Thursday, January 23, 2014

Warm Up with Sweet Potato Chili

I'm a big fan of sweet potatoes.  I like to limit the amount of meat, starch, and unhealthy fat that we this dinner is a great new addition.  Plus with the polar vortex of chilliness outside, I guess chili is the way to go!

I made it the other night and my family loved it!  The recipe serves 6 but since we're a family of 3, I had 2 quarts of extras.  In this life it is so gratifying to have my 12 year old daughter ask for Sweet Potato Chili for a meal day after day.  I love that she appreciates the goodness of whole foods and enjoys them. :)

So here's a little chili history.  "Chili" is the Spanish word for a chili pepper.  The chili we eat here in America is typically a meat, chili peppers and sometimes beans (depending on what geographical location your from). I did an internet lit review and found that the origin of chili is a mysterious one, left only details that seem more like folklore than history.  Since the spices in chili are of Spanish origin, it is believed they had influence on the creation of the dish.  However most reports say eitherNative Americans or early Colonial Americans travelling towards the southwest were first started stewing meat, meat lard and spices, among which were chili and cumin. Beans could be a Mexican influence.  Needless to say, chili is an American dish that varies depending on where you are eating it :)

I cooked ours in a dutch oven on the stove top.  Pretty easy meal to prep for and cooks a total of about 45 minutes.  Heats up great as leftovers.  This can also be cooked in a slow cooker.  I was thinking one could sprinkle a tablespoon of cheddar cheese on it or a dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream.  Regardless, I think you should try this out.

Chili w/ Sweet Potatoes                                                                                                serves 6

1 onion, chopped
2 pepper, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 T chili powder
1 T cumin
2 t cocoa
¼ t cinnamon
S & P
28 oz can of diced tomatoes (or crushed)
1 can black beans
1 can kidney beans
1 sweet potato, cubed (like to add 2J)
1 avocado, sliced

Slow Cooker Method:

Chop vegetables.
Measure out spices.
In a large bowl, mix onion, pepper, garlic, chili, cumin, cocoa, cinnamon, salt, pepper,                tomatoes.
Rinse beans.  Add with sweet potato and beans to bowl.
Cook on high 3-4 hrs or low 6-8 hrs.
Serve with 3 avocado slices atop your chili.
Yum.  I serve with bread and butter.

Stove Top:

Sauté onions and peppers about 8 minutes until tender.   Then add garlic and spices.  Mix well and continuously. This process should be no more than 2 minutes.
Add tomatoes and bring to boil.  Simmer on low heat 20 minutes.
Add beans and sweet potatoes.  Cook covered for about 25 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender.
Serve with 3 avocado slices atop your chili.
Yum.  I serve with bread and butter.