A series of cooking demonstrations at the Davenport Resource Center led by Teresa Moran and Eva Holt-Rusmore from the Nutrition Programs Group at Second Harvest are proving that with a few changes, much-loved recipes can be made healthier and still taste delicious.
Tuesday morning, the smell of freshly picked peppers was in the air as Teresa and Eva prepared the ingredients for Chile Relleno. The difference here was that instead of stuffing the peppers with just cheese, they made them more nutritious by adding lightly steamed chopped fresh vegetables. And they used just a fraction of the oil typically used to prepare this dish.
Teresa likes to get everyone involved in the cooking. Clients and staff at the Resource Center help roast, peel and stuff the chiles. As she cooks, Teresa shares nutrition information and ideas for healthy family meals that come together quickly. She asks questions throughout the presentation. Several people jump in to share their own methods for separating eggs and stuffing chiles. The interaction gives everyone a chance to get involved.
The Chile Relleno are delicious! And the best part is that the recipe uses local seasonal ingredients and can be completed in less than an hour. Teresa says, “You don’t have to stop eating the foods you love, you just have to prepare them in a healthier way.” She explains that little changes such as using olive oil instead of lard, and plain yogurt with a squeeze of lemon instead of sour cream are simple ways to lighten up a dish.
The Davenport Resource Center is part of the Community Action Board of Santa Cruz County and a Second Harvest Passion For Produce site. Their mission is to build a strong and integrated community on Santa Cruz County’s rural North Coast. The Center serves as an advocate and resource for the area’s culturally diverse and low-income population. Through emergency and prevention services, the Center attempts to strengthen the capacity of North Coast residents of all ages to find support in, contribute to, and thrive in their community.
Give Teresa’s delicious recipe a try!
6 large poblano chiles
1/4 cup Mexican cheese
1/3 cup steamed chopped vegetables (potatoes, carrots, squash)
1 tsp olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
4 large tomatoes
1 yellow onion
1 clove of garlic
Broil chiles until charred on all sides, remove and let cool slightly. In the meantime, mix salt, pepper, vegetables and cheese in a mixing bowl. Once the chiles are cool enough to handle, carefully peel the burnt layer off and remove the seed pod, making sure not to tear the chili. Place one or two tablespoons of the vegetable cheese mixture inside each chile, closing the seam after. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs.
Warm oil in a large skillet on low heat. Add the eggs, cooking lightly before flipping (omelet style). Flip and add the chiles, allowing space to fold over the eggs. Cook on low for 2 minutes. Serve immediately with salsa.
Chop all ingredients and blend on high until smooth. Warm 1tsp of olive oil in a saucepan and add salsa. Bring to boil and simmer until ready to serve over the chilies.