Chili with Beans – Mole Style

Have you ever tried mole sauce on Mexican dishes? What is mole sauce, you ask? Like many things, there are several variations depending on the country and culture. It’s usually a red or brown sauce that’s used in meat dishes, and it’s got lots of spice from ingredients like cumin, chilis, cinnamon, and usually chocolate.

You know how Texans love their chili. Down here it’s often called Frito Pie where you get beef and bean chili, and it’s topped with a crust of fritos, cheese, jalapenos, and onions. Up north, they serve chili over spaghetti. I’ve heard rumors that some places also serve it over rice. I haven’t witnessed that personally but do tell if you have.

Since this time of year calls for chili, I had to play with flavors the other day instead of just repeating my White Bean Chili, the Pumpkin Chili, or White Turkey Chili. I told you we love our chili variations. Always the adventurous one in the kitchen, I thought “What better experiment to try than a mole style chili?” It had lots of overlapping ingredients with spices, peppers, and tomatoes.

Just a few additions and they both could come together in a perfect combination. I attempted to serve The Kid’s over spaghetti Cincinnati-style, but she’s a pasta purist and wanted to keep them in separate bowls. So enjoy yours Texas style, Cincinnati style, straight up, or with any toppings you like.

Chili with Beans – Mole Style Chili with Beans Mole Style

  • 1 Tbsp (14g) olive oil
  • 1/2 cup (80g) yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 15 oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked brown lentils (cooked from 70g dry lentils)
  • 15 oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper, to taste (optional)
  • 2 tsp (3g) unsweetened cocoa powder

Heat a large pot over medium heat and add the olive oil. One the oil is shimmering, add the onion and saute for about 5 minutes to soften. Add the garlic and saute another 30 seconds or so to cook it slightly.

Add the chili powder, paprika, cumin, and cinnamon. Saute for 30 seconds, stirring constantly, to toast the spices and make them fragrant. Add the can of tomatoes, a half can (about 1 cup) of water, and the lentils and beans to the pot along with the cayenne pepper and cocoa powder.

Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and serve in bowls with chili toppings like tortilla chips, cheese, onion, avocado, fritos, and more.

Makes 4 servings at approximately 243 calories each (before toppings) – 14g protein, 40g carbs, 3g fat and 13g fiber.

Notes

  • If you like your chili thinner and more soupy, you can add more water. I prefer mine thicker so I can use it later on things like nachos, burritos, or on hot dogs and burgers.
  • I always keep different types of lentils and beans ready since they’re cheap, full of protein and fiber, and they can easily be added to soups, stews and more. You can use any bean combo you like here in place of the lentils and pintos. Kidney and great northern beans for example. Cannellini, red beans, black eyed peas would also be great.
  • If you want to beef up your chili, you can add brown ground beef or turkey to it when you dump in the tomatoes and beans. You can pretty much use any protein you like and make it your own.

Leftovers refrigerate and also freeze well if you want to save some for later. They work well in salads, wraps, tacos and more. Chili on all the things is the motto here in Texas. We’ll take it any way you want to serve it.

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