I woke up with The Lion King in my head. Specifically Timone singing Hakuna Matata, with a focus on ‘it means no worries for the rest of your day.’ I have no idea why.
I did my best to recall my dreams and from what I can remember, it had nothing to do with The Lion King. So my best guess is my sub conscious was telling me to chill out ’cause everything’s awesome and I slept super deeply last night. Whatever, I’ll go with it. It’s perfectly cool in the house, the windows and doors are open, there are approximately 20 different birds making different chirping noises and I’m chillin’ in my favorite Roots pants with coffee, a banana and pb aaaand some baked oatmeal. There’s also leftovers of these healthy stuffed poblano peppers in the fridge for an eeeeaaaassssyyyy dinner tonight. Seriously, leftovers for the win.
So yeah, life’s lookin’ pretty sweet today.
I spent the majority of Saturday working before we headed to my mom’s to hangout and eat a lot, drink wine, and eventually lay around the fire all wrapped up in blankets. I then spent Sunday recovering from the excessive food and a teeny bit of a wine migraine. Cooked a bunch of food, baked some cookies and more cheesecake and then just crashed on the couch to binge watch Friends until I crawled in to bed at 10:30 and passed out until 7:30 this morning.
I understand now why people dedicate a certain amount of time to having meals/snacks etc. all prepped and planned out for the week. It was never really my forte since my appetite used to be rather fickle and I truly couldn’t predict what I was going to want to eat so far in advance. Anytime I tried, I failed. I always changed my mind and wound up making something else instead.
For the last 2 months or so, however, I’ve been better at it. I’ve been making a plan and sticking to it, I’d say… 75% of the time. It’s been really refreshing to not have to think about what we’re going to eat constantly. Just grab what’s already made, heat it up and done.
These healthy stuffed poblano peppers are kind of perfect for that. Just grab as many as you want, throw them in the oven for 20 or so minutes or I suppose you could microwave them, toss together a quick salad or steam some veggies/rice, whatever you fancy, and there you go. Lunch or dinner. I’ve even eaten them cold but that was mostly because I was hungry right that second and didn’t feel like waiting for the oven (we don’t own a microwave). I also really love leftovers cold which you know if you’ve been reading along long enough.
Either way you do it, you want these healthy stuffed poblano peppers in your life. I promise.
Cheers guys, happy Monday.
- 1 lb lean ground chicken
- 2 tsp avocado or olive oil
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ½ C refried beans** see note for variation
- 4oz tomato paste
- 12 oz water
- corn from 2 ears of corn or 1½ C frozen kernels
- 2oz cream cheese* see note
- Juice of ½ a lime
- 1 C shredded cheddar cheese
- 8 large poblano peppers
- sour cream, greek yogurt, salsa, avocado, etc. to serve
- Preheat oven to 450F
- Cut eat pepper in half and scoop out the seeds. Discard the seeds and place the peppers cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil.
- Place in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes or until starting to char. Remove and set aside.
- Reduce oven temperature to 350F
- While the peppers are roasting, heat oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the chicken and the salt. Cook, breaking up the meat and stirring often until almost completely cooked, about 6-7 minutes. Add the spices and tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Add the refried beans, if using (see note) and water. Stir until completely incorporated.
- Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to medium. Add the corn and cream cheese and continue to cooking until the cream cheese has melted and the corn is cooked, about 3-4 more minutes. If the mixture gets too dry, you can add more water BUT it should be relatively thick for stuffing the peppers. If it's too watery, continue to let it boil uncovered until it reduces and thickens (but don't forget to stir so nothing sticks to the bottom).
- Add the lime and taste. Adjust seasoning to you preference.
- Fill each poblano half with as much filling as you can fit and top with cheddar cheese. You can bake them on the same tray you used to roast or place in baking dishes.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted. If you like your cheese crispy, you can broil for 3-5 minutes.
- Allow to rest 5 minutes before serving.
- Top with desired toppings. We eat ours with steamed vegetables but rice/chips/salad would also be good.
A note about the refried beans. I honestly used them because I realized I was out of cumin, I had just made the beans the day before AND they had cumin in them. It worked out really nicely. You don't have to buy or make refried beans, just add 1-2 tsp cumin when you add the rest of the spices. I would use 2 tsp but I love cumin.
I used brick style cream cheese but if the spreadable is all you have, use that. It doesn't really matter. I just had a lot of it in the fridge from cheesecake making and it was mega on sale 🙂
The peppers are not spicy. Not even remotely. If you want some spice, add ¼ tsp or so of cayenne pepper to the meat mixture. I like spicy but I liked these without spice. It's up to you. Poblanos are more smokey than spicy in our opinion but everyone's palates are different and what's not spicy to us might be spicy to you. Experiment with what works for YOUR taste buds.
You’ll also love these!