This week I discovered that I had an excess of kidney beans in my cupboard. How did I end up with them? I don’t really use them for much, and don’t remember buying most of the cans. Odd. But, faced with kidney beans, I decided that the obvious solution was to make chili! I don’t keep ground meat around, nor did I want to go to the store, so I opted for a vegetarian chili, using just what I had on hand.
What I had on hand was: purple sweet potatoes, a carrot, some bell pepper, onion, garlic, canned crushed tomatoes, and various spices and other flavor boosters. In addition to the kidney beans, of course! I also had made up a small batch of polenta the evening before and figured that the chili would be perfect on top of it. (It was.)
This is a very easy recipe and it also happens to be really quite good for you! It has lots of protein, tons of fiber, a good amount of vitamins A and C, and is low-fat to boot! Oh, and did I mention that it’s delicious? I’d hate for you to not make this because it seems too much like “health food” and therefore couldn’t possibly be tasty. Trust me. The good for you part didn’t really occur to me as I was chopping vegetables and measuring spices; it just sort of turned out that way.
Vegetarian Chili with Purple Sweet Potatoes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 purple sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2″ dice (about 2 cups?) (you could use any kind of sweet potatoes that you have on hand or access to easily)
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 3 large cloves of garlic, finely diced
- 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tbsp coriander
- 1 – 2 tbsp semi- or bitter-sweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- juice from 2 limes (about 1/4 cup)
- sour cream
Chop and dice up all your veggies and get out a large pot. Heat the olive oil in the pot on medium-high heat, then add the potatoes. Saute for about five minutes, then add the onions, carrots, and bell peppers. Continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes.
Lower the heat and add the garlic, crushed tomatoes, spices and chocolate. Simmer for about 15-20, or until you can easily pierce the potatoes and carrots with a fork. Add the kidney beans and lime juice and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes. Taste, and adjust for seasoning (mine needed a little salt).
Serve over seared polenta, and top with sour cream and fresh cilantro.
P.S. – This is great left-over too!