Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili – In Honor of Boston

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I had a nice paragraph written about celebrating Marathon Monday in Boston and how it’s such a big tradition around here, but those words needed some revising after the tragic events that took place yesterday. I was in complete disbelief as I listened to the news stories about multiple explosions that happened just miles from my house and ruined what should have been a joyous event, injuring almost 200 people and taking the lives of three. I will never understand how people can be filled with so much hate or rage that they can justify such a senseless act. But as President Obama said when he addressed yesterday’s events on the news: Boston is a tough and resilient town, as are the people. Though I grew up about 30 minutes south of Boston, I’ve always considered it my home; even more so since moving just outside the city this past fall. We will pull together and move forward, but for now, my thoughts go out to all of those affected by this tragedy.

To honor my beloved Beantown, I’m posting a recipe for Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili. True to my Bostonian roots, I find chili incomplete without beans. This recipe evolved in a few ways: After seeing others add sweet potatoes to chili, I thought that was a great way to balance out the spicy flavors. I always eat chili with cornbread, so adding sweet potato made perfect sense to me and saves some calories as well. I love the combination of sweet potato and black beans, so I decided both of those things would need to present in this chili.

This Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili combines tender sweet potatoes, fire-roasted tomatoes, black beans, and Mexican spices to create a smoky, flavorful chili with a surprising hint of sweetness. I generally followed the same steps as for my 3-Bean Turkey Chili, but cut down the portions (though this recipe can be easily doubled to serve a crowd). I included ground turkey in this chili, but feel free to leave it out for a vegan recipe – or sub ground beef or chicken for something different!

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili
serves 3-4

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Ingredients:

  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 cup diced sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 lb. ground turkey (optional)
  • 14.5 oz. can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
  • salt, to taste
  • optional toppings: shredded cheese, scallions, diced avocado, Greek yogurt or sour cream, etc.

Directions:

  1. In a large frying pan, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over low heat. Add diced onion and sauté for about 10 minutes, until softened. Add diced sweet potato, red pepper, and garlic and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for about 10 additional minutes.
  2. Once veggies are tender, transfer to a medium cooking pot. In the frying pan used for veggies, cook ground turkey until browned. Stir cooked turkey into to the pot with veggies, along with both cans of tomato and your spices. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir in black beans and cook just until they’ve warmed up. Season with salt or any additional spices you find appropriate, serve with optional toppings, and enjoy. 🙂

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I hope all of my readers and your loved ones are safe after yesterday’s events. Please keep Boston in your thoughts. ♥

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