It’s getting colder, and everyone’s a little chili.
OK, fine. Maybe it’s a bit on the nose, but on the plus side, cooler weather is just right for soups, stews, and chili. For a truly wholesome dish try experimenting with this sweet potato and black bean chili for a vegetarian take on the meaty classic.
Start with the humble sweet potato, and treat it like playing pick-up basketball: Shirts or skins? In other words, do you keep the potato peel on or remove it? It really doesn’t matter — just choose whichever is most ‘a-peel-ing’ to you. In all seriousness, peeling the sweet potatoes in this recipe helps the potatoes break down a little easier and thicken the chili. But if you leave the peel on, that’s a little bit of a healthier option, because it increases the the fiber content of the chili and it also adds more texture. Whichever way you decide, it’s fine. But if you’re a skin-on person? Make sure you scrub the potatoes down really well before cooking them.
Bean There, Done That
The black beans in this recipe really give it a nice, filling feeling. That means that the dish is perfect for your vegetarian friends while the carnivores in your life won’t be asking “Where’s the beef?” These beans add a bit more spice than the kidney beans that are found in a more traditional chili, so keep that in mind. If you want to really spice things up, add some ground chipotle peppers to feel a little more heat. But if you’re serving this for a crowd, it might be a better idea to make the chili a little milder by using a traditional chili powder and saving the ground chipotle — or the jarred version mixed with adobo — as a condiment for people who like things a little hotter.
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Take Your Time
Remember that this recipe is like all good chili recipes: If you make it ahead of time and let it sit for a while, the flavors marry together really well and become richer. So don’t rush through it. Take your time and savor that flavor later.
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