November 16, 2020

Sweet Potato-Black Bean-Orange Chili. {Recipe}

Yummy, I thought as I glanced at a photo of a sweet potato and black bean vegan burger.

It was in a summer edition of the Alive magazine and I was entranced. I needed to learn to make vegan patties and let go of the store-bought ones. The recipe has yet to be tried. One day I will dust it off; it lays in the pile of ripped out pages of ideas and scribbles on the back of invoices that accompany deliveries of my ‘shrooms and eco-friendly clothing, or on the flyers stuffed inside our doors of notices from the apartment’s property manager.

Fall 2020 is in full autumn mode in the northern hemisphere. In Florida, that means the license plates read New Jersey, New York, Michigan, Maryland, and Ohio. Not seeing that much in this #2020 year. However, the real snowbirds are starting and will continue if we have not destroyed our tiny blue planet further with climate change.

But, as typical, I digress. Where was I? Oh, an autumn recipe. Instead of a veggie burger, I was salivating for vegan chili, and my inbox was filling up with sweet potato and black beans versions. Now I just needed to make certain to get those two items. Yep, my Saturday market will take care of sweet potatoes, tomatoes, hot peppers, and an orange.

So, let’s get our hands washed, clean the counter, grab the stuff, and prep and cook.

Ingredients and supplies:

I cook for one, so adjust accordingly.

Sweet potato: One for me, skin on, but you may peel if preferred.

Black beans: Roughly 5-7 ounces per mouth to feed. Soaked or canned or in a jar.

Tomatoes: 1 or more per person. Fresh, any type, canned if fresh not available.

Hot pepper: Optional, any type. I went with one red chili pepper. It was adorable.

Oil of choice: Avocado for me, but any would do or even none. I am going naked next time.

Spices: Old Bay, turmeric, black pepper, cayenne, cumin, coriander.

Lime: I used an entire lime, cut into wedges, some for cooking the juice, some while eating.

Orange: Choice to use just the juice, or scoop out the orange and add it to the pot.

Avocado: Entire Haas avocado, plated, but I tossed bite-sized pieces in while I ate.

Corn tortillas: Optional as well. I saw these in the store in the Made in Florida section. Organic and vegan. I used four to line the bowl and ended up using them as a spoon. Very hands-on and l like to eat with my hands too.

Misc: Medium to large size pot with lid, and spoons, spatulas, knives, cutting board, spoon holder, dish towels.

Recipe (and blooper alert!):

1. After lining up all your ingredients in the order of use (or not), wash all the produce, tenderly. Any towel or mat can serve as a drying area.

2. Chop anything that needs it, and be mindful of sizes—no sense choking on a bite. Preheat your pot, umm, cooking pot, not the smoking pot. Oil or not. Spices can go in at this step, especially if roots, seeds. Ground spices may do better at a later stage. I do a little of both depending on the ground, whole, seed, pod variations.

3. Okay, now comes how I did this and see if you can find the comic relief. I placed a little avocado oil in the cooking pot, the fresh turmeric, cracked black pepper, and gave it a minute or two. Added the black beans, remainder of spices, a little lime juice, and then the tomatoes.  Keep stirring.

Hmmm, something is missing. What? What is missing? I thought back to a photo I took of some of the prep items. Strained my brain; darn neurotransmitters snapped in 1969, maybe.

Oh, tempeh or tofu! I hurriedly opened the fridge, which one? Grabbed the tempeh. It’s a pain in the bum to open those tempeh packages, but hurry I must. Why did I not just turn off the burner? Brain cells. Done, cut, place into the pot.

4. Keep lifting the lid and stirring. Now here’s a thought: some of you want fast, maybe an Instant pot. Others love a slow, very slow, cooking time. Overnight, or, while you’re at work. Try a slow cooker, crockpot.

5. Select the bowl or plate. I went with a yellow one. I like yellow; it’s a happy color. I took a few photos since I am practicing capturing my meals and practicing cooking.

I sat and took some time to give gratitude. Eating, being as mindful as I could to keep slowing down and chewing more. As I took in the last tasty morsel with its salty, sweet, sour, pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes, I stopped. Something did not feel right.

Did you guess it? Yes, I realize you have been shaking your head, laughing, or rolling your eyes for several paragraphs. I forgot the main ingredient! Sweet potato, not tempeh or tofu! And, I completely left out the orange too.

I will remake this soon, and use the sweet potato and the orange. However, as suggested: skin on or off, pre-bake it, or boil it. Either way, I would not overcook or cook till done. I am thinking a smidge hard since it will be added early to the chili cooking. The orange can be just the juice, or scoop out squishy pulpy orange and add it near the end.

If you give this a try, let us know how you prepared the sweet potato and any changes, deletions, or additions. Happy cooking and enjoy!


Bonus recipe: Spinach Carrot Mint Soup: A Bowlful of Health & Warmth.

For a whole bunch of delicious recipes, scroll through my author page.


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