Winning Vegan Recipe Lightens Up Lasagna

The winner for the September recipe contest at NorthBay VacaValley Hospital is Letitia Goodjoint, a member of the Performance Excellence team. September’s contest had a diabetes-friendly theme and Goodjoint’s receipe for Plantain Lasagna fit the bill.

“This looks like a yummy recipe, and it’s nice to feature a vegan option,” noted NorthBay Registered Dietition Laura Hitt. “Plantains are used to replace pasta. Doing this lowers the carbohydrate content of the dish compared to a traditional lasagna. And the beans and veggies add fiber to the dish.”

Kerry Harris, nutrition services manager at VacaValley Hospital, noted that the recipe is a Puerto Rican dish called Pastelon.  


  • 5 - 6 large ripe plantains
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 3 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cumin spice
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of dried or fresh thyme
  • ½ -1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tomatoes chopped or 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 -16 ounce cans black beans drained and rinsed (one can of beans may be substituted for a plant-based meat, if desired.)
  • 1/4 cup sliced black olives
  • 2 -3 green onion, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black  pepper
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 cup daiya vegan cheese
  • 2-3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

Cut both ends off the plantain. Slit a shallow line down the long seam; peel only as deep as the peel and remove peel. Slice horizontally into 4-5 pieces. Fry or bake the plantains.

Spray a baking sheet and place plantains in a single layer; spray lightly with canola oil spray and bake at 400 degrees (turning over slices after 8 minutes) for about 12- 20 minutes or till plantains turn slightly brown.

Add about 1-2 tablespoons of oil to a skillet followed by onions, garlic, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne, oregano, saute for a minute.

Add bell pepper, tomato sauce, bring to a simmer, add meat and/or beans and cook for about 7-10 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Add water as needed.

Add olives, green onions and cilantro, adjust for seasoning. Remove and set aside.

Spray a deep 8x8 pan with cooking spray or rub with butter/oil. Line the bottom of the pan with cooked plantains, leaving no space.

Add a layer of bean mixture. Alternate plantains and seasoned bean mixture until both are used up. Add daiya cheese if desired.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.