Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Sweet Potato Lentil Chili

This recipe I first started playing around with over a year ago, before deciding to work on this new book. I had some scribbled notes hanging around and remembered how much I liked the addition of lentils and sweet potatoes (aka yams in Canada) in a modified chili recipe.

It was SO freaking cold last week (for Vancouver, folks) that I finished off this Sweet Potato Lentil Chili recipe. It's even better than the first few times I made it last year. The seasonings are a little different than a traditional chili, and it is a favorite new stew for me.

See in the pic, that kidney bean sitting sort of in the middle-right of the photo (show-off!), well there's a nice chunk of sweet potato underneath propping up that showy bean, and to bite into that sweet potato along with the spice of the chili is - well, incredible. Delicious. Soul-soothing on a cold winter day. Yeah, yeah, yeah, cold for Vancouver.


Anonymous said...

Hooray! Another lovely recipe in the finished pile!! Sounds yummy - I love lentils AND sweet potatoes. Your "yam fries" (EV) have been featuring regularly in our meals!


Sweet Pea said...

That does look good. I'm sure it makes for great leftovers once the ingredients have had a chance to party. :-)

It's cold here too (Ottawa). It always catches me by surprise. At least the sun is shining (we've had a very dark autumn).

Julie said...

Your recipes are looking fabulous for the upcoming book!

Do you do anything special w/ the leftovers? I thought you said once you sometimes make burritos. Or maybe I'm way off. :]

Kris said...

Looks fantasic, Dreena. You're combining some of my favorite things! This cold snap has been crazy, we've been experiencing it down here, too.

Alexis said...

Oh man, I want this recipe right now. It would be so perfect for the weather and I love lentils and sweet potatoes. I might just have to figure out my own recipe, though I'm sure it won't be as good as yours...are you sure you wouldn't be willing to heap mercy on the masses and tell us how to make it? :-)

Sarah said...

Hi Dreena,

This looks so delish! If you need a tester, please please let me know!

Sarah :)

Eat Peace Please said...

Dreena, this looks amazing. It looks so warm and comforting, and sort of like my fav, Sloppy Lenties, but not.

Does this one need any more *testing?!

laura jesser said...

You're adding so many wonderful looking recipes! This chili would be incredible right now in our abnormally cold weather (or anytime really). I agree that sweet potato + chili spices is a wonderful thing to taste. I can't wait to see what kind of non-traditional chili spices you used here!

*a* said...

Oh, heavens! Does a combination get any better than lentils and sweet potatoes?! I think not! Looks divine, Dreena!

b36Kitchen said...

ooooooooh how i love sweet potatoes in chili! i've never had lentils in a chili before but was just thinking about using them in one a few weeks ago...but never got around to it.


jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

I can feel the warmth! I've yet to try sweet potatoes in chili, but I have had sweet squash in chili, and judging my how tasty that was, I *really* look forward to this.

Anonymous said...

I just got your Vive le Vegan! book and I'm very excited to try some of the recipes. I have noticed that some of them call for curry paste. I'm wondering what kind you usually like to buy and where you can get it?

Thank You! and thanks for a great book too! :)

Dreena said...

Thanks Maureen, I love having you in my cheering section! :) (and glad you are liking those fries)

So true, Sweet Pea - chilis are always better after refrigerating a day or two. It's warming up here again - thank goodness!!

Hi Julie, yeah, sometimes with a very thick chili I'll either put leftovers in a taco shell (sometimes with quinoa) and add toppings, or I'll roll up into a burrito with rice or other add-ins... or, one could always make a chimi! :) :)

Thanks Kris, ugh, I'm sympathizing with you... cold is not for me - get out your hot chocolate, slippers and favorite soup recipes!!

Hi Alexis, well... you can all get a sneak peak of the recipe a little early - it will be in the March/April issue of VegNews. I know that may seem too long away, but it's still cool in March, and you can make up a big batch then... will that help some? :)

Thanks Sarah, I'm okay with this one, but if there is another recipe down the line that excites you, feel free to ask again!!

Hiya Les, thanks... I'm "done" as far as testing is needed, but thanks for offering your help! I do love the lentils in it... such friendly legumes. :)

Thanks Laura, it's terrific to hear so much enthusiasm for these new recipes... I can't wait to get these recipes out to you all!

Aw, thanks Aimee, I do love the combination too - so comforting!

