Being at my grandsons’ flag football games recently with the frost just disappearing from the grass and the vibrant fall leaves made me think of chili. Being a lover of all things spicy, chili is right up my alley at any time of year. There are so many great recipes out there, and they are all the perfect opportunity for me to find a way to add more veggies to a great meal. In this Loaded Sweet Potato Veggie Chili you’ll find onions, celery, carrots, jalapeno, red and green peppers and sweet potatoes, but feel free to load it up with whatever veggies you like.
Loaded Sweet Potato Veggie Chili
- 1 large yellow onion small dice
- ½ cup celery small dice
- ½ cup carrot small dice
- ½ cup green pepper small dice
- ½ cup red pepper small dice
- 1 jalapeno seeded and minced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 sweet potato peeled and cubed
- 1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 Tablespoons chili powder
- 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
- 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 (28 ounce) can or box crushed tomatoes
- 3 ½ cups vegetable stock low sodium
- 1 (15 ounce)can or box black beans drained and rinsed
- 2 (15 ounce) cans or boxes red kidney beans drained and rinsed
- sliced scallions, pepitas, vegan sour cream or other garnishes of your choice optional garnishes
- Heat a large heavy pot over medium high heat. Add 2 to 3 Tablespoons of water. When the water bubbles, add the onions, celery, carrots, green and red peppers and jalapeno. Stir with a wooden spoon until the onions are soft and translucent and the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add small amounts of water as needed to keep the vegetables from sticking to the pan.
- Add the garlic and sweet potato and continue to stir for 30 seconds.
- Add the cocoa powder, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt and pepper and stir until the spices are slightly toasted and aromatic, one to two minutes.
- Add the maple syrup, crushed tomatoes, vegetable stock and beans. Stir to combine.
- Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. Stir the chili from time to time to avoid sticking.
- Garnish with chopped scallions, pepitas and/or vegan sour cream or other garnishes of your choice.
You’ll need the following ingredients for this recipe:
- Yellow onion (1)
- Celery (½ cup)
- Carrots (½ cup)
- Green pepper (½ cup)
- Red pepper (½ cup)
- Jalapeno (1)
- Garlic (4 cloves)
- Sweet potato (1)
- Unsweetened cocoa powder
- Chili powder
- Ground cumin
- Smoked paprika
- Kosher salt
- Maple syrup
- Crushed tomatoes (1 (28) ounce can)
- Low sodium vegetable stock (3 ½ cups)
- Black beans (1 (15) ounce can or box)
- Kidney beans (2 (15) ounce cans or boxes)
- Optional: Scallions, pepitas, vegan sour cream or other garnishes of your choice
Heat 2 or 3 Tablespoons of water in a large heavy pot. Once the water bubbles, add the chopped onions, celery, carrots, green pepper, red pepper and jalapeno. Stir to combine and continue stirring until the vegetables are soft and the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add more water as needed to prevent the vegetables from sticking. Stir in the chopped garlic and sweet potato and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the cocoa powder, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Stir until the spices are slightly toasted and aromatic. Add the maple syrup, crushed tomatoes, vegetable stock and beans. Stir to combine. Bring the ingredients to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir from time to time to avoid sticking.
Garnish with chopped scallions, pepitas and/or vegan sour cream or other garnishes of your choice.
Things you might like to know about this recipe for Loaded Sweet Potato Veggie Chili…….
Chili powder is a blend of ingredients with chile powder(ground dried chiles) which may also include oregano, paprika, pepper, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, and/or salt. The kind of chile and the additional ingredients vary from chili powder to chili powder. You’ll want to find a mixture that you enjoy and that is the right spiciness for your taste. Three options that receive high reviews are Morton and Bassett, Penzeys and Simply Organic. You can also prepare your own chili powder from scratch.
Most recipes, including this one, measure garlic by cloves. There can be a very big difference in size from one garlic clove to the next. Experiment with the amount of garlic that you enjoy in your cooking, and adjust the amount used accordingly. Here’s a picture of cloves from one head of garlic to illustrate this point.
Jalapenos are low in calories and loaded with nutrients including vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. They may also be heart healthy, fight cancer, promote weight loss. prevent stomach ulcers, and help fight infections, When working with jalapenos, it is best to use gloves. They can burn your skin especially the soft tissue under your fingernails or around existing cuts. Even after you have washed your hands, you may accidentally transfer the capsaicin when you touch your eyes. Trust me……I have experience! The seeds and ribs of the jalapeno have the most heat, so if you want to lower the heat factor in a recipe, be sure to remove the seeds and the ribs. Additionally grey scars on a jalapeno may indicate that it is spicier.
Peppers that are smoked before they are crushed yield smoked paprika. As its name implies, smoked paprika has a strong smoky taste which I love. If however you prefer a less smoky flavor or you don’t have smoked paprika on hand, check out this article at RecipeMarker.com for substitutions.
You’ll find many different varieties of sweet potatoes in supermarkets these days. They range in color from orange and red to purple and tan. The orange and red skinned varieties have orange flesh and are moist and sweet when cooked. The purple and tan varieties are more dry and starchy like russet potatoes when baked. The orange and red skinned varieties include Garnet and Jewel and the purple and tan varieties include Hannah and Japanese. Sweet potatoes are nutrient dense containing Vitamins A, B6, and C, Potassium and Fiber.
I prefer to make my vegetable stock from scratch. It’s quick and easy and doesn’t contain unwanted added ingredients such as salt. If you prefer a supermarket brand, I recommend Better Than Bouillon Reduced Sodium Seasoned Vegetable Base. You can measure 1 teaspoon per cup of boiling water and keep the opened container in the refrigerator for later use. I prefer the flavor to most canned broths/stocks.
My preference is to avoid the calories in oils whenever possible. Although some oils are healthier than others, one tablespoon contains about 120 calories. Sauteing with water or stock instead of oil is a great way to save those calories, and in the context of this recipe, the flavor will not be affected.
Heat your pan on high and add about ¼ cup of water. Reduce the heat to medium and add the ingredient(s) to saute. Stir constantly until they reach the doneness that your recipe requires. For example, if you are sauteing onions, you will most often want them to be soft and translucent before adding other ingredients. Continue adding a small amount of water as needed to keep the ingredient(s) from sticking to the pan.