Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sweet Potato Chili

Winter is almost here in Colorado... and the cool breezes make me crave hearty foods. Next week? Dosas! But for now, I decided to use my yummy sweet potatoes in a way that I don't usually: chili. That's right. Not a sweet chili, either. It's a hearty, healthy, yummy mouth-gasm. You'll adore this chili!

sweet potato chili

1/2 c dried brown rice + 1 c water
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced small
1 can black beans, rinsed thoroughly
2 cups canned, diced tomatoes (I used fire-roasted by Muir Glen)
Approximately 4 T olive oil, depending on how heavy you'd like your chili
1 small onion or 1 t onion powder
3 cloves garlic or 1.5 t garlic powder
3 t ground cumin
1 t cayenne
1/2 t salt (I used pink Himalayan)
1.5 c water
Juice of one juicy lime
1 t flax (optional)
2 t dried cilantro or 2 T fresh cilantro


Step 1: Brown rice to the rescue.

To begin, put 1/2 c dried brown rice and 1 c water in dried pot. Bring to boil. Then return to simmer. Keep the lid on until they're done.

Step 2: On to the chili.

Heat 3-4 T olive oil in your trusty cast iron skillet. (If you don't have one yet.. what are you waiting for?) Peel and dice your medium sweet potato. OPTIONAL: You can decide to add 1 small onion, diced small, right now. Or add onion powder later - it's your choice. Cook the potato (and onion, if used) about 5-6 minutes. They should start getting soft. Now, add 1.5 c water. Stir.

Step 3: Spice it up!

Add your spices. To counteract the sweetness of the potato, and depending how strong your spices are, you may want to add more (or less). I think the sweetest of the potato reacts well to all of the spices.

Stir in:
1 heaping t garlic powder or 4 cloves
2+ T chili powder (don't skimp!)
1 t dried onion (only if you didn't add onion in the beginning)
1 T ground cumin
1 heaping t paprika
1 t cayenne
1/2 - 1 t salt
1 T nutritional yeast (optional)

Cook about 10 minutes, or until potatoes are nearing the stage you want to eat them.

Step 4: Finish it up.

Now, add juice of one lime. Add your VERY RINSED can of black beans. Also, add your 2 c fire-roasted diced tomatoes.

Optionally: also add 1 t flax. It's healthy and you won't even know it's there.

Cook another 5 minutes. During this time, use your wooden spoon to stir and squish some of the beans, potatoes and tomatoes. This will thicken your chili. Stir, squish. Stir, squish. Do this for about 5 minutes.

Step 5: Don't forget your rice!

By this time your brown rice should be done. (Watch it!) Stir the hot rice into your chili. Reduce to simmer and keep warm until ready.

Voila. You'll love it. Serve with tortilla chips or a hearty toasted bread. Don't forget the fresh-squeezed limeade, too. (Mix juice of 1 - 1.5 lime per glass, add about 1 t agave. Mix well with cold water.

Yum! Now that's a meal.

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