all the flavors of November, crammed in a bowl and topped with diced avo. YUMS
Happy weekend, guys! Sorry I've been off the blog for a bit. I was going through a serrrrrious blog mental block. Has anyone been there? Where you just don't feel creative, and no new ideas come to mind? Welllp, it's been a few weeks now but a fresh start to a new month feels good. New month- new ideas. And this weather. YESSSS. No need to worry though- I've still been cooking every night and making new thangs, but they have just been old recipes or meals i've taken from other cooks. BUT I'm back!
So a new chili has been on my mind lately. When I first started reallllly cooking, I would always make my simple Veggie Chili and serve it with a big bowl of rice. It was like one of the only things I cooked (literally), and I felt good eating something so nutritious. OR so I thought.
The other day I was thinking about how I missed this old chili I used to love so much, and was thinking how I could make it more "Fall" feeling, plus add some more nutritional value. So I did some research, thought of what I'd like to add to a hearty chili and what would add some more *ooomph* to it. Walnuts here act as the sub for ground meat. Something I've been seeing a lot lately (walnut taco "meat" as one to be exact), and why not toss it into my chili? They are filled with Vitamin E, Omega 3, fiber & protein. In my opinion, WAY better (and healthier) than eating real ground beef, plus they add a bit of a soft crunch/texture to your chili. And I'm kind of going through an obsession with sweet potatoes ATM, so why not through those in too (a great source of Vitamin A & B6. just sayin).
Check this chili out! It's not on the spicy side of chilis, but that's where your creative abilities come in. Throw in some additional peppers, or double up on that chili pepper. All to your preference! I was looking for something warm and comforting that wouldn't burn my mouth, but if that's what you like, do it upppppp. Enjoy! xx Sam.
I N G R E D I E N T S:
1 dry pint of cherry tomatoes, diced/halved
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 15oz can of red kidney beans, drained & rinsed (or sub any bean you like!)
1 cup of peeled & cubed sweet potato
1 cup of walnuts, chopped roughly
3 Tbs of tomato paste
1 Tbs of chili powder (more if you enjoy a spicy chili)
1 tsp of paprika
1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp of organic cane sugar
Salt & pepper to taste!
PREP: If serving with rice or a grain, start that now! Diced up your veggies and chop those walnuts.
COOK: In a large pot over medium heat, add a small splash of olive oil. Once hot, toss in the onions & tomatoes with the chili powder, paprika, red pepper flakes & a generous dash of salt. As the tomatoes are sauteing, you'll be able to start pushing down on them with the back of your wooden spoon. Smash them up well to get those juices out & cookin! After about 8-10 minutes, toss in the walnuts and stir to cook for another minute. Then the sweet potato + beans, and toss to combine. Pour in 2 cups of water, and increase heat to high. Bring to a boil.
SIMMMMMER: Once your chili begins to boil, add in the tomato paste and sugar to combine well. Reduce to medium low and cover- cook for 10-12 minutes while stirring only occasionally. Next, remove the lid and reduce again to low. Simmer uncovered for 10 additional minutes to thicken up. When its finished, you'll notice how thick and chili-like it's become. If you'd like more texture, use an immersion hand blender to just blend verrrry slightly (like in 2 small spots of the pot!). Taste and adjust with more salt & pepper. Serve!