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Hey guys! It’s been a while. While I haven’t been posting, I have still been cooking a lot and trying new recipes, just not photographing or writing about them. Truth is I have been busy working on my 1260 hour internship to become a Registered Dietitian (RD), writing for other blogs (Food and Nutrition and Natural Athlete Clinic), giving monthly nutrition talks at a local gym, sticking to my 3-4x a week running program, doing yoga, walking the dog, reading, pinning, pro-graming, spending time with my husband and friends, etc.

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I have been thinking a lot about the next step for me personally and professionally as I finish up the requirements for the RD and take the RD exam. When I think about Newest Obsession, unfortunately I do not see it moving forward. I started this blog on a completely different premise than it is now. At the time, I was eating a restricted gluten-free diet to pinpoint food sensitivities. When I thought I found the trigger (gluten) I eliminated (or reduced) it effort to alleviate my IBS symptoms. After a few years passed, I was busy with school and we moved, the combo of which made my world a little stressful, and my IBS symptoms returned—sans gluten. I decided to introduce gluten back to my diet and get tested for celiac, which came back negative. My diet took a 360 at that point. Now, I bake bread weekly, I drink beer, I eat pizza, and I don’t worry about anything other than ordering what sounds good at restaurants. And, as a random aside, much to my surprise, my weight hasn’t changed. This blog never quite got to what I wanted it to be, and I decided it wasn’t worth the effort or extra expense to keep it going. As I let this go, I am working on other exciting things in the background that I hope to eventually share with you. Until then, I am going to see what I can do to keep Newest Obsession up at minimal expense to serve as a reference for recipes. I may pop in here and there with a recipe that I just have to share with you, but until then I leave you with this delicious Cheesy Spaghetti Squash and Mushroom Bake!

I tried something new with the spaghetti squash following from this method. Instead of cutting the squash in half lengthwise, I cut it into ~1” rings (which was tough), removed the seeds, and roasted it that way in effort to produce longer, more spaghetti like strands.

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While it may of produced slightly longer strands, after baking it into a casserole, I don’t think it really mattered, but it was fun to experiment!

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This casserole takes on something similar to a lasagna, but with less pasta and more vegetables.

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I topped it with bread crumbs, but if you left them out or used chopped walnuts instead it could be grain-free and gluten-free.

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It took a little while to make, but it was definitely worth it, especially since we have leftovers. You could also prep it through step 5 the night before, refrigerate it, and bake it the next day. Just be sure to take it out of the fridge about 30 minutes before baking to come closer to room temperature.

Cheesy Spaghetti Squash and Mushroom Bake

Serves 6-8 | Recipe by Lauren Larson | Print here!

Prep time: 15 min | Cook time: 1 hr 30 min | Total time: 1 hr 45 min

1 large spaghetti squash, halved and seeded

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 large yellow onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, chopped

8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced

5 oz baby spinach, roughly chopped

2 Tbsp dry sherry

1-28 oz can fire roasted crushed tomatoes

1 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (to taste)

Pinch of ground allspice

1/2 c (2-oz) grated Parmesan cheese

2 c (8-oz) part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided

1/2 c bread crumbs or chopped walnuts for topping (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Place the squash cut side down in a 9×13 rectangular baking dish. Pour just enough water in the dish to cover the bottom. Bake until al dente or until a fork goes through to the peel when piercing the flesh; about 30-45 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly. Reduce oven temperature to 350ºF.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until soft and translucent; about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant; 30-60 seconds. Add mushrooms and cook until most of their moisture is released; about 5 minutes. Add spinach and sherry and cook until spinach is wilted and most of the sherry has evaporated; 2-3 minutes.
  3. Stir in crushed tomatoes, basil, oregano, salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper, and ground allspice. Stir until heated through, about 2 minutes, then remove from heat.
  4. Using a fork (or two), pull the strands from the spaghetti squash by scraping down the sides perpendicular to the length of the squash all the way down to the skin. Stir spaghetti squash strands and Parmesan cheese in with sauce mixture.
  5. Clean and dry the rectangular baking dish used to cook the squash. Grease with spray oil then pour the half of the spaghetti squash and sauce mixture in the dish, spreading evenly. Top with half of the mozzarella cheese. Spread the remaining half of spaghetti squash and sauce mixture on top of that then top with the second half of the mozzarella cheese. Top with bread crumbs or chopped walnuts (if using), and press lightly into cheese.
  6. Bake until sauce is bubbly and cheese is melted and browned slightly; about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.

