Vegetarian Chiles Rellenos

On February 27, 2012, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Mexican dishes offer a lot of options for vegetarian cooks.  There are a ton of recipes for vegetarian or vegan enchiladas, including some I’ve made myself.  Tacos, burritos and quesadillas are all excellent vegetarian options since pretty much everything is simply stuff a tortilla.  Stuffed peppers in dishes like Chiles Rellenos also provide an option for the non-meat eating cook.

This dish is adapted from a blog post find; though, the original post doesn’t give any exact measurements and tasted a bit bland so I’ve added a few changes to make it more flavorful.

Vegetarian Chiles Rellenos
Serves 4

4 Poblano Chiles
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, small cubes
1 can of black beans, drained
1 small red onion
1 cup red quinoa, cooked
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup crumbled queso blanco cheese
2 garlic cloves, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt & pepper to taste

Cook the red quinoa following the instructions from the quinoa bag or other recipe.  A simple version is 1 cup of quinoa, rinsed several times, added to a 1 1/4 cup of water. Once boiling then cover and reduce heatto simmer and let it simmer for 15 minutes.

Roast Poblano chiles on an open flame or in the oven. For a gas stove, simply heat chiles on an open flame at medium-high heat turning often for about 3 minutes per chile.  Set aside in a paper bag and let cool. Remove after 5 minutes and peel skins and seed, cut open leaving top of chile and just enough to later stuff.

Meanwhile, boil potatoes for about 8-10 minutes in salted water. Add onion and garlic to a pan with the olive oil. Saute for about 4 minutes, do not brown. Add black beans and reduce heat to simmer.  Add cilantro and the other herbs to the pan along with the cooked potatoes. Increase the heat to medium and blend the mixture to coat with the herbs and salt & pepper to taste.  Remove from heat after combined.

Stuff the poblanos with the potato and bean mixture.  Crumble cheese on top of each stuffed chile. Place stuffed poblanos in a boiler for 3 minutes to let cheese melt and brown.

Serve using a large spoonful of red quinoa and placing stuffed poblano on top of quinoa.

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Three Bean Vegan Chili

On January 8, 2012, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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The finished result.

This week is the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) where I spend a good 5 days away from home working our AT&T Developer Summit and seeing all of the geek goodness the world’s largest gadget show has to offer. Unfortunately, for my wife she gets 4 days solo of getting our boys ready for school – not an easy task. Plus her chef is away from the house.

As way to cushion the blow of being gone, I make a couple meals to get her through the week. The request this time was a double-dose of chili. Stephanie enjoyed the last time I made Emily Levenson’s Embelly White Chili and wanted that, but she also wanted a more traditional vegetarian chili.

For the vegetarian chili, I browsed Pinterest, the latest social networking site that is a great visual way to share content. The site has a Food & Drink category and you can follow my “Mostly Vegetarian” board as I use it to tag future recipes.

I found a Three Bean Chili from a blog I wasn’t aware called The Wright Recipes, by a former editor of Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food magazine.

The first step is to dry char Poblano chilies, garlic and an onion. This technique uses no oil or butter in the pot, just medium-high heat and some turning to get a charred result. Then the chilies, garlic and onions are put in a blender with a pint of grape tomatoes and pureed.

The puree is then added to some spices, brown sugar, and oil that is heated briefly.

The combined puree and spices form the basis for the chili. Two cups of water is added along with three types of beans. I use Eden Organic canned beans since they are also BPA free-lined cans.

A proper chili starts to take shape and heated to a simmer for 30 minutes when some frozen corn is added for the final 2 minutes before serving.

I tried some of the chili and it is full of flavor unlike most vegetarian chilies that taste like vegetable soup with chili powder. However, next time I’ll reduce the Poblano chili number from 2 to 1 as this chili is very spicy. Great, but too spicy for my wife and bordering on too spicy for me too.

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