Eating locally-sourced food in season is a good idea on so many levels — it benefits the environment, small farmers, nutrition, local economy and taste. I never liked eating raw tomatoes, in fact, until I tried a slice of a Striped Roman during a bike tour of the community gardens in Detroit. I had only eaten tomatoes grown hundreds of miles away, and that long journey to the store surely affects the taste.
Here’s a recipe for black bean and sweet potato chili using local black beans, sweet potatoes and tomatoes (all from Local Harvest!). Gosh, those tomatoes are to die for. I’m surprised I had any left to make this chili.
Note: I made my own chili powder for this instead of using a store-bought blend, but feel free to substitute 3 tbsp. chili powder for the paprika, cumin, cinnamon and cayenne, if you prefer it.
Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp. paprika
- 1 tbsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne
- 3 large tomatoes, diced
- 2-3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped (optional)
- 3 cups cooked black beans
- 2 tbsp. cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp. molasses
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4-1/2 cup filtered water, to desired consistency
- Preheat olive oil on medium high in a large pot. Add onions and stir for 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and spices. Stir constantly for another minute.
- Add tomatoes and stir for several minutes. Mix in cocoa powder, molasses and salt, and then add the black beans and sweet potatoes. Add water to desired consistency. Cover and simmer on low for 30 minutes, until sweet potatoes are soft.
Yield: 4-6 servings