Veggin’ Out

Warm up with some veggie chili

As I sit at my computer, with frozen fingers while I try to type, I can only think of food that will warm me up. Now, yes, I may be one of those crazy people that loves the snow and the colder weather in general, but it doesn’t mean I want to freeze my butt off. I love to bundle up with sweaters and fluffy blankets, but food also can help to warm the bones, and what better food to help do just that than hearty soups, stews or chili? I mean, at least they are my own personal favorite wintertime food.

I love veggie chili and trying all different versions of it — and there are endless combinations that you can make. That’s one of the best things about chili — you can’t go wrong! I can eat it every week and with a few different ingredients, I never feel like I’m having the same dish, because the flavors are so different. I know I’ve probably shared plenty of chili recipes over the years, but I can’t help it – they are all so good! And this one is so easy to make with very few ingredients and about 10 minutes of prep work.

Sweet potato black

bean chili

(minimalistbaker.com)

1 medium yellow or white onion, diced

Coconut or olive oil

4 cups sweet potatoes, scrubbed clean and chopped

1 16-ounce jar salsa (chunky is best)

1 15-ounce can black beans, slightly drained

2 cups vegetable stock

2 cups water

1 tablespoon chili powder

2 tablespoons ground cumin

1 tablespoon cilantro

Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot over medium heat, saute onions in 1 tablespoon oil and season with salt and pepper. Stir and continue cooking on medium heat until translucent and soft.

Add sweet potato and spices. You can choose your own combination of spices — chili powder, cumin, cilantro, chipotle powder, cinnamon, hot sauce, etc. Or, just salt and pepper if you’re not a spice person. I also like to squirt in a little lime juice, too.

Cook for 3 minutes, then add salsa, water and vegetable stock.

Bring mixture to a low boil on medium high heat and then lower heat to medium-low and simmer. Add black beans, cover and cook for 20-30 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are fork tender and the soup thickened.

I like to top my chili with some shredded cheese and-or sour cream — or non-dairy versions of these.

Stellfox is a local writer who enjoys vegetarian and vegan food and cooking. Her award-winning column, typically published on the fourth Sunday of every month in the Lifestyle section, will be moved to the third Sunday of the month starting in February. Stellfox can be reached at the Lifestyle Department email at life@sungazette.com.

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