Thanks Jenna, and definitely give them a try - they thicken the chili nicely in addition to just tasting wonderful.

Now Jess, I've never had winter squash in chili - but I bet that's good too! I am a sucker for sweet potatoes, so it's natural for me to reach for these before winter squash... try it out sometime though, it's super!

Anonymous, thank you so much. I use just a mild curry paste - I switch up the brands from time to time. Nothing too spicy, just a mild variety, you can find something in your grocery store aisle. Let me know if you have other questions about the recipes, and thanks! :)

Anonymous said...

I have a few questions about using different flour;wheat free, spelt and kamut mostly. I hope you don't mind me posting here to you. My 7 yr old son is very sensitive to wheat along with many other foods, allergens and I am learning to cook with different flours for him. I have both your cookbooks which I love and use all the time and it is great having so many wheat free options for him. His fav is your chocolate chip cookies that I make for him with spelt flour and carob chips.

If I am changing a recipe to spelt flour is a 1/4 cup extra to every cup usually or does it depend what I am making? Curious about kamut flour if you know how to change a recipe from wheat flour?

Also curious if there is a brand of soy cheese you, or anyone has found that is good for melting. We live in Ontario. He can't have dairy and misses grilled cheese sandwhiches. I have found kamut bread he likes but still searching for a good soy cheese.

Thank you for your help and for your wonderful recipes. Have a great day. Keri

Carrie™ said...

Dreena, I've been checking in to see what's happening, but have had no time to comment, so here goes - Sniffle Soup is an awesome name, very catchy. It sounds really good too. Now that it's coming up for soup weather, I'm going to test your Tomato Lentil Dill soup. We finally got some snow here. I can't believe the weather you had and Ontario and the East Coast were snow free. That's a switch!
I know some people don't care for cumin, but I'm a cumin lover and also a lime lover. The two together with tofu...awesome! And the chili!!! The picture looks so delicious. This one sounds like a "stick to your ribs" kind of dish. I can't wait to give that one a whirl. I just can't wait for this cookbook!

Anonymous said...


I do not eat any kind of white flour, and I see you try to avoid it also. I was curious, what brands of wraps do you usually like to buy and where do you get them? I live in Canada also!

Dreena said...

Hi Keri, I'm totally fine with you posting your q's here. So, to start with the flours. The adjustment for spelt *does* depend somewhat on the recipe. For my cookie recipes, where I may use 1 cup of unbleached all-purpose flour, I generally find that the cookie batter needs an extra 3-4 tbsp of spelt. Sometimes even just 2-3, but usually 3-4. With other baked goods like cakes and muffins, I try to be specific in the recipe, because again it can vary. If you want to play around with my (and other) recipes yourself and sub spelt flour for white, I recommend another 2 tbsp per cup to start. You may need to get a feel for the batter during mixing and if it's still too wet add another tablespoon if needed. But even the 2 tbsp should help in most cases. As for cheeses, there are two that we use - VeganRella, and to a lesser extent, Vegan Gourmet by Follow Your Heart. We use Vegan Rella more because our girls prefer it, and also I like that it is rice-based. However, whether your son likes either of these cheese may be a matter of palate adjustment! If you were to give a cheese-eater vegan cheese, my guess is that they would be disgusted by it. We enjoy the vegan cheeses occasionally, but we no longer 'crave' cheese, and so when we eat it, it's more for the enjoyment of what it is, rather than what we might be 'hoping' it tastes like (ie cow cheese). That being said, both our girls LOVE grilled cheeses using the vegan rella, and of course, with ketchup for dipping! Good luck!! :)

Hiya Carrie... thanks for all of that! I look forward to your thoughts on that soup - I'm sure you enjoyed the little winter reprieve there... and I'm now enjoying the milder temps now!! :)

Anonymous, I always buy the Que Pasa brand of whole-wheat tortillas. They are the only brand that I have found locally that do not contain hydrogenated oils. They are also available in white flour, but I go with the whole wheat. I buy the 10", but they also have a smaller size - and also corn tortillas. Choices carries them, and I think Capers in Vancouver, and you can also get them through SPUD if you do not have either of those stores nearby. Good luck. :)

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Jeremy said...

I'm making this for lunch today. I think I'll try to shoot it, but I don't think it will be as pretty as your picture!

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Anonymous said...

Mine didn't look quite as beautiful as that picture, but it sure was delicious! It was a hit! All the nonvegans at the table loved it!