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Vegan Chiles en Nogada

These vegan chiles en nogada will transport you to the city of Puebla in the fall. This dish is one of the stars of Mexican cuisine, because it perfectly embodies why Mexican cuisine was declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2010. It is painstakingly laborious, but don’t worry I have adapted it so you can make it at home in less than an hour. A roasted poblano chile is stuffed with a picadillo of pork (lentils in this version), sautéed in onion, garlic, and tomato puree with almonds, apples, olives, plantain, pear, capers, and raisins. It is bathed in a walnut cream sauce and sprinkled with pomegranate seeds.

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The earliest versions of this dish can be found in cookbooks as early as 1817, and there are several theories or legends as to where it originated. Some say that the Agustinian Recollects of the Convent of St. Monica  created the dish in honor of the emperor Agustin Iturbide who was in town and had played an important role in the recently won war for Mexican independence. The dish was meant to symbolize the three colors of the Mexican flag green, white, and red.

Another version says that three soldiers of Agustin’s regiment were returning home to Puebla after the war was won, and their girlfriends wanted to prepare a special dish for them. They each found an ingredient that represented the colors of the Mexican flag and said a prayer to our Lady of the Rosary and St. Paschal Baylon, thus chiles en nogada were born.

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Regardless of their true origin, chiles en nogada today is a very popular dish only available in the fall, since it uses completely seasonal ingredients found in Puebla. Chiles in nogada season is highly anticipated in Mexico as it is a reflection of our national pride and the celebration of Mexico’s independence which is celebrated on September 16. Mexican cuisine is deeply integrated into the history, culture, and the community identity of the Mexican people, and this dish is only one example of the beauty and richness of it all.

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The Recipe: Vegan Chiles en Nogada

You can add peach to the picadillo, but I prefer to leave it out. Traditionally the walnuts are peeled, but this takes insanely long, so instead I have just soaked them the night before. Instead of lentils you could use beefless crumbles, TVP or jackfruit. ¡Enjoy!

 

Vegan Chiles en Nogada, roasted poblano chile is stuffed with an aromatic picadillo, covered in walnut cream sauce and pomegranate seeds.
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Vegan Chiles en Nogada

Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 Servings
Author Dora S.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups lentils dry
  • ½ Onion, large
  • 2 Garlic cloves, peeled, smashed
  • 2 Large tomatoes, (see note)
  • 4 Poblano peppers, roasted, peeled, seeds removed

Lentil picadillo:

  • ¼ cup Water
  • ½ Onion, minced (1 cup)
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup Pear, diced
  • ¼ cup Apple, diced
  • ¾ cup Peeled, diced green plantain
  • ¼ cup Slivered almonds
  • 2 ½ tbsp. Raisins
  • 8 Manzanilla olives, quartered
  • 1 tbsp. Chopped capers
  • 1/4 tsp. Clove, ground
  • 1/8 tsp. Cinnamon, ground
  • 1/8 tsp. Ground black pepper

Sauce:

  • 1 cup Walnuts, soaked in water the night before, drained
  • 1 cup Almond milk, unsweetened
  • 1 cup Baguette or bolillo, cut crust off, cut bread into cubes
  • 1 tsp. Sugar or sweetener of choice
  • 1 tsp. White wine
  • Salt to taste

Garnish:

  • 1 Pomegranate, cut, peeled, and seeds removed
  • 1/4 cup Chopped parsley

Preparation

  1. Fill a medium pot with water and add lentils, ½ of an onion, and 2 smashed garlic cloves. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. While the lentils are cooking, place the two tomatoes and the poblano peppers on a sheet tray. Turn your oven broiler to high and place sheet tray on the top rack of the oven. Let them cook for a couple of minutes on each side until the tomato and the chiles begin to soften and have black spots all over. Remove from heat. Place the tomates and chiles in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest 5 minutes.
  3. Drain the lentils, reserve 1 cup of the lentil cooking liquid, and using a potato masher, mash them to break them up.
  4. Peel the poblano peppers, make 1 cut lengthwise with a knife, and remove the seeds. Set aside.
  5. Remove half of the skin off of the tomatoes, and using a blender process them into a puree. Set aside.
  6. Set a large pot to medium heat, add ¼ cup of water, and add onion. Cook for 4-5 minutes until onion begins to soften and look translucent.
  7. Add garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.
  8. Add cooked lentils, mix well, and pour in tomato puree. Let cook for 3-4 minutes or until the puree begins to bubble and change to a darker red color.
  9. Add clove, cinnamon, black pepper, plantain, apple, pear, almonds, olives, capers, and raisins. Stir mixture.
  10. Add 1 cup of the liquid you reserved from the lentils, and simmer for 20 min or until the plantain is cooke through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  11. While the picadillo is cooking, soak the cut bread in the cup of almond milk for 5 minutes.

