Here is one of my all-time favorite vegetarian recipes. It’s healthy and it’s good, filled with lots of veggies. You HAVE to try it. I’ve made this like a million times for family, friends, even at Thanksgiving! Friends who’ve flown in from out of town request it when they come over to dine. It’s not rocket-science either. So here’s the splendidly wonderful adaptation of Charred Chili Relleno with Green Rice.

Splendid Chili Relleno with Green Rice


    Green rice ingredients
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock, divided
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups white rice
  • Chili relleno ingredients
  • 4 large poblano peppers
  • 6 ears corn on the cob or 3 cups frozen corn kernels
  • 3 tablespoons corn or vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 1 zucchini chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 (15-ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained well
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin, 1/2 palm full
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, eyeball it in your palm
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 pound spinach leaves, deveined and coarsely chopped
  • 4 scallions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 limes, zested, juiced
  • 1 cup shredded Chihuahua cheese, Asadero or Monterey Jack


  1. Preheat broiler to high.
  2. Heat 3 1/2 cups stock in a sauce pot with a bay leaf to boiling. Add rice, cover pot reduce heat to low and simmer about 15 minutes or until tender.
  3. Place poblanos under broiler, gas stove top or on hot grill and char evenly all over, 15 minutes.
  4. While peppers and rice are working, scrape the corn off the cobs or defrost frozen corn and dry by spreading out on clean kitchen towel.
  5. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a skillet over high heat. When the oil smokes or ripples add corn, onion, jalapenos, zucchini and toss until the vegetables char at edges and onions are tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-high and add in garlic, fire roasted tomatoes and season with cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Cook another minute or 2 then turn pan off.
  6. Place the cilantro, spinach, scallions, lime zest, half a cup of stock and a tablespoon of oil in food processor and process into coarse green paste. Stir into rice pot in the last 3 to 4 minutes of its cooking time.
  7. Sprinkle the lime juice over the corn mixture.
  8. Split the charred peppers open but not in half with small sharp knife then scoop out the seeds with a small spoon. Place peppers in a shallow baking dish and stuff each split pepper with lots of the corn mix, top each pepper with 1/4 cup cheese and place back under broiler to melt and char the cheese.
  9. Serve peppers over beds of green rice.