Thursday, October 27, 2016

Black Bean Sweet Potato Chili

When the temperatures start cooling and daylight ends earlier, my culinary thoughts turn to soups, stew, and chili.  Is there nothing better on a cold night than a hot bowl of goodness? We enjoy the spiciness of a good chili.  One of the good things about chili is that it seems to improve with age as the spices blend together.  It's a great one-pot meal to make on a weekend and have the leftovers during the week.  We especially like the leftovers on a baked potato, topped with sour cream, cheddar cheese and other toppings.  Yum!

Debbie, a food board friend of mine, told me about a chili she makes that has no meat in it.  The meat-substitute is quinoa and sweet potatoes.  I'm not a big quinoa fan but I was intrigued and had to try it.  We loved it!  It's amazing how much this tastes like it has meat in it!  Who knew I had inner vegetarian tendencies? Thank you, Debbie, for the tip!

I've had these pumpkin tureens for years.  Of course, my Hubbers swore he never saw them before. Silly man!  But I do have other dishes he's yet to see!

This chili was very easy to make and uses one pot, which is an added bonus (who needs to wash more dishes?) While it was simmering on the stove I made a pan of cornbread.  With my Okie background, corn bread, slathered with butter and honey, is the perfect accompaniment to a hot bowl of chili!

Black Bean Sweet Potato Chili

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium-large sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 large red onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup dried quinoa
4 teaspoons lime juice

Heat a large heavy bottom pot with the oil over medium high heat.

Add the sweet potato and onion and cook for about 5 minutes, until the onion is softened.

Add the garlic, chili powder, chipotle, cumin and salt and stir to combine.

Add the stock, tomatoes, black beans and quinoa and bring the mixture to a boil.  Stir everything to combine. 

Cover the pot and reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer.

Cook for 30-40 minutes until the quinoa is fully cooked and the sweet potatoes are soft and the entire mixture is slightly thick like a chili.

Add the lime juice and remove the pot from the heat.  Season with salt as needed.

If desired, garnish with cheese, avocado and olives.

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