Smoky!

Get cozy with this oil-free black bean chili with smoky paprika.

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Smoky Black Bean Chili

Hmmmm, chili. As the weather cools down, it's always a good time for a bowl of homemade chili topped with avocado, red onions, and lots of fresh cilantro. My oil-free version is loaded with black beans, corn, garlic, and tomatoes—plus spices like cumin, pepper, and smoked paprika. I always add greens to my soups and stews before serving (Tuscan kale is my go-to for this recipe), and then there's a secret ingredient that adds a wonderful depth to this one-pot meal: cacao! A dash of cacao powder perfectly balances the spices in this comforting dish. 

Serves 4

What you need:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 pieces celery, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato, cubed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes 
  • 3 cups or 1 (30-ounce) can cooked black beans
  • 1½ cups cooked corn
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1¼ teaspoon smoked paprika 
  • ½ teaspoon cacao powder
  • 1¼ teaspoon sea salt 
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper 
  • 2 cups chopped Tuscan kale
  • Toppings: avocado, cilantro, red onions, and jalapenos

What you do:

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, heat water. Add onion, garlic, celery, and carrots. Cook for 5 minutes until onions are translucent and fragrant.
  2. Add sweet potatoes, tomatoes, black beans, corn, chili powder, cumin, paprika, cacao powder, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are tender.
  3. Remove from heat, add kale, and let sit for at least five minutes to allow kale to soften. Top with your favorite toppings and serve.

Healthy hints:

>> Chili is the perfect dish for batch cooking. Make a big pot on Sunday and enjoy it all week long! 

>> How is smoked paprika different from hot paprika and regular paprika?  Smoked is made from smoked pimiento peppers that are then powdered. Want it spicier? Add ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper!

>> Why cacao in this chili! A hint of chocolate adds depth and smoothness.