Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

We found this recipe in the newest (January/February 2011) issue of Eating Well. We were attracted by the seasoning combination and the recommended accompaniments (cole slaw and cornbread). Those recipes are included in separate blog entries. You can use a pre-made chili powder for this recipe (we recommend one that is not too hot), or use the mixture we have listed here.

For those not interested in a vegetarian chili, we recommend adding ½ lb. lean ground turkey to the recipe. Add the ground turkey after the sweet potato and onion in the directions listed below.

1 Tbsp plus 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium-large sweet potato, peeled and diced

1 large onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp chili powder

4 tsp ground cumin

½ tsp ground chipotle chile

¼ tsp salt

2 ½ cups water

2 (15 oz.) cans black beans, rinsed

1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes

4 tsp lime juice

½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add sweet potato and onion and cook, stirring often, until the onion is beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, chipotle and salt and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Add water and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the sweet potato is tender, 10 to 12 minutes.

2. Add beans, tomatoes and lime juice; increase heat to high and return to a simmer, stirring often. Reduce heat and simmer until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.

Serves 4, about 2 cups each.

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