Sweet Potato Black Bean Stew
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil
- 3 medium sweet potatoes, chopped into cubes
- 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- ½ large white onion, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, chopped
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika chicken taco seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- juice of 1 lime
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
- 1 15.5-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
- salt and black pepper to taste
- In a small bowl or cup, measure out the dry spices: chili powder, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, cloves, and smoked paprika chicken taco seasoning.
- Wash produce and set aside to dry.
- Mince garlic and ginger and set aside.
- Chop sweet potato, red pepper, onion, and jalapeno.
- In a large pot, heat peanut oil over medium-high heat. Cook sweet potato, red pepper, onion, jalapeno, garlic, and ginger for about 5 minutes, or until pepper and onion are tender.
- Stir in spices and lower to medium heat. Cook, covered, for 7 or 8 minutes or until sweet potato is tender, stirring occasionally. Pour in chicken broth, black beans, and diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once stew has begun to boil, lower heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.
- While stew is simmering, wash and chop cilantro.
- Juice 1 lime into a bowl and add 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar. After stew has simmered for 15 minutes, test sweet potato for doneness by sticking through with a knife. If sweet potato still needs cooking, cook, covered, on low heat for 5 minutes. When sweet potato is done, turn off heat and stir in lime juice, red wine vinegar, and chopped cilantro.
- Add salt and black pepper to taste.
- Serve with whole wheat pasta and yogurt or sour cream.
It’s raining here. It’s been raining all day, and it rained all day yesterday. If this weather were a song, it would be “Hello” by Adele—all in that it’s depressing as hell, way overplayed, and I take a weird pleasure in its sadness.
This is stew weather. Stew is warm, and hearty, but most importantly warm. It’s something you can pour all you have into. You take everything in your refrigerator that’s about to go bad, everything you can find in your pantry that might add some depth of flavor or that you’ve almost forgotten about, your spices (all of your spices), and you spend all of your Sunday afternoon chopping, and simmering, and stirring, and thinking about nothing else. At the end, you get this massive pot of stew to last you this week, maybe the next too.
This stew in particular is nutty, sweet, and spicy. It feels very wholesome and light. Don’t let all the ingredients fool you—it isn’t that complicated, and it doesn’t have to take that much time. But if you like to make your stews nice and slow, as a sort of spiritual practice, there’s no need to rush.