Culture

Let Us Teach You How To Make Plátanos Maduros That Your Mom Will Approve Of And Your Friends Will Love

Plátanos maduros are a pretty universal food in Latino culture. However, it is always served differently depending on what your heritage is. While Cubans tend to slice the ripe and yellow plantain to fry them, other nationalities fry them whole. Like you will see in the video above, the plátano macho maduro we will teach you to make is the plátanos rellenos de carne. The extra steps and time are necessary for creating the most delicious and multi-flavored dish you can imagine. Alone, a fried plátano maduro is a sweet and flavorful addition to any dish, especially if it is being paired with savory arroz con frijoles. The plátanos rellenos de carne are so dense and filling that they can stand in as a meal all by themselves. Give them a try and let us know what you think!

The plantain is a staple in Latin American cuisine. While more are grown in tropic regions in South America, the cousin to the banana has made an indelible impact on Latin American cuisine. In the Caribbean, the plantain is cooked two ways. One way is the maduro way that allows the fruit ripen and get sweet. The other way is when the plantain is still green and tough. The skin is hard to peel but the results are incredible. The plantain, once peeled, is sliced. Then the slices are fried and smashed before being fried a second time. The second time gives it a crispy and airy texture. Those golden, crispy fried plantain medallions are then covered in salt and served on the side of many meals.

Make sure you stick around with mitú and get the full video tomorrow on Facebook. You don’t want to miss Jeffrey talking to his mother about this masterful dish as he prepares to share it with his boyfriend. Happy Pride to all of our LGBTQ+ foodies and readers. Celebrate the month with sweet memories with friends and unforgettable meals around a table with all of those you hold near and dear to your heart. Whether it is with your family or your chosen family, you can never go wrong.

Ingredients:

  • 4 plantains, yellow and ripe for optimal sweetness
  • 6 cups plus 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil, or another neutral flavor oil
  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1 head of cabbage, shredded and rinsed
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, or your preferred tomatoes, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup of chopped cilantro
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons of garlic salt
  • 2 tablespoons of ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoon of ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoon of beef broth powder
  • cotija cheese
  • 2 cans of tomato sauce
  • 1 cup of ketchup

Directions:

  1. Cut the ends of the plantains then peel them. Slice the plantains down the middle to create a pocket. *Do not slice all the way through the plantain. You want to create a pocket for the ground beef.*
  2. Add the 6 cups of oil to a heavy-bottomed pot and heat over medium heat. Make sure oil is hot by dropping a grain of rice into the oil. If it pops immediately, it is ready. Add the plantains, one at a time and careful not to overcrowd, and fry until they are golden.
  3. Remove the plantains when they are done and set them on a plate lined with a paper towel to drain.
  4. Add one tablespoon to a frying pan and heat over medium heat. Add one garlic clove and cook in the oil until it is deep golden brown.
  5. Remove the garlic and add the ground beef to the hot oil. Stir and break up the beef as it is cooking adding two tablespoons of garlic salt, one tablespoon of ground black pepper, ground cumin, beef broth powder, and two bay leaves. Stir the meat until it is done cooking. Drop heat to low and let the ground beef simmer as you prepare the salsa.
  6. Meanwhile, in a heavy-bottom pot, add two tablespoons of vegetable oil and heat over medium heat. Add a clove of garlic and cook in the oil until it is a deep golden brown.
  7. Remove the garlic and drop the heat to low. Carefully, add two cans of tomato sauce to the hot oil. Fill one can of tomato sauce with water and add to the tomato sauce mixture in the pot. Add the ketchup, ground black pepper, two tablespoons garlic salt, one tablespoon cumin, one tablespoon beef broth powder, and two bay leaves. Raise heat to medium-low and stir the tomato mixture making sure it has the same consistency as thick tomato soup.
  8. Add diced onion, cilantro, and tomato to the tomato mixture and stir them in. Let it simmer for 15 minutes or until the onions soften.
  9. To prepare the platano macho maduro, stuff the plantains with cooked ground beef. Be careful not to break them.
  10. When the plantains are filled with beef top them with the salsa, cabbage, cotija cheese, and cilantro if you desire.
  11. Serve it up to you boo and enjoy the rest of Pride Month with delicious food made at home.

Los Angeles Is Home To Some Of The Greatest Pupusas And Here’s Where You Can Find Them

Culture

Los Angeles Is Home To Some Of The Greatest Pupusas And Here’s Where You Can Find Them

At least once a month (the first of every month to be exact), Angelinos wonder why they’re paying $2,000 for a studio or sharing rooms with friends at the age of 28, and we will tell you why. La comida. The food in Los Angeles is abundant in Latinidad, and Salvadoreñas are only second to nearby México in repping Latin America in Los Angeles. 

Sure, you could move to  Denver and make a living wage, but you would be missing out on all these pupusas. Without further ado, here’s your guide to eating pupusas in Los Angeles, as told by the Latino people of Yelp.

