This morning, while doing some errands, I was listening to Good Food on KCRW, which was kind enough to remind me what season it is at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market. It’s bean season! Beans are not only delicious, but according to the farmer interviewed, they are planted in opposition with berries and tomatoes to enrich and replenish the soil. Vegetarians are quick to pick up the bean for the purpose of protein, but in actuality, beans have so much more going for them. They’re high in folate, B1, and manganese, as well as fiber and iron rich. Further, when prepared well, they’re excellent tools for keeping your body full and fueled throughout the day without turning to carbohydrates from grain-based meals.
With that said, here’s a clean recipe that’s both delicious and ties into bean season.
Sweet Potato Trifecta Chili
Makes 6 servings
1 japanese sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 medium jalapeno
1 red bell pepper
5-7 robust kale leaves, roughly chopped
1 can each of garbanzo, black, and kidney beans (or approximately 2 cups each, soaked and softened)
1 large can stewed tomatoes (or approximately 8 decently-sized, chopped, raw tomatoes)
½ cup corn
6 cups vegetable broth
4 cloves chopped garlic
1 tablespoon cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon dried oregano flakes
1 tablespoon dried basil flakes
½ teaspoon ground red pepper
salt and pepper to taste
In large oiled pot, sauté garlic, jalapeno, seasonings (without salt and pepper), and onions on high for 5 minutes.
Add stewed tomatoes and reduce heat to medium.
Add sweet potatoes, beans, and vegetable broth.
Bring to boil, then add kale and corn and turn to low simmer.
Leave alone for 30 minutes, then stir in chopped bell pepper and remove from heat, leaving covered for about 10 minutes. The heat will soften the bell pepper without compromising the distinct flavor.
This is richer and heartier the next day, but great to eat immediately as well. Enjoy!