Slow Cooker Night: Sweet Potato Chili

20130118-092625.jpg I am always searching for alternative chili recipes. I love the idea of a warming bowl of beans and spices, but truth be told, standard red chili is not my favorite thing to eat. I once blamed my dislike of chili on the chili powder, but I have come to realize that it is the combination of tomato paste and kidney bean that I do not love (and this coming from a lover of beans!).

When I stumbled upon a recipe for chili in Real Simple using sweet potatoes and no tomato paste, I knew I had to try it with a few adaptations of my own. And, boy, am I glad that I did! This chili will warm your chilled body and make your taste buds happy! The notes of cocoa and cinnamon combine so perfectly with the sweet potato, yet the sweetness does not overpower. Instead, the sweetness mellows out the intensity of heat from the fire roasted tomatoes. All the ingredients play on one another to make a perfectly harmonious dish that will greet you comfortably as you come home from work. It pairs nicely with a winter beer like Snow Day from Fat Tire Brewery.

Let me know how you like it, if you give it a try in your kitchen.

20130118-092604.jpg 20130118-092611.jpg

Sweet Potato Chili

INGREDIENTS 1 medium yellow onion, chopped 1 red bell pepper, chopped 4 garlic cloves, minced 1 tablespoon chili powder 1 tablespoon ground cumin 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon kosher salt 1 14-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes 1 15.5-ounce can black beans, rinsed 1 15.5-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed 2 medium sweet potatoes (about 12 ounces), peeled and cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces 1/2 cup. beef broth sour cream, sliced scallions, sliced radishes, shredded sharp cheddar, and tortilla chips, for serving

DIRECTIONS In a slow cooker, combine the onion, pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, cocoa, cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon salt. Add the tomatoes (and their liquid), beans, sweet potato, beef broth, and 1 cup water. Cover and cook until the sweet potatoes are tender and the chili has thickened, on low for 7 to 8 hours. Serve the chili with the sour cream, scallions, radishes, cheese, and tortilla chips.