1. La Pupusa Urban Eatery

Credit: lapupusadtla / Instagram

“Good Salvi food with a twist,” Carlos M. shared on Yelp. With 4.5 stars and over 200 Yelp reviews, La Pupusa’s Urban Eatery is most famous for their Pupusa Mexicana which is topped with steak and served with pico de gallo, guacamole, sour cream, and cotija cheese.  

2. Sarita’s Pupuseria

Credit: saritas_pupuseria / Instagram

Jose Raul’s love for exclamation points is nothing in comparison to his love for Sarita’s: “This is one of those hidden gems! This place is awesome! Being in the central market, you can always find small places that pack a big punch! This is Sarita’s Pupuseria!” For him, it was the revuelta that “takes the win! It was super savory I can’t even explain!”

3. Drive Thru Pupusas

Credit: drivethrupupusas / Instagram

With over one hundred five star reviews, these pupusas are as authentic as it gets this far from El Salvador. You should be warned, Drive Thru Pupusas is a food truck, not a drive-thru eatery. 

Pro tip from Maryem C., “Very nice people and super delicious pupusas. You can even call to place an order and not wait the dinner rush.”

4. Atlacatl Restaurant

Credit: ulyrocks / Instagram

This East Hollywood joint is one of those “nice hole in the wall” types of places, according to its reviewers. Everyone also says that it doesn’t look like a restaurant from the outside. It looks like a home, and when you walk in, it feels like home, too. Be warned, their pupusas are as delicious as they are humongous.

5. Cafe La Praviana

Credit: hungrypandita / Instagram

While they’re not as good as his mom’s pupusas, Orlando M. says, “This place has the best pupusas in the neighborhood, hands down! Well.. they are second place after the ones my mom makes lol.”

6. Los Molcajetes

Credit: joey_anne / Instagram

A Salvadoreña took to Yelp with favor for Los Molcajetes, saying “their pupusas taste great; comparable to the ones you can eat in El Salvador. They especially remind me of a popular pupuseria in Santa Tecla.” Heads up though, with authenticity comes to a leisurely meal. Don’t expect a quick meal.

7. La Numero Uno

Credit: houstondjgabe / Instagram

This Hollywood spot is home to a delicious purple corn pupusa, and a Mexican-Salvadoran fusion. Enjoy both burritos and yucca alike!

8. Mi Bandera Pupusería

Credit: mibanderapupuseria / Instagram

South Central is also home to authentic Salvadoreña food that is easy to pick up and take home, as well. Tiana D. gave us all an inside scoop saying, “the pupusas a so good, not greasy at all, good size, and are full inside. All good for the price. They give you enough curtido and salsa too. They mark the containers so you can know what pupusas are inside.”

9. Gloría’s Cafe

Credit: altapeterson / Instagram

Before you even think anything of this Venice locale, listen up to Alicia: “I don’t normally like blended menus that feature more than one type of cuisine. Gloria’s does this (El Salvador and Mexican) but they’re both done well and authentically, so it’s chill.The most recent time I came here, I had the 7 Seas Soup. YOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! Sooooo freakin good.” There you have it.

10. The Pupusa Stand

Credit: Luis D. / Yelp

Listen. This Van Nuys food truck is doing it right and Carolina E. is here with the pep talk: “These pupusas are the best I’ve tasted outside of El Salvador. The wait can be a little long, depending on what time you get there. The location is in a church parking lot; they set up a grill and hand make the pupusas to order. They do not skimp on the fillings. There are a few chairs but they’re usually taken up by regulars or large families, it’s cash only but you can place your order before finding an atm if you forget. The ladies are extremely friendly and helpful. The freshness and deliciousness are worth the wait.”

11. Es Con Sabor West

Credit: overoverunder / Instagram

Located in Palms, Jennifer O. gave it to us straight, “Food: this is the best place to buy pupusas on the west side PERIODT. They run about $3 a pop and are always fresh, bubbling over with cheese and goodness. My go to is pork and cheese which is fire, beans and cheese are a close second. The curtido is on point too.”

12. Jaragua

Credit: aveganandher / Instagram

Jerome W.’s solution to feeling overwhelmed with all the pupusa choices is to “order them ALL and chow down. They’re all good.” Plus, the meal you see above is all vegan!

13. Pupusas

Credit: Mayra F. / Yelp

We’re keeping names simple here in Northridge. You can get a pupusa grande for just $2. Do not expect social media or anything other than knowing they’re on the corner of Reseda Blvd and Rayen street, and that you’ll just have to go and try it for yourself.

14. Las Casitas Grill

Credit: Sofia A. / Yelp

Leticia C. is a regular at Las Casitas and here’s how we know: “I love this spot and all I ever get is that Papusas and rice! It’s so good ! On Mondays and tuesdays, they have a special for 99 cents and I’m in there like swimwear they are quick and fresh every time ! I’m sure I’ll make my way around the menu eventually but those have me coming back every time ! Very authentic and delicious as hell !”

