Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Chocolate Pain

I know I've been bragging about how I am almost out of bad foods to eat, but really, I do have a few major things to address. I haven't dared to buy any cranberry juice in quite some time. And you all know about my ongoing terror regarding seaweed snacks. So, I really do have a few things that need some more work. And I decided to work on two of them the other night..... two which are very close relatives.... I went for a gruesome twosome of a mole chili for dinner, followed by some chocolate with chili in it for dessert!

While I'm not technically on that strict No Processed Food diet anymore, I must confess that following those rules make it pretty simple to eat healthy! So, I'm going to make an effort to eat like that most of the time. Now, I cook everything from scratch and never eat at junky chain restaurants. An outsider would probably wonder, "What on Earth can this vegan possibly be eating that would count as processed food anyway?!?" And truth be told, I did eat more fake meats and fake dairy than I should. I mean, it's fine to have sometimes.... and surely WAY HEALTHIER than the "real" thing would be.... but I've been thinking about it a lot lately, and making an effort to rely less on fake meat and dairy. Which is where this chili comes in.
I made a Chili with Beer, Black Beans and Chocolate. Now, I like vegan bean chili just fine. But if left to my own devices, I'd probably make a chili that uses fake beef. Well, this recipe gets its "meatiness" from crumbled tempeh..... yes, it's still processed, but I do think tempeh and tofu are a step up from all of the fake meats out there. And I figured this also gave me a chance to see if I like chili with beer in it. I wasn't much of a fan of beer in chili in the past, but now that I like beer, I figured it was time to re-examine that! And to top it off, the recipe calls for some chocolate to be melted into it, hence bringing me one step closer to mastering mole!

I liked this chili ok. I didn't like it nearly as much as my favorite chili recipe, which employs fake beef crumbles. The beer in it didn't bother me. Nor did the chocolate. Of course, I asked my husband when he was half way through if he noticed there was chocolate in the chili, and he hadn't noticed. Meaning, it wasn't mole enough that it counted. :-/ So, I need to try yet another mole recipe soon.... one that counts!

And for dessert...
I figured this stuff would definitely count towards my Chocolate With Spicy Stuff In It quest! This chocolate is so hard core, it only contains 3 ingredients: Roasted cacao beans, cane sugar, and guajillo chili powder. Well, I learned that when you only use these 3 things, and you call your chocolate "stone ground", the texture is apparently a little funky. I wasn't completely put off by it, but my husband didn't care for it. I can agree that I prefer a smooth, creamy chocolate over this rather gritty chocolate.... and while I suppose I didn't hate the chili powder in it, my heart still tells me that chili powder doesn't belong in chocolate.

So, yeah. Didn't really make any progress here, but at least you know I'm still trying! :-)

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