Meatless Monday

Today’s meatless dish is a lighter, simpler alternative to chiles rellenos which are typically fried.  Don’t get me wrong, traditional chiles rellenos are delicious.  If you have no concerns about fat or calories, go for the real thing.  For me they are a nice treat sometimes.  These stuffed chiles give you similar flavors and textures, with a fraction of the fat and calories.

Baked Stuffed Chilies
Serves 4

1 can (28 oz) whole peeled tomatoes
1 jalapeno pepper (ribs and seeds removed)
4-6 cloves of garlic (depends on your taste)
2 small or one large onion
1 small can of Ortega chilis (optional)
1 bunch cilantro
1 can black beans (19 oz, drained and rinsed)
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheese (I use reduced fat Mexican 4 cheese blend)
8 oz reduced fat cottage cheese
1 tsp cumin
4 large Poblano, Pasilla or other mild chilies

Pre-heat oven to 425 F. Roughly chop the jalapeno, half of the onion and half of the cilantro. Mince or press the garlic. Put the tomatoes (including juice), jalapeno, onion, 2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped cilantro, Ortega chilies and salt to taste in a blender.

Puree until smooth.

Wash the chilies and cut in half leaving the stem in place. Remove the seeds and ribs from the chilies. Finely chop the remainder of the onion. Chop the remaining cilantro. Mix the black beans, cottage cheese, 2 oz shredded cheese, onions, 2-3 cloves of minced garlic, remaining cilantro, cornmeal and cumin with enough water to make a moist filling. Add salt and pepper to taste. The filling should be moist, but not soggy or runny.

Prepare a baking dish (9×13) or lasagna pan by spraying well with cooking spray. Pour the sauce into the pan. Stuff the black bean mixture into each chile half and nestle the chiles down into the sauce. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Cover pan tightly with foil and bake for 45 minutes or until the chiles are tender. Remove foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes until the cheese starts to brown.

This makes 4 large and filling servings or 8 smaller servings. For a whole chile (two halves stuffed) it is 10 points plus (if you follow the Weight Watchers plan) if you use reduced fat cheese and cottage cheese.