I want to start by saying I’m not a vegetarian; I just typically do not prefer to eat meat. The fall chili season is one of my favorites, because nothing gives you that warm and fuzzy feeling like curling up to a piping hot bowl of chili. Lately, I’ve been on the search for hearty vegetarian recipes that will satisfy my fiancee’s need for sustenance along with my love for veggies and still pack a punch of flavor! The star of this recipe is the surprising addition of coffee and honey in the broth. The resulting flavor is a sweet heat that complements the beans and sweet potatoes perfectly. The best part, of course, is like all chili recipes–one dish, quick fix, super easy weeknight meal….and then lunch for the rest of the week!
Round 1–Success with this Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili
Here’s what I used:
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 sweet onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chili powder (I use a doctored blend with additional spices and heat for an added kick!)
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cans (15 oz each) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1/4 cup brewed coffee (I used coffee from Rowster’s, seriously the best coffee in GR)!
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
With any recipe (especially chili), adjust proportions as you go based on the thickness you prefer, adding more or less vegetable stock or substitute in some spicy V8 Tomato juice.
Here’s what I did:
1. Add the olive oil to a nonstick Dutch oven and heat over medium. Saute the sweet potatoes and onion for 5-6 minutes, or until the onion is tender (starts to look translucent).
2. Sprinkle in your chili powder, garlic, and cayenne. Mix to coat ingredients, cooking for about 1 minute.
3. Stir in the beans, tomatoes, coffee, honey, vegetable stock, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30-35 minutes (or just until the sweet potatoes are tender).
4. Sprinkle with cheese and serve with homemade cornbread for a perfect winter companion.