Polenta-Filled Poblano Peppers

Mmm, polenta. A great base for all kinds of tasty goodness. For some reason, though, I haven’t made it in SUCH a long time. I feel like I always used to make it pre-WANM days and since it takes a quick few minutes to make, there really isn’t any excuse for that, now is there?

I was recently poking around Real Simple’s website when I saw a banner for recipes for meals under 400 calories. There was a slew of healthy recipes in this category, but one of the first ones that stood out was the Polenta-Stuffed Poblano Peppers. I’ve noticed myself making a lot of meatless meals lately, which is bizarre for me (duh, bacon and steak lover). I’m normally craving meat by the end of the day, so I don’t know what’s gotten into me! I think the “secret” is finding meatless meals that still feel meaty. If that makes any sense. I feel like after I eat say, just a salad, for dinner, I never feel fully satisfied, but with a “meaty-feeling” meatless meal, I still feel as satisfied as I would if it had been a meat-fill meal. Am I crazy?

Don’t answer that.

On to the food!

Here’s what you need:
Serves 4 (281 calories per serving)

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• 4 plums tomatoes, halved
• 1 red onion, cut into wedges
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 4 poblano peppers, seeded and halved lengthwise
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• salt and pepper
• 1/2 cup instant polenta
• 10-ounces frozen corn
• 1/4 cup soft goat cheese
• 4 scallions, slices  

Here’s what you do:

Tip: If you prepare all of your veggies before you start cooking, this recipe is a breeeeeze!

Heat your broiler. Toss the tomatoes, onion, pepper and oil on a rimmed baking sheet. Put tomatoes and peppers cut-side down.

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Broil the vegetables until tender, making sure to stir the onions and turn the tomatoes and peppers halfway, about 5-8 minutes. Add the tomatoes, onions, cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper into the bowl of a food processor and puree until smooth.

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Spread about half of the tomato sauce into a baking dish (roughly 9×13 inches). (Errr, That image isn’t the most appetizing-looking!)

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Now, place the poblano peppers over the sauce, cut-side up.

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In a small saucepan, bring 2 1/4 cups of water to a boil and add a dash of salt. Gradually begin to whisk in the polenta. Like I said, polenta takes only a few minutes to prepare, so keep an eye on it and constantly whisk until it thickens, about 3 minutes. Stir in the corn, goat cheese (YUM!), and the scallions, making sure to leave about 2 tablespoons for garnish.

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Arrange the polenta into the peppers…

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Then top with the remaining tomato sauce and bake for about 5-10 minutes. Once the peppers are done baking, top with remaining scallions.

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The little bit of heat the poblano provided was nice, although I think next time I will add something else for an additional bit of spice. Maybe a dash of hot sauce drizzled over?? 😉 As a huge meat-lover, I sometimes worry about meatless meals because I feel like I’ll still be hungry after, but this was pleasantly surprising. I had two halves (or one full pepper) and it turned out to make the perfect Sunday dinner this past weekend. Also, since I made the full recipe, it looked like I was serving a family of 5, so I knew I’d have a lot of leftovers. I was actually worried that they wouldn’t do well as leftovers and I’d end up wasting, but I brought a couple to work for lunch and was kind of impressed with how well they held up! I thought they were going to be a soggy mess, but they held their shape quite nicely and tasted just the same, if not better!

Do you cook with polenta? What’s your favorite dish you’ve made with it?

[Chels]

26 Responses to "Polenta-Filled Poblano Peppers"

  1. I love this dinner idea!
    I find myself eating less and less meat these days too, but I’m not a vegetarian. Maybe because the weather is warming?

    Anyway, can’t wait to try this! Love the quick salsa!

  2. i just bought a tube of polenta for my earthquake kit. hope i won’t be eating it raw.

  3. These sound so good! Never thought of stuffing peppers with polenta.

  4. Erica says:

    That looks awesome! Its like reinvented Mexican (same flavors different form). Polenta pizza is very tasty! I also made breakfast polenta once that was a huge hit

  5. I haven’t loved polenta in the past, but I keep on seeing great recipes – including this one – featuring it. I think I need to give it another shot!

