for this trip were covered by ClifBar.  I was not compensated for writing this post or asked to share any of my experience.  As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.