Roasted Root Vegetable and Barley Pastelon

This pastelon recipe by 12th grader India Ayala, from Virginia Beach Technical and Career Center in Hampton Roads, Virginia, was the Regional winner in theĀ 2018 Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) Meatless Monday Recipe Contest. This year’s theme was “Go with Grains.”

Serves 8.

Vegetable Layer

  • 1 cup butternut squash, large diced
  • 1 cup raw sweet potato, large diced
  • 1 small red pepper, Julienned,
  • 1 small green pepper, Julienned
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Adobo seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste


Toss all ingredients in large mixing bowl, coating evenly.

Spread on parchment lined or non-stick cookie sheet.

Bake at 400 for 20 minutes until lightly roasted.

Divide into 2 equal amounts.

Barley and Brown Rice Layer, “The Meat”

  • 1 1/2 cups canned black beans, well rinsed, drained, and patted dry
  • 1 cup barley, par-cooked
  • 1 cup brown rice, cooked
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced and sauteed
  • 1/4 cup prepared recaito
  • 2 tablespoons Adobo seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 packets of Sazon
  • salt and pepper to taste


In a large mixing bowl, combine the ingredients in the order given until it holds its shape when you squeeze a little bit in your hand.


  • 1 lb spaghetti sauce
  • 1/2 green pepper
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons Adobo seasoning
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste


Add all ingredients to blender or food processor. Blend well.

Divide into 3 equal portions.

Plantains Layer

  • 8-10 whole plantains (ripe, almost black)
  • 1 to 2 quarts oil for frying (may vary depending on pan size)


Peel and cut plantains in half. Then fry, in a large skillet or pot, at 350-375 degrees until caramelized.

Place a piece of parchment paper in a 9 x 13 glass or metal non-stick pan. Take 4-5 whole plantains and smash them into 1 layer, coating evenly. Remove plantain layer on the parchment paper and set aside. Apply a thin layer of sauce to the bottom of your pan, then layer remaining plantains.

Assembly of Pastelon

  • 3 cups cheddar cheese blend, divided into 2 parts
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 eggs
  • cilantro for garnish


Spread your divided mixture of root veggies into a thin even layer on top of the plantain layer in the pan. Then sprinkle your portioned brown rice and barley mixture on top. Press down with a rubber spatula to compact it down. Sprinkle half the cheddar cheese onto the “meat mixture.” Seal the layers with the sauce.

Take your set-aside layer of plantains on parchment paper and flip it over onto the sauce layer. Repeat the layering described above. Apply a very thin coating of cheese on top. To hold this dish together, mix the milk and eggs and pour over the top of the dish.

Bake in the over at 350 covered for 20 minutes, uncovered 20 minutes, until golden. Top with fresh cilantro and you’re ready to serve!

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Nutrition Information

Roasted Root Vegetable and Barley Pastelon

Servings per Recipe: 8

Amount per Serving

Calories:  770

Calories from Fat:  120

Total Fat:  24.1g

Saturated Fat:  5.8g

Cholesterol:  50mg

Sodium:  565mg

Potassium:  1820mg

Carbohydrates:  118g

Dietary Fiber:  15.2g

Protein:  12.6g

Sugars:  57g

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