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Meatless Monday: Stuffed Poblano Peppers


When you live in New England and March rolls around, it’s kind of a big deal for several reasons:

  • Daylight Savings Day is on March 8th this year. Hello extra hour of sunlight!

  • St. Patrick’s Day is on March 17th. It seems to me that everyone in New England has at least a smidge of Irish ancestry in their blood or at least pretends to on March 17th. Cheers!

  • The first day of Spring is on March 19th! We can (almost) start to see the daffodils and crocus peaking out of the ground. We start booking pedicures, as the thought of wearing flip flops is not incomprehensible. We might even be able to open the windows! We can start spring cleaning, de-cluttering and gardening. *

  • March is Women’s History Month. No matter what region you live in, this is something to celebrate. You go girl!

* I am going to ignore the glaring fact that we could absolutely have at least three more snow storms this month. The spring cleaning, de-cluttering and gardening can wait until April. I am still getting a pedicure.

In honor of the grass (potentially) turning green this month, I’d love to share a fun and delicious green-inspired meatless meal. If you don’t like the slight heat from the poblano peppers, you can substitute green bell peppers. The same exact cooking process applies.

 

STUFFED POBLANO PEPPERS

  • 4-6 poblano peppers, washed

  • 1/2 small yellow onion, chopped

  • 1-2 Yukon gold potatoes, cooked and cut into cubes 

  • 1 x 15.5 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

  • 3 TBSP hemp seeds

  • 3 TBSP nutritional yeast

  • kosher salt, black pepper to taste

  • about 1 tsp garlic powder

  • 1/2 cup Vegan Cheese or Cream Cheese Mixture (see recipe below)

  • 1 cup basmati rice, cooked according to package directions and set aside (instead of water, I use vegetable broth. It gives the rice a delicious, rich flavor)

  • about 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

To give you options, I made two different cheese mixtures.

Vegan Cheese Mixture:

In a food processor, blend:

  • 1/2 cup soaked raw cashews (they should soak in warm water for at least 30 minutes or as long as overnight)

  • 1 boiled carrot

  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast

  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

  • hearty pinch of kosher salt

  • 1 TBSP lemon juice or lime juice

  • 2 TBSP chopped yellow onion

  • healthy pinch chili powder

  • few dashes of hot sauce (more if you like it spicy!)

  • about a 1/4 cup vegetable broth (maybe more, maybe less according to your consistency preference)

Blend the first 9 ingredients (cashews through hot sauce), stop the machine and scrape down the sides. Turn the machine back on and slowly drizzle in the broth. Stop when you reach the consistency you like. If you accidentally add too much, you can add more nutritional yeast to make it less watery.

Cream Cheese Mixture:

In a small bowl, using a fork, mix together:

  • 1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

  • 1/2 cup plain cream cheese

  • a few dashes of hot sauce

  • kosher salt

  • black pepper

  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

  1. Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Drizzle in a bit of olive oil. Next, add the onions and cook for about 7 minutes, until fragrant and caramelized.

  2. Add the potatoes and cook for about 5-7 minutes, the potatoes should start to brown slightly.

  3. Add the next 5 ingredients (black beans through garlic powder (mix well and taste, add more seasoning if you like in the this step).

  4. Turn heat off and set skillet aside.

  5. If you have a gas stove top, turn to medium high heat and start to char the peppers. You want the skin to turn black and bubbly (see picture below). Using tongs, turn every few minutes to char each side of the pepper. If you don’t have a gas stove top, line a a roasting pan with aluminum foil. Roast in the oven at 450 degrees for about 30 minutes, turning every 10 minutes or so.

  6. When the peppers are black and charred, place in a brown paper bag (this will help the peppers steam and the skin will come off much easier).

  7. To remove the skin of the peppers, lay the pepper on a flat surface and using a dull butter knife, scrape the charred skin away from the flesh of the pepper.

  8. Holding the stem of the pepper, make a slice down the length of the pepper and open up like a book (see picture below). Carefully scrape out the seeds and discard.

  9. Place the potato/bean mixture in the center of the filleted pepper. Top with dollops of vegan or cream cheese mixture. Carefully fold over, and secure with a toothpick. See picture.

  10. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the stuffed peppers in a casserole dish and top with more cheese mixture. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until warm in the center.

  11. Serve the stuffed pepper over a bed of rice and sprinkle with fresh cilantro and a few extra dashes of hot sauce.

If you’re a wine drinker, pair this meal with a chilled Reisling or Pino Gris. Or, if you’re craving a beer try a pale ale or an IPA, they go great with the creamy, cheesiness of the dish. In honor of St. Patty’s Day, try to find an Irish pale ale!

When writing this blog post, I did some research on fun facts about March and learned that March 21st is National Teenager Day. Um, when you’re raising a teenager, don’t they act like EVERY day is National Teenager Day? I guess I won’t nag my 13 year old son to clean his room, finish his homework, get off the X-Box or get back in the shower and actually wash his hair on this day.

I also learned that March 30th is Take a Walk in the Park Day and I Am In Control Day. I am not making this up. On this day, I hope that you can get outside for a walk (even if it’s not in a park), and feel calm, confident and in control of your mood. Remember, you cannot control how other people feel, act or behave. But, you can control how you react to them. So, let’s all meet in the park when our kids are being difficult or our bosses are driving us crazy. I’ll bring the wine.

With love,

Jane


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