Tuesday, December 17, 2013

black bean chili with sweet potato & kale

I knew I wanted to have dinner ready and waiting for us after the grandma party. Brielle would be coming back home from New York with mom and Sam, and we'd all be pretty tired. Chili seemed a good way to go. Made the day before, all I had to do was heat it up, throw some bread in the oven, and pour some glasses of wine.
I am so glad I experimented with using chocolate in this recipe, I think it added a richness and an interesting complexity. I thought about adding all kinds of things at the finish: daiya, sour cream, maybe some lime juice, but it really didn't need anything.

2 cups black beans, preferably from scratch
1 medium sweet potato, chopped
1 red onion, diced small
3 ribs celery, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 bunch of dinosaur kale, de stemmed and chopped*
3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
2 cans of 14.5 ounce chopped tomatoes, one can pureed
1 1/4 vegetable broth (I used 1 heaping tsp of my favorite paste, better than bouillon, and 1 1/4 cups water)
1/2 cup bean juice, if you made the beans from scratch, if not use water
2 TB tomato paste
1 TB brown sugar
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate (2 squares)

1 jalapeño, partially deseeded and chopped fine
2 TB chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
heaping 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, to taste
1 tsp salt

Over medium high heat, saute the sweet potato, onion, celery, garlic, jalapeño, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, and salt in a bit of olive oil for three minutes. Add the red pepper, brown sugar and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, beans, kale, broth/water, and chocolate and bring to a boil, stirring to let the chocolate and bouillon dissolve. Reduce the heat and simmer on low for 20 minutes, partially covered, until the sweet potato is cooked through.
*If the head of kale is huge, I probably wouldn't use the whole thing.
And the left overs freeze great for a quick meal over the holidays...

button making is always a hit
my favorite is the warthog...

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