This dish was inspired by a recipe I made a handful of times long before we were vegan. When I was living in Massachusetts while getting my Master's, Jordan would come up most weekends to visit so I always tried to find different recipes for dinner. One weekend I discovered a jalapeño popper stuffed chicken recipe and he seemed to enjoy it but it wasn't something I ever made again.
Fast forward a couple years to my bridal shower. My sisters came up with this cute newlywed game where they asked Jordan questions beforehand and filmed his answers. I had to answer the questions live at the shower. It was really sweet and a lot of fun!
Well, one of the questions was, "What is your favorite dish that Haley makes?" Now, I can't even remember what my answer was but when they played his answer, he said something along the lines of, "Well, she made this really good jalapeño popper stuffed chicken once." I was equally humoured and embarrassed! I felt bad that he liked it so much and I never made it again but I also thought about all the things I made regularly and laughed that he didn't choose something that I made more often!
After that, I made it a few more times, but it definitely wasn't a healthy meal so I never made it a staple.
Now, back to the present! I was trying to think of something different to make Jordan for his birthday dinner and for some reason that jalapeño popper stuffed chicken popped into my mind and I wondered if I could veganize it? Turns out, I could!
I wasn't able to "stuff" the tenders because they come frozen. Instead, I just baked them for about 10 minutes, added the jalapeño popper mixture to the top and let it finish cooking!
This dinner was a fun surprise for Jordan's birthday and we both really enjoyed it! Definitely give it a try if you're looking for something fun and a little more adventurous!
Vegan Jalapeño Popper Tenders
2 packages gardein tenders
1/2 cup vegan cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup soft vegan nacho cheese
2 jalapeños, chopped
1 tbs fresh cilantro
Optional: vegan cheddar shreds or slices
1. Preheat the oven to 430 degrees and place the tenders on a baking sheet. Cook for about 10 minutes.
2. While the tenders are in the oven, combine the cream cheese, nacho cheese, jalapeños, and cilantro in a bowl.
3. Remove the tenders from the oven and spoon some of the mixture on top of each tender.
4. If you want to add the extra cheese, top the tenders with some shredded or sliced cheddar.
5. Sprinkle with panko breadcrumbs and return to the oven.
6. Cook for about 8 minutes longer or until the cheese is melty!