Ah the month of May, with Mother’s Day and my birthday. My birthday was this week, and it’s a tradition to have my favorite food for my birthday – stuffed peppers! As a child, I only ever knew my parent’s 1980’s Italian version of stuffed peppers. Oversize green bell peppers, stuffed to the top with white rice, ground beef, jarred tomato sauce, and topped with shredded store-brand mozzarella cheese. Just the thought of this still makes me happy!
Since becoming dairy free, I’ve taken on a new love of South West foods. I wouldn’t dare call anything I make Mexican, because I’m not as well versed in the culture as I would like to be. My sister traveled to Mexico and says I would love it there, there are so many options of foods I can eat! I’m looking forward to studying up on proper Mexican recipes and learning a lot!
These new stuffed peppers are made with poblano peppers, which are a beautiful deep green and generally very mild. I made a stuffed pepper recipe last year, as these have always been my favorite food! I wish I had tomatillos to make the delicious sauce I used last time.
4 Large poblano peppers, sliced in half and blanched
1lb-2lbs of boneless skinless chicken breasts, shredded**
Half a large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, smashed and diced
1/2 Jalapeno pepper, diced
Handful of cilantro, chopped coarsely
1 Jar of salsa, or 1 cup of homemade salsa
Chicken broth, about half a cup
Seasonings: Salt, pepper, cumin, nutmeg, chili powder, turmeric
1/2 Cup white rice, cooked according to package directions**
Handful of chopped kale, optional
Avocado, mashed, or Avocado – Tomatillo Sauce
Daiya cheddar cheese shreds – non dairy option
Extra cilantro on top
Preheat over to 350 degrees.
In a large baking dish, lightly oil bottom and place chicken breasts. Sprinkle with seasonings, I used salt, pepper, cumin, nutmeg, and chili powder. Bake until beginning to brown, then add chicken broth to bottom of pan, about half an inch, and cover in foil. Continue to bake covered about 2 hours, until chicken falls apart with a fork.
Meanwhile, cook rice according to package directions. I used organic white basmati rice, and I added a drizzle of olive oil and a dash of turmeric to make it a light yellow.
Prepare poblano peppers by slicing them in half, removing seeds. Blanche in rapidly boiling salted water about 4 minutes, remove from hot water, and assemble in a large baking dish. I reused the one from baking the chicken, which had a lot of flavor left in the juices on the bottom.
Shred chicken next.
In a large skillet, saute onion, garlic, and jalapeno with olive oil, salt and pepper, about 8 minutes, until onion softens. Add chopped kale, and saute another 2 minutes. Add shredded chicken, white rice, salsa, and cilantro. Combine well.
Stuff the poblano peppers and bake, covered, about 20 minutes. If you are using Daiya cheddar shreds or real cheese, sprinkle over the top and bake uncovered the last 5 minutes.
**Make more for leftovers! When I made this recipe for my birthday, I had a lot of leftover filling, because I used a 3lb package of chicken, and 1 Cup of white rice. So the next day, I made these nachos!
I added organic blue corn chips, black beans, black olives, and more salsa. Also a sprinkle of Daiya cheddar shreds or use real cheese if you can! Bake on 350 degrees until just warmed up, and chips begin to get crisp, about 8-10 minutes. Don’t over cook!