Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Sweet Potato Chili

Who said chili had to be meaty?

The veggie:

Growing up, my mom would always have baked sweet potatoes on hand, ready to serve at almost any meal. And you know what? She was onto something. There’s very little in this world that a sweet potato won’t complement. 

Plus, busy as you are, it's a great way to pack more veggies into your routine. Simply prepare a few baked sweet potatoes at the beginning of the week. If you don’t use them for dinner, there are plenty of to-die-for dessert options to explore.

And we all know sweet potatoes are something of a superfood. From the ClevelandClinic on down, they enjoy a revered reputation, topping almost every health food list ever published. High in vitamins B6 and C, plus iron, magnesium and fiber, sweeties (we’re on intimate terms) are a vegan dream – as good for you as they are delicious, and super versatile and filling too.

With the mild August evenings we’ve been having here in Boston, last night was perfect for a simmering pot of vegan chili. Loaded with hearty sweet potato chunks, zucchini, bell peppers and crisp corn – plus a kick of cayenne – my vegan Sweet Potato Chili is equally sweet and spicy, and pairs perfectly with a salty tortilla chip.

The chili:

Get your Tupperware ready, because you’re about to have delicious leftover lunches all week with the 6+ servings this recipe yields! You’ll also need:

  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ¾ tsp cayenne
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, diced
  • 2 28 oz cans tomatoes, crushed or diced
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 14 oz can kidney beans
  • 1 14 oz can chickpeas
  • 1 cup corn, fresh or frozen
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • Tortilla chips for serving

Begin by heating the EVOO over medium heat. Add the onions and saut̩ until translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add the red and green bell peppers and zucchini and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir often as vegetables cook for 7-8 minutes. Next, add your spices Рcumin, chili powder, cayenne and garlic and stir to thoroughly incorporate.

Now add the sweet potato, tomato and vegetable stock and bring to a simmer. All your veggies should be “swimming” in a delicious tomato-y pool – add more veggie stock (or water) if needed to bring to a simmer. Stirring often, let simmer for 20-25 minutes, until your potatoes soften.

Once the potatoes are fork-soft, add the kidney beans, chick pea and corn and let cook for 10 minutes. Finally, start your taste-testing – add cayenne, cumin, chili powder and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with freshly sliced green onions and a bowl of salty tortilla chips.

And as you’re spooning a steaming portion of vegan sweet potato chili into your bowl, pause for a moment and congratulate yourself. For you, my friend, will be eating like a king all week.

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