Just in time for the holidays, this Kick-Ass Sweet Potato and Persimmon Black Bean Chili is the perfect recipe to warm up a chilly fall night. Betcha can’t eat just one bowl!
Growing up, I don’t ever remember my mother making chili, but you can bet if she did, it had meat in it. Like many of you, I didn’t grow up in a Vegan family. But yesterday, we threw a party for my 9-year old granddaughter and I won everyone over – even the non-Vegan skeptics – with my Kick-Ass Sweet Potato & Persimmon Black Bean Chili. It’s so rich and flavorful, not one person who tasted it complained that it didn’t have meat in it. In fact, many of my family and extended family members asked me for the recipe. I’m always so happy to show non-Vegans how delicious Vegan recipes can taste.
I made a boat-load of this Black Bean Chili for the party, so the recipe below will probably feed 12 people or more. The good news is, you can adjust it to your family size and it will include measurements for however many people you need to feed.
Cooking with Persimmons
This was the first time I used persimmons in a recipe. In fact, today was the first day I ever ate a persimmon They are so spicy and sweet at the same time my taste buds were dancing with joy. Beware though, if you get them too ripe, they’ll turn into mush in the chili. When you buy them give them a little squeeze. If your finger leaves a slight indent, they are ripe enough to be cooked. If they’re too hard, they’re not ripe and won’t taste nearly half as good when you roast them.
Roasting the Vegetables
My new best friend is my sheet pan. I’ve been making so many sheet pan meal preps, I have vegetables coming out of my ears. For this recipe, you can use your sheet pan to roast both the sweet potatoes and the persimmons, but on separate pans. This is because the persimmons will be done quicker than the sweet potatoes.
Putting it All Together
When I make Vegan chili, I always saute the vegetables in the spices I’m using first. I feel this enhances the flavor of the chili leaving an unforgettable taste. If you want to skip this step, you certainly can by putting all your vegetables and other spices in a big pot and cooking it for several hours. You’ll essentially get the same effect and save some time while you’re at it. I can’t guarantee it will have the same rich flavor, but it will still be delicious.
My Black Bean Chili would pair well with my Vegan Garlic Naan, one of my most popular recipes. And because it’s a little spicy, why not cool your taste buds off in between bites with my Minty Watermelon Aqua Fresca. This stuff is to die for!
If you make this recipe, don’t forget to take a photo and tag it #veganvigilante1 on Instagram. Please also follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. As always, comments and constructive criticism are appreciated. I will always answer your queries within 24 hours or less. I’d love to know what you think about this Vegan Chili and other recipes and the blog, overall. Contact me anytime by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil for roasting vegetables
- 2 large sweet potatoes sliced in 1/4 inch slices
- 1/2 tsp sea salt for roasting sweet potatoes
- 1 tsp cinammon for roasting sweet potatoes
- 5 medium ripe persimmons sliced in 1/4 inch slices
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 3 lbs bulk black beans rinsed and soaked overnight. I used Black Runner Turtle Beans
- 32 oz organic vegetable broth low sodium is even better if available
- 2 15 oz cans organic tomato sauce
- 1 12 oz can organic tomato paste
- 1 28 oz can organic crushed tomatoes
- 1 tbsp coconut oil virgin, unrefined
- 1 large bay leaf
- 5 medium cloves garlic crushed w/ garlic press
- 1 medium red onion finely chopped
- 1 tbsp African Smoke but from Trader Joe's or online
- 1 tbsp red pepper flakes use less if you can't handle the heat
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 3 cups frozen organic sweet corn
- 1 large red bell pepper finely chopped
- 1 large yellow bell pepper finely chopped
Preheat over to 400°F. Line two baking sheet pans with parchment paper or foil. Place slices of persimmon on one sheet pan. Brush both sides with olive oil. Sprinkle with smoked sea salt and smoked paprika. Place sliced sweet potatoes on another baking sheet. Brush both sides with olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and cinnamon. Roast persimmons for 20-30 minutes until tender. Remove and allow to cool. Roast sweet potatoes for about 30 minutes until fork tender. Remove and allow to cool.
Drain and rinse soaked beans in colander. In large pot, combine beans, vegetable broth, tomato sauce, tomato paste and crushed tomatoes. Stir well and heat on stove until boiling. Once boiling, turn down to medium heat and cook beans until tender. This could take several hours, depending upon the beans you choose.
In large fry pan or wok, melt coconut oil. Add bay leaf and allow to simmer for several minutes until fragrant. Remove and discard. Add garlic and onions and saute until translucent. Add the spices and stir thoroughly. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the bell pepper and frozen corn. Stir thoroughly and allow to simmer until bell peppers soften and corn is melted. About 6 to 8 minutes.
Once the beans are just about tender enough to eat, dice sweet potato and persimmons into bite sized pieces and add to pot of chili stirring frequently. Add the sauteed vegetables. Continue to stir until well-blended. On medium heat, allow to cook for about 30 minutes more, just to make sure the flavors meld together perfectly. Place into bowls and garnish with your favorite toppings. Serve immediately with my Vegan Garlic Naan.