Today I’m sharing a simple and yet, super delicious recipe from Ashley Rodriguez’s (Not Without Salt) new cookbook “Let’s Stay In.” As I flipped through the pages of this beautiful book, many of the recipes called out to me, but one in particular just kept staring me right in the face, wanting me to make it. The funny part is that it turns out to be a relatively healthy dish that just so happens to be vegetarian and gluten-free. Now, if you know anything about me, and have been following my work on this site for a while some time, you’ll know that I don’t tend to gravitate towards healthy dishes, let alone vegetarian ones. At the same time though, you’ll know that I do have an affinity for breakfast and brunch dishes with a Tex-Mex vibe to them. A pepita avocado crema topped with a stuffed poblano pepper, fried egg and then doused in crumbled cotija cheese? Yes please. 100% yes without question. If there was ever a dish that just screamed BREAKFAST FOR DINNER, this one would take the top prize. It’s easy enough to whip up any night of the week, after a long day at work when all you want to do is go home and have a healthy meal you can feel good about eating. This checks off all of the requirements for any meal.
To celebrate the release of the book, and because I truly believe you should get your hands on it, I’m giving away a copy to one lucky winner! All you have to do to enter the giveaway is leave a comment below telling me what is your favorite thing to cook or eat in Autumn! You have until Monday to enter. A winner will be picked at random, and let’s remember to keep things fair. Only one comment per person. Good luck, my friends.
The first thing we have to do is roast the poblano peppers and sweet potatoes. Place the peppers on a baking sheet and drizzle them lightly with olive oil and roast in a 400 degree F oven until the peppers have softened and the skins have charred.
**Note: In the book, the recipe calls for roasting the sweet potatoes and peppers together and you should, the only reason I didn’t was because I had a bunch of already roasted sweet potatoes which was one of the reason why I decided to make this recipe to begin with. So I’m just roasting the peppers on their own, but you should follow the recipe if you don’t already have the potatoes done.**
While those roast, let’s turn our attention to the filling. In a skillet, sauté the garlic with a bit of olive oil until fragrant and just beginning to brown.
**Tip: Keep the flame low and make sure you continue to stir the garlic so that it doesn’t burn. Nothing is worse than the taste of burnt garlic.**
Add a can of drained and rinsed black beans to the skillet and cook until warmed through, about 5 minutes longer.
Season with a bit of salt, pepper and lots of dried oregano.
Add the roasted sweet potatoes to the black beans and cook for another minute or so. If you’re following the recipe, you’ll wait until the potatoes have roasted and softened in the oven and then add it to the beans. If you’re like me and already have roasted potatoes leftover, just add them to the beans. Remove from the heat and let cool.
For the pepita crema, add the salted and roasted pumpkin seeds to a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Then add the avocados, lime zest, lime juice, and ground cumin. Blend until smooth, adding in up to 1/2 cup of water as needed to create a smooth spreadable cream.
Give the crema a taste and adjust seasoning as needed, adding some salt and pepper as needed. Set the crema off to the side until ready to serve.
**Tip: The lime juice in the sauce keeps it from turning brown, so you can definitely make it ahead of time if needed. Just make sure you wrap it well with plastic wrap or in a super airtight container and keep it in the fridge until ready to use.**
Once the peppers have roasted, remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly until cool enough to handle with your hands. Then peel as much of the charred skin as possible. Make a slit in each pepper and remove the seeds.
Fill each pepper with the cooled black beans and roasted sweet potato filling.
**Note: This is a vegetarian dish, but I would totally make this again with crumbled browned Italian sausage mixed it! That would be delicious!**
To assemble the dish, pour the pepita crema on the bottom of the serving dishes and spread out. Lay a stuffed pepper on top of the crema and top each with a fried egg and sprinkle with crumbled cotija cheese.
**Note: Cotija is a dry salty Mexican cheese that crumbles easily and really adds a nice salty bite to the dish. The cheese can be found in most grocery stores these days in the Mexican section of the cheese aisle.**
You can also serve this dish with poached eggs instead of fried if you prefer and/or if you enjoy poaching eggs. I find them to be a little tedious so I prefer the fried egg route.
If you’re like me and love a good crunch or crispy texture in your dishes, I’d recommend sprinkling this one with a few toasted and salted pepitas on top.
I love this recipe because it’s great for a weekend breakfast or brunch or even a light weekday dinner. Just to reiterate, don’t forget to leave a comment below to enter for a chance to win a copy of the book for yourself. You have until Monday to enter. One comment per person. A winner will be picked at random and be notified via email. Good luck, I’m rooting for you!
**UPDATE! Congratulations to Denise Fiorini for winning the giveaway! Thank you so everyone who participated, and stay tuned because some great giveaways are coming soon!**
- 4 to 6 large poblano peppers
- 1 large (1 pound) sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2½ teaspoons salt, divided
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ cup toasted and salted pepitas
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 large avocados, peeled, halved and pitted
- Zest and juice of 2 limes
- 1 cup crumbled Cotija cheese
- 4 to 6 large eggs, poached or fried
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place poblano peppers on one half of the pan and the sweet potato on the other half. Drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt over the poblanos and sweet potato, then toss to coat. Roast for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sweet potato is tender, and the peppers are soft and deeply roasted in parts, stirring and turning once halfway through.
- While the vegetables roast, prepare the black bean filling. In a small saucepan over medium, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, add the chopped garlic, then sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the black beans, oregano, and ½ teaspoon salt, and warm the beans through, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside.
- Remove the roasted vegetables from the oven and left cool slightly.
- Stir the sweet potatoes into the black beans. As the peppers cool and their skin separates from the flesh, peel off as much of the skin as you can (a bit left on is fine). Slice the poblanos open lengthwise and remove the seeds and ribs. Then, stuff the poblanos with the black bean and sweet potato mixture.
- To make the crema: In a food processor, pulse the pepitas until finely ground. Add the cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, avocado, and lime zest and juice. Process until smooth, then drizzle in up to ½ cup water until a creamy sauce forms. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking, keeping in mind that you want it to be nice and bright to offset the richness in the dish.
- Add about ½ cup of the crema to each plate, then top with a stuffed pepper, crumble on some of the cotija, and finish with a fried egg. Enjoy