The days are becoming shorter, the evenings much cooler and that brings one of my favorite recipes, sweet potato and black bean chili, back into the cooking lineup. My husband and I both love chili and this is one that pleases both our palates. It is a vegetarian recipe and could easily be adapted for vegans as well. My meat-loving husband doesn’t miss the meat at all and is always happy to see this simmering on the stove. Another impressive feature of this Taste of Home recipe is it only has 252 calories for a one cup serving with 1 tablespoon of cheese, has 9 grams of fiber and 10 grams of protein. Of course, I like to serve it with a piece of cornbread which ups the calorie count but you could easily add a side salad and skip the bread for a healthier version.
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili:
3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (I actually make mine about half this size for quicker cooking)
1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons chili powder
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin (this is something missing from my spice cabinet so I have done without)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (this can be adjusted up or down depending on how much kick you like)
2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained (if your family doesn’t like as many chunks of tomatoes you can blend one can and or use petite tomatoes)
1/4 cup brewed coffee (if you have never tried coffee in a recipe it sounds strange but coffee really brings out flavor so I recommend not skipping this)
2 tablespoons honey (We like our chili a little less sweet so I usually only add one tablespoon)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese or reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend (even shredded chedder is good)
In a nonstick Dutch oven coated with cooking spray, saute sweet potatoes and onion in oil until crisp-tender. Add the chili powder, garlic, cumin and cayenne; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the beans, tomatoes, coffee, honey, salt and pepper. (If you like your chili a little less thick you could add a half cup of water here)
Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30-35 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender. Sprinkle with cheese. Yield: 8 servings.
The Taste of Home readers gave this recipe 4.5 out of 5 stars and I would certainly agree. It is delicious and nutritious!