Sunday, February 3, 2013

sweet potato chili

the winter chill has set in, and while that doesn't make for wonders in the fresh produce department, there are still plenty of things to buy at the farmer's market. root vegetables store well, and are a perfect addition to this vegetarian sweet potato chili recipe.

i found this recipe while looking to use my slow cooker. once you prep your ingredients, it is easy to throw everything together and let it cook all day. this is not only an easy way to have a meal ready - it also lets the flavors meld together. if you don't have a slow cooker, try simmering the ingredients together with a little extra liquid, for a few hours on low heat over the stovetop.

to prep, first chop up your sweet potatoes into cubes and put them in the bowl of slow cooker.

chop the green pepper, onion, garlic, and almost all the prep is done!

i like to take the harsh edge off the flavor of onion and garlic before adding them to the slow cooker. i added this step, so if you want to skip it, the chili should still turn out fine. after caramelizing in a bit of olive oil, they should look something like this:

measure out the spices. do cinnamon and cocoa sound weird in chili? trust the recipe, it brings a warmth to the spice mix just like a mole sauce. rinse the black and kidney beans if using canned, and add them to the bowl of the slow cooker with the chopped green pepper.

if you want all the work to be done, you can slice up the scallions ahead of time.

to make it easy to start the slow cooker in the morning, you can refrigerate your prepped ingredients until you are ready to start the slow cooker. Then you can just add all the pre-chopped ingredients to the bowl at once.

add the tomatoes and water last, then give the mixture a stir.

after 7 hours on low, the sweet potatoes should be soft, yet still hold their shape. 

dish into bowls, top with sour cream or greek yogurt, and sprinkle on some scallions. this chili is also delicious reheated the next day.

sweet potato chili
recipe based on: slow-cooker chili from real simple


1 medium onion (red or yellow), chopped 
5-6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil 

1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1.5 cups black beans or 1 15.5 oz can black beans, rinsed
1.5 cups kidney beans or 1 15.5 oz can kidney beans, rinsed 
1 cup corn (i used frozen)
2 small sweet potatoes, cut into roughly 1/2 inch cubes
1 28 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
1 cup water

to serve:
sour cream or greek yogurt
2-3 scallions, sliced


1.   heat the 2 tsp olive oil over medium heat for a few minutes to warm the pan. add the chopped onion and saute for 2-3 minutes. once onion starts to soften, add the minced garlic and let cook for 2 more minutes, stirring a few times. once the onions have some browning, they are ready.

2.   add the onion/garlic, bell pepper, spices, black beans, kidney beans, corn and sweet potatoes to the bowl of your slow cooker. pour the diced tomatoes on top and add about 1 cup of water. give the ingredients a stir.

3.   set the slow cooker for 7 hours on low. alternatively, you can set it for 4 to 5 hours on high. after 7 hours on low, the sweet potatoes should be cooked and the chili is ready to eat! serve with a spoonful of sour cream or greek yogurt on top and sprinkle with sliced scallions.