Ever come home from work feeling like cooking is the least appealing thing in the whole world? Like you will just puke your brains out if you have to chop or sautee anything? You’re not alone.
If-I-Cook-I’ll-Vom nights can be such a challenge. Scarcity of time and lack of energy are very real things. You can’t ignore them unless you want to wind up sick, miserable or bat shit crazy.
If-I-Cook-I’ll-Vom nights often follow emotionally draining days, and emotional drainage can really pump up the urge to eat junky foods. You want comfort, dammit!
The tempting but ineffective way to deal with it
A very appealing solution is to order some crappy takeout and call it a night. You’re feeling beat up and you want to be taken care of, right? When you’re exhausted and hungry, your local pizza boy seems like the right one for the job. It beats having to cook something yourself.
The problem with this is that it sets you up for another not so great day tomorrow. The comfort foods that we can get in a hurry on If-I-Cook-I’ll-Vom nights are often simple carbs like bread and pasta. These foods cause a spike in blood sugar followed by a dip, which means they feel good briefly and then leave you feeling bitchier than before.
The effective way to deal with it
A much better solution after a shitty day is to eat something nourishing and delicious, that will satisfy you and fill you with the energy you need to make tomorrow much better.
There is someone other than the pizza boy who can take care of you on those shitty, low-energy nights (no, I’m not volunteering. I’ll probably be at home, gagging at the sight of my veggie peeler).
It’s your high-energy, great mood self!
I know, it sounds a little cheesy. I mean it, though. When you’re wiped out and grouchy, you are not fit to make healthy decisions. If you do all your prepping, chopping, clean up when you’re feeling great and have time galore; the good mood you gets it all set up so the tired, cranky you can sit on your tush and eat.
That’s the idea behind Built to Last recipes. Built to Last recipes are healthy big boys that you can cook up and freeze in case you have an If-I-Cook-I’ll-Vom day.
It’s like storing your ex boyfriend’s number in your cell phone under the name DO NOT CALL EVER EVEN IF YOU THINK YOU SHOULD when you are sober. Because once you drink too much and get nostalgic, you don’t want drunk and nostalgic you making your phone calls, right? Well, you also don’t want tired and cranky you feeding you dinner.
Actually, it’s not really like that. Because that doesn’t always work. Built to Last recipes always work!
I very highly recommend a good 6-quart slow cooker for many of the Built to Last recipes (this is the one that I use and love). Even the most active slow cooker recipe doesn’t require all that much zippity pow. You’ve just got to throw a whole bunch of shit in a pot and hit the “on” button.
Why this dish is so good
Now that I’ve given you the background on Built to Last recipes, I’m going to introduce you to the queen of all bulk recipes. If you make Slow Cooker Chicken Mole on a Sunday, you’ve just bought yourself at least a work week’s worth of If-I-Cook-I’ll-Vom Insurance. This is SO GOOD. It’s full of spices that aren’t the same old boring spices that everyone uses in everything. Or that I use in everything – take a look at my cardboard box in a Greek marinade cartoon if you need a refresher.
It’s loaded with flavorful, desserty-feeling ingredients like cocoa powder, dates, and peanut butter. When you’re done, you will be sufficiently comforted, I promise you.
If you’re a traditional Mexican cooking expert and I’m making you want to scream by calling this a mole, I understand and I mean no disrespect. I love traditional mole, too. I just couldn’t make it by throwing a whole bunch of shit into the slow cooker and walking away.
In my neighborhood, there’s a Chinese restaurant where they serve burritos and every table has French bread and butter. So maybe I am just all fucked up when it comes to ethnic foods. Traditional or not, delicious is delicious!
Slow Cooker Chicken Mole
Adapted with gratitude from Allrecipes
2 large onions, chopped
1 cup dates, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons walnuts, chopped
1-2 finely chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
5 T natural peanut butter
2 28 ounce cans crushed tomatoes
2 T brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 T chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts
Salt & pepper to taste
Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
- Add all ingredients but the chicken to your slowcooker and mix until well combined.
- Submerge chicken in sauce.
- Cover and cook on low for about five hours, or until chicken is very tender.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Shred chicken thoroughly using a fork and serve.
Serve with warmed corn tortillas or polenta. This stands up just fine on it’s own, but is also excellent topped with sliced avocado and a few dollops of plain Greek yogurt. At the end of the work week, when you have mole coming out of your ears, take whatever’s left and throw it in the freezer – this dish defrosts beautifully.