Recipe - Sweet Potato Quinoa Chili

A friend of ours recently held a potluck dinner get-together, and the theme requested was for all the dishes to be vegetarian. Considering how we have somehow recently found ourselves cooking less and less meat (not sure how this is happening...), the request was not too far-fetched and I decided I should also try to make it vegan. Since I'm still new to it all, I looked up ideas that would be hearty and easy to make since I wouldn't have much time to prep. Luckily for me, Duc was home to prep the ingredients so all I had to do was dump things together! The recipe itself was tweaked from the one here, and everyone seemed to enjoy how it resemble traditional chili quite well without being so. However, if you really are hankering for a meaty chili, try checking out this one here: Pink Bean Chili. Oh and bear in mind that this vegetarian one still has a spicy kick to it!

Step 1: Ingredients (yields 6-8 servings)

  • 1 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 bulb garlic, minced (~5 cloves)
  • 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp ground chipotle
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 2 cups sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 1/2 cups black beans, cooked (or 1 can drained and rinsed, 15 oz)
  • 1 1/2 cups kidney beans, cooked (or 1 can drained and rinsed, 15 oz)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, 15 oz (fresh may be too watery when cooked down)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup quinoa, dry
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

Step 2: Prepping ingredients
There are certainly a lot of components to this chili but it's necessary! The spices really make it. In a large pot or Dutch oven on medium heat, warm up some oil and add onion. Cook until edges start to turn brown; add garlic. In a separate bowl, mix together tomato paste, chipotle, cumin, paprika, oregano, garlic powder, and onion powder. Then add to the pot and combine thoroughly.

Step 3: Finishing
Easy peasy. Stir in sweet potato, beans, tomatoes, and water. Add quinoa and bring whole concoction to a boil before reducing to a simmer. Cover askew so the lid is open a little and cook for an addition 30-45 minutes depending on how thick you want it. To prevent burning, stir every once in a while. It's done when the sweet potatoes are soft!

Photography by Duc Duong.