Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Sweet Potato Quinoa Chili

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It is so cold here. I can feel my patience chipping away every second this deep freeze that Toronto seems to have sunk itself into lasts. It's gotten to the point where my mood instantly plummets in the morning if I check the weather and see that it is yet another extreme cold weather alert, or the windchill is taking the already cold -15 to an absolutely frigid -28. Seriously friends, I can't stand it any more. I need spring. Better yet, let's just rock right through to summer.

I know coming home from China was a choice, and I even know it was the right one, but living with the knowledge that our old city of Shenzhen is sitting around +20 degrees and our old school is on a two week break for Chinese New Year which is usually our best travelling opportunity - well it's really just adding to the crankiness around these parts. Bah humbug, as they say.

So, when I'm cold, and cranky, you can usually find me in one place - on the couch, wrapped in a blanket, eating a big bowl of something warm and comforting. This week it's this Sweet Potato Quinoa Chili that features black beans and a hint of chipotle that really sends it over the edge in terms of yumminess. I made a huge big batch in anticipation of many more chilly nights to come (pun not intended, but kept it because I really appreciate my brain sometimes).

As with most things that come from my kitchen, this is really flexible depending on what you have in your fridge or pantry, and I encourage you to play around to find your own favourite combinations.

How do you cope with constant cold? For real, please tell me, I need some new strategies!

Enjoy and keep reading for the recipe!

Sweet Potato Quinoa Chili

1 Tbsp oil (I use coconut but feel free to use whichever oil you most often use for cooking)
1/2 large yellow onion, diced
2 small-medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite size pieces
3 cloves garlic
1/2 - 1 tsp ground cumin
1-2 tsp chipotle hot sauce (or 1/2 tsp of chipotle powder)
1/2 tsp chili powder (we have super extra spicy chili powder so a small amount is all we need - if you have less spicy, more normal chili powder use more at your discretion)
1/4-1/2 tsp salt
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
1 small can corn (or 1-2 ears of fresh if you can get it - cooked and cut from the cob)
1 can black beans
1 can red kidney beans
1/2 cup dry, uncooked quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth (optional, I used it to help the quinoa along, but I'm not convinced I needed it)


  1. Heat oil in large heavy bottomed pot - a french oven works great if you've got one!
  2. Add onions and sweet potato to the pot and cook until the onions are translucent and the sweet potato is just starting to soften
  3. Stir in the garlic, cumin, chipotle, chili powder, and salt
  4. Next mix in the crushed tomatoes, corn, beans, quinoa and broth if you're using it.
  5. Bring the mixture to a boil and then lower the heat, cover and simmer for about 25 minutes or until the sweet potato is fully cooked
  6. Serve and enjoy!

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