By Joanne Bruno | August 15, 2011

Photo: Joanne Bruno

At the end of almost every week, I am left with crisper guilt.  No matter how much menu planning I do, how many copies of my shopping list I take with me to the grocery store, or how many cookbooks I sleep with under my pillows, when I open up my crisper on Friday I am inevitably greeted by a drawer full of slightly wrinkled, almost ready to bite-the-dust vegetables. It’s heart wrenching, each and every time.

Thanks to recipes such as this Oaxacan green mole stew, however, I no longer have to cry myself to sleep at the thought of all the produce I’ve let go to waste, as this is the perfect vessel for whatever you’ve got in that drawer of yours. While I chose to make the stew with green beans, zucchini, and corn – all of which are super seasonal at the moment – you can use whatever you have on hand.  The green tomatillo-based mole will take whatever veggies you throw at it and cover them in sweet, tart, and tangy deliciousness.  So go ahead and fill your crispers to the brim on Sunday, knowing that by Friday you’ll be guilt-free and well-fed, no matter how many you have left over.

Photo: Joanne Bruno

Adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health

Joanne Bruno is a food writer and second year medical student.  Find more of her delicious ramblings over at her blog: Eats Well With Others.  Joanne is also training for her third marathon with Team in Training, raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  For more information or to make a donation, check out her fundraising website.

Oaxacan Green Mole Stew Recipe

Servings: 5


For the Stew:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 small fennel bulb, chopped OR 2 tsp ground fennel seeds
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 10 oz green beans, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 lb zucchini
  • 1 1/2 cups corn
  • 2 cups dried white beans, soaked overnight and boiled until soft OR 2 (15 oz) cans white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup water
For the Mole:
  • 1 lb tomatillos
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 fresh chiles, chopped (I used jalapeños)
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper


1. Warm the oil in a soup pot on medium high heat. Add the onions and fennel (if using), cover, and cook for 8 minutes until golden-translucent, stirring occasionally.

2. Stir in the garlic and green beans (and ground fennel, if using) and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the squash, corn, white beans, and water. Cover and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat to medium and cook until the squash begins to soften about 5 minutes.

3. Remove the husks from the tomatillos. Cut in half and place in a shallow baking dish, cut side up and in a single layer. Roast in a 450 oven for 30 minutes or until soft.

Combine all of the mole ingredients in a blender or food processor and whirl until very smooth. When the squash is just tender, pour the green mole sauce into the stew, return to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes. Add salt to taste.

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