  6. Michelle says:

    I’m sort of indifferent about polenta but I love poblano peppers! My recipe on the blog today is also from Real Simple. I don’t look at their website often but they have so many great recipes!

  7. Janel says:

    I love the prepared polenta rounds you can get at most stores. I slice them, and then top with tomato sauce and cheese and bake for itty bitty polenta pizza bites.

  8. I really like polenta, especially the creamy kind (I inevitably opt for the easy, log polenta but something is definitely lost with that shape!) I love the idea of stuffing peppers with it.

  9. Those look amazing! Nice to know they held up so well as leftovers too…I would have thought them to be soggy the next day too.
    I don’t cook with polenta enough…must rectify that!

  10. brandi says:

    these look delicious! i love poblano peppers – they’re so fun to work with!

  11. Joanne says:

    I cook with polenta constantly but rarely blog about it because it’s usually just a random side dish to go with some much more blockbuster neon lights kind of main course. I love the idea of polenta-stuffed poblanos. And I’m with you on the extra spice. Tabasco lovers unite!

  12. Monique says:

    I love that 9 times out of 10 we are on the same wavelength! lol. i made a simple recipe polenta over the weekend. I was craving polenta with meatballs so i made turkey meatballs with a creamy polenta (with cream cheese!) it was sinful and delicious.
    I am like you witht he meat. I need that protein in a dish in order to feel like its complete! or else im back int he ktichen an hr later.

  13. Erin A says:

    Looks amazing!!!!! Oh yumm! I was just thinking the other day, what could I make with polenta!?

    PS Happy National Chip & Day! Is it dorky that I did a post for this random food holiday? Oh well!

    I think my hubby would love these peppers!!!!

  14. I have never cooked with polenta, but I do like it. These stuffed peppers look awesome, and I’ll definitely want more spice too! Maybe a chopped chipotle?

  15. Melissa says:

    I should probably be embarrassed to admit I’m a vegetarian that’s never tried polenta. This recipe looks so good you have me wanting to rush out right now to buy polenta!

  16. emily @ the happy home says:

    yum! knowing David, he’d stick some serranos in there somewhere for heat. but this looks like a fab dinner!

  17. CookiePie says:

    YUM – those look fantastic!!

    We love polenta “fries” in our house. You make the polenta, spread it out on a baking sheet and chill in the fridge. When it’s cold, you cut it into “fries,” drizzle with olive oil and bake at 400ºF until golden brown and crispy, usually about 20 to 30 minutes. Yum!

  18. C.Peb says:

    Mmmmm I love stuffed peppers!!!! Send me some please!

  19. I’ve never experimented with polenta at home, I really need to try it!

  20. Sharlene says:

    I’ve only tried making polenta a couple times but this variation of it looks amazing!

  21. Sarah says:

    I love meat too! However, lately I’ve been having more non-meat meals as well. This looks delicious! 🙂

  22. These stuffed poblanos sound amazing! I love the stuffing with the polenta and goat cheese, excellent!

  23. Wonderful idea on the tomato paste base!

  24. Denise says:

    I made these last night for dinner and they were great. I did add garlic to the roasting veggies and pureed a half a jalapeno pepper in the salsa and added some tobasco. I went light on the cinnamon. I also cooked my polenta in chicken stock. It was so good!!

  25. Cooking In Stilettos says:

    OK – Chels – where do you find such delish recipes? Seriously, I think I’m going to have to put this on the agenda for Friday (the whole Lent thing and all). I use poblanos more since I tried them in a soup recipe and it added such flavor to a rice dish as well. I use polenta often – especially with short ribs!

  26. Ann says:

    I bet these would be great with a spicier tomato base to kick them up a bit 🙂 Polenta is great, and although I usually buy the instant or tubes at the market, it’s easy to make straight from cornmeal. I made a polenta dish a few weeks ago (meaty!) that was a big hit: http://athome-ann.blogspot.com/2011/03/baked-polenta-with-sausage-tomato-and.html

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