Thursday, November 1, 2012

Black Bean & Sweet Potato Chili

Happy Fall!  Okay, I know, technically the season of fall began two months ago. However, in Georgia, it doesn't actually feel like fall until November.  Today is November 1st, and it is finally cold enough to put a little frost on the grass in the early morning.  In celebration, I made my first pot of hot, comforting stew of the season:  Black Bean & Sweet Potato Chili.  My lovely friend Jessica sent me the recipe a few weeks ago, and I took one look at the recipe, and fell in love.  Sweet Potatoes? Cocoa Powder? Cinnamon?  In a chili?!  I had to make it!  

The recipe is from Our Best Bites, a great website full of guaranteed-to-be-fantastic recipes.  I've loved everything I've ever made from them, so I wasn't worried at all about the unique, nontraditional ingredients in this chili.  I was right not to fret:  it turned out amazing!  Not only was the recipe delicious, it also has three HUGE pluses:  

1. It's easily adapted into a vegetarian recipe if you so desire
2. It makes an incredibly large amount of chili: enough to eat on for 3 days and still have half of it left to freeze for another day (week)
3.  It is only 160 calories for a cup, and packed with vitamins and nutrients

Black Bean & Sweet Potato Chili
Makes 4 Quarts

1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Onion, diced
1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
1-2 Jalapenos, minced
5 Garlic Cloves, minced
20 oz Lean Ground Turkey (optional)
8 oz Mushrooms, chopped (16 oz if making Vegetarian)
2 tsp Cumin
2 tsp Paprika
1/2 Tbsp Chili Powder
2 tsp Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1 1/2 lbs Sweet Potatoes, cubed
28 oz Canned Diced Tomatoes
30 oz Black Beans, drained & rinsed
32 oz Beef (or Vegetable) Broth
15 oz Pumpkin Puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 Heaping Tbsp Cocoa Powder
Optional: Avocados, Cilantro

1. Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat. Add in olive oil, onion, bell pepper, and jalapeno.  Saute for 4 minutes, toss in the garlic, cook for 1 more minute, and then add to slow cooker*.

2. In the now-empty skillet, add in the turkey and mushrooms, and cook over medium-high heat until done, about 7-8 minutes. Drain any fat.  Stir in the cumin, paprika, chili powder, salt, and pepper.  Add meat mixture to the slow cooker.  (If making a vegetarian chili, skip this step, and instead just add the mushrooms and spices straight to the slow cooker).

3.  Add the sweet potatoes, tomatoes, beans, broth, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, and cocoa powder to the slow cooker. Stir well.

4. Cover and cook for 8 hours on low (4-6 on high), or until sweet potatoes are tender.  Turn off the heat, and let sit with lid off for 15 minutes to thicken the chili before serving.  Serve with avocados and cilantro if desired.

Tip: Alternatively, you can cook this on the stove. Get a very large pot, and cook uncovered at a simmer until sweet potatoes are tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  You may need to occasionally add in water, 1/2 a cup at a time, if it cooks down too much.

*NOTE:  This makes 4 quarts--make sure your slow cooker is big enough! I had to divide mine between two slow cookers.

Serving Size: 1 cup
Calories: 160
Fat: 1.5
Carbs: 25
Protein: 14

***Recipe Adapted from Our Best Bites***

1 comment:

  1. This looks really tasty! I'll have to give it a try! Tell your lovely friend Jessica thanks! ;)

    Woot woot!