Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili

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More and more research is coming out that is supporting vegetarian diets as a healthy eating pattern for people of all ages. In America everyone is always focused on what meat they are going to have at their meals. “We’re having steak for dinner”… okay, but what else? Try to shift your focus away from the meat occasionally, and instead, consider everything else that should fill up your plate, like whole grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits.

The particular recipe I’m about to share with you includes two of my favorite things: sweet potatoes and black beans. Growing up I wouldn’t go near a bean, so it’s crazy to say now that they are one of my favorite foods. I don’t like to eat beans by the spoonful by any means, but I love to add them to recipes whenever I possibly can. Why? Because I’ll never forget what one of my preceptors said to me during my dietetic internship: “If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only bring one food with you, it should be beans. They are one of the healthiest foods because they provide everything you need.” Think about it. They’ve got tons of fiber, plant-based protein, and they are a great source of complex carbohydrates. They’re also loaded with vitamins and minerals, and low in fat. You really can’t go wrong. Beans, beans, the magical fruit. The song was right all along.

So, needless to say, beans are providing most of the plant-based protein in this delicious meatless chili, and if you throw some avocado on top at the end, you’ve got yourself a good dose of healthy fats as well.

Further Food Nutritionist Commentary:

Shanna's sweet potato black bean chili is the poster child for nutrient dense meals. Packed with nearly half a days worth of fiber and ample protein, you can kiss those hunger pains goodbye. Fiber is known for keeping the digestive system in check but it is responsible for so much more than that. For starters, soluble fiber may help slow the breakdown of carbs and rate of sugar absorption which helps with blood sugar control. Second of all, a high fiber diet has been shown to decrease your risk of heart disease. This recipe doesn’t stop at fiber, the sweet potatoes add a surplus of vitamin A, great for skin and eye health!

By Ale Zozos

Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Servings: 6

Ingredients

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium sweet yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon chili powder
3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth/vegetable broth
3 medium unpeeled sweet potatoes cut into ¾-inch cubes, about 4 cups (or 1- 16 ounce package of cubed sweet potatoes)
1- 15.5 ounce can no salt added diced tomatoes
1 cup corn, frozen or canned
1 lime (use juice of 1/2 lime, and other 1/2 as garnish)
2 (15.5-ounce) cans no salt added black beans, drained and rinsed
Optional toppings: chopped avocado, wedges of fresh lime, plain Greek yogurt
Whole Grain Tortilla Chips or Beanitos Chips

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion and minced garlic. Sauté for 3 or 4 minutes until onion is translucent. Add spices; cook and stir about a minute until fragrant using a spatula.
  2. Add broth, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and corn. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat, then cover. Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are tender.
  3. Stir in black beans and squeeze the juice of 1/2 lime over the top. Heat through for a few more minutes.
  4. Serve with toppings of choice and tortilla chips
Heat olive oil in 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion and minced garlic. Sauté for 3 or 4 minutes until onion is translucent. Add spices; cook and stir about a minute until fragrant using a spatula. Add broth, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and corn. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat, then cover. Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are tender. Stir in black beans and squeeze the juice of 1/2 lime over the top. Heat through for a few more minutes. Serve with toppings of choice and tortilla chips

Nutrition Information

Per Serving:  Calories: 281; Total Fat: 5 g; Saturated Fat: 1 g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2 g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 0 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 366 mg; Potassium: 411 mg; Carbohydrate: 50 g;  Fiber: 12 g; Sugar: 9 g; Protein: 11 g
Nutrition Bonus:
Vitamin C: 16%; Vitamin A: 261%; Iron: 19%; Calcium: 12%;
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