  12. In a blender, place the soaked bread and milk, previously soaked and drained walnuts, sugar, and white wine, blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt. It should have the consistency of a cream sauce. If it is too thick, add more almond milk. Set aside.

  13. Stuff the chiles rellenos with the lentil picadillo. Place the chiles seam side down on a plate. Pour walnut sauce over them, and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and chopped parsley.

Chef's Notes

To save time you can buy pre-cooked lentils, and substitute the tomatoes with 1 cup of pureed roasted diced tomatoes (canned). Do not heat up the walnut sauce. Instead of lentils you could use TVP, beefless crumbles or jackfruit.

 

Creamy Banana Pecan Paletas

Sometimes all you want on a blistering hot day is creamy banana pecan paletas. These banana popsicles have only 3 ingredients. are vegan, super easy to make, have no refined sugar, and are so deliciously creamy you will keep coming back for more.

These creamy banana pecan paletas (banana pecan popsicles) have only 3 ingredients, are vegan, and refined-sugar free!!

This year I’m participating in #paletaweek hosted by Lola’s Cocina, which is a Mexican recipe blog. It is not vegan, but Lola has a huge selection of agua fresca and paleta recipes that are almost all vegan. There are so many possibilities with paletas, the options are endless. Paletas in Mexico are usually made with fresh fruits that are in season. The paletas themselves have tons of fruit pieces and are just the right amount of sweet. Vendors sell them on the street in small refrigerated carts, and the flavors can range from classic strawberry to the unconventional sweet corn flavor.  My absolute favorite is coconut, and in second place mango con chamoy.

These creamy banana pecan paletas (banana pecan popsicles) have only 3 ingredients, are vegan, and refined-sugar free!!

One of my favorite ice creams is butter pecan or just plain pecan. When I set out to make these paletas I wanted them to be pecan flavored, but I didn’t want to add a ton of refined sugar to them. So I decided to use bananas instead of a plant-milk. The result surpassed my expectations! The banana gives this paleta its sweetness, but at the same time the pecan flavor doesn’t get lost in the mix. The heat here in San Antonio has been pretty intense, and testing these paletas several times this week definitely made things better.

These creamy banana pecan paletas (banana pecan popsicles) have only 3 ingredients, are vegan, and refined-sugar free!!

The Recipe: Creamy Banana Pecan Paletas

Make sure you freeze the bananas before hand, otherwise your paletas will turn a sad grayish-brown color. Feel free to add a bit more almond milk if your blender is having trouble processing the bananas. You can also roast the pecans in the oven for a more intense pecan flavor.

 

These creamy banana pecan paletas (banana pecan popsicles) have only 3 ingredients, are vegan, and refined-sugar free!!
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Creamy Banana Pecan Paletas

These creamy banana pecan paletas (banana pecan popsicles) have only 3 ingredients, are vegan, and refined-sugar free!!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 8 Paletas

Ingredients

  • 5 Bananas, ripe, peeled, cut into rounds, and frozen overnight
  • 1/2 cup Almond milk, vanilla, unsweetened
  • 1/3 cup Chopped pecans

Preparation

  1. Freeze peeled and cut bananas overnight in a Ziploc bag.

  2. The following day place the bananas and almond milk in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.

  3. If the mixture is too thick you can add some more almond milk. 

  4. You must work quickly otherwise your bananas will start to turn brown.

  5. Pour the banana-almond milk mixture into a cold bowl. 

  6. Add half of the chopped pecans and mix well with a spatula. 
  7. Scoop the banana mixture into your popsicle molds and top with a generous sprinkle of chopped pecans.