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Enjoy! Maybe “see” you soon?

Zucchini Bread

You guys!! I ran my goal half marathon for the year and only took one lousy picture…

2014-09-06 06.33.53I was too focused beating my goal time (2:30) by 2 minutes (2:28 total time)!

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I had such a great race! I kind of surprised myself because I wasn’t feeling super great the week leading up to the race, my legs just felt heavy, I was super nervous, and we got a bunch a rain the day before (the race was on trail). But the weather turned out to be perfect, I fueled properly, and my legs felt great!

Now that my goal race is over, I am planning on keeping up with my mileage to do the Denver Rock n’ Roll half marathon on October 19th to see if I can do a road half in under 2 hours. This weekend I ran 10 miles in Redstone Canyon, and I plan to do a 3 week build from 12 to 14 miles before tapering until the race.

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All this running has me thinking a lot about carbohydrates. With all the hype around low-carb and Paleo diets it is important to remind ourselves that carbohydrates are the primary, most efficient fuel source for our brain and muscles. For optimum performance and recovery it is important for athletes to consume a diet rich in carbohydrates primarily from sources such as grains, fruits, starchy vegetables, and legumes. However, if you are concerned about your carbohydrate intake or interested in losing weight, being strategic about when you choose to eat your carbohydrates may still allow you to achieve your goals while still fueling your workouts.

I like baked goods (who doesn’t?!), but the flour, sugar, and fat content makes them something that should be enjoyed occasionally and in moderation. However, strategically eating them around workouts that last longer than an hour can allow us to have them more often. With that in mind, when I made this zucchini bread, I kept the sugar, cut about half the fat, and used unbleached all-purpose flour instead of whole wheat…making it an excellent high carbohydrate, low fat, and low fiber snack for before/during/after a long workout.

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Zucchini Bread

Makes 1-9”x5” loaf (12-16 slices) | Recipe by Lauren Larson inspired by the Kitchn | Print here!

Prep time: 10 minutes | Bake time: 50-60 minutes | Total time: 60-70 minutes

2 cups shredded zucchini (about 2 medium)

3 cups (360 g) unbleached all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

2 large eggs

1 cup organic cane sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup (80 g) canola oil

1/3 cup (81 g) unsweetened applesauce

2 tablespoons plain yogurt

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9”x5” bread pan lightly with spray oil.
  2. Wrap shredded zucchini in a kitchen towel and squeeze out excess water over the sink. Place towel and zucchini over a bowl to rest until ready to use.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg in a large bowl.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, oil, applesauce, yogurt, and vanilla extract with an electric mixer.
  5. Pour wet ingredients into dry and stir until just combined, batter may be thick. Gently fold in zucchini and walnuts (if using). Transfer to bread pan.
  6. Bake 50-60 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center.
  7. Allow to cool for 30 minutes in the bread pan then remove and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
  8. Keep in a sealed container on the counter for about 2 days, in the fridge for about 7 days, or in the freezer for about 3 months.

Tip: Freeze leftovers in slices or as a whole loaf. Pull slices out about 30 minutes before ready to eat (or heat for 10-20 seconds at a time in a microwave until warm) for a quick snack.

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If you freeze the loaf in slices, pull one out before your workout and bring it with you. It should be nice and defrosted by the time you are done and ready to devour it…like I did on the drive home from my 10 mile run…

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What is your favorite baked good?

Making jam and baking bread—two things I used to find too daunting to try in my own kitchen, but with the right resources and a little bit of experimentation they can both be quite manageable and fun.

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My first time making jam began when an experienced friend came over with all of her equipment and showed me how to make a strawberry jalapeno jam. After filling five half-pint jars and hearing the seals pop I was hooked. I immediately went online and ordered some of the basic equipment and began thinking about all of the possibilities.

