For me, garnishes are an important aspect of chili. Almost as much as the chili. I like to have lots, with extra on the side in case I need to add more. This chili recipe is warm, hearty and satisfying. Especially after a day of skiing, snowshoeing, or skating out in the Canadian yonder. Because it’s vegetarian you need to build flavour throughout the cooking process. Roasting the sweet potatoes deepens and concentrates their flavour, as does de-glazing the veg with beer and balsamic vinegar. I also make my own spice blend, which changes depending what I have in my spice pantry. This time I added cocoa powder as I heard it adds another flavour dimension to chili. It really does add a richness to the chili. I loved it and highly recommend it. But whatever you do, however you cook it, whether it’s veg or carne chili, be sure to garnish up. The sour cream cools the chili down and the fresh lime juice gives it a tangy bite. And cheese, well you know, everything is better with cheese! -bvox
Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 3 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
- 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups crimini mushrooms, chopped
- 1 package Yves Meatless Ground Round Original
- 1 bottle of beer
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can romano beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can baked beans in tomato sauce
- 1 large can of whole tomatoes, pureed (or crushed tomatoes)
- 1/2 jar spicy salsa (I used Que Pasa chipotle salsa, the best jarred salsa IMHO)
- 2 tsp hot sauce (I used Frank’s for the tangy bite)
- Juice from one lime
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp Chimichurri spice blend (from Silk Road)
- 1/2 tsp cayenne (or to taste)
- 1 tsp red chili flakes
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp cocoa
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
Add everything to a mortar and pestle and crush together:
Roast diced sweet potatoes (tossed with olive oil, s & p, chili powder) in 400 F oven for 15-20 minutes, tossing once.
While sweet potatoes are roasting, saute onions in olive oil for a minute or two on medium heat, then add jalapenos, mushrooms and garlic and cook another 10 minutes. Add veggie ground round and the spice blend, stirring well. Adjust seasoning as desired. Add beer and cook until reduced. Add vinegar.
Reduce heat to medium low, and add remaining ingredients, stirring to combine well. Taste and adjust seasoning. Simmer, partially covered and stirring occasionally, for 20-25 minutes, until flavors have melded. At this point I will taste and adjust seasoning again.
Serve hot and add your garnishes people!
Garnishes: Shredded cheddar, green onions, sour cream, lime, cilantro, guacamole.