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Thursday, November 14, 2013

You Won't Miss the Meat in This Chili!

Happy Thursday! We are on the cusp of Friday, thank goodness. Last night was a cold one here in the tri-state, so chili seemed apropos. I took a recipe from a somewhat whimsically-written cookbook and adapted it slightly to make it a fast, last minute meal. It passed the ultimate test - the meat-loving hubby test - so we know it's a winner. Here we go!

Black Bean-Sweet Potato Chili
Adapted from The Meat Lover's Meatless Cookbook by Kim O'Donnel


  • 2 15 oz (or somewhere around there) cans of black beans
  • 1 medium sweet potato (12-16 oz), peeled and cut into 1/2-in cubes (2 to 2 1/2 cups)
  • 3 T vegetable oil
  • 2 medium-sized onion, chopped finely
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne (the recipe calls for 1/2 tsp - it's very spicy! It's your call!)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2-2 1/2 cups tomato puree (I used crushed tomatoes)
  • 2 T tomato paste, dissolved in 1/4 cup of water
  • 2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, minced
  • Possible garnishes: Chopped fresh cilantro, squeeze of lime, grated cotija or Monterey Jack cheese, chopped scallions, sour cream


  1. Boil the potato in water, covered, for 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a deep skillet over medium heat and add onion. Cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, followed by the next 6 ingredients and stir to combine. The mixture will be pasty.
  3. Add the sweet potato, stirring to coat with the aromatics and spices. Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes over medium-low heat, allowing the ingredients to get acquainted with one another.
  4. Add 2 cups of the tomato puree and increase the heat to medium, bringing to a lively simmer. Stir in the tomato paste mixture and chipotle chiles, lower the heat, and cook until well blended, about 10 minutes, stirring regularly to keep from sticking and burning.
  5. Rinse the black beans and add to the potato mixture. Stir to combine. Simmer over medium-low heat until you are satisfied with the overall consistency and texture of the chili, about 30 minutes. If the mixture seems to thick, feel free to stir in more tomato puree or water.
  6. Serve with your choice of garnishes by itself, over rice, or with tortillas or cornbread. 

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