Tag Archives: Sweet potato

Black Bean-Sweet Potato Chili

This is one of my favorite winter comfort recipes:

Black Bean-Sweet Potato Chili

It has lots of good antioxidants and garlic to chase the sparkly vampires nasty flu bugs away.  I made this for dinner last week, shared some with my parents, had some for lunch the next day, and froze the rest.  It will make for easy school-night meals as the semester picks up.  Instead of using canned beans, I cooked a pound of dried beans in the crock pot early in the morning.

ImageBeans a-soaking: Cooking your own will cost about 1/4 as much as using canned beans.

Then I added the other ingredients:



…and cooked for on high 6 more hours.


1 medium red onion, chopped: $0.79
1 red pepper, chopped: $1.43
4 garlic cloves, minced: $0.20
1 large sweet potato: $0.49
2 limes: $0.50
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes: $1.99
1 pound dried black beans: $1.29
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper: $0.05
1 tablespoon cumin: $0.05
1 tablespoon chili powder: $0.05
1 tablespoon cocoa powder $0.05


/8 servings = $0.86/serving!

That’s really cheap, even for me.  And thank goodness.  Adjuncts don’t get paid in January.  However, planning ahead a little bit means that I’m not stuck with ramen.  Not that there’s anything wrong with ramen.  But variety is the spice of life.

Thanksgiving 2012

It was good to have the family together after too many years and to celebrate with some flexibility in my eating habits.  😉

For breakfast I made pumpkin-cranberry scones from a mix from Trader Joe’s (had to get some pumpkin in somewhere)

My Dad made a ham, so I tried to think of hearty vegetarian entrees that would complement that.  I decided that pineapple would go well with sweet potatoes (much better than the classic/gross marshmallow topping) and then found this lovely recipe for pineapple upside down sweet potatoes.  It was wonderful!


I also made my Nine a Day Salad, which is always a hit. 

and some collard greens with pecans



some simple garlic mashed potatoes (made with soy milk)

cornbread stuffing mix from Trader Joe’s to which I added sauteed onions and celery + corn kernels

My sister made the classic/delicious green bean casserole: a huge crowd pleaser.  My Mom made Pilsbury crescent rolls and 2 pies: apple and pecan.

Everything was absolutely delicious!  I was thankful for an abundance of good food and family.


My friends and I come up with the BEST potluck themes!  The latest one: chocolate.  Yep, a whole meal centered around chocolate.  It was awesome.

I made Black Bean and Yam Enchiladas with Mole Sauce.  I got the recipe from a wonderful blog called The Keen Kitchen.  Check it out!

The mole was actually really easy to make and really rich.  I can’t wait to make it again!

The lovely Sara made a unique and delicious pasta dish!  It was tossed with a light citrus-zest sauce and topped with finely grated chocolate.

Half of us really enjoyed the complex flavors, but half of us preferred the pasta without the chocolate.  Personally, I have always felt that citrus and chocolate is a winning combination.  All of us agreed that the pasta and enchiladas were surprisingly good together.

Next came the important part: dessert!

The beautiful Jenny brought us heavenly chocolate-pumpkin muffins with pumpkin glaze.

My description will not do these justice.  They were super chocolatey, and the pumpkin glaze was super pumpkiny!

Sara really outdid herself by bringing an entree AND a fancy dessert!  She made these lovely little chocolate tarts.  They involved puff pastry shells, chocolate pudding, and mini marshmallows.  They tasted like s’mores.  But classier!

We also enjoyed a lovely Malbec with our meal, provided by the gorgeous Kate (who was not able to drink any, since she was pregnant at the time, but she has since delivered a healthy baby boy…Yay!)

We decided that our next potluck theme should be Greek food.  I’m excited about that one, but I also think that we should repeat the chocolate theme soon.

Lovely Lentil Loaf (+ Sandwiches)


This is basically a recipe from Alex Jamieson’s Great American Detox Diet:


It’s a wonderfully versatile recipe: you can use whatever legume, grain, and veggies you have on hand.  I especially like to use leftover cooked lentils and grains here, so it’s a little bit different each time I make it.  This time I used red lentils and quinoa.  This was my favorite combination so far.  The textures worked better in loaf form than brown lentils and rice.  I also used a couple of ribs of celery instead of the bell pepper and dried instead of fresh parsley.

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa: $0.45
  • 1 cup cooked red lentils: $0.18
  • 1 cup uncooked instant oats: $0.07
  • 1 cup finely chopped mushroom: $0.67
  • 1 medium yellow onion , finely chopped: $0.25
  • 1 medium carrot, grated: $0.08
  • 2 ribs celery, diced: $0.24
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts: $0.66
  • 1 can tomato paste: $0.89
  • 1/4 cup green olives: $0.40
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley: $0.15
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce: $0.18
  • 2 tablespoons mustard: $0.23
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme: $0.02
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram: $0.02
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage: $0.02

$4.51/10 servings


I served it with:
  • roasted sweet potato wedges: (1/2 a large sweet potato): $0.15
  • crispy roasted Brussels sprouts:  (1/4 a bag from Trader Joe’s): $0.70

The sides were easy to prepare.  I just sliced the sweet potato, sprayed it with canola spray, and put it in the oven 30 minutes before the loaf was finished (flipping after 15 minutes).  For the Brussels sprouts, I steamed them in the bag in the microwave for 1 1/2 minutes, then cut them in half, sprayed them with oil, and put them in the oven 15 minutes before the loaf was finished (when I flipped the potatoes).  Then I put them under the broiler for a few minutes to get them nice and crispy.

…so my whole dinner only cost $1.30!

By the way, this loaf is one of those things where the leftovers are even better!

Speaking of leftovers, I used some of them to make really good sandwiches:

  • 2 slices of whole-grain bread: $0.25
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard: $0.08
  • 2 teaspoons Vegenaise: $0.05


with leftover Brussels sprouts my lunch came to: $1.53!

This was a nice, hearty sandwich that really hit the spot!


Sweet Potato Spread

Mmmm…this sweet potato spread was even better than I hoped!  It’s true comfort food.


As usual, I did make a few minor modifications to the recipe.  I cooked the sweet potato in the microwave for about 4 minutes instead of in the oven.  I used chopped, cooked broccoli instead of spinach, because that was the green veggie I happened to have.  Plus, I added about 1/4 cup of toasted sesame seeds for extra protein and crunch.  Next time I will try it with the spinach and double the recipe.

  • olive oil: $0.05
  • 1 large sweet potato: $0.66
  • 1 cup of cooked broccoli, finely chopped: $0.76
  • 1/4 cup of onion: $0.08
  • 1/4 tsp cumin: $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp curry powder: $0.03
  • 1 tablespoon tahini: $0.04
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds: $0.33

=$2.06/3 servings

=$0.69/serving + $0.16/slice whole wheat bread

= $0.85 for one open-faced sandwich!  WOW! 

That’s cheaper than anything from the McDonald’s Value Menu and WAY more delicious.  It didn’t take any more time to throw this together and spread it on some toast than it would have to go through the drive-thru three days in a row.

Thank you to my friend DeAnna for suggesting this and to my fellow WordPress blogger at the vegetarian salmon for posting it.