June 30, 2008

Reader Recipe: Sweet Potato Chili

[Posted by Crabby]

This recipe features the humble Sweet Potato.

You would think sweet potatoes were the junk food of the vegetable world, wouldn't you? "Sweet" plus "potato" sure sounds like something that should be naughty. An uninformed person might think: Why eat a naughty vegetable when you could use those calories for other important nutritional needs?

(Cartoon courtesy of nataliedee.com)

But guess what: that's all wrong. Sweet potatoes are really nutritious! They're so good for you, in fact, that the CSPI (Center for Science in the Public Interest) named the sweet potato the most nutritious vegetable of all the vegetables in the world!

Note: if this claim seems a bit over-the-top, it may be 'cause this Healthy Vegetable Pageant was held back in 1991. We've been introduced to about a billion "superfoods" since then, and I was too lazy to discover the current rankings. Perhaps the Sweet Potato has been demoted to Miss Congeniality by now (since she seems so sweet and all).

Screw you brussel sprouts, I'm still WAY more popular.
(Photo by Angie Doyle)

But even without the crown: sweet potatoes are full of really great healthy stuff.

So here is an awesome recipe sent in by Megan R, who blogs at Praying Horse. (She blogs about weight loss and emotional eating and has lost 135 lbs!) The chili sounds delicious to me, since I love sweet and spicy things together. As soon as I get my lazy ass in the kitchen and get around to cutting up some veggies I'm definitely gonna give this a try!

Sweet Potato Chili

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium red onion, diced
1 tsp chili powder
2 cups vegetable broth
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
2 zucchinis, diced
3 tomatoes, diced or 1 can tomato bits
2 cups cooked pinto beans or 1 can
6 cloves garlic, minced (I like garlic)
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne
Chopped fresh cilantro

Heat olive oil in heavy pan over medium high heat. Add red onion and saute until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the chili powder and stir for 1 minute. Add 1 cup of the broth and the sweet potato. Cover pan and reduce heat. Simmer until sweet potato is almost tender, about 10 minutes.

Add tomatoes with the juice and the pinto beans along with the garlic and spices. Add the zucchinis and the rest of the broth. Add pepper.

Simmer uncovered until the chili thickens and the sweet potato is very tender. Add cilantro to the bowl when serving.

Thanks Megan!

IMPORTANT NOTE: We're starting to run low on Reader Recipes... Got a tasty easy healthy one? Please email to Crabby McSlacker @ gmail . com (all one word).


  1. According to http://www.cspinet.org/nah/10foods_bad.html
    the sweet potato is still #1!

  2. Interesting and it sounds tasty too.
    We've recently added sweet potatoes and yams to the veggie mix and usually roast them. I just might give this chili a go soon.

  3. The "Miss Congeniality" of the veggie world... the Bag Lady confesses rather shame-facedly that she has never tried one. But this recipe might entice her!

  4. I can never tell the diff. between an s.p. and a yam. But I can tell you that this is one food that my dog absolutely loves to eat!

  5. And a recipe that doesn't include marshmallows has /got/ to be healthier than most s.p. recipes that I've seen. Thanks Megan & Crabby!

  6. You do know, don't you, that there is (or was) a Miss Sweet Potato pageant somewhere in the deep south? (Along with Miss Cotton and Miss Peach?) One of my Alabama cousins was a runner up, I think, forty-odd years ago.

    Only one TEAspoon of chili powder? Surely with all those ingredients I can use a tablespoon? Please?

    Mary Anne in Kentucky, with a refrigerator drawer full of sweet potatoes that she has put off baking because it is Too Hot. Hmmm....

  7. I love love love sweet potato and will definitely try this one in the next few weeks. I'll search through my millions of recipes (read: 3 recipe books) for some of my favs and send some through :)

  8. This sounds tasty, tasty!

    I read a book about Okinawans a few years ago, and that country has the most 100+ year olds in the world. Guess what they're diet is primarly made of???

    Sweet potatoes!

