Pork Stew with Green Bananas and Pigeon Peas


Stews and pork chops are a foundation of many Caribbean cuisines, including cuisine of Puerto Rico.
Though raised in New York, I was nourished with Puerto Rican cuisine dishes. Some were traditional, while others my mom served us she’d  invented herself by mixing items and spices to our palate’s delight. This plate, I believe, is one of her creations. I’ve seen recipes for a similar dish using plantain bananas but mom used green bananas. She loved pork and invented various dishes with it. The dish goes great with white rice. It takes a little time, but I hope you enjoy this one as much as I do.  Bon appetit!

pork stew with pigion peasIngredients (yields 4-6 servings): 
2 cloves garlic, ground
½ onion, chopped
½ green pepper, chopped
1/8 teaspoon fresh or dry oregano
2-3 pork chops, cut into small pieces-about 1” squares
2 cups fresh or frozen pigeon peas
4 lbs (o/a 8 ea) green bananas, peeled and grated
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons tomato sauce
5 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
(If you have your own recipe for “sofrito” you can exchange the first four items for your own recipe)

  1. In a large pot combine garlic, onion, green pepper, oregano and olive oil and saute at medium heat for about 1 minute. Add tomato sauce and cook for another minute.
  2. Add pork chops and cook covered for 30 minutes, mixing occasionally.
  3. Add water, salt and pigeon peas.  Cook covered for 20 minutes.
  4. Add grated bananas by teaspoon into boiling mixture. Cook covered for 30 minutes.
  5. Serve warm or hot in bowl with cooked rice or garlic bread.

Para la versión en español de esta receta vaya a Asopao de Cerdo con Gandules y Guineos Verde.

health benefits of green bananas

Photo courtesy of Rosa Say via Flickr

Nutritional facts and health benefits of Green Bananas:

The green banana is a good source of fiber, vitamins and minerals. It contains a high amount of resistant starch that can help control blood sugar (and possibly reduce risk of diabetes), manage weight and lower blood cholesterol levels. Green banana also has pro-biotic bacteria, a good bacterium helping to maintain good colon health. Same as yellow banana, the green banana is an excellent source of potassium, an important mineral for people who live an active lifestyle and is high in vitamin B-6.

Nutritional facts and health benefits of Pigeon Peas:

Pigeon peas contain high levels of protein and are rich in potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and calcium. They’re  also a good source of iron, selenium, vitamin A and niacin and contain small amounts of zinc, copper, manganese, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, folate and pantothenic acid. Pigeon peas also may offer additional health benefits such as anti-inflammatory properties. 100g of pigeon peas have about 343 calories.

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