Pine Nut Cheese Chile Rellenos with Citrus Black Bean Sauce

Sometimes I get a hankering for some seriously gooey and rich Spanish fare, and when I do, these hearty rellenos hit the spot every time.  Fortunately they are completely guilt free and have a happy balance of macro nutrients made with veggies, corn meal, pine nuts, and black beans.  They take close to an hour to make, but the mouth-watering experience is worth the wait.

Makes:  4 rellenos

Time:  1 hour


For Cheese:

1 cup pine nuts (soaked 2 hours and rinsed)

1 Tb. garlic, minced

2 Tb. lemon juice

2 Tb. nutritional yeast

1/2 tsp. fine sea salt

1/2 cup filtered water

1.   Soak pine nuts for 2 hours in filtered water.

2.  Drain off soaking liquid and rinse pine nuts thoroughly.

3.  Transfer to a food processor.  Add garlic, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, sea salt, and water and purée until smooth and creamy.  Set aside.

For the Chiles

4 medium poblano peppers

1.  Roast poblanos on the top rack of the oven on broil setting, turning them occasionally until the skins are blackened and charred.  Remove from oven and cool.  Carefully peel off the skins.  Try your best not to tear the flesh of the pepper.

2.  Make a 2-inch slice in the side of each chile, and using a small spoon, gently remove the inner seeds and membrane.  Set aside.

For Filling:

1 Tb. coconut oil

1/2 cup yellow onion, diced

2 Tb. garlic, minced

1 cup zucchini, peeled and diced

2 cups mixed mushrooms, diced

1 Tb. lemon juice

1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

2 Tb. fresh cilantro, minced

1.  In a large skillet, heat coconut oil and add onion, garlic, zucchini, and mushrooms, and sauté for eight minutes or until vegetables are just tender.

2.  Add lemon juice, red pepper flakes, and cilantro, stir for one minute and then remove from heat.

For Cornmeal Crust:

9 Tb. hot water

3 Tb. flax meal

1 cup unsweetened hemp milk

2 Tb. brown rice flour

3/4  cups almond or chickpea flour

3/4 cup yellow or blue corn meal

Salt and Pepper for seasoning

1.  Mix hot water and flax meal to achieve a gel-like paste.  Blend with hemp milk and rice flour.  Season with a pinch of sea salt and pepper.  Pour onto one of the plates.

2.  On the second plate add chickpea or almond flour and season lightly with salt and pepper, and on the third plate, spread out the corn meal.

For Black Bean Sauce:

2 cups cooked black beans

1-2 jalapeños, to taste (seeds removed if you prefer less heat)

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 1/2 cups vegetable stock

1 Tb. chia seeds

1 Tb. garlic, minced

2 Tb. lime juice

1.  Use a Vitamix to blend black beans, jalapeños, sea salt, cumin, vegetable stock, chia seeds, garlic, and lime juice.  Blend until smooth.  Set aside.

Complete Assembly:

1.  Fill each pepper with 2 tablespoons pine nut cheese and 1/4-1/2 cup vegetable mix.

2.  Layout three large plates and preheat oven to 375°.

3.  Carefully dredge each stuffed chile in flour, shake off any excess and then coat in the hemp milk mix.  Let all the excess milk run off, and then roll in the corn meal.  Set aside on a baking sheet.

4.  Place chiles in the oven on a middle rack and bake for 15 minutes.  Turn and continue baking another 15 minutes.

5.  Remove rellenos from oven.  Spread 1/2 cup black bean sauce on each serving plate and top with 1 baked relleno each.  Garnish with hemp sour cream (or tofutti), chopped cilantro, and a lime segment.

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