Chipotle Sweet Potato and Black Bean Vegan Chili

Chipotle Sweet Potato and Black Bean Vegan Chilithis chili has absolutely nothing to do with the 1970s, or a cookbook, or a 1970s cookbook.  i just can’t get any decent lighting in this apartment at night in the winter, and this photo fondly reminds me of those flat, earth-toned pictures from thrift-store casserole cookbooks.  we had another chilly chilly weekend, and after work and a painfully windy walk home from cinema revolution, i spent the entirety of sunday inside.  for dinner, i concocted this smoky, spicy, warming chili which, for lack of a recipe, turned out pretty well (though it would have been even nicer with some chopped cilantro thrown in).  here’s the lowdown:

chipotle sweet potato and black bean chili (serves 4-6):

2 tbsp olive oil
1/2-1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large sweet potato, chopped
3 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp ancho chili powder
2 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp oregano
1 tsp salt
3-4 tbsp adobo sauce (from a can of chipotle peppers)
1 28-oz can fire roasted tomato sauce
1 1/2 c vegetable stock
1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 c frozen corn kernels
1-2 tbsp lime juice
shredded vegan cheddar, for garnish (optional)
salsa, for garnish (optional)

heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.  add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and translucent.  stir in sweet potato, reduce heat slightly, and cover.  allow the potatoes to “sweat” for about 5 minutes.  stir in spices and adobo sauce and cook an additional minute or two, then add the vegetable stock, tomato sauce and black beans.  simmer, covered, for 20-30 minutes, or until potatoes are tender, then add corn and lime juice.  replace the cover and let the corn heat through.  serve with cornbread or over your grain of choice (that’s buckwheat in the photo), topped with shredded vegan cheddar and salsa if desired.

this was a pretty good start for a chili, but i think i would change a couple things.  adding some cilantro, definitely.  a thought it was lacking a “meaty” texture, though i think that might be because she’s used to fantastic foods boxed chili, which uses tvp.  i could also definitely see some other vegetables in here for variety and color, like zucchini or (gasp!) green peppers.  i wonder also what roasting a head or so of garlic beforehand might do for the dish…

i’ve got some exciting food plans coming up this week, including a “meat and potatoes” lunch, and a super special friday night nepali dinner party(my first foray into preparing nepalese food).