Black Bean & Sweet Potato Chili – vegan & gluten free

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – it isn’t home until it smells like home. This is the seventh place Mr Official Taster and I have lived together. Seventh! Since 2009! superdupercrazytimes.

From that statistic, you might think I like moving. You would be wrong. I hate it. One of my antidotes to the Moving Affliction (it’s a real thing) is to start cooking in the new kitchen as soon as I can. Establish my territory, if you will.

The first meal I made here was nothing special – pasta, sauce from a jar dressed up with some fresh bell pepper, and a salad. But this second meal was much more exciting. First of all, I was able to make this chili in the afternoon, so the whole apartment smelled delicious all day. Second, it tasted good. And, third, it’s nice and healthy and warm and comfy and cozy. The healthy part makes up for my breakfast of chocolate cake and juice, right?

Black Bean & Sweet Potato Chili – vegan & gluten free

This is good as written. You could definitely up the spice level, if you’re into that kind of thing, by increasing the chili powder and peppers, and/or you could add in a jalapeno or two.

If you happen to be going to a party on Sunday afternoon for some sporting event, this would be a great vegetarian option to bring along. Obviously, with beer.

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 bell peppers (any color), cored, seeded, and diced
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
3-5 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 tsp chili powder
1-2 tsp sea salt
1-2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/4 – 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1-2 tsp dried basil
1/4 – 1/2 dried marjoram
1 or 2 bay leaves
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
2 (14 oz) cans vegetable broth
approx 1/2 lb. frozen corn
2 (15 oz) cans black beans
juice of 1 lime

Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and reduce heat to medium or medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, 10-15 minutes, until tender. While the onion cooks, peel and chop your sweet potatoes, peppers, and garlic. Stir in potatoes (uncooked! they will cook in the pot), peppers, and garlic, and cook another 5 or so minutes. Add all the herbs+spices. Stir now and then as you add them to coat the veggies. Add tomatoes, broth, corn, and beans. Bring to a boil and allow to bubble for 20ish minutes. Lower heat to a simmer and let it think about itself for another 30 minutes or so.

Ideally, you can make this in the afternoon, let it sit on the stove once it’s cooked, and then reheat it for dinner. It’ll taste better than if you eat it right away, and chili always tastes better on Day 2.

Right before you serve, remove your bay leaf and stir in lime juice. Garnish, if desired, with fresh cilantro, green onion, cheese, sour cream, or anything else that strikes your fancy. I really like fresh avocado on top.