One of the things I initially found most challenging about eating more plant-based meals was actually feeling full.
I’ve always been a quantity eater. I’m not the girl who takes takes three bites of my salad, holds my stomach, and sighs, “Oof, can’t have one more bite. It’s too much.”
Nope. Give me those last two bites and your last two bites or else. I’m hangry.
The real issue was mental. I kept thinking, “How can I possibly get full and stay full on salads, rice, and beans?”
I’ll tell you how. If you eat enough rice and beans (and other vegan protein sources), throw in a ton of vegetables, and drink plenty of water, you’ll be too full to remember what food scarcity you were ever complaining about in the first place.
In my quest to create more hearty, plant-based meals, I started to learn what it took to feed my body well – in both quantity and nourishment.
Dishes like my Mediterranean Baked Sweet Potatoes, Grillable Veggie Burgers, Roasted Sweet Potato Chickpea Salad, and Chickpea Shawarma Sandwiches began filling my plate, and over time, I realized meatless meals can fill me up.
My top tip for creating satiating plant-based meals is to combine several foods that are high in fiber and protein to keep you satisfied, and to create more texture in your dish. Instead of having just tofu, throw in some healthy brown rice and vegetables! Instead of having just black beans, throw in some plantains and peppers and corn tortillas! Instead of having just quinoa, add in some beans and bell peppers!
This recipe was born out of that idea. Knowing myself, a meal of pinto beans and rice isn’t exciting or filling enough for me. But when you throw in a poblano pepper (with tons of fiber and vitamins), and add a little avocado on top, I’m one satisfied eater. Let me show you how.
This recipe may look a little complex, but it’s actually quite simple. It requires just 9 ingredients and easy-to-master methods.
It starts with brown rice, amplified in flavor by sautéed onion, cilantro, cumin, and salsa. Next comes pinto beans for added protein and fiber. Stuff all that goodness inside poblano peppers and bake until tender. That’s it!
Toppings are optional, but I’m kind of a sauce lover myself, so I went with more salsa, cilantro, and some of my favorite Cilantro Avocado Dressing. Mmm, dreamy.
I know you guys are going to LOVE this dish! It’s:
& Easy to make
This would be the perfect dish for meat-eaters and vegans alike! It proves how simple and possible it is to get full and nourished on meatless meals.
If you do try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and snap picture and tag it #minimalistbaker on Instagram. We’d love to see!
Lastly, if you have any tips or advice on what made your transition to eating more plant-based meals easier, share them below. Cheers, friends!
- 12 cups (2880 ml) water (yes, 12 cups)
- 1 cup (185 g) uncooked brown rice
- 1 Tbsp (15 ml) grape seed oil
- 1/2 white or yellow onion, thinly sliced (55 g)
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/3 cup (85 g) chunky red or green salsa, plus more for topping
- 1/4 cup (15 g) cilantro, plus more for serving
- 4 poblano peppers, skin on
- 1 tsp grape seed, olive or coconut oil
- 1 15-ounce (425 g) can pinto beans, lightly drained (if unsalted, add additional salt)
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- Sea salt to taste (~a pinch)
- Add 12 cups water to a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, add rice and cook for 30 minutes. Then drain for 30 seconds, return to pot off of heat, and cover for 10 minutes*. Set aside.
- In the meantime, preheat oven to high broil and place a rack at the top of your oven.
- Lightly brush whole poblano peppers with oil. Place on a baking sheet and broil on high for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until lightly blistered (see photo).
- Turn oven off broil and preheat to 375 degrees F (190 C).
- Let peppers cool for a few minutes. Then peel away any blistered skin and use a paring knife to cut out the stem. Also cut a slit down one side of the pepper and use your hands or a spoon to scrape out the seeds. Set aside.
- Heat a large metal or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 1 Tbsp oil and onion and sauté for 4-5 minutes, or until soft and translucent.
- Next add cooked rice, cumin, 1/4 tsp sea salt, salsa and cilantro. Stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- In a separate small saucepan over medium heat, add pinto beans and season with cumin and sea salt to taste. Once bubbly and hot, remove from heat and set aside.
- Place peppers in a lightly greased, large baking dish (9x13-inch is best) and scoop generous amounts of the rice filling into each pepper using a spoon. Top with beans and a bit more salsa and cover the dish with foil.
- Bake peppers at 375 degrees F (190 C) for 15 minutes. Then remove foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes uncovered. The longer they bake, the more tender the peppers will become.
- Let cool slightly before serving with desired toppings (see options above). Best when fresh, though leftovers keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Reheat in the microwave or in a 350-degree F (174 C) oven until warmed through.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate for 1 of 4 servings without additional toppings.