After a week of skiing out west on sunny 55-degree days, we arrived home to driving sleet and temperatures in the 20s. It’s a bracing return that has us all a bit discombobulated. We find ourselves feeling a bit blue missing the spectacular mountain vistas and days filled with exercise that left us exhilaratingly exhausted at the end of the day.
To temper the chill and our mood, we took solace in this Sweet Potato and Carrot Black Bean Chili with a Cilantro Lime Crema. The inky black beans are brightened with the ochre tones of sweet potatoes and carrots, which lifts our spirits and turned out to be a soothing antidote for combating the “back to reality,” late winter blues.
The key to this dish is the Country Game Seasoning by Spiced. While I am not a lover of game, it was the spicy notes of chili that spoke to me when I opened the tin. Added to the Sweet Potato and Carrot Black Bean Chili, the Country Game Seasoning brightens this dish with a kick of spice that makes traditional chile powder seem a bit heavy this time of year. To cool things down a bit, I quickly stir together a Cilantro Lime Crema that puts to use fresh cilantro from this week’s farmers market. A dollop not only adds a fresh bite, but after a stir through, enables me to eat a piping hot bowl without hesitation.
A Sweet Potato and Carrot Black Bean Chili is easily made and the only effort involves peeling during prep. The heat and the spice take care of the rest. At the end of about 40 minutes cooking time, you have something hot, mildly spicy (or wildly, depending on your mood) and completely satisfying, providing a much-needed lift to both body and spirit.
Visit the Great Falls Farmers Market this Saturday, March 25 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to pick up your Veggie Pack with all the vegetables needed to make this recipe, including a sample of Country Game Seasoning, thanks to Spiced.
If you are not local, click here to visit Spiced and order your own tin. I receive no compensation for recommending Spiced. Their cold-processing captures the true flavor of herbs, vegetables and spices, making them particularly pungent. A little goes a very long way. I think you will like!
- 2 Tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil
- 1 medium onion
- 4 cups sweet potato, peeled and cubed (about 1 large and 1 medium potato)
- 2 cups large carrots, peeled and cubed (about 2 very large)
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 2 15.5 oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed (look for cans with BPA-free lining)
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste (BPA-free lined cans or jar)
- 1 26.48 oz. box San Marzano crushed tomatoes*
- ½ box of filtered water
- 1 ½ - 2 Tablespoons (divided) Spiced Country Game Seasoning or your favorite chili powder blend
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 cup sour cream, creme fraiche, or Tofutti (v)
- 1 lime, zested and cut in half
- ⅓ cup minced cilantro leaves
- ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
- sea salt and pepper, to taste
- In a large stockpot, heat the oil for about a minute over medium heat, add onion and sauté until onion is softenend, about 5 minutes. (it should gently sizzle in the pan)
- Add sweet potatoes, carrots and garlic. Stir to combine and sauté vegetables until the orange vegetables turn glossy and bright, about 5 minutes.
- Add 1 Tablespoon of Spiced Country Game Seasoning or chili powder, stir to combine until spice is evenly distributed, about 1 minute.
- Add the tomato paste, stir and coat vegetables until thoroughly combined and tomato paste just begins to stick to the pan.
- Add the box of tomatoes, fill the empty box halfway with water (try to grab any leftover tomatoes stuck to the side of the box), add to pot.
- Add cumin.
- Stir to combine. Taste seasonings and add salt or more chili seasoning, if necessary. (I added ½ Tablespoon Spiced's Country Game Seasoning as it is spicy and my kids are still sensitive to lots of spice. If it were just for me, I would add more!)
- Bring to a boil over high heat, then immediately lower heat to low, cover pot halfway and simmer until vegetables are soft, about 35-40 minutes.
- In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream, zest of a lime and juice of ½ lime. Taste and season with salt and a little pepper.
- Add the cilantro and stir to combine.
- Top a bowl of chili with a dollop of the Crema, offering extra chopped cilantro on the side
- Other great toppings include: Chopped spring onions or green garlic, cooked bacon, shredded cheese