Allez, Cuisine! – Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

Claire Littlefield and Emma Ellis

If you don’t cook with vegans or vegetarians, black beans and sweet potatoes may not seem like an obvious pairing. But when you add cumin, it’s clear that they are flavor soul-mates. This dynamic duo, along with tangy lime juice, spicy chili powder and a hearty tomato base, make this chili as tasty and filling as it is healthy.

It’s also a great meal to share with friends. It can be tricky to entertain a mixed vegan/vegetarian/omnivore crowd, but this dish is exciting and flavorful enough to make everyone happy, including you. It’s also a very easy recipe to double or even triple – you’ll just have to chop a few extra sweet potatoes to throw in your pot, rather than preparing individual entr?ee portions for each guest. Just be sure to leave more time for your potatoes to soften as you increase the volume.

We recommend topping your finished product with sour cream and shredded cheese (cheddar works really well) for a little extra decadence and to balance out some of this dish’s spiciness. If you’re cooking for vegans, you might want to cut down on the chili powder a bit so you won’t miss the dairy as a spice antidote.

Finally, if you like this recipe, head to Google for some other great recipes centered around this winning combo. Black beans and sweet potatoes work in everything from burritos to burgers.

Servings: 2

Ingredients:

2 tsp olive oil

1 onion, diced

1 sweet potato, peeled and diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp chili powder

2 tsp ground cumin

A pinch of salt, to taste

1 1/3 cups water

1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed

1 cup canned diced tomatoes

2 tsp lime juice

2 Tbsp chopped cilantro

Sour cream and/or shredded cheese to top

Process:

1.     Heat oil in a large pot, then add your sweet potato and onion. Cook until the onion softens and becomes translucent, stirring frequently.

2.     Flavor time! Add garlic, chili powder, cumin and salt. Stir constantly for about 30 seconds, until fragrant.

3.     Add the water and bring it all to a simmer over medium-high heat. Then turn the heat down, cover your pot and leave it at a gentle simmer until the potatoes are cooked through. They should be tender enough for a fork to spear them easily.

4.     Add the beans, tomatoes and lime juice. After you add these ingredients, turn the heat up to high to get it back to a simmer, then lower it again.

5.     Let the chili cook until slightly reduced, stirring often. This should take about 5 minutes.

6.     Remove from heat and add cilantro.

7.     If you’re a vegan, dig in! If not, add some sour cream and shredded cheese.

Bonus Points:

Cornbread and chili is another classic combo. Pick up a carton of Jiffy Cornbread mix for a quick and tasty add-on that will make this homey dish even more comforting.