We’re starting to get real creative with the healthy stuff over here.
Like, I can’t believe I would ever create this Spicy Stuffed Pasilla Pepper recipe without even thinking about needing to add any cheese. Who am I?
I’m a gal that’s open to trying new things and willing to give anything a shot as long as I don’t have to cut anything else out of my diet completely, that’s who I am!
No, I’m not a vegetarian and no, I’m not gluten or dairy-free, but I’m up for trying anything as long as it’s made from whole, minimally processed foods. This is truly one of the things I love most about the healthy diet and lifestyle I’ve created for myself. Try everything, restrict nothing. I find that this relaxed view of whatever food I consume has been the savior in the long road to “eating recovery” I’ve taken since my college years. It hurts me to watch people struggle with binge-eating or not being able to control themselves in the presence of unhealthy food , simply because they tell themselves they absolutely CANNOT have something.
By allowing myself to eat anything I want, but being in tune with how hungry I am and how my body feels after I eat certain things, I can truly say I’ve become an “intuitive eater.” I eat something if it sounds good, but knowing that I can always have more later keeps me from going off the deep end and eating too much and feeling weighed down and uncomfortable.
That being said, I find cooking things outside of my norm a great challenge, and I find that when I do so, I often discover new recipes and flavors that I never would have thought of before. Which brings me back to these delightful Spicy Stuffed Pasilla Peppers with Cashew Cream Sauce. Yes, cashew cream sauce! You guys, this may be one of my new favorite secret weapons. I know, I know, it’s nothing new (folks have been talking about it for ages) but what I’m saying is, this is the first time I took a step out of my comfort zone and gave it a shot and, boy, am I glad that I did!
During the summer, I try my hardest to use as much of the abundant fresh produce available as possible in my cooking. There’s just nothing like preparing a healthy, satisfying dish with ingredients just recently pulled from the ground or picked from a tree.
One of my favorite vegetables to cook with during the summer is fresh pasilla peppers. They have just the right amount of spice and roast (or grill) up beautifully. They’re also the perfect size to stuff with all kinds of delicious, healthy fillings. Enter this delicious recipe I’ve created for Spicy Stuffed Pasilla Peppers with Cashew Cream Sauce.
One of my favorite ways to stuff pasilla peppers is with a ground meat and tomato sauce combination. Tomatoes are a natural complimentary flavor to peppers, and the ground meat adds some substance. Although you could use any type of ground meat here, I opted for ground bison as it is a bit leaner than beef and usually more humanely farmed. I also added quinoa to thicken up the filling a bit and include even more protein to keep us full and satisfied.
We all know that Chris and I have been really focusing on filling our bodies with whole, nourishing foods in these last couple of weeks leading up to the wedding, and this whole Stuffed Pasilla Peppers with Cashew Cream Sauce idea was borne from that mission. I don’t know about you, but I always LOVE adding cheese to any recipe that contains peppers and tomatoes. In an effort to cut down our cheese intake but still have some sort of creamy factor to the peppers, I decided to try my hand at the above-mentioned cashew cream sauce. Score!
Not only are these Spicy Stuffed Pasilla Peppers incredibly tasty, they are also very easy to make. Since we don’t need to worry about melting cheese over top of the peppers, we actually roast the hollowed out peppers on their own and cook the filling on the stove.
The cashew cream doesn’t require any cooking and can be made up to three days in advance. I’ve recently started making this vegan condiment and find it’s the perfect healthy addition to many recipes, so you’ll want to keep a good stockpile in your refrigerator for use at any moment’s notice. Just be sure to heat up the amount you’ll be using on your peppers a bit before using to bring it up to the same temperature as the rest of the dish.
In a nutshell the prep goes something like this:
Roast up some big, juicy pasilla peppers…
Cook up a delicious tomato-ground bison-quinoa filling…
Whip up a batch of homemade cashew cream sauce (do it!)…
Stuff peppers with filling…
Drizzle said stuffed peppers with cashew cream sauce…
Eat like nobody’s watching.
When served with a mixed green salad, these Spicy Stuffed Pasilla Peppers with Cashew Cream Sauce are the perfect weeknight meal. They come together quickly and won’t leave you feeling heavy or weighed down. They’re the perfect addition to your weekly menu rotation. So now my only question is, what are you waiting for??
- 6 pasilla peppers tops cut off and seeds/membranes removed from middle
- 1 teaspoon melted coconut oil or coconut oil cooking spray
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ of a yellow onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 1 pound ground bison or your choice of ground meat/protein
- 1 28- ounce can crushed tomatoes
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 ½ cups cooked quinoa
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups raw cashews
- 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups filtered water
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place peppers on a jelly roll pan lined with aluminum foil and brush with coconut oil (or spray with coconut oil cooking spray.) Once oven is preheated, place peppers in to roast for 25 minutes, flipping once halfway through the cooking time. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Once pan is warm, add onion and garlic and sauté until onion is translucent and garlic is fragrant. Add ground bison and continue cooking until meat is lightly browned.
- Once meat is lightly browned, add crushed tomatoes, cilantro, cumin, cayenne and brown sugar. Stir to combine. Turn up heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Add cooked quinoa and season with salt and pepper as needed. Continue to simmer for 5-10 minutes to allow flavors to meld.
- Once filling is done cooking, scoop about 1 ½ cups into each pepper, or enough to fill the pepper right to the top. Set onto a plate to serve and drizzle with cashew cream (see recipe below.)
- Place cashews in a small mixing bowl. Fill bowl with water, enough to just cover the tops of the nuts. Let soak at least 4 hours or overnight.
- When cashews are done soaking, strain out water and rinse. Place cashews in a high-powered blender with nutritional yeast and salt. Turn blender power on low and slowly increase, streaming in filtered water consistently to get the right consistency. If needed, stop the blender and scrape down the sides every once in a while. You will want to continue running the blender until the cream is smooth and has very little (if any) chunks.
- Remove cream from blender and place in an airtight container (if making ahead) or drizzle directly over stuffed peppers.
Note: You will most likely have both leftover filling and cashew cream. The good news is, both of these keep and reheat well. Place in airtight containers and keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Dinner is served.
If you enjoyed this recipe, you might also like…
These refreshing lettuce wraps…
Or this Ahi Poke Salad with Macadamia Nuts!