Dirt in your skirt blog

Something New – Black Bean Mole and Coconut Couscous

Posted on May 4, 2012 by Margaret Schlachter

When I envision my cooking I think I am the next Food Network star in reality many of my attempts fall short of hitting the mark. There was the time my sister and I used 1 tablespoon of salt instead of teaspoon in a cake recipe. Or I one of the many times I got a little carried away with spices and find myself imitating Emeral, BAM! In the process creating an unpalatable meal. If nothing else I always have fun in the kitchen, even if the outcome is less savory. It’s about the experience, right? (insert myself laughing)

But still the process each time is something new and exciting and this intrigues me. I often refer back to the great words of Eleanor Rossevelt, “Do one thing each day that scares you.” Well sometimes a new recipe can scare me as I don’t want to have to make dinner twice each night. Luckily I am cooking for one. My favorite two ingredients are beans and rice, and my ingredient choices tonight were slim as I am moving in less than two weeks (only down the road).

As I peered at my options tonight, I went for a new recipe. Black Bean Mole and Coconut Couscous. This recipe draws flavors from several parts of the world, Mexican, Spanish, Mediterranean and a little Mid-Eastern. This recipe is a good source of calcium and filled me up quickly this evening. So I stepped out of the box and made my first mole. I also toasted my first coconuts tonight and to my surprise it worked out well. I made more couscous to have later this week. I substituted a plan salsa for the only salsa I had, a medium peach salsa. The fruit added a different dimension. It’s amazing how simple the dish is to make but at the same time the flavors are pretty complex. It may not have turned out a true Mole but tasted great for dinner tonight.



1 tbs Olive oil
1 clove Garlic, minced
1 (15-oz) cans Black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 (16-oz) jar Salsa
3/4 tsp Unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp Chili powder
1/4 tsp Cumin
1/8 tsp Cinnamon

2 cup Uncooked couscous
1/2 cup Coconut, toasted
1/2 tsp Cinnamon


Toppings – Optional to taste and diet
4 oz (1 cup) shredded Colby-Monterrey Jack cheese
6 TBS sour cream
1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced
1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped


Cook couscous according to package directions. Add toasted coconut and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Cover and set aside, keeping warm until ready to use.

Heat olive oil in saucepan over medium heat. Saute garlic in hot oil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add remaining mole ingredients to saucepan and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low, stirring occasionally until some of the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes.

To serve, fluff couscous with a fork, and spoon the couscous onto a serving platter to make the foundation of the dish. Top with the black bean mixture and garnish with cheese, sour cream, green onions, and tomatoes really whatever you want or have around or eat it plain.