The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of mankind than the discovery of a star. -- Anthelme Brillat-Savarin --

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Winter Favorites #3: Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili

Here’s a recipe I originally came across online at, and it quickly became one of our favorites.  It’s super-nutritious, low fat, and high in fiber…AND…it’s delicious!  I know it sounds a little strange, but it REALLY is good…go on…try it…you KNOW you want to!!

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium to large sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, diced (I prefer sweet onions, but you can use whatever you like)
6 cloves garlic, minced (as usual, I used more than the 4 cloves that the original recipe called for)
1-1/2 tablespoons chili powder (chili powder tends to be overpowering, so I didn’t use the full 2 Tbsp called for…it was still pretty spicy!)
2 teaspoons ground cumin (a/k/a comino - the original recipe called for 4 tsp.)
(The original recipe called for 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chile - dried, smoked jalapeño peppers that are usually found in with the spices in your local grocery store.  They can also be ordered online.  I didn’t have any so I just left them out!)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 -1/2 cups water
2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed (I used some jalapeño-lime flavored ones with large jalapeño slices in them…they added a nice bite in place of the ground chipotle)
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes (I use the low-salt ones)
4 teaspoons lime juice (I always use fresh…can’t stand the bottled stuff!)
(The original recipe also called for 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro.  I am NOT a cilantro fan, so I left this out completely!)

If you like a little “heat”, I’m sure you could add some sliced jalapeños or diced green chilis…I may do that myself next time!

Heat oil in a large kettle or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add sweet potato and onion and cook, stirring often, until the onion begins to soften (about 4 minutes).  Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, (chipotle - if you’re using it) and salt.  Cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Add water and bring to a simmer.

Cover and reduce to a gentle simmer.  Cook until the sweet potato is tender, 10 to 12 minutes.

Add beans, tomatoes and lime juice; increase heat to high and return to a low boil, stirring often.  Reduce heat and simmer until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat (stir in cilantro - IF you’re using it) and serve with cornbread, multi-grain saltine crackers or tortilla chips.

NOTE:  This chili is actually much better the next day, so be sure to make extra.  (This recipe makes about 4 two-cup servings.)  It will keep in the fridge for about 3 days or you can freeze it for a quick and easy meal later.  I may try making it in my slow-cooker one of these days.  Since the extra time tends to meld the flavors, I think it will be a good fit!

According to the original recipe, a 2-cup serving has about 319 calories and 15 grams of fiber!!

Approximate Nutritional Analysis per 2-cup Serving
Calories:  319
Total Fat:  8 g
Saturated Fat:  1 g
Monounsaturated Fat:  5 g
Sodium:  518 mg
Carbohydrates:  54 g
Fiber:  15 g
Protein:  12 g
Potassium:  1036 mg
Dietary Exchanges:  3 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 lean meat 

Who says healthy eating can’t be delicious!  Let me know if you try it…

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