Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

My third vegetarian meal this week was a Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili.  Admittedly, I had to try this twice to get it right, but it was wonderful once I did.

Instead of canned black beans, I picked up 1/2 pound of dried beans from Crested Duck Charcuterie (they have a store in Beechview and are at the Pittsburgh Public Market on the weekends).  With dried beans, there was the additional steps of soaking and cooking them before they were ready to be added to the chili.

To soak the beans, I covered them with several inches of water and a little salt in a container and let them soak in the refrigerator overnight.

What 1/2 lbs of dried, pre-soaked black turtle beans looked like in my 6-cup container

They doubled in size after about 10 hours!

Beans, post-soaking, rinsing, and draining

I rinsed and drained the beans, and then placed them in a pot of boiling water to simmer for about 1.5 hours, skimming the foam at the top and checking towards the end to ensure doneness.  I also seasoned the beans with salt.

They were then ready to be added to the chili!  The first time I tried this recipe I thought it was a little bland, so this time I used twice the amount of ground chiptole chile recommended (so 1 tsp total) and put in two sweet potatoes instead of just one.  As a result of the additional sweet potato, I was also fairly generous with the amount I used of the other ingredients, for example, using 3 cups of water (instead of 2.5), juice from a whole lime (which is a little more than 4 tsp), and generally adding in a little more of each of the spices.  The final product was really good, and once tomatoes are back in season, I'd love to try this recipe with fresh tomatoes as well!

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

Recipe courtesy of:
EatingWell (get the recipe here)