Let’s get this out of the way. Why the heck am I sharing a chili recipe on a blog about writing habits?
Because quick, healthy, and yummy meals are excuse busters when I whine about… “But I can’t write! I have to cook dinner!” Or, “I need take out so I can finish this essay.”
This vegetarian chili recipe takes 40 minutes to make and covers my lunch or dinner for a week. And it’s FALL! 🍁😍🍂 It’s cool enough to steam up your kitchen with a hearty one-pot recipe.
“But Renee, I HATE eating the same meal every day.” That’s okay. Freeze it in small portions and defrost once a week. #NoExcuses
Sweet Potatoes & Chili: A Love Story
My parents originally got me into chili. The aroma of veggies, beans, and chili spices reminds me of childhood––my mom or dad simmering their unique recipes on the stove on a crisp fall day.
I’m not a vegetarian, but I don’t like ground beef in chili, 🤷🏻so this is a meatless recipe. But adding sweet potato takes this one-pot favorite to next level delish. Plus, you’re not skimping on protein because beans pack a whopper protein punch.
This yummy sweet potato chili has eased me through many dark days of winter. It gives comfort to the soul when everything feels like it’s falling apart. The best part: it’s quick, filling, and healthy. Less time for meal prep means more time for writing and family. And the health benefits zap the guilt from indulging in a quick meal (scroll down for health bennies).
The Writer’s One-Pot Sweet Potato Vegetarian Chili
The Good Stuff You Need
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
3 tsp chili powder
2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp turmeric
½ cup carrots
½ cup celery
½ cup white onion
3 cups water
1 bay leaf
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 can kidney beans
1 can black beans
1 can pinto beans
(OR 2 ½ cups dried beans, soaked overnight)
(Note: you can go wild and choose your favorite beans – I like a medley of kidney, pinto, and black beans)
3 cups cubed sweet potatoes or yams
Juice of 1 lime (or a splash of red wine vinegar)
Optional: 1 dollop of unsweetened Greek yogurt or a 1 tbsp of crumbled goat cheese
How to Make in 30 Minutes
Step 1: If you’re using dried beans, rinse and soak overnight.
Step 2: In a large stock pot on medium heat, combine olive oil, sweet potatoes, onions, carrots, celery, garlic, salt, pepper, cinnamon, turmeric, nutmeg, paprika, and chili powder. Stir well.
Step 3: Cover and let simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Step 4: Add 3 cups of water, beans, tomatoes, and bay leaf. Stir well, and bring to a boil (uncovered).
Step 5: Once boiling, reduce heat to a low simmer and cover. Let simmer for 30 minutes or until sweet pots are tender. Stir occasionally.
Step 6: Let cool, and remove bay leaf. Add lime juice and stir. Add salt and pepper to taste.
OPTIONAL: Serve with a dollop of unsweetened Greek yogurt or a few crumbs of goat cheese.
The Health Bennies*
There are lots of healthy goodies in this recipe. To go through them all would be a long read. (And you need to get back to writing!) So, here are the healthy benny highlights:
Ah, my favorite spud. 😆 Not only a go-to “good carb,” but sweet pots are a good source of the antioxidant beta carotene, the pigment that gives yellow/orange foods their vibrant color. Beta carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body, an essential vitamin for immunity, eye health, and healthy hair and skin.
But that’s just one antioxidant. Research has only recently discovered the “benefits of sweet potato sporamins in helping prevent oxidative damage to our cells.” (The World’s Healthiest Foods)
There’s also some evidence that sweet potatoes can have anti-inflammatory actions and help support healthy blood sugar levels.
I know you’re singing the song. 🎶
Not only are beans packed with protein, but they are good for your heart, too. Well, good for cholesterol, anyway!
According to The World’s Healthiest Foods website (my go-to idiot’s guide to nutrition), the phytonutrients in black beans are packed with phytonutrients and “help deliver cholesterol back to our liver from other locations in the body, thus taking some cholesterol out of circulation and lowering our blood level.”
The phytonutrients in black beans also “block expression of genes that would result in the production of enzymes designed to increase our blood fat levels.”
Black beans are an excellent source of fiber (15 grams in one cup serving), which supports healthy digestion and normal blood sugar levels.
So yeah... 🎶Eat your beans with every meal! 🎶
This chili recipe is packed with veggie goodness, and carrots are especially healthful. As discussed in the sweet potato section, orange-colored vegetables get their lovely coloring from beta carotene.
Wanna guess where the term beta carotene comes from? Yup, carrots. 🥕
Like sweet pots, carrots are rich in vitamin A. And research suggests carrots can support cardiovascular health and possibly even support healthy bone-mass levels.
The Consensus on Chili
There are loads more health benefits than the ones listed here. I discussed the brain-fog busting power of turmeric, black pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg in my post on Brain Fog Bustin’ Golden Milk, so hop over there for a deeper dive into those Ayurvedic spices.
Go whip up a pot of this veggie chili, put on your favorite fall sweater, and enjoy.
Then, get back to writing. 😘
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Sources & Resources
“Black beans.” The World’s Healthiest Foods. http://www.whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=2
“Carrots.” The World’s Healthiest Foods. http://www.whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=21
“Sweet potatoes.” The World’s Healthiest Foods. http://www.whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=64
Kahn, J. (2017). The Plant-Based Solution. Sounds True. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34303818-the-plant-based-solution
Long, R. (2018). “Recipes for Writers: Brain Fog Bustin’ Golden Milk.” http://reneelongwrites.com/blog/2018/7/25/recipes-for-writers-brain-fog-bustin-golden-milk
Watts, M. (2017). “This vegetarian chili recipe with sweet potato is about to be your new go-to.” WellandGood.com. https://www.wellandgood.com/good-food/vegetarian-sweet-potato-lentil-chili-recipe/
**Disclaimer** This info is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace medical advice or treat, diagnose, prevent, or mitigate disease. I’m not an herbalist, nutritionist, or licensed healthcare practitioner––just a writer with a love for natural remedies and writerly wellness. Always check with your doctor or naturopath before using herbs or essential oils for therapeutic purposes.