Black Bean Chili With Sweet Potato Fries

Serves 6 to 8.

Note: This makes 4 cups of chili. For individual servings, portion a handful of “fries” topped with 1/2 cup of hot chili and a couple of tablespoons of cheese. Or just pile it all on a platter and let people serve themselves. You’ll need forks! From Robin Asbell.

• 3 tbsp. olive oil, divided

• 1 large onion, chopped

• 1 large carrot, chopped

• 1/2 large green pepper, chopped

• 2 garlic cloves, chopped

• 1 (15-oz.) can black beans, with juices

• 1 (15-oz.) can diced tomato, with juices

• 2 tsp. ground cumin

• 1 tbsp. chili powder

• 1/2 tsp. dried oregano

• 1 tsp. salt, divided

• 2 lb. sweet potato (about 2 medium)

• 1/2 tsp. paprika

• 8 oz. shredded Cheddar cheese, or nondairy cheese

• 1/2 c. chopped fresh cilantro


In a large, heavy pot, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat and sauté onions until soft but not browned. Add carrot, green pepper and garlic, and sauté 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the black beans and tomatoes, each with their liquids, cumin, chili powder, oregano and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, covered. Chili should be thick.

While the chili simmers, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. To slice the sweet potatoes, cut a thin piece off the length of the potato to make a flat base. With the potato resting on the cut side, cut away the sides to form a rough rectangle, then peel any remaining skin with a paring knife. Cut the rectangle into long, thin slices, then stack the slices and cut in thin French-fry-sized strips.

On 2 sheet pans, toss the sweet potato slices with 2 tablespoons olive oil, paprika and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Roast for 20 minutes, depending on thickness; test by piercing a slice with a sharp knife. When the sweet potatoes are tender in the center, take out and keep warm. Turn the oven to broil.

For each portion, spread sweet potato slices on an ovenproof plate, cover with a ladle of chili, and top with grated cheese. Place plates under the broiler to brown the cheese, and sprinkle with cilantro at serving.

Nutrition information per each of 8 servings:

Calories 310 Fat 15 g Sodium 770 mg

Carbohydrates 32 g Saturated fat 6 g Total sugars 8 g

Protein 13 g Cholesterol 30 mg Dietary fiber 9 g

Exchanges per serving: 2 starch, 1 lean protein, 2 ½ fat.