September 20, 2013

The Return of This Week In Food… Crockpot Vegetarian Chili with Sweet Potatoes

It's that time of year again…time for soups and stews, time for big, bubbling pots on the stove and stewing crockpots on countertops, time for homes that smell of roasting meats and veggies and simmering herbs and spices.

Ahhhhh, it's Autumn. Hurray!

And with the return of fall, and our settling into our new home and new routine, I thought it the perfect time to bring back This Week In Food! Assuming I can find where I put my pots and pans, I will get back into the kitchen and back to cooking up a storm. In the new house I have a new, HUGE island. A football field of prep space. Which is fifty shades of awesome (except when it's just more space for me to pile random crap). And a fabulous farmer's market literally across the street from my neighborhood. So there are no excuses here for not bringing on some new, fun recipes.

But, we'll start with one I actually tried last winter…enjoyed…but never got around to sharing: Crockpot Vegetarian Chili with Sweet Potatoes. I am a sucker for most anything with sweet potatoes, and I'll try anything that is vegetarian but still hearty (vegetarian flies better in my house that way). And this crockpot chili fits the bill. It is warm and yummy and perfect for a crisp fall day.

So, let's welcome fall into our homes with the savory-sweet smells of this little ditty…

photo from Real Simple

Crockpot Vegetarian Chili with Sweet Potatoes (adapted from Real Simple magazine)
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped (or 2 tsp minced garlic)
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
kosher salt and black pepper
1 28 oz. can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 15.5 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15.5 oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
sour cream, shredded cheese and tortilla chips or crackers, for serving

In a 4-to-6 quart slow cooker, combine the onion, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, cocoa, cinnamon, 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Add the tomatoes (and their liquid), beans, sweet potato, and 1 cup water. Cover and cook until the sweet potatoes are tender and the chili has thickened, on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours. Serve the chili with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkling of shredded cheese and a few tortilla chips or crackers. Enjoy!

Until next time, happy cooking and happy fall!

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