Leaves are falling. Sweaters are in store windows. And I’m absolutely terrified for my first Chicago winter.
In order to brace myself for what’s ahead I’ve resorted to an old favorite recipe. I first stumbled upon this vegan chili recipe from Milk Free Mom sometime last year and it became an instant classic among my group of girl friends. It has quinoa and sweet potato to appeal to your more health-conscious friends, but packs a huge hearty punch of goodness for even the manliest of carnivores.
Meat-eaters and vegetarians alike have raved about this recipe. I’ve altered the original recipe slightly to include a bit more spice and a few alternatives for those who don’t keep a vegan diet, or prefer butternut squash to sweet potatoes.
Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- one 6 oz can tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 tablespoons hot sauce
- 1 sweet potato, or about a cup of butternut squash, peeled and medium chopped
- 2 15 oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
- 32 oz vegetable stock (or beef stock if you do not keep vegetarian!)
- 1 cup dry quinoa
- salt and pepper to taste
- Greek yogurt
Heat olive oil in the bottom of a large stock pot. Add onions and cook until slightly golden, about 8-10 minutes. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomato paste, cumin, oregano, red pepper flakes and chili powderand stir into a thick paste. Cook for about 2 minutes. Add choice of stock, hot sauce , beans and sweet potato/butternut squash. Cook on medium for about 5 minutes, then add quinoa. Continue cooking with top on for around 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Chili is done with quinoa is fluffed and sweet potato/squash is tender, but not mushy. To serve, ladle generous servings into bowls and top with avocado, a dollop of Greek yogurt and cilantro. Enjoy your new role as veggie-chili champion.