A bowl of steaming chili is exactly what I've needed over the past week. It's been a balmy 12 degrees in Upstate New York, so coming home to a hot bowl of hearty chili (with sweet potatoes no less!) has been a treat.
I love veggie chili, but this one is by far the best vegetarian chili I've ever had. Combining sweet potatoes with black beans is nearly genius - full of great flavors and packed with vitamins and nutrients to keep us healthy during the cold winter months. What's great about this recipe is the combination of root vegetables, sweet spice of cinnamon, extra kick of chili pepper and the added quinoa - which helps to thicken the chili, making it even more hearty and delicious. Even my husband loves this version.
This chili is loaded with superfoods, including turmeric. Turmeric, which is made from the root of the curcuma longa plant, gets its super powers from an antioxidant called curcumin. Traditional Indian medicine — Ayurveda — has used the spice for its medicinal powers for thousands of years to cure inflammation based conditions ranging from irritable bowel syndrome and autoimmune disorders to arthritis and tendonitis. Cooking the infamous superfood at high heat doesn't break curcumin down, which means it retains its beneficial effects after it hits the skillet. Even better news. It actually increases its bioavailability (or the body's ability to absorb it).
Don't be intimated by the long list of ingredients. You likely have most of these in your pantry or fridge. Get your pot out and get started. I cooked the chili in my new dutch oven - a gift from my grandparents. Enjoy!
1 Medium Large Sweet Potato, Peeled and Diced
1 Large Red Onion, Chopped
1 Celery Stick, Chopped
1 Purple Carrot, Chopped
5 Garlic Cloves, Diced
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 tablespoons Chili Powder
2 tablespoons Garlic Powder
2 tablespoons Red Chili Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Ground Chipotle Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Ground Turmeric
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
3 cups Vegetable Stock
1 can Crushed Tomatoes
2 cups cooked Black Beans (rinse and soak)
1/2 cup cooked Quinoa
1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
1. Heat a large pot with olive oil over medium high heat.
2. Add the onion, celery, carrots and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes, until the onion is softened.
3. Add the sweet potato and cook for about 5 more minutes.
4. Add the chili powder, garlic powder, red chili pepper, chipotle pepper, cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, and salt. Stir to combine.
5. Add the vegetable stock, tomatoes, black beans and quinoa and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir everything to combine.
6. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer.
7. Cook for 25-45 minutes until the sweet potatoes are soft and the entire mixture is slightly thick like a chili.
8. Remove the pot from heat and season with sea salt as needed.
9. Garnish with avocado, scallions, and greek yogurt before serving.
Store the leftover chili in glass containers and enjoy as lunch or dinner throughout the week. Makes for even better leftovers once the flavors have had a chance to meld together.
* Adapted from What's Gaby Cooking
*While the recipe suggests the use of canned tomatoes, I prefer to avoid canned tomatoes because of the BPA lining. I like to use fresh, high quality tomatoes - boil them and reduce them to a sauce with an immersion blender. However, I would recommend Muir Glen canned tomatoes if you are going that route as they are typically BPA free.