Recipes: Sweet Potato Chili & Skillet Cornbread

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In colder weather, there’s nothing more comforting than a good hearty bowl of chili and a thick slice of cornbread. Though not a traditional Ayurvedic dish or combo, it’s pure comfort food and soul nourishment for me this time of year! Taking a healthier approach to this standard combo, this four bean vegan chili uses sprouted legumes to increase digestibility and a warming mix of savory and sweet spices. It’s the perfect base recipe for a variety of grounding root veggies, swapping out the sweet potato for pumpkin or butternut squash as it calls to you.

This warming spice blend and astringent legumes make it a good dish for perking up Agni in deep winter and nourishing Kapha dosha. If you run hot, you might want to reduce the chili and paprika, and use a pinch of asafetida in place of the onions and garlic. Load up on the cilantro at the end! And for my Vata friends, enjoy in small quantities served with a cooked whole grain to balance the lightness of the beans.

chili1SWEET POTATO CHILI

2 tbsp olive oil
½ large yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled & minced
1 cup dried du puy lentils, soaked overnight
1 cup dried pinto beans, soaked overnight
1 cup dried kidney beans, soaked overnight
1 cup dried adzuki beans, soaked overnight
1 7oz jar of organic tomato paste
4 fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeds removed & minced
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp cider vinegar
10-12 cups water
1 large sweet potato, cubed

Spice Blend
3 tbsp raw cacao powder
1 ½ tbsp chipotle chili powder
1 tbsp ancho chili powder
1 ½ tbsp mustard seed
2 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp coriander
1 tsp ground paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cayenne
1 tbsp salt

Place the beans in individual bowls and cover with warm water. Allow to soak overnight to release the phytic acid and reduce cook time. The next day, drain and rinse well before using.

In a medium pot, heat the oil and sauté the onions and garlic until lightly golden. Add the tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, jalapeno and spice blend to the pot with a cup of water. Stir until well combined and simmer on medium low heat for 5 minutes. Next, combine the beans and cover with water. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking and adding water as needed. When the beans are soft, add the chopped sweet potato, maple syrup and cider vinegar. Continue to cook for another 15-20 minutes, or until root veggies are tender but not mushy and beans are fully cooked. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with a drizzle of yogurt or kefir and a slice of corn bread.

Makes 6-8 servings

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GLUTEN-FREE SKILLET CORN BREAD

Dry
3 cups fine-grain cornmeal
3 cups oat flour or sprouted spelt flour
2 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt

Wet
2 cups almond milk
2 tsp Bragg’s apple cider vinegar
4 tbsp flax meal
¾ cup hot water
2 organic eggs
½ cup olive oil or melted ghee
½ cup maple syrup
2 cups fresh corn kernels or 1-15oz BPA-free can organic golden corn

Preheat the oven to 400F. Grease a 10-inch cast iron pan with olive oil.
In a small mixing bowl, combine the almond milk with the apple cider vinegar. Whisk in the flax meal and hot water. Set aside.

In separate mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Then, fold in almond milk and flax mixture. Next, add the maple syrup, olive and eggs, and mix until well combined. Fold in the corn kernels. Pour into the greased cast iron and place in the over to bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden on the outside and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Makes 10-inch skillet

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