Why I Happily Eat Chocolate Almost Everyday + Oil Free Chana Masala (Chickpea Curry)


It’s 11:30 am and I’m nicely satisfied from my mid morning meal; a big bowl of grains and kale, topped with beet, sweet potato, baked tofu and sprouts, drizzled with Orange Sesame Dressing. It’s satisfying on a cellular level.

30 minutes later, I’m at my desk, working on a meal plan that I’ve been struggling with, when all of a sudden it hits me.

I want a burst of feel good. I want a second of bliss.

I want a hit of pleasure. I want to melt into something.

And then without hesitation, I get my ass up from my blue yoga ball, I walk 10 feet to the fridge, I open it up and I reach for a piece of very dark chocolate. I sit back down on my ball, I place the cool chocolate in my warm mouth, and for a good 60 seconds, I enter bliss. I experience pure pleasure. I melt into the moment as the chocolate does the same around my tongue.

I savor the last remnants of delight and I get back to work, committed to nailing my meal plan.

Here’s the truth. I didn’t want that chocolate. I was totally satisfied from the huge bowl of nutrients that I ate just 30 minutes prior. I didn’t want chocolate. I wanted the feeling that chocolate provides.

When I used to drink alcohol, I never reached for crappy food or sugar when I craved an escape or needed a hit of pleasure because I knew that my escape and pleasure would be waiting for me at 5 pm when I uncorked the wine, and I was more than happy to wait it out.

One of the reasons why I was shit scared to quit drinking and why I put it off for so long was because the thought of living my life without that escape, or more accurately, without the anticipation of that escape, was unimaginable to me. If I didn’t have that escape, that pleasure, that cozy intoxication to look forward to, what was the fucking point?

I didn’t want alcohol. I wanted the feeling that it would provide.

People don’t self sabotage because they’re afraid of failing. People self sabotage because they’re afraid that when they succeed, they’ll no longer have a place of bliss to escape to. And not having that comfy cozy cushion of happy to look forward to is fucking scary.

But here’s the thing, my dear.

Pleasure, joy and bliss are part of who you are. That comfy cozy cushion of happy is built into you. All of this comes standard. And nothing can take that away from you permanently. You might have to do a little searching and find other ways for them to come out and play, but they’re always in you and they aren’t going any damn where. And get this, they’ll be even more amplified when you stop self sabotaging on a consistent basis and start treating your body with the love, respect and compassion you deserve. All day every day.

I might not have an alcohol buzz to look forward to anymore, but enjoying a piece of super dark chocolate (this is my current fave), sitting in meditation for 10 minutes, doing a yoga session, going for a jog, or heading outside and doing absolutely nothing but tuning into nature and accepting impermanence, provides me with the same comfort, satisfaction, joy, pleasure and bliss that drinking once did. Sure, it’s not the same as an alcohol buzz, but it’s consistent, even and more satisfying and joyous than drinking alcohol ever was.

And it doesn’t come with bullshit hangovers, weight gain and crappy food cravings. My joy never went away, it was in me the whole time. I just needed to redefine it.

If you’re stuck in a cycle of self sabotage, know that the good, tingly feelings that come with indulging in your unhealthy substance of choice aren’t going anywhere, even when you ditch your crappy substance of choice for good. Those good feelings will still be there. They’re part of the deal that is you. Now all you have to do is take the leap and see for yourself.

I can tell you from experience, it’s a leap well worth taking.

Start today by signing up for our weekly Plant Fueled Meal Plans and I’ll be right by your side as you take your leap.

Today’s recipe is full of flavor and better than any restaurant Chana Masala that I’ve ever had!

Oil Free Chana Masala (Chickpea Curry)

Author: Molly Patrick


  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ cup red onion 65g, finely diced
  • 2 heaping teaspoons peeled and chopped ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tomatoes about 2 full cups / 350g, chopped
  • 2 ½ cups cooked garbanzo beans 380g
  • ½ teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • ¾ teaspoons salt
  • ½ cup water 120ml


  • Heat a large skillet over low heat for about a minute. Add the cumin seeds and toast just until they’re fragrant, about a minute. Transfer to a small dish and set aside for now.
  • Place that same skillet over medium heat and add the onions. Cook the onions for about 4 minutes, stirring frequently and adding a splash of water when they start to stick to the pan.
  • Add the ginger, garlic, tomatoes, garbanzo beans, cumin seeds, coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chili powder, garam masala and salt. Cook for about 2 minutes, gently stirring so the spices get thoroughly incorporated.
  • Add the water and bring to a low simmer. Gently simmer for about 15 minutes, until the liquid has been evaporated.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro when serving.











12_whole_food_plant_based_chana_masala_finished_top_viewWishing you a happy week. May it be filled with connecting to your joy in unexpected ways.


Food photography by Christine June

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Our Sweary Saturday Love Letters are written by our ex-boozer, ex-smoker, plant-loving co-founder, Molly Patrick.


