Molé and Musings (on far)

How is everyone doing this last (extra) day of February 2016? Where are we with resolutions/ideas/promises? I can happily report that the meal planning and whole foods eating is still going pretty well around here. However, I must admit that February wasn't pretty from an exercise standpoint. I ran 10 less miles in February than I did in January. I'm choosing to celebrate instead of admonishing. Because, even though I did 10 less miles, I did them more than one minute faster per mile pace! I went from a 13:46/min mile to 12:34! Go me!  

Runkeeper helps keep me honest.

I have discovered that, at least for me, celebrating whatever you can find to celebrate keeps me on track WAY better than being upset over the parts where you fall down. Besides, those 9.8 miles were 9.8 more miles than I ran the whole of August-December 2015. Those 9.8 miles were 9.8 miles of strength building I can use to make March better.Those 9.8 miles were 9.8 miles of putting myself to the test and coming up strong! I worked really hard in January, I think maybe pushed a bit more than I was exactly ready. February was recovery. That's my story and I'm good with it!

Now, back to the eating. Meal planning has become an integral part of my week and life. My little book sits on the recipe holder on my counter, with the week's menu on the left page for all to see, that week's grocery list on the right, full of check marks from last Friday's shopping trip. I flip a page forward and make notes on the grocery list for the next week as necessary. Calendar notes precede each night's meal (Voices of the Valley for Mama on Mondays,Children's Choir for Evie on Wednesday, occasional work meeting or meal noted for Daddy). Each note causes a slight change in the meal, less food needed, or a quick meal is necessary that night. Or, in the case of this coming Thursday, which is our Brownie meeting night, I've already precooked the meatballs and they're awaiting a sauce and reheat. Dinner for Thursday will now be on the table in 15-20 minutes as opposed to the 60 it originally would have taken me. Have I mentioned how much meal planning has saved my life? Okay, that might a bit drastic, but seriously. We eat healthier, no more last minute out-to-dinner or hastily thrown together unhealthy meal. Our lunches are packed, saving us money and keeping us healthy. I have managed to cut, on average, $50-$100 from the grocery bill each week by carefully planning and taking note of what is already in the pantry. All bonuses.Only downside? No more bags of chips to rip open at 10pm and devour. Wait. I guess that's an upside. Depends on how you look at that one I suppose...

For this post's recipe, I'm only going to share half of the recipe from that night's meal. It was Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas with a Quick Molé. The molé was wonderful. The enchilada filling? Not so much. I'm not sure if it was textural (we do like butternut squash around here usually), if it was the sweet squash against the sweet sauce, or a combination of both. Regardless, if we do this again, we'll do it with a corn, black bean, tomato, and cheese mix. Did I mention though that the sauce was DELICIOUS?! Seriously though, if dinner includes melted chocolate, how could you go wrong?

Quick Molé

adapted from Sylvia Fountaine's Feasting at Home Blog November 2015

15 ounce can tomato sauce
2 Tablespoons minced garlic
½ onion, cut into quarters
½ Cup water
1 tablespoon tamari
2 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, plus 1 Tablespoon adobo sauce
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp coriander
½ tsp kosher salt
3-4 Tablespoons sesame tahini paste (or peanut butter)
2 ounces dark chocolate chips

Place first nine ingredients (from tomato sauce to kosher salt) into blender, and process until smooth. Pour into small sauce pan and heat thoroughly over medium high heat, do not boil. After about ten minutes, remove from heat, stir in tahini paste and chocolate chips. Stir until chocolate is melted, pour over chicken, enchiladas, rice, etc.!



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