October 21, 2009

Mole-cular Health

When I was very young, long before I developed my love for vegetables, I’m sure I stared down many a plate of salad, thinking, when I grow up I’ll eat chocolate for dinner.

And tonight I did it.

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Ok, so there might have been just a few vegetables involved too. You know me. Whatever the ingredients, this recipe for Vegetarian Winter Mole more than made up for last night’s parsnip incident! Holy mole! (Cheap pun. I’m keeping it.)

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When I first saw this recipe, I was excited at the thought of combining such healthy and flavorful ingredients into a dish unlike any that I’ve attempted before (my prior mole experiences have been limited to restaurant dining), but I was admittedly a bit turned off at how long and involved the procedure was. So I took a risk and adapted the recipe for my slow cooker (crockpot). I’m so happy to report that the result is beyond fabulous, the bonus being that I barely lifted a finger to put my dinner on a plate tonight!

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Here is my adapted recipe for Michelle’s Vegetarian Winter Mole. See her recipe if you don’t have a crockpot—you don’t want to miss out on this one!

Slow Cooker Winter Mole

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups black beans (or 1 can beans of your choice)
  • 1/2 large unpeeled delicata squash (or other winter squash), seeded and chopped – about 3 cups
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2/3 cup chopped onions
  • 5 chili peppers (red and/or green), seeded and chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 28oz can + 1 14.5oz can no-salt-added diced tomatoes*
  • 4 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 oz raw almonds, ground (or buy almond meal/flour)
  • 4 oz 60% dark chocolate
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale (see photo below), sliced into ribbons

*I have been making an effort to avoid canned goods lately, but the amount of tomatoes called for in this recipe (along with the liquid needed for the crockpot) would have meant gratuitous time and money involved in the prep. Try to find Muir Glen organic canned tomatoes—their cans are lead-free and enamel lined.

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Directions:

  1. Coat the inside of your crockpot with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Combine all ingredients in the pot except for almonds, chocolate and kale.
  3. Cover and cook on low setting about 8 hours.
  4. Remove lid. About 15 minutes before serving, add almonds, chocolate and kale. Stir to incorporate and leave lid off so some liquid evaporates.
  5. Spoon over red quinoa or grain of your choice.

Serves 6

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To make this super-easy, I spent maybe 15 minutes prepping the ingredients in the crock last night and put it in the fridge. When I left for work this morning, I put the crock in its pot and turned it on to cook while I was gone. There’s no meat or anything in this recipe that could really get overdone to the point of ruin, but starting it cooking from cold bought me a little extra time since I knew I couldn’t be back before 5:30pm.

When I got home, I checked on the pot to make sure no dinner disaster had occurred while I was gone. Finding it safely bubbling away, I left it as it was until I’d puttered a bit and was ready to eat. I put some quinoa on the stove to cook (which takes about 15 minutes), at which point I removed the crockpot’s lid and added the almonds, chocolate and sliced kale. I stirred every couple minutes to make sure the chocolate was melting evenly and that the kale was wilting.

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And in honor of Vegan MoFo, my adaptation is indeed vegan—just be careful about which chocolate brand you use! I had Ghiradelli on hand as a gift from the roomie (girlfriend knows me too well), which is not vegan but also not a deal-breaker for me as a non-vegan. Just be aware that you might want to look for a chocolate even darker than 60% cacao, which would be less likely to contain milk products.

In my perfect world, it doesn’t get much better than chocolate for dinner! What’s on the menu in your personal heaven?

20 comments:

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) said...

I love Twitter and I just recently joined...I get the hot scoop before it even hits 'Reader. How cool. But not as cool as your choco dinner. My gawd, that looks sooo good.

I knew that the Muir Glen was BPA free and did not have any nasties in it compared to some other canned good brands. But thanks for the reminder.

I had to laugh about your Now You're a True Food Blogger and there's no turning back comment today on my blog....based on my nut butter stash. LOL

Happy nite, time for a hot n steamy power walk with the fam.

Gena said...

And god said, let there be chocolate. And chocolate rained from the heavens. And it was good.

lilveggiepatch.com said...

That looks so, so amazing. I have to make that ASAP.

Chocolate, sushi, awesome brunches, wine that won't give you a bad morning... heaven.

katherine said...

Holy mole, indeed! That recipe look phenomenal - comforting, exotic, flavorful - all important ingredients in my book!

Funny, I just made a big stew tonight and used Muir Glen tomatoes too!

Mama Pea said...

I think your dinner is what would happen if vegetarian chili mated with a Hershey's almond bar. And that to me, is a beautiful thing.

Megan said...

I recently was given a bar of chocolate that is so dark, it can only be used for a mole. This looks wonderful, and the slow cooker definitely needs to come out of storage...

Devan Geselle. N said...

honestly. this looks so delicious.
i will make this

VeggieGirl said...

LOVE that quinoa dish! And chocolate :)

Diana said...

That looks really good! Interesting ingredients :)

Christie @ Honoring Health said...

That sounds fabulous and using the crock pot to boot, my crock pot is my new best friend. I'm adding this to my list of things to make for sure!

elise said...

now i want a crock pot too. seriously diana, stop feeding my kitchen appliance obsession...

sorry you didnt enjoy the parsnips. i love em myself, but im glad you had a better success today. like the wonder drug it is, chocolate fixes all...

Marissa said...

YUMMMMM!

A friend recently sent me a recipe for a "quick" mole that I am going to adapt to be vegetarian. I am SO excited about it, I think I may have to make it next Wednesday. You just whet my appetite ;-)

Erica said...

Hello doll! How ya doing? This looks out of this world- I've never even had mole! It sounds just incredible. Great job adapting it for the slower cooker (loveeee my slow cooker-especially on busy days). Hmmm my heavenly menu- lots of fruits- cantaloupe, mango, FRESH pineapple, starbucks pumpkin spice mistos, chips and salsa. What an odd combination haha

Jenny said...

thank you for justifying chocolate for dinner.. this makes me very very happy.. and hungry. Perfect *time of the month* meal, eh?

Fitnessista said...

that looks so delicious!! thank you for posting the recipe- i love me some mole! you could put chocolate in anything and i'd probably eat it though ;)
have a wonderful night my friend <3

foodfitnessfreshair said...

This recipe looks amazing!! And nice choice of pairing...red quinoa and kale, two of my favorites! Anyways, I'll definitely be testing out that recipe.

Abby (Abbys Vegan Eats) said...

I always, always buy Muir Glen.. it is my go-to brand for anything tomato related (sauces, you name it!)
Your choco dinner looks amazing!!! :)

Missy said...

That looks so good! I'd be happy to eat chocolate for dinner every night!! Very nice idea :)

Shannon said...

hehe, holy mole! this sounds (and looks) delicious :) who wouldn't want more chocolate in their life??

Elina said...

Haha, I love all your puns. This recipe looks awesome, and I'm glad you adapted it for the crockpot because I haven't used mine in probably a year, and this is the season to do it. I love coming home to warm dishes that have been cooking all day, without me lifting a finger. Can't wait to use chocolate in a savory meal (that would be a first for me).
And if you haven't already, check out my V8 soup giveaway. It wasn't bland. hehe