But back to the party…Delicious items surrounded me as everyone has begun embracing the holiday food season! Pumpkin fudge (awesome with a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg), pumpkin cupcakes, a variety of crackers and a “cheese” log rolled in a family’s secret spice blend and more! One of the best parts of this party, however, is the “Chili Cook-Off!” This year was the first year the competition was divided into two categories – traditional and non-traditional chili!
Since chili by origin is a combination of spices and meat – my best friend and I had to enter the non-traditional avenue with a vegan submission! We had to keep the guys on their toes to try and see if they could even tell! And despite the non-traditional category, all other chili that was entered contained meat!
So, here it is…I’ll admit, I was the sous chef on this recipe, but I got permission to share the winning recipe – Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili!
Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Cup Onion, diced
- 3 Cups Sweet Potato, peeled and diced into ½” cubes
- 3 each Garlic Cloves, minced
- 2 Tbsp Chili Powder
- 1 Tbsp Chipotle Powder
- 1 Tbsp Ground Cumin
- 70 oz Canned, Diced Tomatoes (2 – 28oz cans + 1 – 14oz can)
- 28 oz Canned Black Beans, drained and rinsed well, low sodium
- ½ Cup Smoked Almonds, processed into a meal using a food processor
- 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup (or Maple Sugar)
- Salt to Taste
- Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven. Once the oil is hot, sauté the onions until they begin to caramelize.
- Add the sweet potatoes, garlic and spices, and sauté until the sweet potatoes are evenly coated and beginning to soften – around 5 minutes. Be careful to not burn the spices and garlic, keeping the heat on medium.
- Add the tomatoes and black beans. Simmer until the sweet potatoes are tender.
- Once the almonds are well processed and similar in texture to a corn meal, incorporate it into the chili. If you don’t have a food processor, you may substitute an almond butter, just decrease the quantity to a 1/3 cup.
- Add maple syrup, and adjust any seasonings as needed.
Enjoy this with a homemade cornbread or fresh biscuits. This chili is great a day later too, when all of the flavors are well combined, if there are any leftovers to be found.
I hope you take the time to enjoy this fall season and fall flavors with friends. And if you aren’t feeling up to making your own chili, bring your friends into the Bistro and order some of their chili (featured on the menu daily) – using three beans, soy curls, and corn to provide it with a great flavor and texture!