Many people have expressed to me that the most challenging part of going plant-based is giving up dairy. Fortunately, for people who enjoyed dairy, the plethora of nut-based cheeses available at most markets helps smooth the transition. A bonus lies in the nutrient profile of nuts over cow’s milk (fiber, iron, vitamin E) and so are a healthier (if you don’t have nut allergies) alternative, without sacrificing flavor! It’s not difficult to make your own nut-based cheeses, but it can be time-consuming. For that reason, I offer this recipe with a pre-made brand of cashew/scallion nut cheese which is bursting with flavor and the appearance of dairy cheese (to appease any fussy kid thinking they need cheese). I have no affiliation with the Treeline brand of cheeses, but I do recommend them for fantastic flavor, baking response, and texture. This recipe uses their ‘Scallion Flavor’ spreadable cheese, which consists of only: cashews, water, onion powder, dried scallions, lemon juice, salt, and L.Acidophilus.
You can also prepare this recipe with no nut-cheese at all, and it’s still incredibly tasty! The scallion nut-cheese simply adds a layer of flavor enhancement to the whole green onions I used while baking.
To begin this simple preparation, I preheated my oven to 425 degrees F.
I rinsed and drained 12-ounces of pre-cooked pintos and placed them in a mixing bowl, stirring in 4 ounces of red enchilada sauce, 2 TB of hemp seeds, and a sprinkle of sea salt (optional). I allowed the mixture to meld while washing and preparing poblanos (cutting off tops) and green onions.
With tops of peppers removed, I placed about 1/2-1 ounce of nut-based cheese into each pepper (being sure to spread lengthwise). Then, I placed a clean green onion into each pepper cavity and filled the remaining space with the pinto mixture.
After lightly greasing the baking dish with coconut oil, I lined my peppers into it, covered loosely with foil and baked for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, the peppers should be fairly soft, but I like a nicely blistered skin, so I removed foil and cooked for an additional ten minutes (oven baking may vary, adjust accordingly).
The final step was plating the peppers and topping them with cilantro, avocado, and hot sauce (optional step…poblano peppers are naturally fairly mild and kid-friendly). They were a huge family hit!