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Spring Gillard
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Chili Weather

Photo: http://foodwishes.blogspot.ca

Photo: http://foodwishes.blogspot.ca

We had a potluck today at work to send off some wonderful co-op students who are heading back to school. One of my colleagues brought this amazing veggie chili. He found it on a blog called Food Wishes. With the weather turning, it is starting to feel like chili time. Roasting the sweet potatoes beforehand deepens the flavours.

Roasted Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili

2 lbs orange-fleshed sweet potatoes

1/2 tsp ground chipotle pepper, or to taste

1/2 tsp salt

2 tbsp olive oil, divided

1 onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 jalapeno, sliced

1 tbsp cumin

2 or 3 tbsp Ancho chili powder, or other chili powders, or to taste

1/4 tsp dried oregano

1 can (28-oz) diced or crushed tomatoes

1 cup water, more as needed

1 tbsp corn meal

1 tsp salt, or to taste

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp unsweetened cocoa

2 cans (15-oz) black beans, drained, rinsed

cayenne to taste

sour cream and cilantro to garnish

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  2. Combine sweet potatoes, chipotle pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large bowl and toss to coat. Spread sweet potatoes on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer.
  3. Roast sweet potatoes in the preheated oven until the outside is crunchy and inside is tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  4. Cook and stir remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, onion, garlic, red bell pepper, jalapeno pepper, ancho chile powder, cumin, and dried oregano together in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook and stir until onion is softened, about 5 minutes.
  5. Pour tomatoes and water into the onion mixture and bring to a simmer. Add cornmeal, 1 teaspoon salt, sugar, and cocoa powder. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
  6. Stir black beans and cooled sweet potatoes into the onion-tomato mixture. Add more water if mixture is too thick. Simmer until heated through, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and cayenne pepper to taste. Serve topped with sour cream and cilantro.

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