Just the other day, my daughter was improvising in the kitchen and she came up with this amazingly delicious, low calorie, chili relleno. Although it is not a traditional chili relleno, laden with cheese and bread crumbs, it is still incredibly delicious and has an entirely new and bold flavor.
~4-6 large chiles (she used Anaheim chiles. Also, its a good idea to make a few more chiles than you plan on serving just in case they fall apart)
~1/3 cup toasted walnuts
~3 cups of sliced crimini or button mushrooms
~2 cups thinly sliced brown onion
~2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
~1 tsp dried oregano
~1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
~1/2 cup organic shredded white cheddar cheese
~1/4 cup shredded gruyere or parmesan cheese
(*Note: to make this dish vegan friendly you can omit the cheese and simply add more nutritional yeast and/or hemp seeds to the cilantro sauce below)
Ingredients for Vegan Hemp Cilantro Sauce:
~3/4 cup water
~1/2 cup hemp seeds and/or cashews
~2/3 cup cilantro
~2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
~2 tbsp nutritional yeast
~1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
~1/2 tsp sea salt, may add more to taste
To make sauce blend in a small hand held blender until smooth. ***If making Vegan Cheese, then add more hemp seeds and fold in about 2-3 tbsp more of nutritional yeast. More or less depending on consistency desired.
Directions to prepare chilis:
To make prepare the chilis, you are going to grill or broil them until their skin is well-charred. Then place them in a covered pot for 5 minutes to try to steam off the skin and let them cool. Then carefully remove all of the skin. The chilis will be very delicate. Then carefully make a slit along the chili top to bottom and remove the seeds, and try not to break off the stem. Then run the chili under water to remove all seeds and skin particles and place of a paper towel to dry.
Directions to prepare mushroom stuffing:
Heat oil in a medium skillet. Then add onions and saute until they start to sweat. Then add the spices and the mushrooms and saute until wilted, about 5 minutes. Mix in walnuts. Add salt to taste.
Preheat oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees. Take chili and open at the slit. Place mushroom stuffing at the bottom. Then add cheeses, about 2 tbsp cheddar and 1 tbsp gruyere or parmesan. Since we did not use eggs or bread crumbs, which help hold the chili together, we just used toothpicks. Insert 2 to 3 toothpicks to secure the chili, then add 1-2 more tbsp of cheese on top. Place in oven and cook for 7-10 minutes, until the cheese melts and slightly browns. Take out of oven and remove toothpicks. Then drizzle with cilantro cream sauce.
Follow directions above until you get to the cheese. Place 2-3 tbsp of vegan cheese inside. If using this method, you do not have to bake the chili, but you can if you want to heat it up. Then drizzle with cilantro cream and enjoy!