There are some basic truths in life. Like the truth that you should always have a handful of simple, easy, and healthy recipes that you can pull out for anything from a weeknight meal to an occasion where you need to feed a crowd. That recipe for us is this healthy vegetarian Black Bean Chili recipe that is loaded with sweet potatoes, chiles, and herbs.
This is one our most popular recipes and for good reason. For travelers like us, you can eat loads of it to kickstart some clean eating after an induldgent vacation. And you can always keep the ingredients in your pantry so you can cook it even when you feel like you have nothing in the house. Not to mention that it freezes like a charm so you can make batches and batches and keep it on store for when you don't feel like cooking.
And, this is the kind of recipe that, after you've made it a couple times, you don't even need a proper recipe to make it. And, it's one that's delicious as is but great with twists. Have some ground bison or turkey? Stir it in! Want to make it even more healthy? Stir in some cooked quinoa! For a unexpected take, stir in a tablespoon or two of unsweetened cocoa powder. Or do like we do and top it with tons of fresh veggies -- sliced radishes, scallions, jalapenos, cilantro -- for a surprisingly healthy but satisfying meal.
finely chopped or grated
stem and seeds discarded then chopped (about 2 teaspoons)
medium dice (about 3 cups)
[or about 2 (15) ounce cans, rinsed]
chopped for garnish (optional)
for garnish (optional)
for garnish (optional)
cut into sixths, for garnish (optional)
thinly sliced, for garnish (optional)
Heat oil in a large, heavy bottomed Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, add the onion, season with salt, and cook until softened and onions is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chile powder, cumin, and chipotle and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, water or broth, sweet potatoes, and a pinch of salt, and bring to a boil over high heat, about 5 minutes.
Be sure to scrape up any browned bits off the bottom of the pan (using a wooden spoon or spatula) in order to get the most flavor in the chili.
Reduce the heat to medium-low, stir in the beans, and simmer, partially covered, until the liquid is slightly thickened, the potatoes are cooked through, about 30 to 40 minutes.
Adjust the heat as needed to keep the liquid at a simmer. If the heat it too high, the potatoes and beans will get mushy.
Taste, and add more salt and/or a squeeze of lime juice, as desired. Garnish with scallions, cheese, and jalapeños, as desired, and serve with tortilla chips.
Chili can be made up to a day ahead. Just heat over low heat, taste, and adjust seasoning as desired before serving.
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