Home food preservation can be intimidating because of concerns over food safety, but it is a really great way to enjoy local peaches in the middle of the winter or to help manage all those apples falling from an apple tree during a bumper year. Luckily, there are plenty of credible resources out there with science-based recommendations on how to preserve food safely at home. In 2009, the USDA published a Complete Guide to Home Canning, which can be found entirely online or purchased in print. It is a great resource for processing times at different altitudes as well as recipes. The Colorado State University Extension websites also have information on canning fruits, vegetables, and tomatoes. And if you are looking for recipes and ideas the Pick Your Own website has a ton, just do a search for the type of food you are interested in preserving.

This Rhubarb Ginger Jam was the first jam recipe I made on my own, and it really set the bar high. The rhubarb combines almost perfectly with the spicy ginger. I like to mix it in plain yogurt or put it on top of hot cereal cooked with fresh diced strawberries. This recipe can easily be doubled without any modifications.

Note: this recipe requires a few pieces of basic canning equipment: half pint jars and lids, a jar lifter, a lid lifter, and a canning funnel.

Rhubarb Ginger Jam

Makes 3-4 8-ounce jars | Recipe by Lauren Larson | Print here!

3-4 half-pint (8-ounce) glass jars with new lids and screw bands

2 pounds fresh rhubarb, cut into ½-inch pieces

1 pound sugar

1 ½ ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice

¼ cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped

1 ½ inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated

Day 1
  1. Combine rhubarb, sugar, and lemon juice in a large glass bowl. Cover and let macerate in a warm location at room temperature for 24 hours.
Day 2
  1. Clean jars by washing them in hot soapy water and rinsing well or washing in a dishwasher.
  2. To sterilize the jars, fill a large stockpot with water and bring to a boil and reduce to a light boil (180ºF). Insert jar rack (if using) or push a washcloth to the bottom of the simmering water to keep the jars from banging and breaking. Submerge the jars, right side up, with enough water to cover the jars by 1 inch. Keep jars in the simmering water for at least 10 minutes at altitudes below 1,000 ft. (add an additional 1 minute for each 1,000 ft. in elevation) or until it is time to fill them with the rhubarb mixture.
  3. Place 4-5 spoons on a small plate in the freezer. These will be for testing the consistency of the jam while cooking.
  4. Transfer rhubarb mixture to a large non-reactive stockpot and stir well. Add crystallized and fresh ginger. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally with a heat proof spoon. Continue to boil, stirring frequently to prevent sticking, and reducing the heat as the jam starts to thicken and is no longer watery; about 20 minutes.
  5. Test the jam for doneness by scooping up a small spoonful using one of the spoons in the freezer. Transfer the spoon back to the plate in the freezer for 3-4 minutes. Tilt the spoon vertically to test the thickness of the jam. If it is thick, then the jam is done. If it is watery, cook it for a few more minutes. Repeat this process with the remaining spoons if necessary.
  6. When done, turn off heat, but do not stir. Skim any foam off the top with a stainless-steel spoon.
  7. When ready to fill the jars, remove and drain hot sterilized jars one at a time using the jar lifter and transfer, right side up, to a clean towel. Toss the lids (not the rings) into the hot water bath while filling the jars (for at least 5 minutes) to sterilize and soften. Reserve the hot water for processing filled jars.
  8. Using a clean funnel, fill the sterilized jars with the rhubarb mixture, leaving about ¼” of space at the top. Wipe any residue from the rims with a clean dampened paper towel.
  9. Using a lid lifter, lift lids from the hot water bath and place on each filled jar. Top with screw bands and tighten just until finger tight, but not overly tight.
  10. Using a jar lifter, transfer filled jars to water bath with enough water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer to process. Process for 5 minutes at altitudes 0-1,000 ft., 10 minutes at altitudes 1,001-6,000 ft., and 15 minutes for altitudes greater than 6,000 ft.
  11. Using a jar lifter, carefully remove jars and transfer to a clean towel to cool and seal. As the jars cool to room temperature the lids should pop down indicating a proper seal. If after 24 hours the lid springs up when you press and release it with your finger it is unsealed and may need to be processed with a new lid.

Homemade Muesli

Say hello to our current favorite breakfast: homemade muesli.

