Having grown up in California, Mexican food is one of my favorites and actually, can work very well in a plant-based diet. These chiles Rellenos are a perfect example.
Poblano peppers work best in this dish and roasting them brings out a real depth of flavor.
This recipe also calls for cayenne pepper but if you don’t like spicy then you can leave it out or if you like spicier food add a tinge more.
Make sure you use good quality seasoning and that your seasoning herbs and powders are fresh.
What makes Mexican food so delicious is a combination of things, but one is the use of complex flavors in sauces. This can take time but produce good results.
Start first by roasting the poblano peppers. Preheat the oven to broil. Place the peppers on a pan and roast until the skin begins to blacken. Be sure to turn them frequently for an even toast.
Once the peppers are nice and blackened, remove them from the oven and place in a bowl. Cover with a plate or plastic wrap for a few minutes. This step helps steam to loosen the skin. You are now able to peel the skin from the pepper, being careful not to break the flesh of the chili.
Here are a few more plant-based recipes to try:
- Spring Asparagus, Pea, Zucchini Soup with Pesto
- Moroccan Stew with Kale
- Broccoli Waldorf Salad
- Country Hash Browns with Sausage Gravy
Slice and remove seeds. If using store-bought roasted chili’s, just cut and remove seeds.
The convenience of store-bought ingredients can shorten your cooking time. If you like making everything from scratch, by all means, use fresh ingredients. I’ve included recipe shortening ideas, such as using canned chilies and store-bought enchilada sauce.
In the meantime, press the tofu using a tofu press or by wrapping in paper towels and placing it on a plate with another plate on top. Put something heavy on top. Press for around 15 minutes while you prepare the other veggies.
Use my discount code PLANTBASEDCOOKING_10 and receive 10% off your order of The TofuBud.
Now, prepare your filling. In a large bowl, crumble the tofu, adding in the basil, pistachios, nutritional yeast, cumin, zucchini, and corn. Combine these ingredients. You can now stuff your roasted chilis, placing them in a pan and smothering with the red enchilada sauce.
I found a Whole Foods 365 brand that has good ingredients such as organic tomato puree, red bell peppers, vinegar, and spices.
I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below for this Vegan Chiles Rellenos! If you have a photo, post it on my Facebook page, tag me using the hashtag #plantbasedcooking
Vegan Chiles Rellenos
Chilies and Filling
- 6-8 fresh pasilla chiles or sometimes called chiles poblano. (Or, use canned whole green chilies, pictured above.)
- 1 package firm organic tofu drained and pressed for about 10 minutes *
- 1/4 cup basil chopped
- 1/3 cup pistaschios chopped
- 2 Tbl nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 medium-sized zucchini chopped ¼” dice
- 3/4 cup corn either fresh or frozen
- sea salt and pepper to taste
Red Enchilada Sauce (you may use store-bought if you prefer)
- Prepare fresh chiles by preheating the oven to "broil" Put the chiles under the broiler and cook until the skin begins to blacken, making sure to turn frequently. Remove them from the oven and place into a bowl. Cover with a plate for a few minutes to loosen the peel. Peel the outer skin, being careful not to tear the flesh of the chili. Lower the oven to bake at 350°F.
- With a sharp paring knife, make a long slit the length of each chili and then gently remove and discard all of the seeds. Set the chiles aside while you make the filling.
- If using store-bought chiles: cut chiles with a small slit and remove seeds.
- Prepare the filling: Crumble the tofu into a large bowl. Add the chopped basil, pistachios, nutritional yeast, cumin along with the diced zucchini and corn. Mix to combine. Salt and pepper to taste.
Red Enchilada Sauce
- Use a small amount of vegetable broth or water to saute the onions and garlic in a large pan until the onions are almost tender.
- Place the can of fire roasted tomatoes into a blender along with the cook onions, tomato paste, and vegetable broth. Blend until the tomatoes are pureed adding more vegetable broth, as needed.
- Pour into a sauce pan. Add chili powder, oregano, cumin, cayenne pepper and stir to combine. Cook for 30 minutes to combine flavors.
- Assembly: add a little of the homemade or store-bought sauce to the bottom of a large baking dish.
- Stuff each chili with about 1/3 cup of the tofu mixture (or more if needed) and place on top of the sauce.
- Cover the chiles with sauce and bake for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.