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Vegetarian Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

November 6, 2010

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

Vegetarian meals actually go over well in this house under a few conditions set by Kevin:

1. They do not “feel” vegetarian – i.e. no tofu allowed
2. They fill my man up
3. They cost less money than the meat version of the meal

Personally, I love a meatless meal. I cook vegetarian at minimum once a week, often more. I’m pretty sure if it were entirely up to me, I could easily say goodbye to meat forever because I do find it just a little bit gross, at least in its raw state. Nonetheless, things have really progressed from our first year of marriage where I literally had Kevin dice the chicken and scramble the ground beef. Love that man.

This is a dish that went over really well. Kevin, as much as I love him, called me 3 minutes from my arrival home one night last week, with my favorite news, “Oh I’ve invited someone for dinner, is that okay?” Normally this is the type of thing I freak out over, but in this case it worked out perfectly because I knew I was making chili. Even though it was vegetarian and even though I had never actually tried this particular recipe, I knew everything was going to be okay – who doesn’t like a warm, comforting bowl of chili? I want to be the type of person that can invite the entire neighborhood over on a whim (I’m not)… but if I have all the ingredients for this chili on hand, I think I could be that person. At least once a year. Provided the dishes were done and the bathrooms were clean.

I do have to admit, there does appear to be a long list of ingredients in this, but take heart. Most of them are spices, and you can easily add or subtract whatever you have on hand.  That is the beauty of chili my friends (just don’t skip the actual chili powder…. or the cinnamon!)

This chili is adapted from two sources, a GoodLifeEats recipe found HERE (she calls hers “emergency chili – I like that!) and The South Beach Diet Super Quick Cookbook (a weeknight lifesaver).

Serves: a neighborhood (or more like, 6-8 hungry mouths)
Hands on time: 20 minutes
Cook time: up to an hour and a half for best results (I cooked for 30 minutes bc of time… thus the slightly weird texture you might notice from my picture… don’t look. It’s embarrassing)

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

Extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 red onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp chipotle chili powder
1 1/4 tsp ground cumin

1 can (14.5 oz) spicy diced tomatoes, with juice
8 oz vegetable broth

1 can (15.5 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 large carrot, chopped
1 can sweet potatoes (obviously the healthier option would be a fresh sweet potato, peeled and diced… pls don’t judge)
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup salsa
2 bay leaves

1 1/4 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp of cinnamon (my not-so-secret chili ingredient… 1 tsp is being modest, but if you have never tried cinnamon in your chili, 1 tsp is where I would start)

toppings: feta cheese, cheddar cheese, cilantro, sour cream, fat free greek yogurt, etc

Directions:
In a large (more like huge)  nonstick skillet – preferably a Dutch Oven – heat oil over medium heat. Add the onions and red pepper, and cook until soft, 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another minute, and finally, the chili powder and cumin. Cook for a couple more minutes, stirring often.

Lower heat to medium low and stir in the diced tomatoes and broth (reserving 1/4 cup of broth), scraping to remove all the delicious brown bits at the bottom of the pan. Yumm. Add all the remaining ingredients, except for the cornstarch and any toppings.

In a small bowl, whisk together the reserved 1/4 cup broth and cornstarch until smooth, and pour into chili pot. Stir until well mixed. Bring to a boil for 2 minutes, then lower heat to low. Simmer over low heat, uncovered, for one hour . Then simmer, covered with lid, for 3o minutes.

***If you are cutting your cooking time like I did, it would be a good idea to boil your carrots and sweet potato (if using a fresh one) in boiling water for a few minutes to quicken up the cooking process***

Serve with your choice of toppings.

p.s. One more day to enter the Holiday Survival Guide giveaway for Edmonton folks! Click HERE  for details. Just leave a question, and you’re entered to win!

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. November 6, 2010 11:12 am

    I’m not vegetarian, but I eat mostly vegetarian during the week and leave meat for weekend splurges, mostly for health reasons.

    This chili looks great, very satisfying in these colder months!

  2. November 6, 2010 11:32 am

    Love this chili!! I also enjoy a vegetarian meal for the same reasons… especially the cheaper one! 🙂 Last week I need two types of meat (and usually I don’t buy any) and WOW – all of a sudden the grocery bill went up significantly. This chili looks great. Bookmarked!

  3. November 6, 2010 12:56 pm

    mmm that looks delicious! good idea!

  4. November 6, 2010 12:56 pm

    Looks great Kristin! I literally made a pot of beef chili last night but next time perhaps it will be this one 🙂

  5. November 6, 2010 2:15 pm

    I had no idea you could buy canned sweet potato.
    Um…do you actually measure your spices? not judging, just curious.

    • November 6, 2010 2:37 pm

      Yes, I usually (not always) measure all my spices, except for salt and pepper.
      I measured these particular spices exactly as the recipe(s) were written. I am something of a spice LOVER so I usually add a shake (or two..or three) more than what I actually publish on the blog. The best way that I have found to when adding spices is to use as written (or if I am unsure, a little bit less), do a little taste test, then add more if desired.

  6. November 6, 2010 11:29 pm

    I love how now there is so many delicious vegetarians chili versions. Yours looks divine.

  7. Leslie@Chomp permalink
    November 10, 2010 12:50 pm

    this looks sooo delicious! I will be making this!!

  8. November 10, 2010 3:36 pm

    Oh I love a good vegetarian meal! You just feel victorious if you get this much veggie into your family and the meals so often taste so much fresher and less weighty. I will have to try this, we eat a lot of sweet potato around here and I am always looking for new ways to use it (my man can’t handle a lot of starch and so they are a good replacement). We also love black beans, I too love how beans and lentils really save me on my grocery bill but still provide the needed protein portion to a meal!

  9. November 14, 2010 2:18 pm

    Mmmmm, this sounds so yummy!! 🙂

  10. November 15, 2010 10:33 am

    We’re the same – not vegetarians, but enjoy quite a few vegetarian meals. This chili actually reminds me of the first meatless meal I made for my husband (then boyfriend or fiance, I don’t really remember!) that got him on board. It was a recipe for sweet potato and black bean burritos. When I said we were having burritos for dinner, he asked, “what’s the meat?” None. “Oh. What’s the cheese?” None again. He wasn’t too excited. But after tasting them, it quickly became one of his favorite meals. Score! I know he (and I) would love this chili too.

  11. November 15, 2010 8:33 pm

    I am vegetarian and I think this chili will be delicious. It is quite a bit different from the one I usually make – which is exciting. I am also excited to use the canned sweet potatoes – that will really speed things up.

  12. camille permalink
    November 19, 2010 11:34 am

    Just made this last night, K! It turned out so well… especially cuz it calls for LOTS of simmering and time to “meld” together. Great idea to add the cornstarch in and thicken it up a bit.
    I used Chicken Broth instead. Also used Epicure’s Chipotle Chilli spice and BAM it is SPICY! very hot. But SOOOO good. Love the yams in it!

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