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It is easy, no-cook, versatile, and cool for hot summer mornings. The husband loves it with a tub of Strawberry Rhubarb Noosa Yoghurt, and since we’ve started eating it he has mentioned how he feels like he has all this extra time in the morning because he doesn’t have to cook anything for breakfast.

Homemade Muesli

Recipe inspired by Never Homemaker | Print here!

4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1 cup flaked cereal such as amaranth or bran flakes

½ cup raisins

½ cup pitted and chopped dates

½ cup sunflower seeds

½ cup sliced almonds

¼ cup ground flaxseeds

¼ cup hulled hemp seeds

¼ cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

¼ teaspoon sea salt

Dash of ground cloves

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine.
  2. Transfer to an airtight container for storage.

Serving tips: Scoop ½ – ¾ cup in a bowl and mix it up with 6-8 ounces plain yogurt, kefir, or milk of choice and eat right away—no cooking or soaking required. Add chopped fruit (banana or peach) or fresh berries for additional flavor. Can also top with a swirl of honey if desired.

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Feel free to change up the dried fruit, nuts, and spices depending on the flavors you are looking for or what you have on hand. Make a cherry ginger variation by replacing the raisins with dried cherries and the cinnamon with ground ginger. Make a coconut apricot variation by adding 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes and replacing the chopped dates with chopped apricots. The variations are endless.

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I mixed mine right in the jar, but you may find it mixes more evenly in a large bowl. The tough part is transferring it to the container afterwards.

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I like having mine with about 6 ounces of plain kefir, fresh diced peach, extra cinnamon, and about a teaspoon of peanut butter. I like it so much I can hardly wait to snap a photo of it.

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What is your go-to summer breakfast?

Have you ever committed to an opportunity to do something and then put a lot of pressure on yourself to make whatever it is really good? Giving a presentation is a great example. You work real hard to prepare your presentation, making sure you include everything, and then you memorize the details of what you want to say, both of which result in you being super nervous and/or anxious beforehand. What if, instead of putting all this pressure on oneself, you take a step back, and keep things simple and just be yourself? Maybe the presentation doesn’t have to include everything or you forget to say a few things. The fact that you aren’t nervous or anxious may allow you to speak more clearly, make more eye contact, and engage more with your audience, ultimately leaving them with a lasting impression of you and your skill.

Now, take making dinner for example. I bet a lot of us put pressure on ourselves to prepare a dinner that is special, elaborate, delicious, and/or something you couldn’t get at a restaurant. Instead, what if just making dinner at home was special enough? That is exactly what this recipe is for—making a simple, healthy dinner at home that tastes good.

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Chicken and Vegetable Stir-Fry

Serves 4 | Recipe by Lauren Larson | Print here!

Prep time: 20 minutes | Cook time: 15 minutes | Total time: 35 minutes

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced into ½” strips

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

¼ cup water

3 teaspoons cooking oil, divided

½ teaspoon smoked paprika

2 teaspoons dark sesame oil

½ medium yellow onion, sliced

1 medium orange bell pepper, sliced

1 cup snow peas

1” piece ginger, peeled and minced

1 clove garlic, minced

3 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari

2 teaspoons pure cane sugar

1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce

1 (16-ounce) bag tricolor coleslaw mix

3 green onions, sliced

4-6 cups hot cooked rice or noodles for serving

Sriracha hot sauce for serving (optional)

  1. Combine the sliced chicken, cornstarch, baking soda, salt, water, and 1 teaspoon cooking oil in a small bowl. Set aside to tenderize for 20 minutes while prepping the remaining ingredients.
  2. Heat remaining 2 teaspoons cooking oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, sauté until cooked on the outside; about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  3. Heat 2 teaspoons sesame oil in the same wok or skillet over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, snow peas, ginger, and garlic. Stir-fry for 3-5 minutes until vegetables are crisp tender.
  4. Combine vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, and chili garlic sauce in a small ramekin or bowl. Add chicken along with sauce mixture to the wok or skillet; cooking for 2-3 minutes until chicken is nearly cooked through.
  5. Stir in coleslaw mix and cook until wilted and chicken is no longer pink or a thermometer reads 165ºF when inserted in the center.
  6. Sprinkle with green onions and serve on top of cooked rice or noodles topped with Sriracha hot sauce if desired.

