Just like any other self-respecting foodie, cold temps mean a crap ton of root vegetables flooding your cabinets at all times since they’re all dirt cheap, and one pot comforts.
Last week at the Public Market, I loaded up with four HUGE sweet potatoes for $1 and completely forgot about their existence until I looked on my list of food to make for this past week (sometimes I’m a cooking dweeb, sue me), and saw that sweet potato chili was at the top.
So, with that at the forefront of my Saturday where I spent the day reveling in the gift that is time alone, I embarked on a journey of good old fashioned comfort food with a healthy and extra spicy twist, along with a side of delicious in the shape of a loaf.
- 1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large can tomato puree or diced tomatoes
- 1 can black beans, drained
- 1/2 cup lentils
- 1 can of green chiles
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 cups veggie broth
- 3 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced
- 1 handful cilantro
- 4 tbsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. cumin
- salt & pepper to taste
In your microwave, cook your sweet potatoes half way so they’re just starting to soften. While they’re pre-cooking, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil over medium-high heat in a large soup pot. Add onions and peppers and cook for 5 minutes. Next, add garlic and dry lentils, stirring to incorporate everything. Add the veggie broth, and bring mixture to a boil. When it comes to a boil, turn heat down to a simmer and place a lid on the pot, cooking until the lentils are tender.
Next, cube the partially cooked sweet potatoes and add them to the lentils and veggies, along with the can of tomato, can of black beans, chopped chipotle peppers, and can of green chiles, stirring to incorporate again. Once everything is mixed together nicely, add the chile poweder, cumin, salt and pepper and stir once more, tasting to see if it’s to your liking.
Simmer the chili over medium-low heat for at least a half an hour so the sweet potatoes finish cooking and the flavors merry. Once chili is done, taste test, add any more seasonings, and add handful of chopped, fresh cilantro, giving the chili one last stir.
Last week, I made a version of Blissful Britt’s Beer Bread that Collin and I pounded down in about two days. For this chili, I wanted corn bread, but I also wanted some of that beery goodness again, so I made Corn Beer Bread!
- 1.5 cups unbleached white flour or whole wheat flour
- 1 cup corn meal
- 1 bottle good quality beer that you adore (Baba Black Stout for me)
- 1 tbsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 cup melted earth balance vegan butter, plus a bit more for coating the bread with before the oven.
- 2 tbsp. maple syrup
In a large mixing bowl, add the dry ingredients and give a thorough mix. Next, add bottle of beer, melted butter, and maple syrup. Mix with a wooden spoon until everything is combined and no lumps remain. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes or until a fork comes out clean.
This bread was moist like the classic beer bread, but still had that crumby, cornbread-y texture I was looking for, so I’d say it was a success and a half.
It went perfectly with my sweet and spicy chili and made for one stick-to-your-soul kinda holiday time meals….you know what I mean.