Spicy Veggie Chili

Last night was the biggest storm I have weathered since being here. Inject laughter? The chill in the air, pounding of rain on my tin roof, and watching the Desert episode of Planet Earth inspired me to make something hearty and spicy…voila, chili! If only I had some sharp cheddar to jazz it up, and cornbread, even a beer would have tipped the scale to blissful perfection. Sadly, I did not have any of those things, so I used a sweet potato and smothered it in the chili. Fall flare and dangerously delicious. Pumpkin and squash would be other good alternatives to the boring potato you find at restaurants.

This recipe serves up to 4

1 1/2 c dry red beans
2 pilipili, diced
1 large bell pepper, diced
Bunch of daniya, chopped (about 1/4 c)
5 tomatoes, diced
1 onion, diced
6 cloves of minced garlic
1/2-1 c water
Black pepper, salt to taste
4 tsp red pepper, cayenne
2 tsp dark cocoa powder
1 lime
Cumin, coriander to taste

Prepare the red beans by first sorting and rinsing, then soaking for up to 8 hours.
Prepare the sweet potato if not already cooked, I boiled mine.
Cook beans with plenty of water until almost tender, about 2 hours.

Saute the onion, garlic, bell pepper, pili pili, daniya.
Then add in the tomatoes, 1/2 c water, and spices.
Squeeze lime juice and remove seeds, add the entire lime and juice, let simmer 5 minutes.

Add tomato mixture to the cooked beans and simmer for another 1/2 – 1 hour.
Cut the potato in half and cover in chili, placing in a stove top oven.
Cover and bake on low for about 10 mins.

Variations can include meat, different bean varieties, and toppings. Get creative, chili is versatile!

veggie Chili with sweet potato


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