  8. Insert popsicle sticks and freeze overnight. 

Chef's Notes

Make sure you freeze the bananas before hand, otherwise your paletas will turn a sad grayish-brown color. Feel free to add a bit more almond milk if your blender is having trouble processing the bananas. You can also roast the pecans in the oven for a more intense pecan flavor.

Jeni’s Vegan Mexican Cookbook & Roasted Poblano Hummus

Jeni from Thyme and Love has just released her book The Vegan Mexican Cookbook: Plant-Based Recipes Inspired by Mexico and I couldn’t be more excited! Jeni lived in Mexico city for a time with her husband, and she fell in love with the cuisine and it definitely shows in this book. I found Jeni online about two years ago, she was still living in Mexico at the time, and I quickly became a fan. It is exciting to find other bloggers that share your love of Mexican cuisine, especially vegan Mexican cuisine.

Roasted Poblano Hummus, the smoky flavor of the poblano pepper really pulls through in this smooth hummus, eat with corn or pita chips.

Roasted Poblano Hummus, the smoky flavor of the poblano pepper really pulls through in this smooth hummus, eat with corn or pita chips.

The book has 25 recipes, they are all quite easy to make, and all plant-based (vegan). The book also has great photography, all done by Jeni herself. My only complaint is that there aren’t more recipes! I’m looking forward to trying the kale and potato taquitos, the hibiscus tacos with guacamole, and the rice pudding popsicles. The best part is that it is only $6.99. The book is only available in electronic form. I encourage you to stop by Thyme & Love and enjoy some of her recipes, and of course to show Jeni some support by buying her book. To get 30% off of your book purchase use the code dorastable30. Thank you Jeni!

Roasted Poblano Hummus, the smoky flavor of the poblano pepper really pulls through in this smooth hummus, eat with corn or pita chips.

Today I am going to share with you a recipe from Jeni’s book: Roasted Poblano Hummus. The smoky flavor of the poblano pepper really pulls through in this smooth hummus, and the acidity of the lemon and lime really complements the chickpeas and tahini. It is super easy to make and a great appetizer for sharing.

Roasted Poblano Hummus, the smoky flavor of the poblano pepper really pulls through in this smooth hummus, eat with corn or pita chips.

 

The Recipe: Roasted Poblano Hummus

If you have never roasted your own poblano peppers before you can use canned ones, but roasted them is not complicated at all. The recipe calls for canned chickpeas, but you can cook your own if you like. If you prefer your hummus on the less lemony side I would reduce the amount of lemon and lime. Enjoy!

Roasted Poblano Hummus, the smoky flavor of the poblano pepper really pulls through in this smooth hummus, eat with corn or pita chips.
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Roasted Poblano Hummus

Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 cups
Author Jeni Hernandez

Ingredients

  • 2 Poblano Peppers
  • 1 (15 oz.) can Chickpeas, drained, rinsed
  • 2 1/2 - 3 tbsp. Tahini
  • 3 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 Garlic, clove, peeled
  • 2 tbsp. Lemon, juice
  • 2 tbsp. Lime. juice
  • 3-4 tbsp. Water
  • 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt, or taste
  • 1/4 cup Toasted pine nuts for garnish, optional
  • 1 Pinch Cilantro for garnish, optional

Preparation

  1. Roast the poblano peppers on a comal or heavy skillet over medium heat. Cook until blackened, turning the chiles often. Depending on the thickness of the comal or skillet, it can take 15-20 minutes until all sides of the chiles are blackened.

  2. Once the chiles have blackened, transfer them to a plastic ziploc bag and let them steam for 15-20 minutes. Once the chiles have steamed, peel off the skin. Them cut a slit along the side of the chile and remove the seeds and veins. Roughly chop the chiles and add to a high speed blender or food processor.

  3. Add the chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, lime juice, water and salt to the blender or food processor. Blend until completely smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. Add a tablespoon of water if needed.

    Roasted Poblano Hummus, the smoky flavor of the poblano pepper really pulls through in this smooth hummus, eat with corn or pita chips.
  4. Taste for seasonings.

  5. Refrigerate until ready to serve. If using toasted pine nuts to garnish, add them to the hummus just before serving. Serve with chips or assorted veggies. 

Chef's Notes

To toast the pine nuts, preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and add the pine nuts. Toast for 8-10 minutes. remove from the baking sheet and transfer to a bowl until ready to serve.