Chili and I go WAY back, as evidenced here and here, but as much as I love beefing it up, so to speak, with chicken, ground turkey or beef, now and then I get the urge to get my vegetable on. This Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili hits the veggie sweet spot.
It’s also good for your heart. Not in the warm, fuzzy kind of way. It’s really good for your heart. Heart health wasn’t something we thought too much about in my house – we’ve always leaned toward healthier options with the occasional splurge – until my perfectly healthy, runner husband had a massive heart attack in 2012. Out of the blue. Right in front of me. #yikes
Thankfully, oh so thankfully, a week in the hospital, a bajillion dollars in medical expenses, another jillion in prescription drugs, a stent, one Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) later and it was back to our regularly scheduled lives, except not so much. My hubs had a near fatal heart attack – they actually call it a WIDOWMAKER because most people don’t survive them. #yikes2times
The heart is a fickle, mysterious thing because Rob, my husband, had none of the usual precursors for this type or any type of heart attack. No high cholesterol, high blood pressure, years of unhealthy eating or family history. Zilch. Nada. Yet he still ended up being helicoptered to Medstar Washington Hospital Center where some uber-talented doctors and nurses saved his life. #hallelujah
In the years since, I’ve learned a ton about how the foods we choose can heal and fortify our bodies in the same way my husband’s life of exercise and smart eating kept that heart attack from killing him. #hallelujah2times
Sweet potatoes and black beans happen to be two extremely heart healthy foods. They’re full of antioxidants and nutrients – carotenoids, fiber and B-vitamins – that can strengthen your heart and prevent heart disease. In this particular recipe they replace meat in a chili that’s still ridiculously hearty. For reals. You will not miss the meat (although you can add it if you like).
The slow cooker makes it a breeze to get on the table. Just dump and go. I got to make this recipe with my friends in the Mr. Food Test Kitchen a while ago. You can check out the video here:
Take care of your hearts and the people you heart. Feed them this chili!
- 2-3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 (14-1/2-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
- 2 (15-1/4-ounce) cans black beans, undrained
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Stir all ingredients together in a large slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on high for 4 hours, until potatoes are fork tender.
- Optional: Garnish with sour cream, avocado.