Sweet Potato and Black Bean Vegan Chili

By 300 Sandwiches

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veganchiliLONom nom nom vegan chili.

A blizzard is the perfect reason to dig out the big ‘ol Dutch oven or Crock-Pot and make something savory that will feed your family for days. You need something that will free up your busy hours indoors so you have time left to binge watch “House of Cards,” or share Pinterest photos of people in tartan standing in the middle of wintry fields, or reorganize your kitchen cabinets and bookshelves.

Last weekend, E and were homebound by a wicked blizzard that roared in and shut down the city. I made vegan chili to feed us as we watched the snow fall.

E has been coming around lately to the vegan thing. He no longer makes jokes or turns his face up when I mention the v-word. He’s even amenable to eating a non meat dish.  During Winter Storm Jonas, I made vegan chili for lunch, and he devoured his bowl faster than I did. No complaints. No “woman this isn’t real food!” No “I’m going to make a steak as a side dish.”

I knew he’d enjoy it if he just tried.

I adapted this recipe from the cookbook, “Nom Yourself,” another great guide I’ve been using to help me through my month of veganism. Mary’s recipe for Chipotle BBQ Quinoa Chili looked delicious and I whipped up a batch in 90 minutes. I made some adaptions below, using couscous instead of quinoa (because that’s what I had in my cupboards and I damn sure wasn’t going back out to the store in that weather!), chocolate balsamic vinegar and more coffee to replace some of the vegetable stock, and thickened it up with a bit of cornstarch. It was so lovely to chow down on while we watched the snow fall.

adapted from Nom Yourself
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 stalk celery
3 gloves garlic
2 tomatoes, diced
1 cup couscous, rinsed and cooked
2 cups black beans, rinsed
2 sweet potato, peels and finely chopped
3 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/4 cup ketchup
1 1/2 tablespoon chocolate balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup strong coffee
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons stone ground mustard
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon cilantro, for garnish
1/4 cup chopped green onions (for garnish)

In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat coconut oil over medium high heat. Add onion, garlic and celery and sauté for 4 minutes, until onions are soft. Add tomatoes, couscous, black beans, sweet potatoes, vegetable broth, liquid smoke, ketchup, balsamic vinegar, coffee, and brown sugar and stir for about a minute. Reduce heat to medium. Add red pepper, paprika, cumin, mustard and stir. In a small, separate bowl, combine cornstarch and cold water and stir until well-combined. Pour into chili and stir well. Add lemon juice and stir. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 30 minutes or until chili thickens. When ready to serve, garnish with cilantro and chopped chives. Serve with toast or tortilla chips. Serves 6 to 8 people.

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