This lighter version of chiles rellenos makes a killer breakfast (so you can imagine how long they'd last on a brunch table), but they're still filling enough for dinner. There's a lot to love: Big, spicy chiles loaded with a heap of dark beans smothered in a thick cashew sauce made flavorful in a snap by adding prepared salsa.
Rather than the usual chiles rellenos method (roast, then peel, seed, stuff, batter, and fry), this healthy recipe calls for simply stuffing the peppers from the top and kicking up your feet while the oven does the work. The only downside is a long roasting time, but we'll take inactive periods over a mountain of fuss every time. Plus, remember that while you're making dinner, you're also knocking out tomorrow's breakfast.
Anytime Saucy Vegan Chiles Rellenos
5-6 large poblano peppers (4-5 inches long, about 3 inches wide at the top)
1/2 cup raw, unsalted cashews
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp corn starch
1/2 tsp fine sea or kosher salt
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup prepared salsa [see Note]
1/4 cup chickpea flour
1 15-oz can dark beans such as pinto, kidney, or azuki, drained and rinsed
1/2 TBSP olive oil
Preheat the oven to 400.
Cut a large opening around the stem of each poblano. Pull out the stems, shake off any loose seeds, and reserve (lay each stem next to its pepper so you know which came from which). Remove any seeds and thick membranes from the body of the peppers. Set aside.
In a coffee grinder, grind the cashews into a powder. Transfer to a pot and whisk them together with the nutritional yeast, corn starch, salt, and water. Cook until the mixture becomes a thick paste, 4-5 minutes. Whisk in the salsa, then whisk in the chickpea flour. Stir in the beans.
Spoon the filling into each pepper, replace the stems (this will keep the filling from leaking out during baking), and transfer to a baking dish. Drizzle the oil over the peppers.
Bake, loosely covered, for 1 hour. Uncover, and cook an additional 20 minutes.
[Note: For the salsa, we recommend a piquant, smoother variety such as Herdez Taquera. If you're sensitive to heat, try using a chunkier, milder salsa like Big S Farms Smoke on the Mountain, but puree it separately before adding it to the sauce to maintain the texture.]