  9. I love sweet potatoes. The servers at our local steakhouse always look at me a little crazy when i order a baked sweet potato with *gasp* no butter or brown sugar, but I don't think a good, slow cooked SP that's caramelized inside the skin needs any help to be tasty.

    The chili sounds great!

  10. This sounds wonderful. We are big on sweet potato fries (baked in the oven) around here.

    Slice them into fry-like shapes, arrange on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with seasoned salt and bake at 425 for about 20 minutes. Turn half-way through because they can burn pretty easily with all of those yummy natural sugars.

  11. I'm definitely going to try this recipe! I generally do a fair amount of cooking on the weekend (this weekend was spicy chicken with fruity nutty couscous, and a peach chicken salad). Last time I made chili I made it with part lamb part beef and I definitely liked it better than the regular beef chili. I'm wondering which kind of meat I might add to this recipe (though I suppose the beans do provide protein). Maybe beef (but not too much of it).

    I'll try to send through some recipes too, though I usually read the blog at work and all my recipes are at home...

    One thing I like to do with sweet potatoes (when they're in season locally so they're most flavorful) is to just chop them up, put them on a pan, sprinkle them with olive oil and salt and pepper and roast them until soft. Really simple, but they taste amazing!

  12. Mmmm... that sounds so good! Definitely going to give this one a spin...

  13. I love sweet potatoes! You should try sweet potato fries - yum yum yum.

  14. Mmmmmmmm! My goal for this week is to eat at least one veggie per meal and snack -- this recipe may come in handy ...

  15. Yum!!!! I'm going to a BBQ tonight. Maybe I'll make this and take it along! Thanks!!!!

  16. "I can never tell the diff. between an s.p. and a yam."

    Merry, yams are the orange ones. Sweet potatoes are white. (Usually supermarkets here in CA only stock yams, but name them interchangeably "yams" or "sweet potatoes.")

    I love yams AND sweet potatoes, though truth be told, I like sweet potatoes a teeny bit better. Neither one of them really need condiments, IMO, but a little butter never hurt anything, either. :D

  17. mmmm I can't wait to try this!!!

  18. Yum, sweet potatoes! Looks like a great recipe.

  19. Yummy -- I love sweet potatoes! They don't get much play during the summer around here, though.

  20. LOL @ the Miss Congeniality line. (And hubba-hubba for the pic!)

    Unfortunately, I don't do recipes. Something about taking orders. It's a personality trait/defect - what can I say?

    But luckily, I happen to know someone who isn't recipe-intolerant and if SHE should happen to make a batch - heck yeah - I'd give it a taste! :)

  21. Oh, sweet taters have got to be at least still in the top 10 since the 1991 pageant! They're such good foods... that taste good too! :)

    Those bathing suits need to come back; I like how they offer coverage. The hair style can stay in the past, though.

  22. I love chilli and sweet potatoes and this recipe sounds fabulous. I have a great recipe for sweet potato/bean burritos if you are interested. Thanks for the tip!



  24. I love chili, never heard of sweet potatoe chili. I'm going to give it a try.

  25. I am so pumped about this chili! I have vegatarian friends who are coming this weekend, and it would be awesome to serve them something this tasty!


  26. I am a fan of sweet potatoes. They are very good for you and taste great. I usually have them mashed with low fat sour creame as a side.

  27. "Merry, yams are the orange ones. Sweet potatoes are white."

    Sorry, you're incorrect. There are many different varieties of sweet potatoes, including orange-fleshed ones. I should know, I eat orange sweet potatoes.

    Proof: http://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/mysteries/sweetpotato.html

  28. I saved this recipe and finally had the chance to make it! It was a little bland for my taste, but I've been hearing so much about chocolate chili that I decided to try adding a touch of chocagave syrup (healthier than regular chocolate syrup). DELICIOUS! And even after adding the chocagave, it was only 330 cals/serving. I'm thrilled :)

  29. I use sweet potatoes all the time. Low on glycemic index, low on calories, filling, loads of nutrition, really tasty. Pain in the neck to work with, though. You need a blow torch to cut them.


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