My friend Stacy sent me this recipe in an email with one sentence: “Sounds fantastic!” The implied message was clear: “Make this, please!” Never one to let my friends down, I printed the recipe and made it this fall when the skies turned gray and I needed something to warm me from the inside out. My husband hates sweet potatoes, so I thought I could sneakily hide these and pretend they were, uh, I don’t know – carrots? Wait, he hates those too. Either way, I figured there would be enough seasoning to disguise them altogether. I was wrong. The minute he figured out what I had done, he politely refused to eat any more than absolutely necessary. I can see what the life of a modern-day mom is like, sneaking healthy foods into your kids’ diets without letting them in on the secret.
For some people, this is too spicy as written, so I recommend omitting some of the spices at first and then add more to taste when you serve it. Remember that spicy foods become spicier the longer they sit, so plan accordingly if you think you’ll have leftovers. Also, with the inclusion of both sweet potatoes and honey, this may be a bit sweet for your taste if you follow the recipe as stated. You may want to start by omitting the honey and then adding it to taste after all the other ingredients have simmered.
sweet potato and black bean chili
adapted from www.denverpost.com
3 large sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 large onion, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp chili powder
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (depending on taste)
2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
3/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth, plus more to taste
2/3 cup pumpkin puree (optional)
1-2 tbsp honey (depending on taste)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese or Mexican cheese blend (optional)
1/2 cup sour cream (optional)
Cilantro, minced (optional)
In a pot, heat the oil and saute the sweet potatoes and onion until crisp-tender, about 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the chili powder, garlic, cumin and cayenne; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the beans, tomatoes, broth, pumpkin, honey, salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30-35 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender. Adjust seasoning to taste. Spoon into bowls and sprinkle with cheese and/or top with a dollop of sour cream. Sprinkle with cilantro, if using.