February Cooking Club: Cocoa!

15 Mar


The key ingredient for February cooking club/competition with my co-workers was cocoa.  I have plenty of treat recipes I could have gone with, but I wanted to challenge myself to a savory cocoa-laced dish.  I came upon this chili recipe from Snack Girl which sounded exactly like what I was going for.  The only shortcoming was that it was being hosted on a Friday night.  Bryan and several others (I assumed) could not eat meat.  No problem!  I would put together a meat and a meatless version for the lent observers.  To mimic some level of meatiness, I would also try my hand at roasting eggplant.  I did a little Googling and figured that out.  The veggie version would also feature zucchini.  Similar to pumpkin chili recipes, the cocoa was subtle enough to avoid overpowering the recipe yet still present enough to be detectable.  It was a winning dish, but not the winner.  That coveted spot went to Kirk with his pork mole tacos.  Mole is no joke to make and the sauce was quite  good.  I’m just thrilled with the amount of left-overs I have truthfully.  I’m set for those last minute lunch or dinners thanks to some frozen on-the-ready portions I’ve got on hand.

Other entries included: Cocoa Dusted Chicken with Rice, Chile Chocolate Lime Martini Pudding, Red Wine Chocolate Cake w/ PB Mascarpone Icing, Peanutella Brownies with a Nutella Icing, and two versions of Popcorn- one Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt and the other a Milk Chocolate with PB and Vanilla.  A great food occasion as usual with this crowd!


  • 1 lb ground beef (80% lean)
  • 3-15 oz cans different beans (black, light and/or dark kidney, white, pinto, etc.)
  • 1-28 oz can plum tomatoes
  • 4 TBSP chili powder
  • 2 TBSP cocoa powder
  • 1 TBSP cumin
  • salt to taste 
  • hot sauce (optional)


  1. Brown ground beef in large sauce pan over medium high heat. When meat is brown, drain beans and add.
  2. Pour in tomatoes with their juices and add spices. Heat to a simmer and taste for salt.
  3. Cook for about 20 minutes at a low simmer and serve!

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