Monday, March 27, 2006

Cuckoo for Cocoa...

Chili ??! Yes, you read right - chili, not 'puffs'! And no, mommy brain hasn't completely taken over (well, not yet)!!

Chocolate and spicy ingredients are not an uncommon pairing. Check out this hot chocolate with chiles from Dagoba (not sure if this is vegan but their chocolate bar with chiles definitely is), and do you remember my LaraBar post? Well, I think my favorite variety is their Cocoa Mole flavor!

As I've said before, I'm all about soups these days, and this cocoa-chili recipe will be in my new cookbook. It includes anti-oxidant rich cocoa powder, as well as another one or two 'surprise' ingredients!!

It is such a deep, intense chili and I've paired it here with a salad of romaine lettuce, sliced jicama, cilantro, and Ataulfo mango (which I think are far tastier and less stringy than the more common variety often found in markets). I used Annie's Papaya Poppyseed Dressing on the salad... as you know it is a new favorite of mine!


Harmonia said...

Wow! This sounds interesting! Great photo! As always! A few questions that have nothing to do with your post at hand, I hope you don't mind...

* I posted 3 small posts today the latest one was of the books I borrowed at the library. I wondered if you had any feedback on any of them when you have time.

* What kind of Cocoa Powder do you use? Well, I guess that has to do with your post. LOL

* I have found I am not a fan of soy beans plain. Any suggestions on dicing or spicing them up?

And I made more of your Creamy Hummus and made it REALLY creamy...almost runny. It was still good, though. I added Cayenne Pepper to it this time. Any other interesting ingredients to consider while making your creamy hummus?

mishka said...

I love cocoa in chili - just tried it myself last year! And the salad sounds like a perfect pairing. I look forward to reading your chili recipe in your new book!

Flo @ Yielded Heart said...

Dreena, all these previews are really working!

I love ataulfo mangoes. Even more, I love the kinds we have back home and when I moved in the states I was really disappointed with my first try so I actually didn't eat mangoes for years until I found the ataulfo variety.

Guinnah said...

I'm with you on the ataulfo mangoes - just a bit of heaven on earth IMO! The resort we like to go to in Mexico always has platters full of ready to eat mango at the buffet. They must be learning to hide the platter when they see me coming :-) I have a good enchilada recipe that has cocoa in the sauce - yum!

Dreena said...

Happy (tired for me) Monday, Harmonia... I will swing by your site now to check out your posts - I haven't been much of anywhere in the blogdom today! I have used regular cocoa powder, dutch processed cocoa powder (which has a deeper, richer flavor and color), and also the fair trade cocoa powder. You know, I don't use soy beans whole that much. I prefer to use other beans, since we get soy through tofu, tempeh, etc. My best suggestion is putting them in a spicy soup or a dip with your favorite seasonings. Oh, with hummus, the list of add-ins is endless - what are your favorite flavors?

Hi Mishka! Thanks, I know, isn't the combination of the spice and cocoa flavor just fabulous?! :)

Kai, yes, I know, some of the 'regular' mangos can go bad before even tasting ripe - and sometimes having a pine-like flavor, you know? Not nice. But the ataulfo... mmmmm!

Ah, thanks Cee... you're sweet! :)

Nancy, I can only imagine how good fresh mangoes in their locally grown regions must taste. Pure juicy sweetness! Oh, that enchilada sauce sounds good... is it a mole sauce?

Catherine Weber said...


I have made chili with cocoa powder before, but couldn't taste it. I may not have used enough. (Just a couple of teaspoons.) I'll have to increase the amount next time.

I also LOVE cinnamon in my chili.

Vicki's Vegan Vice said...

Looks delicious -- such pretty colors and interesting mix of flavors...the salad sounds tropical. Sign me up for your new cookbook!

Amy O'Neill Houck said...

Mmm... I agree that cocoa is a great pairing with spicy stuff--The chilli sounds great... I'm looking forward to your new book!

Fiber said...

I love the combination of chocolate and spice. There is a dark chocolate bar with habanero powder that is to die for, and unfortunately, I can't remember who makes it.

Harmonia said...

Hummus...what are my favorite flavors? Need you ask...GARLIC! HAHA! j/k. Other than Garlic...Avocado, cayenne pepper, I tried red bell peppers was pretty sweet...Black Beans are good inplace of chickpeas but I don't include that as a hummus because there aren't any chickpeas! Have you ever tried hummus with chickpeas in addition to another bean blended in? I haven't tried Onion...maybe I will.

I replied to your comments on my blog!

I think you are right about the soy beans...I take in enough...but the soup is an idea if I get bored and experimental one day.

Another thing...I don't think I have ever had Jicama! ZOINKS! I was looking for some the other day and couldn't find it! Next time I do see it...I'm going to buy it!

Oh! Guess what!? My oven bit the dust! Right now is so not the time to have to deal with that! URGH!

Dreena said...

Hi Catherine, I use between 2-3 TB for this recipe, and with the last testing I thought "hmm, yeah, I can go to three tbsp I think". It doesn't make it taste 'chocolatey' as much as it tastes deep and rich! Ditto on the cinnamon for me!

Chris, I've never had mole myself, and yet I've been thinking of doing a recipe for it for this book. Hard to do though when I would like to know how it tastes 'authentically', you know? Boy, I need to get out to some good restaurants (very little in my area)!!

Ah, thanks Vicki... I don't even typically put mangoes in salad, but this night I had them, and didn't want the usual salad fixings, and wow, it just worked so well together!

Thanks Amy!

Hi Fiber, hmmm, now I might have to start googling to check that out!

Hi Harmonia! Given you like garlic, try a twist using roasted garlic (I'm doing a hummus with roasted garlic for this book, but I want to make it different so I haven't quite figured it out yet)... and then with the onions - caramelize them first and then pulse them in a bit into the hummus - that would be delish! Jicama is delicious with hummus and also spicy food. If you buy one, scratch the peel a little to see if it is nice and white underneath. It shouldn't be shrivelled at all or have dark blemished either - if so, it will likely be brownish inside and dry and awful. Be sure it is nice and crisp and white when you cut into it (or get your $ back on it)!! Re your oven - you're going to have to check out what Leslie's doing all the time now, to do "oven-free meals"! :)

Julie said...

Sounds like an interesting combo, Dreena!

I just got TEV in the mail yesterday! woot! What is your favorite recipe from that book?

Valerie said...

I've been reading your blog for a couple of weeks and just got both of your cookbooks, which I love. I made the Banana Oat Bundles out of Vive le Vegan this weekend and they were wonderful.

Cocoa and Chili sounds like a wonderful combination. I think I will need to try adding some cocoa next time I make Chili.

Dreena said...

Hi Julie! Just answered your question in my new post (sure you've noticed by now!!)

Hi "too fond of books"! Thanks so much, glad you are enjoying them and feel free to e-mail or post a comment if you have questions! :)

SDGvegan said...

I make myself cocoa w/chile in it all the time. It's soo good.

Copy Editor said...

That sounds really tasty. Hmm.

Now I'm all hungry and craving both chili and Dagoba chocolate.

Anonymous said...

Hi! I have never commented on any of this stuff before, but I want to say that all the food I have made by you- Dreena, has been absolutely fantastic! I made just the vegetable mixture to the Moroccan Phyllo Rolls and my dad and I couldn't get enough of it. Anyways, my dad and brother really don't like coconut, so I was wondering how I could modify your Cocoa Coconut Chili recipe? Should I replace the coconut milk with something else or just leave it out altogether? Thank you so much!