Make-Ahead Mole Beans

Make-Ahead Mole Beans


  • 15 cloves garlic, minced
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 14.5-oz. (411g) can diced tomatoes with liquid
  • 1 15.5-oz. (439g) can black beans with liquid
  • 1 8.75-oz. (248g) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon chile powder
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened natural peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chipotle peppers in adobo sauce


  1. Mince garlic and set aside.
  2. A note about the 15 cloves of garlic: that's a lot of garlic, I know. Don't feel like you have to use that many cloves, though garlic's list of health benefits is formidable []. If you buy bulbs au naturel (with skin) and peeling 15 cloves sounds daunting, feel free to just do a few and then add in a chopped onion instead.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the juice of one lime, three tablespoons maple syrup, 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon chile powder, three tablespoons unsweetened natural peanut butter, one tablespoon cocoa, and two to three tablespoons chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (make adjustments based on how spicy you like your food; be sure to dice up the peppers). Smoked paprika and/or cayenne pepper would also be a nice addition; if you've got some in your pantry and you like it hot, be my guest! (But do taste as you go. No need to be too wacky.) Set bowl aside.
  4. Organizational tip: This is where I like to put up everything I've just used. I have a very limited amount of kitchen space to work with in my New York apartment—and it's nice to feel like a supermarket hasn't exploded on my table by the end of a recipe—so I try to streamline the process as much as possible by cleaning as I go.
  5. In a medium-size pot, sauté garlic in one tablespoon olive oil until fragrant and toasty brown. Pour in the cans of tomatoes, beans, and corn. (Remember to only drain liquid from the corn.) Stir in the contents of the small bowl with the spices, peanut butter, maple syrup, and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Simmer until liquid has reduced, about 20-30 minutes depending on how thick you want the sauce to be.
  6. Entire recipe is 1275 calories. Reduced to medium thickness (like a thin gravy), servings should be around ¾ C each; for a more accurate measurement and to allow beans to cool, transfer from pot to another bowl using a measuring cup.
  7. Once that's done, have a glass of wine and congratulate yourself for making a week's worth of healthy lunches possible in under an hour.

Life gets crazy. Sometimes you need a big pot of beans. Try something different Make-Ahead Mole Beans.

When you’re running from one place to the other, planning to do a lot of meal prep throughout the week can be a setup for failure. Throw these mole beans together on a Sunday evening for a sweet-and-spicy lunch base the whole next week.

Not only are they easy, they’re versatile. Cycle through a few different combinations and you’ll see what I mean. Want a vegan lunch on Monday and Wednesday? Pour this mixture over an avocado half or a baked sweet potato with lime and a dollop of Tofutti sour cream or hummus. Vegetarian Tuesday? Try the beans spooned onto toast spread with cream cheese and an over-easy egg on top. If you’re craving meat on Thursday, heat up a chicken or turkey sausage, slice, and mix into the beans; serve over brown rice and top with a bit of plain yogurt, a squeeze of lemon, and generous amounts of chopped cilantro.




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