Thursday, June 23, 2011

Vegan Baked Chiles Rellenos (Stuffed Peppers)

How many green bell peppers or poblanos can you and your family go through in a week? Well, call me uninventive, but I think it's pretty hard to work more than a few of them into week's worth of meals without thinking "Enough!!". How did I find myself with a surplus of peppers, wondering such things?  My CSA, of course. One of the reasons I like being a part of it is that it challenges me think of new ways to prepare both strange and familiar vegetables, sometimes en masse. Case in point -- these chiles rellenos.

Ok, so I cheated. Again. In several ways. These stuffed peppers aren't battered and deep fried, like the real deal, nor did I serve them with a sauce (although you certainly could). Also, they're labeled "Mexican" not because they're authentic, but because of the concept and flavors they were inspired by. Lastly, they were supposed to have a cheese-like topping made with silken tofu but Whole Foods didn't have any (surprising, I know). They did, however, have Daiya -- a tapioca and arrowroot flour-based vegan cheese substitute (delicious sounding, huh?) -- in the same case as the tofu. Yes, Daiya is an ultra-processed fankenfood and therefore totally against the "For Real" part of this blog. It did taste suspiciously like the real deal though, and melted as promised, but I still won't be buying it regularly. So now that you've read all these caveats, I present to you these bastardized chiles rellenos. Enjoy!

Oh, and if you have any other ideas for how to get rid of tons of green peppers, please send them my way.   

Vegan Baked Chiles Rellenos (Stuffed Peppers)
Makes 2-3 servings
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small tomatillo or red tomato, diced
  • 1 15 oz / 425 g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3 chipotles in adobo sauce (you can find them canned in most Hispanic foods sections), seeded if you don't like heat
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons of your favorite salsa (I used Herdez's Salsa Casera)
  • 3/4 cup cheddar style Daiya or other cheese substitute
  • 4 smallish green bell or medium-large poblano peppers, halved lengthwise, seeded and deveined
  • 1/4 cup panko (or conventional) breadcrumbs
  • Optional: 1/8-1/4 teaspoon dried chipotle or cayenne pepper, a few leaves of cilantro for garnish
1.  Preheat your oven to 375 F / 190 C. In a medium pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Toss in the onions and let them soften for about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another couple minutes. Stir in the tomatillo or tomato and cook until it starts to release some of its liquid, which should take 4 minutes or so. Add the garbanzos, chipotle, spices and salt, and cook until the garbanzos are warmed through. Using a potato masher or a fork, mash the garbanzos until you're left with mostly quarter and half beans. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the salsa and 1/2 cup of Daiya.

2.  Stuff each pepper with 1/8 of the garbanzo mixture and place it cut side up on a foil lined or greased baking sheet.  Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of Daiya and the breadcrumbs on top of the peppers. Bake in the top third of your oven for 20-25 minutes or until the peppers have softened and the tops have browned. 


  1. Thanks! I've got a lot going on so blogging has fallen by the wayside.