Hola amigos! Cinco de Mayo es mañana. That means tomorrow!! But don’t fret. I’m here to bring you some fiesta food. These Chicken Chile Relleno Roll-Ups are no-fuss, no-fry, no-grain, and ready to party.
In thinking about my favorite Mexican foods, chile rellenos make the top 5 list, but they have to be done right. I’ve only had Chile Rellenos that I liked– that weren’t just a greasy, over-cheesed gut bomb– once. They were made by a friend of mine from culinary school, named Maria, who was so new to the U.S. she had to take all her tests in Spanish. We communicated just fine through the universal language of good food, and man, that girl could cook. Seriously, before I tried her Rellenos, I had no idea. It was one of the best meals I ate in San Francisco.
I miss Maria and wonder what she is up to these days. Personally, I never could have predicted back then, in my chef’s whites and checked pants, that future Ginny would be sharing recipes under the moniker Hypothyroid Chef. But here I am! And what Hypothyroid Chef has to say about Chile Rellenos is that they unfortunately are a no-go. At least not the traditional kind. Batter-fried and gluten-crusted es no bueno for hypothyroidism. Lo siento, guys.
But wait! I had an idea, for these deconstructed Chile Relleno roll ups. I was inspired by another favorite Mexican-inspired party dish I like to make, called Chile Relleno Squares, which are similar to these Lazy Chiles Rellenos from Ree Drummond. That’s the other thing I like about this recipe– these are lazy too! Now that I’m a mom, with a zillion things to do every day and an adorable little 4-year old distraction roaming around the kitchen, I love me some lazy recipes. With just a handful of simple ingredients and a little bit of prep, the oven does the rest of the work for you.
I gave it a shot and I must say, these Chicken Chile Relleno Roll-Ups make a fine pinch-hitter. I added shredded chicken to make it more substantial while replacing a little of the ubiquitous dairy fat that defines Rellenos. While full-fat dairy products and eggs are actually beneficial for those of us who are not sensitive or allergic to them, in a hefty dish like this, it’s nice to reduce the caloric price tag just a wee. This dish is also low-carb. You can read more about the thyroid-specific health benefits in The Breakdown, below. The chicken and cheese filling is rolled up inside roasted anaheim chilies, covered with a simple Monterey Jack custard, popped in the oven, and blamo!
Gluten-free Chile Relleno success. It’s quick, easy, and absolutely a celebration-worthy dish.
Here’s how they come together:
Make a simple Monterey Jack custard from cheese, eggs, and sour cream. Add a cup of that mixture to about 2 1/2 cups of shredded chicken– I used about half a rotisserie chicken.
Split and seed the roasted chilies, fill with a few tablespoons of the chicken mixture and roll tip-to-top.
Place seam-side down in a greased baking dish, then…
Top with remaining cheese mixture. Pop them in a 350 F oven for about 45 minutes, and…
¡Ya está! (That’s all!)
- Cheese is the #1 food source of tyrosine, an essential amino acid which the thyroid gland combines with iodine to make thyroid hormone.
- Chicken is a very good source of selenium, which helps to regulate the production of thyroid hormone, convert T4 to T3, and protect the thyroid from stress.
- A 3 ounce serving of chicken provides 84% RDI of the essential amino acid Tyrosine, which the thyroid gland combines with iodine to produce thyroid hormone.
- Whole eggs and full-fat sour cream are some of the best true sources of Vitamin A (vs beta-carotene), which is readily available to the body. Vitamin A deficiency is common in thyroid patients and may be a pre-cursor to developing hypothyroidism.
- Canned green chilies are a very good source of iron, which is a common deficiency in thyroid patients. They are also a very good source of fiber which can aid in relieving the constipation associated with hypothyroidism.
- Because it is such a common trigger, avoiding gluten is one of the most agreed upon recommendations for a hypothyroid-friendly diet.
Happy Cinco de Mayo All! Hope you enjoy the day and this luscious dish : )
Wishing You the Best of Health,