Cook's Hideout: Baked Vegetarian Chili Rellenos (Low fat)

August 05, 2013

Baked Vegetarian Chili Rellenos (Low fat)

Blogging Marathon# 31: Week 1/ Day 3
Theme: Mexican Cuisine
Dish: Baked Chili Rellenos - low fat 
I usually try to include 1 dessert recipe whenever I pick a theme for BM. So keeping that in mind I tried to make a Mexican flan and made it eggless. But unfortunately my caramel got burnt and the flan was way too rubbery. Imagine my embarrassment when I took it over to my friend's place for dinner -- it was so bitter, we ended up eating ice cream from my friend's freezer :-(
After that colossal dessert failure, I figured it's best to try something savory. I had bought some poblano chilies without any particular recipe in mind. I remembered this amazing Chile Rellenos dish that we ate at a Mexican restaurant years ago and wanted to give it a try.
Chili Rellenos consists of meat stuffed poblanos that are dipped in a egg batter and then deep fried. I wanted to make a somewhat lower fat chili rellenos by baking them and skipping the egg batter altogether. The end result is a light and healthier version of the traditional dish. But it's packed with veggie goodness and spicy flavor.
After referring to lot of recipes online, I finally came up with this one that was quite simple to make and is very tasty. This dish has quite a few components, the stuffing, the peppers and the tomato sauce. The whole meal takes a good 1.5hours to make with all the different steps involved, but it is totally worth the time.
It's light on your tummy, so you won't feel guilty eating may be 2 of the peppers instead of 1. I made Rice & beans to make this a complete and filling meal. 

Baked Vegetarian Chili Rellenos: Serves 4
Poblano Peppers - 4 medium
Cheddar cheese - ½cup

For the Stuffing:
Onion -1 small, chopped
Zucchini - 1medium, chopped
Corn kernels - 1 medium cob (about 1 cup)
Garlic - 2 cloves, finely minced
Jalapeno - 1 small, finely chopped
Chili powder - ½tsp (reduce for less spicy stuffing)
Ground Cumin - ½tsp
Salt - to taste

For the Spicy Tomato Sauce:
Fire roasted tomatoes - 1 14oz. can (I used Trader Joe's fire roasted tomatoes with green chilies)
Onion - 1small, chopped
Jalapeno - 1 small, finely chopped
Garlic cloves - 1 clove, finely chopped
Chili powder - ½tsp (reduce for less spicy stuffing)
Ground Cumin - ½tsp
Salt - to taste

Method:
  • Roast the Poblanos: Preheat the broiler to high. Broil the poblanos until charred on all sides about 8-10 minutes. Place the broiled peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let them sweat for 15 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, peel the poblanos and split it open, but not in half and scoop the seeds out using a spoon. keep them aside until ready to use.
  • Make the stuffing: Heat 2tsp olive oil in a saute pan; add onions, garlic and jalapeno. Cook until onions turn translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Next add zucchini, corn, ground cumin, chili powder and salt. Cover and cook until zucchini is cooked through and corn is tender. Keep aside for 5-10 minutes to cool slightly.
  • Make the Spicy Tomato Sauce: Heat 2tsp oil in a medium sauce pan; add onions, jalapeno and garlic; cook for 4-5 minutes or until onions are tender and lightly browned around the edges. Add the fire roasted tomatoes, ground cumin, chili powder and salt. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 4-5 minutes. If you want a chunky sauce, then use as is, but if you want a smooth sauce, then use an immersion blender or blender to puree it.
  • Assemble Chile Rellenos: Place some of the stuffing in the split poblano, top it with 2tbsp of grated cheese. If the poblanos are big, then you can close them, otherwise leave them open like a open faced sandwich. Place the stuffed peppers in a baking pan or a foil lined baking sheet. 
  • Broil for 4-5 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden. 
  • To Serve: Add some tomato sauce on the plate; place the baked poblano on top and serve with rice & beans.


Rice & Beans:
This is my quick and easy version of rice and beans. I had some leftover rice in the fridge and I mixed it with canned pinto beans and Mexican spices.

Ingredients:
Rice - 2cups, cooked
Pinto Beans - 1 14oz. can, rinsed and drained
Onion - 1small, chopped
Jalapeno - 1 small, finely chopped
Garlic cloves - 1 clove, finely chopped
Chipotle Chili powder - ½tsp (reduce for less spicy stuffing)
Ground Cumin - ½tsp
Salt - to taste

Method:
  • Heat 2tsp oil in a medium sauce pan; add onions, jalapeno and garlic; cook for 4-5 minutes or until onions are tender and lightly browned around the edges. 
  • Add the beans, cooked rice and salt. Cook covered for 3-4 minutes for the flavors to mingle. Serve hot.
Lets check out what my fellow marathoners have cooked up for BM# 31.
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13 comments:

  1. Am in love with this veggie stuffed peppers, cant take my eyes from the last pic, a super filling spread.

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  2. Chili Rellenos came out so perfect and must be great with that spicy to ago sauce and bean rice. Loved the presentation and whole setup.

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  3. Super recipe ..with lovely plating..love that plate and that bowl with rice and beans....:)) super super like.

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  4. It looks amazing Pavani..I remember my Mexican colleague made us chili stuffed with cheese fritters..and it was yum...I know it's too high but then it was ok I felt..now this meal is really worth the efforts!

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  5. cannot take my eyes off the pictures!!! very tempting!!

    Sowmya

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  6. The only thing about chili rellenos that I don't like is that it is fried. Your baked version looks delicious. Will try it soon.

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  7. Guilt free and afilling meal. Looks delicious...

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  8. I just loves the second pic... n also the plate.... n these cuisines are very new to me....

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  9. Amazing pictures Pavani. Very tempting dish as well.

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  10. No words other than yummy! I love these and your looks so tempting :)

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  11. This one is new to me Pavani. All the clicks are super tempting. And all that work which went into making it is really worth it coz of the low fat version na.Bookmarked...

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