Hearty, healthy, and the kitchen sink of recipes, a bowl of steaming chili is the perfect cold weather entrée. While I was home for Christmas, I flipped through my mom’s copy of Real Simple magazine and came across a recipe for vegetarian chili with sweet potatoes. “Sweet potatoes and veggie chili?” I thought. “Two of my favorite foods, together?!” The recipe shot to the top of my mental to-cook list as I tore out the pages for safekeeping.
Usually when I make veggie chili, I’ll use all the vegetables I have on hand, and throw in whatever kind of beans and tomatoes that are in my pantry. This time around, I mostly followed the recipe, and it turned out fabulously.
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces
- 4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced, or 1 heaping tablespoon of minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less, depending on how spicy you like your chili)
- 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ground sea salt and black pepper
- about 28-ounces canned diced tomatoes, including the liquid*
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- about 2 cups OR one 14 oz. can vegetable broth
- garnishes: sour cream, sliced scallions, sliced radishes (optional)
- In a 4 to 6 quart Dutch oven or stockpot, sautée the chopped vegetables (onion, peppers and sweet potatoes) in one to two tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high heat. You’ll need to stir the ingredients every few minutes so they can cook evenly.
- Once the onions start turning translucent, turn the heat down to medium-low. Add the garlic and spices (chili powder, cumin, cayenne, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and a dash of salt and pepper) and canned ingredients (tomatoes, beans and broth), and stir. Cover and cook for 45 minutes up to two hours, stirring occasionally.
- By the time your chili is done, the sweet potatoes should be nice and soft and the liquid should have reduced a bit, producing the hearty chili consistency that we all know and love. Season chili with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the chili into individual bowls, garnish as desired and serve.
- Adapted from Real Simple.
- Please don’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients. They’re all common ingredients; I bet you have most of them in your cabinets already!
- The original recipe suggested to cook the chili in a crockpot. I, however, took the opportunity to use my new Le Creuset French Oven from TJ Maxx. (Score!!! It was a 25th birthday present from me, to me.) I'm certain cooking the chili on the stove produces a tastier end result because you can sautée the chopped vegetables, which brings out their flavor. Do as you wish, but I recommend cooking on the stovetop.
- To garnish your bowl of chili, try adding a dollop of sour cream and chopped green onions. Real Simple suggested thinly sliced radishes; frankly, I would go without. Alternately, you could try fresh cilantro and grated cheese. I served mine with grilled sweet potatoes and cheddar and dill beer bread. Recipes coming soon!
- *I am concerned about the BPA levels in canned tomato goods and avoid canned tomato products as best I can. I recommend using Muir Glen canned tomatoes because their cans are BPA-free.
Have you ever tried sweet potatoes in your chili before? You must, I insist!