As you might have noticed on this blog, I am a big chilli fan. So far I’ve done a beef chilli, a quorn chilli and a quick beany chilli, so now comes…a sweet potato chilli. This easy chilli is packed full of vegetables and has turned out to be vegan – great if you are doing Veganuary or if you are trying to eat a bit more healthily in 2016.
I got the idea for this whilst watching Jamie Oliver’s recent programme on superfoods. He went to the island of Okinawa, in Japan, where the residents often live into their 90s and beyond, and discovered that one of the reasons behind their longevity is that they eat a lot of sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are apparently one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet: full of fibre, vitamins and antioxidants.
Well that got me thinking…I need to eat more sweet potatoes…what goes with sweet potatoes…? And that was it, I was off daydreaming about all the lovely things that could go with sweet potatoes. Consequently, I have no idea what happened in the rest of the programme (sorry Jamie), but I did enjoy the rest of the series and it has definitely inspired me to eat more superfoods. I’m hoping this recipe is a good start!!
Not only does this chilli contain the superduperfood that is sweet potato, it also contains chilli (obviously!), garlic, pinto beans and coriander – all pretty super foods too. Chilli is especially good being full of vitamins and minerals and apparently having all sorts of health benefits.
Avocados are also considered a superfood, being a great source of healthy fats, as well as having more potassium than a banana, apparently. So, to go with the sweet potato chilli, I have made a little avocado salad…I’m a big fan of avocados and I love the flavours of guacamole, but I often find the flavour of the avocado gets a little bit lost in amongst all the other flavours when everything is blended together, so I came up with the (not especially revolutionary) idea of putting all the flavours of guacamole together but not blitzing it to a puree. The result is lovely – all the flavours are there, but you can still taste the flavour of the avocado.
Finally, to stick with the superfood theme, I’ve served the sweet potato chilli and avocado salad with some wholesome brown rice, which I have to say, I actually prefer to white rice. More surprisingly so does my little boy, who always wolfs down his portion of brown rice and asks for more **polishes her mummy halo**.
Would it be wrong to suggest a wine match with this? They do say a small glass of red wine a day is supposed to be good for you…so (if you are doing Dry January, look away now), I suggest a Chilean Sauvignon Blanc would work nicely here or perhaps, and this is a bit leftfield, I think a gin and tonic works well with this type of food, but maybe that’s just me?
Sweet Potato Chilli with Brown Rice and Avocado Salad (Vegan)
- 200 g brown rice
- 500 ml boiling water
- ½ teaspoon salt
Sweet Potato Chilli:
- 750 g sweet potato peeled and chopped into 1cm cubes
- Olive oil
- 1 onion sliced
- 2 cloves garlic crushed or chopped finely
- ½ teaspoon chilli flakes or to taste
- 2 teaspoons mild chilli powder
- 350 ml passata I use Cirio Passata Rustica
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tin pinto beans
- ½ lime plus extra for wedges to serve
- 1 tablespoon coriander plus extra for garnish
- 1 Avocado chopped fairly small
- 10 cherry tomatoes chopped fairly small
- 1 spring onion finely sliced
- Juice of 1 lime
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- A few leaves of coriander
- Put the brown rice, boiling water and salt in a medium pan and bring back to the boil over a high heat. Turn the heat down low, put a lid on and cook for 20 minutes. Then turn off and leave for 5 minutes, by which time all the water should have been absorbed and the rice should be cooked, but should still have a bit of bite to it.
Sweet Potato Chilli:
- Put the cubes of sweet potato in a medium pan and cover with boiling water. Cook for 8 minutes on a medium heat, then drain.
- Drizzle a little olive oil in a wide, deep saucepan and add the onions. Cook on a low heat with the lid on for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened but not brown. Add the garlic, chilli flakes and chilli powder and cook for one more minute, then add the drained sweet potato, passata, pinto beans and the juice of half a lime plus a little salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and then turn down low and cook uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- After 10 minutes add the chopped coriander and stir. Turn off the heat. Serve with lime wedges and scattered with some more coriander.
- While the chilli is cooking, make the avocado salad. First put the avocado into a serving bowl, then add the tomatoes, spring onions and lime juice.
- Drizzle over the olive oil and sprinkle on some salt and pepper, then give it all a little stir.
- Garnish with a coriander and serve with the chilli and rice.