Vegan Sweet Potato Chili
I don’t know what it is about chili, but there’s something about this hearty, filling treat that tantalizes the imagination of the American people like few other foods. Maybe it’s chili’s unpretentious nature, or its ability to fill even the largest of stomachs. Or perhaps it’s the number of variations – both regional and dietary that keeps us wanting more. Whatever it is that leads to chili cook offs, festivals and homage’s galore, we at Feasting Freds are enthusiastically joining the masses in their chili delight!
The chili we’re featuring today is of the vegan variety. Because heck, if you’re making it vegetarian you may as well go all the way on a dish like this. For those of you non-vegans, we encourage you to see this recipe as a healthy base upon which you may pile sour cream and shredded cheddar or jalepeno jack cheese to your heart’s content. For the vegans among us, you know what to do – a handful of avocado, a sprinkle of cilantro and you’re ready to roll. Served up with a piece of cheddar jalepeno cornbread, we couldn’t ask for a more fulfilling winter meal.
Vegan Sweet Potato Chili
A note: once your beans are tender you can leave this chili on the stove simmering for hours before adding your corn. Just make sure to check on it every 20-30 minutes to stir it and make sure the bottom isn’t burning.
1 Tbs whole mustard seeds
1 Tbs whole cumin seeds
3 Tbs vegetable oil
2 onions, chopped
1 medium to large sweet potato, scrubbed and chopped
10 garlic cloves, minced
1.5 Tbs minced chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
3 Tbs mild red chile powder
3 cups vegetable broth
3 cups water
1 lb dried black beans
.25 lb dried beans of your choice (we like pinto in this)
1.5 Tbs brown sugar
2 bay leaves
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
1.5 cups frozen corn kernels
2 Tbs lime juice
Garnishes – fresh chopped cilantro, avocado, sour cream, shredded cheddar or jack cheese, lime wedges
Heat a dry (non-greased) dutch oven over medium heat. When hot, add your cumin and mustard seeds and toast, stirring frequently, for about a minute or until fragrant. Add your oil and allow to heat for 30 seconds before adding your onion and sweet potato. Saute your vegetables, stirring occasionally, for ten minutes. Add your garlic and chiles and cook for an additional minute, then add your chile powder and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
Add your broth, water, beans, sugar and bay leaves, and bring the mixture to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and allow to simmer for 90 minutes, stirring every 20-30 minutes. If the chili starts sticking to the bottom of your pot, add additional water or broth by the half cup. After 90 minutes, season with salt and pepper then stir in your crushed tomatoes, recover and allow to continue simmering over low heat until your beans are tender (depending on your beans this may take one to two hours). Once your beans are tender, remove the bay leaves and add your corn. Allow the chili to continue simmering until the corn is hot, then turn off the heat, squeeze in your lime juice, recover, and let sit for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
Serve hot with any of the above garnishes and cornbread.