15. Pupusería La Favorita

Credit: Nana M. / Yelp

This South Gate adjacent pupusería really is a fan favorite. Nana M. says the “pupusas are big and delicious. I didn’t know I live near a pretty good Salvadorean restaurant. I give it 5 stars for the good price.” That’s right, each pupusa is $1.50. 

Take that, landlords.

READ: These 5 Restaurants Prove Latinos Have Left Their Mark On Washington D.C.

Here’s Why Activists And Parents Are Upset About A New Weight Loss App For Children

Culture

Here’s Why Activists And Parents Are Upset About A New Weight Loss App For Children

This week, WW, the ridiculously rebranded name for weight loss company Weight Watchers, proved that despite its new designation, the global brand is offering more of the same problematic trash to the world — this time, directed at children in particular.

On Tuesday, WW launched Kurbo, a nutrition and weight loss app for kids between the ages of 8 and 17 years old.

Not surprisingly health experts are furious about the danger it could pose to the physical and mental health of our young people.

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“You NEED to Shut. This. Down,” Whitney Fisch, a social worker, school counselor and mom of three, wrote Wednesday on Facebook. “All bodies, especially growing + developing bodies, deserve respect + the ability to grow into whatever shape they’re meant to grow to be.”

The company describes the app, which is free, as a “scientifically-proven behavior change program designed to help kids and teens age 8-17 reach a healthier weight” that was acquired from Stanford University’s Pediatric Weight Control Program. It uses a traffic light system to instruct youth on foods that they should eat and those that they should avoid. Kids are urged to eat plenty of “green light” foods, including fruits and vegetables, to be “mindful” of their portions of “yellow light” foods, like lean protein, whole grains and dairy, and to lessen their intake of “red light” foods, such as sugary drinks and “treats.” The app also encourages users to track their daily physical activity and deep breathing.

With a paid, subscription-based plan, children can also receive through the app one-on-one sessions with coaches that are supposed to be experts in nutrition, exercise, and mental health. However, the Huffington Post reports that these coaches do not need to have any credentials in health or nutrition fields; though they do go through a minimum of six to eight hours of initial training.

Eating disorder treatment experts are concerned about the impact an app like Kurbo could have on a young person’s mental health, self-esteem and eating habits.

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“While the intention of the app is to promote health and wellness, there is the risk that it could do more harm than good,” Kathryn Argento, a registered dietician with The Renfrew Center, a national network of eating disorder treatment centers for women and girls, told the Huffington Post. “Targeting kids as young as 8 years old to focus on … their bodies can lead to an intense preoccupation with food, size, shape and weight.”

Aside from the damaging impact apps like this one can have on a children’s relationship with their bodies and food, public health organizations and pediatricians also doubt the efficacy of children’s weight loss programs altogether.

“The evidence suggests that these types of tools may be helpful adjuncts to weight management, but there are few studies in pediatrics to confirm that they lead to a ‘meaningful change in their weight trajectories,’” Dr. Ihuoma Eneli, director of the Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, told the news outlet.

As part of WW’s rebranding, the company and app have chosen to start focusing on overall health and wellness in addition to weight loss.

According to Gary Foster, chief scientific officer at WW, Kurbo “isn’t a weight loss app.”

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“This is an app that teaches in a game-ified, fun, engaging way what are the basics of a healthy eating pattern,” he told the Huffington Post.

But parents still worry the app could be spreading an all-too-familiar message that they are unworthy as they are and must change their physical appearance to be accepted. While young people already receive these memos from a diet-obsessed mass media, parents fear that unrealistic beauty ideals are now being pushed on impressionable children in the name of health and wellness.

In response to these apprehensions, Foster said: “I think there could be some misperception that somehow we’re saying, ‘All kids should lose weight, you’re not OK as you are.’ What we’re saying to kids who are trying to achieve a healthier weight — kids and families — is that this is a reasonable, sensible way to do it.”

But despite this alleged kid-friendly wellness mission, Kurbo’s website sends another message.

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Its landing page shows young people’s “success stories,” and they’re celebrating weight loss, not how often they meditate or how many ounces of water they drink daily.

“There’s no way that these kids don’t realize that the app is supposed to help them lose weight,” Ginny Jones, an eating disorder recovery activist, said. “No matter how hard it tries to market itself as a wellness company, WW is about weight loss. Kids are way smarter than we think they are, and every ‘big kid’ who [has been] put on a weight loss program knew exactly what their parents were trying to do.”

Read: She Shared Stories Of Being Fat-Shamed At The Doctor And Fear Of Wearing A Two-Piece Then, Jessica Torres Accidentally Built One Of The Biggest Body Positive Communities

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