Vegan Stuffed Poblanos with Cashew Queso Drizzle

These vegan stuffed poblanos are filled with black beans and brown rice and drizzled with an easy homemade cashew queso! Just a little bit spicy and super cheesy from the sauce! 

As delicious and satisfying and spicy and creamy and EVERYTHING that I know these stuffed peppers are and were, looking at this picture is doing nothing for me right now.

Lately, I really haven't been that into food. My appetite is still there for sure, but I'm basically eating to live, not living to eat. Usually, I get excited about food, like, really excited. Excited as in thinking about how pumped I am to try a new recipe for dinner at 10 am. Getting a new cookbook was up there with getting a new pair of shoes. Planning out a menu for the week actually was fun for me! Even the grocery store (minus parking) was semi-enjoyable.

But lately, most everything is just kinda meh. I mean, don't get me wrong, I still want to eat tasty food (although I did catch myself eating plain oatmeal for breakfast the other day... ). It's just that food hasn't had the same allure and joy as it used to for the past month or so.

Part of it is that I'm simply in a busier season of life. Cooking and having time for mindful eating has felt like more of a chore. Right now, convenience is trumping taste (hence the bowl of plain oatmeal). I want to eat simple food that makes me feel good and I don't want to have to think too much about it.

When I first noticed my lack of interest in food, it kind of concerned me. But then I realized that this was probably my last step in making peace with food. One of the side effects of restrictive eating is obsessing about food. In the famous Ancel Keys starvation study, the subjects became completely preoccupied with food, studying cookbooks and staring at pictures of food as if it were porn. Even without starvation, restricting food either physically (by avoiding it) or emotionally (by labeling it bad even if you're still eating it) can lead you to become preoccupied with food.

Even though I haven't restricted food in years and years, and even when I did, my restricting was pretty mild, I still had some residual emotional restriction. It wasn't a conscious thing, it's just that after years of labeling or feeling guilty about eating something, until recently, sometimes my brain would still jump in that direction and I'd have to take a moment to bring myself back to reality. Like I was saying yesterday, this whole intuitive eating thing takes a looooong time.

Anyway, I know eventually, as I figure out work-life balance for the 3,427 time over the past few years, I'll have more time for cooking and more room for the joy of eating, but until then, my tummy will be full or more frozen meals, Earth Fare salads, peanut butter sandwiches and plain oatmeal than normal. And that's okay.


Vegan Stuffed Poblanos with Cashew Queso Drizzle

Author: Rachael Hartley, RD, LD, CDE, CLT
Serves: Serves 4

Ingredients

Cashew Queso

  • ½ cup cashews soaked in water at least 2 hours
  • ¾ cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon miso
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ red onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ancho chili powder (or other mild chili powder)
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Chiles

  • 4 poblano chiles
  • 1 14-ounce cans refried black beans
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
  • Chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • Chopped green onions, for garnish
  • Sliced fresh radishes

Instructions

  1. Preheat broiler. Place chiles on a baking sheet and place under broiler for about 2-3 minutes per side until slightly charred all over. Remove from oven, place in a bowl and top with plastic wrap to let the peppers steam so the skin can loosen. Reduce heat to 350 degrees.
  2. While peppers are cooling, in a large bowl, mix together beans and brown rice.
  3. Peel the skin off the peppers. Cut a long slit down the center of each poblano and pull out the seeds from the middle. Stuff the peppers with the bean mixture and place in a casserole dish. Place in the oven and bake 30 minutes.
  4. Next, make the queso. In a food processor or blender, add drained, soaked cashews, vegetable broth, and miso. Blend until smooth, about 2 minutes. Next, heat olive oil on medium high heat in a small pan. Add onion, garlic and red pepper and saute until tender, but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add sauteed vegetables to food processor along with cumin, chili powder, nutrition yeast and salt. Blend another minute until smooth, longer if needed.
  5. Pour queso into a small pot, bring to a simmer and cook until thickened slightly.
  6. Top peppers with a drizzle of queso, cilantro, green onion, and radishes.