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What is the last simple meal you made at home?

Oat Waffles

Life without schoolwork is amazing. Evenings and weekends with nothing but a life to care about.  Lately, life has been all about social activities, live music, trips to the dog park, reading for pleasure, baking gluten-free coffee cake and crusty bread, trail running in Wyoming, and giving the mountain bike another chance. In between all of that, I am wrapping up the final week at my first 400 hour dietetic internship rotation. I can’t believe how fast it has gone by. Just a little over 800 internship hours to go before I am an exam away from becoming a registered dietitian!

A couple weeks ago I ordered a used copy of a relatively old cookbook recommended to my by a friend: The Cabbagetown Café Cookbook. For just a few bucks on Amazon I just couldn’t pass up checking it out. Immediately after receiving and flipping through it I was excited to see some new techniques and recipes. I started by making a recipe for refried beans to go along with the Chicken Mole Coloradito Enchiladas I served up last week, and they were great!

Next, I made Grandma’s Norwegian Oatmeal Waffles with just a few changes, and they were equally as great!

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Oat Waffles

Serves 4 | Recipe by Lauren Larson | Print here!

Prep time: 8-10 hours, largely unattended (overnight) | Cook time: 10-15 minutes

2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

2 cups dairy or non-dairy milk

2 eggs, separated

3 tablespoons butter, melted

2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon unsweetened applesauce

1/3 cup oat flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon sea salt

Cooking spray

Desired toppings (e.g. butter, jam, yogurt, maple syrup, fresh fruit, etc.)

  1. The night before, combine the oats and milk in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight to soak.
  2. Preheat waffle maker.
  3. Separate egg whites into a small bowl and set aside.
  4. Add egg yolks, melted butter, applesauce, oat flour, baking powder, and sea salt to the oat and milk mixture. Stir to combine.
  5. Using a hand mixer or blender, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Carefully fold into oat mixture.
  6. Spray waffle maker well with cooking spray and cook according to your waffle maker’s instructions.
  7. Serve topped with desired toppings.

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I served mine topped with a few pads of butter and some blueberry mint jam I made not too long ago. The texture of these waffles was just wonderful. It literally was crispy oatmeal in the shape of a waffle. Yum! We reheated leftovers in the toaster for a super quick breakfast.

What do you like to put on top of your waffles?

WARNING!! This recipe is not short or easy, but if you are like me and don’t mind checking out your local Hispanic market, spending a couple hours in the kitchen experimenting with something new, and losing sleep over whether or not your guests will like it–then this recipe is for you! I promise you will end up with a bunch of extra mole sauce that can easily be frozen and used another time.

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This recipe starts with de-stemming and de-seeding 10 dried ancho and 5 dried quajillo chiles, both of which I was able to find at my local Hispanic market.

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The chiles are toasted and soaked to soften while the remaining ingredients are toasted in various rounds of the pan. At the end, everything is added to the blender.

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Using the chile soaking sauce to thin, everything is blended until smooth.

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Note: a high speed blender probably works best here, but if you are left with bits and pieces of the cinnamon stick or other ingredients strain the sauce before adding to the pan.

The sauce is then added to the pan with a bit of vegetable oil, chocolate (the best part!), and 2 cups reserved chicken cooking liquid (if you are also making the enchiladas, but if not, vegetable broth would also work). Everything simmers until desired thickness is reached. Yum!

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The sauce itself could be used for a variety of things, but I chose to use it to make enchiladas…my favorite! I cooked and shredded chicken thighs and tossed them with 1/2 cup mole sauce for the filling.

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To assemble the enchiladas, I placed about 2 tablespoons shredded Monterey Jack cheese and 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture down the center of warm corn tortillas. Rolled them up and placed them seam side down in a 9×13 rectangular baking dish with about 1/2 cup mole sauce spread on the bottom. Then I spread about 1/2-3/4 cup more mole sauce over the enchiladas and baked at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes until heated through.

