This is what winter is all about – spicy, hearty and healthy! This was a delicious one-pot dinner for a very frigid winter night. I made this for dinner on the second to last day of my cleanse and it was hard to believe this was not only healthy, but cleanse-friendly. I had been avoiding corn throughout my entire cleanse, though I just couldn’t resist adding it to this stew, not only for taste, but for the lovely “pop” of the bright sunshine color in an already beautiful dish. Though this dish is vegan, it would satisfy the most ravenous of meat eaters, Mark was raving about it, which can be hard to get him to do sometimes without meat. It is reminiscent of chili but is a combination of flavors unlike any chili I have ever had. The subtle sweetness from the sweet potatoes is so perfectly unexpected. I personally love spicy, so I kept the seeds in on both the jalapeño and chipotle pepper, this stew had a pretty nice kick to it. If you don’t like spicy, you can certainly choose one over the other on the spicy peppers or leave out the seeds. The splash of fresh lime juice is such a perfect compliment to all the flavors and really brings a nice brightness to the dish. If you don’t like black beans or don’t have any on hand, so many other beans would work well in this dish, kidney, pinto, navy, etc. I also think this stew would be great with butternut squash or pumpkin, as well. If you aren’t vegan or on a cleanse and you love your cheese, grate some nice extra-sharp cheddar cheese on top of this stew when you serve it. It would be incredible. Avocado or sour cream would also be great on top. And, if you really like the heat, a few squirts of your favorite hot sauce when serving, would give you another kick of spice. Please do yourself and make this super easy and hearty stew before winter is over and you regret it.
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Stew
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 small-medium organic sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch cubes (you basically want about 1 1/2 pounds of sweet potato)
2 small onions, peeled and roughly diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, seeds removed and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1 jalapeño, diced (I left the seeds in, I like spicy, take them out if you don’t)
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 dried chipotle pepper, roughly chopped, again seeds left in
3 cups organic low sodium vegetable broth
1 – 15 ounce can organic black beans, no salt added, rinsed and drained
1 – 28 ounce can diced organic fire-roasted tomatoes
1 1/2 cups frozen organic sweet corn
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped, plus more for serving
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, plus more for serving
3 green onions, thinly sliced
Heat olive oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add sweet potatoes, onion, garlic, red pepper and jalapeño, stir well to coat. Sauté until onion and peppers are slightly soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add in the chili powder, cumin, salt, and chopped chipotle pepper, still well to combine. Add in the vegetable broth and diced tomatoes (including all the juice in the can). Bring the stew to a boil, stirring well to combine all the ingredients and remove any stuck bits or spices at the bottom of the pot, reduce the heat to a simmer, add in the frozen corn and allow it to cook 15-20 minutes longer or until the sweet potatoes are fork-tender.
Just before serving add the fresh cilantro and lime juice to the stew, season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve in large soup bowls, top with a bit more fresh cilantro and green onions, you can add an additional squeeze of lime, if desired. Enjoy.