Monday, October 24, 2011

Recipe: Black Bean, Sweet Potato, and Swiss Chard Chili

Who doesn't love a good pot of chili? It is great on a cold night, and wonderful to keep reserves of in the freezer.  Like many of you, I grew up with the fairly standard ground beef and kidney bean version and it always brings back good memories when I make it.  However, I also love to try new versions out, and adding veggies to something never hurts.  The base recipe was inspired from this, which used butternut squash instead.  I also had about a cup of cooked orzo on hand that I added in, though this is completely optional.  A few other tweaks here and there and a whole new beast is made.  Meat could very easily be added to this as well if you want it in there.

You will need:

One and a half cooking onions, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large sweet potato, cubed
Three 15oz cans of black beans, washed and drained
One 14.5 can diced tomato, UNdrained
1 Bunch swish chard, washed, dried, torn from the stems and chopped
2.5-3.5 cups stock (I used chicken)
One handful fresh parsley, finely chopped with some reserved for garnish
1 cup cooked orzo, optional
2 Tablespoons Adobo Chili Powder
2 Teaspoons Ground Cumin
2 Teaspoons Dijon Mustard
Olive Oil
Red Pepper Flakes
Feta for garnish

Start by prepping the sweet potato.  Mine was pretty ugly on the outside so I peeled it.  Either way, cut it in half length wise and then cut into half-moons.  Stack about 3 half moons on each other and cut them in half length wise.  Then cut these sticks into about 3 cubes each (you can cut them still stacked up to make this faster).
Heat a teaspoon or two of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  When hot, add the onion and cook for 4-5 minutes.  Add a dash of salt and pepper and then the garlic.  Stir and cook for 4-5 more minutes until the garlic just starts to brown.  Add the cubed sweet potato and cook for 4-5 more minutes until it starts to get tender.  Add the chili powder, cumin, another good dash of salt.  Stir to combine.
Add in the beans, tomatoes, dijon, and stock.  Stir and bring to a bubble.

Reduce to a simmer and let cook ~15 minutes or until the chili has thickened and the sweet potato is tender.  Halfway through give the broth a taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. When the potato is cooked add the chard.  Stir the chard into the chili and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the chard has wilted. Add in the cooked orzo if you wish, and then the handful of chopped parsley.  Stir to combine.  Garnish with feta and parsley if desired.

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