Chocolate Chili Tacos & Spicy “Forever” Coleslaw

I hate wasting food!  After my son’s wedding reception there ware a lot of Black Angus Hamburgers leftover (not cooked).   I decided that I would make some chili but wanted to try something different from my regular chili soup recipe.

When Claude and I were in college we had this terrific Architecture professor whose wife was a hoot!  Her name was Martha and she was a great cook as well as a very talented photographer.  Martha was stuck on the family farm every day.  She did not drive, had a wooden leg (that she hid money in) and made “killer” food for her family, like chocolate chili, homemade root beer, and on occasion homemade horseradish sauce!  Quite the combination, huh?

I’ve been thinking about Martha lately.  She had an amazing garden and taught me a lot about gardening.  She took a great picture of my daughter, Nicole when she was around 3-year-old.  I was showing Nicole the flowers in the garden and she was smelling them. When I am in my garden I often remember that day. It was warm and sunny with a slight breeze and a beautiful blue sky.  Nicole was so “into” the flowers and it was a tender moment that Martha snapped with her box camera.

Martha’s Chocolate Chili was an amazing combination of bittersweet chocolate and pungent and spicy chilies like red peppers and cinnamon!  I thought I would try to come up with something along those lines that we could use to make as a stuffing for hard shell tacos.

There was a lot of experimenting in this recipe and lots of adjustments were made.  I was dealing with a lot of hamburger meat.  At least 4 pounds, maybe more.  I didn’t throw it on the scale to check but my big dutch oven pan was more than half full!

Everyone in our family liked this crazy chili and thought it was intriguing.  It is not exactly like Martha’s but similar. I did not put in the cinnamon but you could play around with that! 

This makes a ton of meat!  Freeze some for later use if desired or serve at a big family gathering! Or just cut the recipe in half for smaller crowds or your family.

Chocolate Chili Tacos


4 lb good quality ground beef

1 can spicy black beans

1 onion, diced fine

2 Tbsp cocoa

2 tsp cumin

1 6 oz can tomato paste

2 tbsp honey

2 c 505 green chilies

2 tbsp coconut oil

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

6 oz water

For the Tacos

Hard Corn Taco Shells

Grated Cheese

Shredded Lettuce

Diced Tomatoes


Heat the coconut oil in a large dutch oven or skillet on medium heat and cook the onions until tender.  Add the ground beef and cook until browned.  Add the remaining ingredients and cook until well heated and the flavors have a chance to meld together.  I cooked the chill for 10 minutes on medium heat then turned the heat down to medium low and continued cooking it for another 20 minutes.

You can add a little more water if the chili liquid begins to evaporate.

Serve with taco shells, grated cheese, and grated lettuce & tomatoes if desired or make nachos with the meat.


This is my take on the “forever” coleslaw recipes on the internet.  Hope you enjoy this slightly spicy version!

Sweet & Spicy 'Forever' Coleslaw

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Print

1 small cabbage, diced (or 1 bag of coleslaw mix)

1 onion, diced

1/2 c white, red, or apple cider vinegar, (I used a crazy combination of peach balsamic and Serrano honey vinegar)

1/4 c sugar

1/4 c vegetable oil or light olive oil (do not use a dark olive oil)

2 tbsp spicy brown mustard

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper


Put coleslaw and diced onions in a bowl and set aside.

Heat all remaining ingredients in a saucepan until hot and the sugar has dissolved.  This takes about 5 minutes. 

Remove pan from heat and rest for 5 minutes then pour over the cabbage and onions.

Mix thoroughly and refrigerate until serving.  This coleslaw will keep in the refrigerator for 2 – 3 days.

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