  1. GiGi Eats on October 26, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    Chickpeas are pretty dang tasty – I cannot have them in my house or else I will eat them all, ha! My stomach does NOT like them (I have an intolerance to beans) so again, they are not welcome in my house. If I go out to eat, I will not nix them from say a salad, because they sprinkle like 4 of them on top, and I can handle that tiny amount! 😉

  2. alwin on December 1, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    Continue motivating us. LLL care has much obliged on your sweat!

  3. Vladimir on April 26, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    Started my weight loosing with your article (parafraze) STEEL CUT OATS FOR BREAKFAST, MADE EVENING BEFORE… 4 to one, water to oats. Ignored
    your dates, stuck with blueberries, blackberries and strawberries as topping for breakfast. 2 months ago, when I’ve first read your STEEL CUT OATS article, I was weighing 223 lbs, was pretty miserable about NOT being able to put on my socks on, belly did NOT allow… Tired often, etc. FFFFrustrating! Decision was comprehensive: NO sugar (Truvia), NO salt (salt-NoSalt: potasium Cl, instead poisonous Natrium/Sodium Cl), NO starch, 1 cup of half decaf coffee a day (was having 4-6 cups earlier), NO cheese, NO red meat, ONLY fish 2-3 times a week,
    Flounder, dipped in sesame seeds, grilled salmon… scallops in between… Lots of green salad, lots of garlic (love it raw!), roasted, NOT salted pepitas, sunflower seeds, AAND 23 pcs of roasted, NOT salted almonds a day ONLY! During the day I started to nibble on red/yellow fresh pepper, raw zucchini, celery sticks, raw cauliflower… And, HAPPILY, steel cut oats EVERY morning topped with various berries, as mentioned above.
    Result: LOST 24 lbs (TWENTY FOUR!!!), EASY. Feel very energy loaded, relaxed, and much happier about the future, since I have a goal to get to 185 lbs!

    It will happen soon, 2 more months, and there is no way back for me, to eating unhealthy 🙂

    “Dirty” Girl, YOU did a GREAT, CLEANEST job on me, THANK YOU A LOT!!!

    Happier me

  4. Vladimir on April 26, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    PS. When making green salad I add to it black beans from the can, washed (no salt), sesame oil, minced garlic, lemon… Every afternoon, I make fresh grapefruit juice, and drink it happily 🙂 YUMMMMM

  5. Ruth on October 28, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    5 stars
    The instructions for this recipe say, “Add the cumin seeds and toast just until they’re fragrant. ” But cumin seeds aren’t in the ingredient list. Just wondering how many cumin seeds? I really want to make this dish, so need the amount. Thanks 🙂

    • Molly Patrick on October 28, 2017 at 6:26 pm

      Hi Ruth,
      I’m so glad you reached out! The cumin seeds must have been accidentally left off when we changed over our recipe cards on the site. I have updated it, but the measurement is 1/2 teaspoon.
      Enjoy this yummy recipe!

  6. Stephanie E Hawkins on April 25, 2018 at 5:50 am

    4 stars
    Really nice recipe here! I made this off the Sample Meal Plan recipes I downloaded earlier this week. Admittedly I used canned beans (sigh!) and combined garbanzos with habas grandes (love habas grandes!). Served it over the minty quinoa & BANG! it was deeeelish!
    A quick dinner, a nourishing dinner and a plant-based dinner! Thanks so much to all yous faces at CFDG! I signed up for Meal Plans and I’m super excited for FRIDAY when my first official Meal Plan arrives!! 🙂

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on April 25, 2018 at 7:20 am

      Thanks for the LOVE, Stephanie! High five to you as a new Dirty meal planner! Two more sleeps and you’ll have your first meal plan in your classroom. Thanks, too, for sharing that you enjoyed this recipe…we have used habas grandes in meal plans in the past and you’re likely to see them again sometime. ~Karen

  7. Mandy Lam on August 11, 2018 at 12:26 am

    5 stars
    This looks amazing! I was wondering how many it is supposed to serve? Is there a standard number of people they are supposed to serve? Just wondering before I make for all my friends

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on August 11, 2018 at 6:59 am

      Hi Mandy Lam – Thanks for stopping by. There are 2.5 cups of beans in this so I would estimate this should serve 3-4 people with little to no leftovers, if you serve it with rice. Let us know if you try it! ~Karen

  8. Lauren on April 18, 2020 at 9:26 am

    5 stars
    This was incredible! As the first recipe I have tried from the site, this is an amazing first impression that has left me wanting to read and eat it ALL! I liberally sprinkled some curry powder on top because it’s my favorite spice no matter how I am eating my chickpeas. Thanks so much for all you are doing! 🙂

    • Molly Patrick on April 19, 2020 at 7:44 pm

      I’m so glad you liked it, Lauren!

  9. Vikki on May 29, 2020 at 12:49 pm

    I loved this article! Oh man, you can verbalise exactly what’s wibbling around in my head!

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl - Steph on May 29, 2020 at 1:03 pm


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