Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Black Bean Red Velvet Mole & Ginger Mashed Sweet Potatoes & Apples

Legend has it that mole was invented when nuns in a poor convent went into a panic when the archbishop was going to visit. They put together what little they had ... chili peppers, chocolate, nuts, day old bread ... and then they killed their old turkey and smothered him in this sauce.

I promise you this is a turkey-safe version using black beans instead.

I've never made a mole before and it was fun to add so many different and seemingly unrelated ingredients into one recipe–chocolate, smoked paprika, chili powder, tomatoes, black beans, raisins, anise seed and more! The taste is complicated, but the cooking is not. Just throw it all in the pot and cook it, basically! (I made my version without onion or garlic since we are having some sensitivities at our house.) We tried it over quinoa (good) brown rice (good), and then I went all out and made the sweet potato dish that Isa recommends for this mole, and she's right. The sweetness of the mole really, really works well with the naturally sweet sweet potatoes. The Ginger Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Apples is good all by itself. I resisted putting a pat of vegan margarine on top to keep the fat content low, but if you aren't watching calories, I say go for it.

What could be better on a cold winter night...chocolate, protein and a root vegetable?

I think a nice Mexican beer would go well with this. I've been drinking the gluten-free beers made from sorghum, and I think that's a nice complement, too.

Oh, and I bought a bike on Craigslist yesterday. The plan (if it's not raining) is to ride for an hour three days a week. It's a "comfort" type of bike where you can sit upright with handlebars that sweep back and grips that don't aggravate the arthritis in my thumbs. Can't wait to go cruisin'!
Did the DD eat it? No.
Would I make this again? Yes, I love the beans and the yams are even tastier the next day.
Rating: Mole: 4 out of 5 Forks
Rating: Yams: 4 out of 5 Forks

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