Satisfying Vegetarian Chili for the Last Nights of Winter

By Board Member Amy Pritchard

Oh, Arkansas winters! Last weekend, I sat on my porch in the 70 degree weather and planned my garden. This weekend, we’re reminded it’s still winter!  February reminds us that spring is just around the corner, but we’re not quite there yet!

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Even though the spring vegetable season has not yet begun, you can still make a great local meal.  Chili is my favorite winter meal, because they are so easy to make with whatever you have on hand. Some weeks, I make complex meals from scratch. Other weeks, I’m too busy to even think about cooking. A chili is a great option for either: you can make it ahead for the week, or make an elegant meal.  Chili is very forgiving: just throw in whatever you have in whatever ratios you prefer, and you’ll have a great meal!  

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I based this week’s recipe on Minimalist Baker’s 5 Ingredient Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili following the general instructions, but substituting in the ingredients I had on hand.  I used butternut squash, but the market still has some sweet potatoes available.  I added canned tomatoes instead of salsa. While I had planned to cook the black beans from scratch using ALFN’s bulk black beans, I ended up using canned beans.  For my spices, I chose chili, cumin, and chipotle (I love the smoky taste of chipotle. For added depth, add a canned chipotle in adobo sauce).  Let it all simmer together, and, voila!

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