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Topped them off with crumbled queso fresco and fresh cilantro. Served them to the in-laws and they were a hit! This recipe can be prepared in various stages. The chicken and the sauce can be prepared the day before and the enchiladas can be prepared the following day–this helps break it up a bit. I lost sleep over this one, but I am pretty happy with how it turned out! Enjoy!

Chicken Mole Coloradito Enchiladas

Serves 4-6 | Recipe by Lauren Larson | Print here!

Total time: 2+ hours

For the chicken:

1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs

¼ medium white onion, cut into large chunks

3 cloves garlic, peeled

5 whole black peppercorns

1 teaspoon salt

4 cups water

For the Mole Coloradito (makes about 6 cups):

10 dried red ancho chile peppers

5 dried guajillo chile peppers

Enough boiling water to cover the dried chiles

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

1 3-4” cinnamon stick

5 whole cloves

½ teaspoon anise seeds

¼ teaspoon coriander seeds

¼ medium white onion, cut into large chunks

3 garlic cloves, peeled

4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

2 tablespoons sliced almonds

2 tablespoons raisins

3 6-inch corn tortillas, torn into pieces

4 medium plum tomatoes, cored (canned is fine)

½ cup Mexican chocolate, cut in pieces

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon salt

For the enchiladas:

12 6-inch corn tortillas

1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

½ cup crumbled queso fresco

¼ bunch fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped (optional)

Lime wedges for serving (optional)

Plain yogurt or sour cream for serving (optional)

To cook the chicken:
  1. Put the chicken, onion, garlic, peppercorns, and salt in a large pot. Pour in water, adding more if the chicken is not covered. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cover until chicken is cooked through very tender; about 30-40 minutes. Remove chicken, reserving liquid, shred with two forks, and transfer to a bowl. Refrigerate if not using within 30 minutes.
To prepare the Mole Coloradito:
  1. Wash the chiles with a damp cloth. Remove the stems, split open with a knife and remove the seeds and veins. In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the chiles until lightly toasted; about 2 minutes. Transfer to a large glass bowl. Cover with boiling water to soften; about 30 minutes. Carefully remove the chiles, reserving 2-3 cups liquid, and add to a blender.
  2. In the same dry skillet over medium heat, toast sesame seeds, tossing until golden; about 5 minutes. Transfer to blender.
  3. Again, in the same skillet, toast the cinnamon stick, cloves, anise seeds, and coriander seeds until fragrant; about 3 minutes. Add to blender.
  4. 4. Still in the same dry skillet, add the onion and garlic and toast until nicely brown in spots. Add to blender.
  5. Add tomatoes to blender.
  6. Meanwhile, add 2 tablespoons oil to the same skillet over medium heat. Add the almonds, raisins, and torn corn tortillas. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the almonds are golden, the raisins are plump, and the tortillas are golden brown; about 2-5 minutes. Add to blender.
  7. Pour ~1/2 cup reserved chile soaking liquid (being careful not to pick up any rogue seeds). Turn on blender. Working ½ cup at a time, carefully pour in 1 ½-2 ½ cups reserved chile soaking liquid (avoiding seeds) through the hole in the top of the blender until the sauce is thick and smooth.
  8. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Pour in the chile sauce and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened; 5-6 minutes.
  9. Add 2 cups reserved chicken cooking liquid (straining if necessary) and simmer until sauce starts to thicken. Add chocolate, and simmer, stirring frequently, until the chocolate melts and the sauce reduces; about 20 minutes.
  10. Add sugar and salt to taste. Use immediately and/or portion out and freeze for future use.
To assemble enchiladas:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cover the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish with about ½ cup mole sauce.
  3. Microwave chicken if not warm. Stir 1 cup shredded cheese and ½ cup mole sauce into shredded chicken.
  4. Coat both sides of tortillas with vegetable oil spray. Arrange 6 tortillas on a large baking sheet and bake until soft and pliable; 2-4 minutes.
  5. Working quickly, fill each tortilla with ¼ cup chicken mixture, roll, and place seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling.
  6. Pour 1 cup more mole sauce over enchiladas. Bake 25 minutes. Sprinkle with queso fresco and cilantro.
  7. Serve with lime wedges, yogurt, and more mole sauce on the side.
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