Cinco de Mayo

DSC_0940Thomas and I have fond memories of last year’s Cinco de Mayo celebrations. We were in Florida visiting my parents, and Thomas’ eyes were as wide as saucers!





We were staying at The Villages (just north of Orlando), where they annually hold a celebration to mark “Cinco de Mayo”. There were decorations everywhere, the women wore vibrant coloured costumes in every hue imaginable, the music was festive, everyone was dancing… it was simply amazing. The weather was a definite contrast to our Canadian winter, so we soaked in the warmth of the sun and danced under the palm trees.


Mom and Dad will be celebrating this year without us, as Rob and I are busy planning our wedding. However, since the weather is (finally) starting to warm up here I thought I would try to surprise Rob and Thomas with a “Cinco de Mayo” celebration. (Insert huge smile here)

IMG_2I have wanted to try to make a mole chili… I know, I know, I’ll use any excuse to add chocolate to a recipe. lol

IMG_3Quinoa is always a favorite at our house so I decided to make the chili using a quinoa base; from there this recipe came together. As I grabbed veggies and spices, and furiously chopped, minced, and stirred… I couldn’t help but wonder… could this possibly work? Chili, tomatoes, spices… and cocoa???



After simmering my new concoction awhile, I got my first chance to taste it and… WOW! The rich depth of flavour in the chili is deceptive given how easily it comes together. In the time it takes the troops to unpack their knapsacks and change into their hiking fatigues you have a nourishing meal bubbling away to come home to.

Quinoa Mole Chili
Chili can be served on a bed of roasted sweet potatoes, simply garnished with cilantro and nutritional yeast (Thomas' favourite). As with most chilies this is even better the next day.
  • 6 cups cooked quinoa
  • 5 tomatoes (about 4 cups)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 cup carrots, sliced
  • 1 cup celery leaves, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • ¼ cup sun dried tomatoes
  • 2 chipotle peppers, chopped (canned in adobe sauce)
  • 3 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 Tbs chili powder
  • 3 Tbs cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp salt (smoked)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  1. Warm a large stockpot to medium heat and add ¼ cup of vegetable broth.
  2. Lightly cook carrots, zucchini, onion, and celery until soft.
  3. Add the remaining vegetable stock and the rest of the ingredients and reduce to low.
  4. Allow chili to simmer for at least 20 minutes (the longer the better).

DSC_0921Happy “Cinco de Mayo” everyone, from our family to yours!IMG_4

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