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Episode 116: ““It’s exhilarating to be alive in a time of awakening consciousness…”

By Jasmin and Mariann — March 31, 2012

Welcome to the 116th episode of Our Hen House, featuring chef Juan Pablo Chavez.

In today’s episode, we discuss the new Vegan Bodega, Blossom Bakery, annoying Facebook comments, cursing (and in what dialect it might be more appropriate) and an unfortunate evening of theatre.

Joining us today is the charming and talented Juan Pablo Chavez, the chef at the Whole Foods Wellness Club. Juan Pablo will tell us about the delicious vegan concoctions that Whole Foods’ new Wellness Club is cooking up, and he’ll talk about how the program – which advocates only plant-based options – is empowering shoppers and everyday people to get their health back.

For our review, we’ll tell you about the exhibit we attended here in New York City, entitled “The Wild Horses of Sable Island.”

All that, vegan banter, and of course, current events from the world of animal rights.

This week’s news items include:

“It’s exhilarating to be alive in a time of awakening consciousness; it can also be confusing, disorienting, and painful.” -Adrienne Rich

You can listen to our podcast directly on our blog (below! beneath the recipe!) or you can listen and subscribe on iTunes. Also, if you like what you hear, please rate it on iTunes, and don’t forget to leave us a friendly comment! Of course, we would be thrilled if you would also consider making a donation. If you’re a weekly listener, you might consider making a recurring monthly donation. Any amount is hugely appreciated, and Our Hen House is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, so it’s tax-deductible! Don’t forget — we’re reader and listener supported. Plus, we offer some fantastic thank you gifts for your donations. Thank you for helping us to create quality content, and for helping us bring you a new, hour-long podcast each week!


Thanks to today’s guest, Juan Pablo Chavez, and to The Whole Foods Wellness Club for providing this recipe!

Whole Foods Market Wellness Club Mexican Pipian Stew

Serves 6 to 8

This traditional green pipian mole from Mexico is full of bright, fresh herbal flavors and is thickened with toasted pumpkin seeds. “Mole” comes from the Nahuatl word “molli” which means “concoction” (and is recognizable in the well-known “guacamole”). Serve with cooked brown rice or quinoa to soak up the sauce, or over steamed potatoes.


2 large yellow onions, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

2 jalapenos, seeded and diced

6 cups water

1 dried bay leaf

2 lbs green tomatillos, husks removed and rinsed

1 bunch green onions, white and green parts only, thinly sliced

1 cup green beans, trimmed and cut into ½ inch pieces

1 cup sugar snap peas

1 cup fresh or thawed frozen peas

1 cup cooked garbanzo beans

2 zucchini squash, diced

2 yellow squash, diced

2 bunches of cilantro

1 bunch flat leaf parsley, leaves only

1 cup loosely packed mint, leaves only

½ bunch chives (optional)

½ cup pumpkin seeds, toasted

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

To make the Pipian:

Combine water, 2 sprigs of the cilantro, 2 tablespoons of the parsley leaves, bay leaf, garlic, 1 onion half, and bring to a boil. Add tomatillos. Simmer until bright green color becomes opaque, 7 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer tomatillos to a food processor. (Strain cooking liquid and reserve.) Cut remaining yellow onion half into large pieces and add to food processor along with jalapeños, white parts of green onions and 2 cups of the reserved cooking liquid. Puree until smooth and season with some freshly ground pepper.

Transfer 4 cups of the remaining cooking liquid to a large pot. Stir in the tomatillo mixture and bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Add green beans, sugar snap peas, peas, squash and zucchini. Simmer 3 to 5 minutes, until vegetables are crisp-tender.

Just before serving, finish the pipian by placing the remaining cilantro, remaining parsley, mint and chives into a blender with 1 cup of the warm stew liquid and the toasted pumpkin seeds. Puree and season with freshly ground pepper. Add herb mixture back into the rest of the veggie mix, stir and serve immediately over brown rice or quinoa. Garnish with remaining green onions.

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