Monthly Archives: September 2011

Vegan Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Last night I had to make something for a gathering with a Mexican theme and I was stumped — I couldn’t think of anything new or original to bring. So, I took to the Internet and one of my first searches turned up this great blog A Couple Cooks. Their recipe for Stuffed Poblano Peppers sounded great, so I decided to go with that, as well as a basic salsa recipe. (Look for that tomorrow).

First the peppers. (I didn’t take pictures — this one is from the post on A Couple Cooks.)

I decided to double it, which was just enough for 10 people (who also had another entree going on). Everyone loved these and there were only 4 leftover. I’ll post the single recipe here though, which would be good for 4+ people.  If you found some mini bell peppers, you could make great little appetizers out of this recipe too.

• 4 poblano peppers (I did a mixture of poblano and bell peppers — prepare the same way)
• 1 c. uncooked brown rice (could use quinoa or another grain too)
• 1 1/2 c. salsa (I ended up using 2 c. for the doubled recipe and it was great)
• 1 15 oz. can black beans
• 1 1/2 c. frozen or canned corn
• 3 green onions
• 1 tsp. cumin
• 1 tsp. chili powder
• cayenne pepper or Tobasco to taste
• salt and pepper to taste
• olive oil
• Shredded cheese
• Chopped cilantro for garnish (which I forgot…)

1. Cook rice according to package directions. I ended up not putting in all of the rice I cooked for the double batch. As it was I had some filling left over (which is great, because we can freeze it or use it for tacos or something). SO, you could maybe go with 3/4 of a cup and see how that goes.

2. Whilte the rice cooks (you’ll have plenty of time to do everything else while the rice cooks for 45 minutes, FYI) prepare the peppers: slice in half length-wise and remove seeds and ribs. It looks nice if the stems are still attached, but obviously those don’t get eaten. You may want to wear gloves for this if you’re using poblanos (especially if you’re wearing contacts you’ll have to take out later!). This is my general rule of thumb for every pepper that isn’t a bell pepper, after burning my eyeballs far too many times.

Place skin side down, drizzle with olive oil, flip (so skin side up) and drizzle again. Put them under a broiler for 6-7 minutes (until they start to char a bit). Flip so they are skin side down and broil for another 6-7 minutes. Remove from oven.

3. While the peppers are broiling… chop onions, drain and rinse the black beans.

4. Place onions, black beans, corn (I went with frozen), seasonings (all seasonings to taste — go nuts if you like things spicier) in a large microwaveable bowl (especially if corn is frozen. If it’s thawed/canned, you might be good at room temp).

5. If the rice has been cooked and has cooled, add rice first, then heat in microwave. Otherwise, heat the mixture to warm (1-3 minutes), then add your cooked rice, along with a handful of cheese just to stick it all together a bit.

I split my mixture and used a regular Mexican blend of cheeses for the vegetarian ones and used Daiya vegan cheese for the vegan ones. (If you haven’t tried this cheese yet, vegan or not, you must!)

6. Place peppers back on baking sheet and fill with rice/bean mixture. My peppers were all oddly shaped so I had to get a little creative with this and pile it up and tuck it in crevices.

7. Top with a bit of shredded cheese (any kind you’re using) and place back under the broiler for 1-2 minutes, until the cheese melts and begins to brown a bit.

8. Top with sour cream (regular or Tofutti) and sprinkle with a bit of chopped cilantro if you have it or salsa.

This was easy to make, took less than an hour and was a crowd pleaser. I’ll definitely be making this again!

Vegan Red Pepper Spaghetti Sauce and Roasted Brussels Sprouts

I had a really, really long cook day today and barely had the will to get off the couch and make myself something for dinner after I got home. I was considering not eating at all, when I checked my e-mail to find a delicious recipe from my good friend Karyn in my Inbox and headed out to get a few things.

I got a little carried away at the store and decided to make a few things to feed my squeeze and I through the weekend.

I ended up making Inside Out Tempeh Asian Dumplings (right), Chana Masala with Brown Rice (top), roasted Brussels sprouts and the red pepper sauce (bottom).

I’ll get to the sauce in a second, but first I’ll explain how I do the Brussels sprouts since that’s not already on the blog like the others. It’s the easiest:

1. Trim the ends off of sprouts and clean them.

2. Cut in half if medium or large.

3. On a baking sheet, toss sprouts with a few cloves of garlic (sliced if large), 1-2 Tbsp. of olive oil and whatever seasonings you like (tonight, I used Herbamare).

4. Roast in oven at 400 degrees, tossing every 10 minutes or so until they are kind of crispy and browning — about 30 minutes. And that’s it!

OK, now to the real deal. This recipe also was super easy AND delicious. I’m not sure where she got it, but it’s good. Thanks, Karyn!

• 1 Tbsp. olive oil
• 1 Tbsp. Earth Balance or other vegan butter
• 3 garlic cloves, chopped
• 1 c. chopped red onion
• 3 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
• ½ c. vegetable broth
• ¾ lb. spaghetti
• chopped fresh basil
• grated zest of a lemon

1. Heat oil and Earth Balance over medium heat. Add garlic,
onion and red peppers and cook until tender.

2. Then add broth. Cover and reduce heat and simmer until sauce thickens.

3. Once the veggies are all tender ( based this on looks alone. I probably had it simmering for at least 20 minutes), transfer all sauce contents to a food processor or use a hand blender and process until pureed. I went the hand blender route and it worked just great. I made a mess because  the sauce was too shallow in the pot I was using (small is just fine!), but sometimes it’s just easier than all the transferring and whatnot.

4. Return to pan to heat before serving. Serve over pasta with chopped fresh basil and grated lemon zest. I think I might try this one on spaghetti squash too.