Monday, October 20, 2008

Sweet Potato-Black Bean Chili

Eek, it's been forever since I've posted here! But, my big exam is over, and so things may go somewhat back to normal. :)

I've been making this chili for a long time, but somehow never actually managed to post it here! It's extremely easy and very versatile. Since it has beans, there's plenty of protein and the chili is filling without any meat. But it's also tasty with ground turkey, sweet Italian sausage, a mix of sweet and hot Italian sausage, or any other meat.

Part of the reason this dish is so easy is that it relies on jarred salsa for a lot of the flavor--so don't skimp on a cheap brand. I like to use one that involves tomatoes, black beans, and corn, but whichever you go with, you definitely want to go for the more normal flavors rather than a peach or pineapple salsa. You can vary the heat level according to how spicy you'd like the chili.

Sweet Potato-Black Bean Chili (from Good Housekeeping)

1 T olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 medium sweet potatoes or yams (about 12 oz. each), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 T chili powder
1 16 oz. jar salsa
1 cup water
3/4 lb. ground turkey, sweet Italian sausage, etc. (optional)
2 15-19 oz. cans black beans

1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil. Add the onions, and saute until they begin to soften. Add the garlic, and saute one minute.
2. Stir in the sweet potatoes, chili powder, salsa, and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 12-15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
3. Meanwhile, crumble the meat and saute over medium heat until well-browned. Set aside on a paper towel to drain.
4. Add the browned meat and black beans (with their liquid) to the soup. Stir well and cook three minutes or until everything is heated through. Enjoy with cheddar cheese and/or sour cream.

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