Thursday, December 8, 2011

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Sweet Potato Chili

After the holidays, I had a few sweet potatoes left over. What a better way to use them up than in a chili! I saw this recipe on the Real Simple facebook page before Thanksgiving and I knew I wanted to try it with whatever sweet potato I had left. This is a great meatless chili and packed full of vitamins and fiber!

I thought Gary wasn't going to go for it at first, but he actually enjoyed it. He didn't miss the meat! Since he can't have dairy, he didn't add any of the toppings therefore making it vegan, and it was still delicious!

Although you can definitely taste a hint of sweet potato and cinnamon, I didn't really see it. I think it could use a bit more next time. I also used dried beans instead of canned, since I had them on hand anyway. I added more water since I was using the dried beans, and I'm glad I did. It soaked up very nicely, and the chili was still thick and hearty. I only added one jalapeno because we're not big spicy people, but it could probably have used more. I usually don't have peppers on hand, but you can definitely use whatever you have.

This made a lot, so you can store them in single serving portions and freeze for later.

Crockpot/Slow Cooker Vegan/Vegetarian Sweet Potato Chili
adapted from Real Simple

1 cup dried black beans
1 cup dried kidney beans
1 cup dried great northern beans
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped (or more of desired)
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 TBSP mild chili powder (or 1 TBSP medium-hot)
1 TBSP ground cumin
2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cups water
optional toppings: shredded cheese, sour cream, sliced scallions, sliced radishes, and/or tortilla chips

The night before, pick out stones and discolored beans and soak in cold water (changing the water once) in the liner of a 4-6 qt slow cooker.

If you have time right before making this, I recommend sauteing the onions, garlic and peppers to bring out some flavor. If not, you can follow the directions below.

Right before cooking, drain the beans and rinse in a colander. Combine the onion, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, cocoa, cinnamon, salt, black pepper. Add the tomatoes (and their liquid), beans, sweet potato, and water. Stir to combine.

Cover and cook until the sweet potatoes are tender and the chili has thickened, on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours

Serve the chili with the sour cream, scallions, radishes, and tortilla chips. [to keep it vegan, use Daiya (or your choice of vegan cheese), or omit the cheese and sour cream all together]

Makes 4 heaping servings, or 8-10 smaller bowls

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  1. Thanks for converting to dried beans--I just got a slow cooker so I'm still figuring it all out; I'd seen the recipe on real simple but saw it used canned beans which I don't really use.  How big is a "medium" sweet potato, do you guess? 

  2. I would say around 5 inches long or so, more or less. Savory recipe are more forgiving, so a rough estimate is ok. 


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