Here in Austin, it feels like we just made a beeline straight from winter temps right into bikini weather (Spring? What Spring?) Although this heat-loving south Texas girl doesn’t mind the quick transition, as I shop for my new swimsuit in March, I’m reminded that it’s time to spring clean my diet a bit. When you come from a Hispanic family and your favorite dishes include tacos and enchiladas, you don’t want to give up great taste in the name of wellness…thankfully today’s chiles rellenos include a healthy dose of both. If you aren’t familiar with the dish, chiles rellenos are typically cheesy stuffed green peppers that are breaded and fried. Not exactly the lightest option out there, so I was determined to get in the kitchen and do a little experimenting until I mastered the perfect twist on this Mexican classic that satisfies my cravings, no greasiness in sight.
This dish isn’t typically vegetarian, so although I chose to keep it veggie-centric, you could easily add shredded chicken or ground beef to yours. I will say though that with all of the flavors going on, you definitely don’t feel like you’re missing out.
Poblano peppers are one of the more mild peppers out there, especially when the seeds are removed. Although I love a little spice, this dish is safe for those who don’t.
I’ve found it to be most convenient to leave the stems on when preparing these since it helps keep the pepper together once it’s cut and stuffed, and also doubles as a handle when serving. Win-win!
Staying authentic to the traditional dish, I served these in a hearty tomato sauce that I think really ties everything together.
Once served, I like to top mine with a drizzle of crema and a squeeze of lime juice. ¡Buen provecho! (That’s about the full extent of my Spanish skills.)
- 14.5 oz can stewed tomatoes
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
- 1/2 large white onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp dried oregano, crushed
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
- salt and pepper, to taste
- hot sauce to taste, we used Cholula
- Puree 3/4 of the tomatoes in a blender until smooth (I like my sauce on the chunky side, so I leave 1/4 of the can out of this step to add in later but you could easily puree the entire can if you prefer a smoother sauce!)
- Heat the avocado oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, and cook the onion until translucent. Add in the garlic, and cook until fragrant.
- Combine all tomatoes, chicken broth, vinegar, oregano, cumin, and cinnamon in the pan and reduce to low heat. Simmer for 20-30 minutes until the sauce has reduced and thickened, stirring frequently.
- Season with salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste!
- 4 large poblano peppers, seeds removed
- 2 tsp avocado oil
- 1 medium sweet potato, cubed
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1/2 cup asadero cheese, cubed
- 1 cup cooked whole kernel corn
- 2 limes, halved
- 2 avocados, cubed
- cilantro, roughly chopped
- cherry tomatoes, halved
- salt and pepper to taste
- Turn broiler on high and drizzle each poblano with a generous amount of avocado oil. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper.
- Broil for 7-8 minutes or until poblanos begin to blacken and blister.
- Reduce the oven to 450 degrees and roast the sweet potato, red onion, cherry tomatoes and corn on a foil-lined baking sheet for 15-20 minutes.
- While the vegetables are roasting, and once the poblanos are cool enough to touch, cut a slit half way through each from the top to bottom, being careful not to remove the stem. Using a pairing knife, carefully remove the core and then use a spoon to scoop out any remaining seeds.
- Stuff each pepper with cooked veggies and cheese cubes. Return to the 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.
- Top each pepper with avocado, cilantro, a drizzle of crema and a squeeze of lime juice. Serve over tomato sauce and enjoy!