This Vegan Quinoa & Sweet Potato Chili recipe is a cooking checklist dream come true. Healthy? Yes. Cheap? You got it. Full of items most likely already stocked in your kitchen? Uh-huh. One-pot wonder? Done. Under 30-minutes? Yup. Freezer-friendly? For sure. Filling, flavorful, hearty, wholesome? Each more than the last. And last but not least (because I am running out of different ways to say the affirmative), it's absolutely delicious.
Yup, that slightly bitter, complex undertone adding an extra layer of depth to the multitude of spice is indeed chocolate! (Happy Valentines Day). Unsweetened cocoa powder earns the MVP ingredient award here, casting an almost mole-like nuance to the stew, and tempering the acidity of the tomatoes. With it's powerful flavors comes a host of excellent health benefits too, such as concentrated antioxidants (pure cocoa has the most) and cardiovascular benefits, including reduced blood pressure and increased coronary artery blood flow.
I thoroughly enjoyed my chili bowl topped with creamy sliced avocado and chopped cilantro, but other add-ons could include chopped scallions, crushed tortilla strips, and shredded cheese or sour cream if you're dairy craving proves insatiable. (But try it without, first!) This recipe serves 4-6, but if you're cooking for less I highly recommend making the full batch and freezing the rest for a later date. A chili so hearty is bound to yield repeated appentencies.
Vegan Quinoa & Sweet Potato Chili (derived from Milk Free Mom)
Yield: 4-6 Servings
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 6 oz can tomato paste or 1 cup diced canned tomato with juices
32 oz (4 cups) vegetable broth
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 sweet potato, cut into bite sized chunks
1 cup dry quinoa
salt and pepper to taste
avocado, cilantro for garnish (optional)
1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, and cook until soft and translucent, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes.
2. Add garlic, tomato paste (if using diced tomatoes and juice, add with stock) chili powder, cocoa powder, cumin, and oregano. Cook for 2 minutes.
3. Add black beans, vegetable broth, and sweet potatoes; season with salt & pepper. Raise heat to bring to a boil, and add quinoa.
4. Turn heat down to low, and continue cooking for about 20 minutes, or until quinoa is cooked through, stirring every 5 minutes. Add additional salt & pepper to taste.
5. Serve topped with avocado and chopped cilantro, or other desired garnishes.
Shifko, Robert. "What Are the Benefits of Pure Cocoa?" LIVESTRONG.COM. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Feb. 2013.