Black Bean Vegetarian Chili

The weather is a bit dismal now but Friday and Saturday were nice, right? Did anyone make it out to The Craft Winefest at Esther Short Park? Dubbed its inaugural year, they had quite a showing of wineries from The Tri-Cities to the Gorge to just south of Seattle as well as many from the good ole’ Vancouver area. Sounds like a great time but I hung out close to home and attended Battle Ground Produce’s 4th birthday party barbeque.

Okay, I drank wine and visited with Brian, one of the wine reps for Vehrs, and met Rebecca Juarez who co-owns Great Harvest Bread Company up on Mill Plain along with her husband, David. She was so passionate about what they’re doing and their bread…I had the whole wheat and went home with a loaf of their 9 Grain. I was particularly impressed with how short their ingredient list is. Seriously, 5 or 6 ingredients in their whole wheat and nothing I couldn’t pronounce. Definitely adding ’visit their Mill Plain store’ to my list of things to do.

None of this has anything to do with my recipe of the day. Well, the fact that the weather is drizzly did inspire me to make chili so I guess there is some point to the previous two paragraphs. Being mostly vegetarian (can a person even really claim that as anything?) I have several chili variations. This one is my newest. The sweet potatoes with the black beans make for a sweet flavor but watch out for that cayenne. Mom, you’re going to want to try this one.

Wine suggestion: Even I will admit a white really is best for this dish. Sweet potatoes are, well, sweet and the spices in this chili are bold. So, considering how well Riesling pairs with Thai food, I have to go with Riesling for this chili, as well. I’ve never had a German Riesling I didn’t like and they excel at my favorite, Kabinett (dry), which is crisp with good acidity to balance the richness of the sweet potato and cool the heat of the spices. For a diehard red fan, try a zinfandel that’s fruity in the front with little to no hint of spice.

Black Bean Vegetarian Chili

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

Black bean vegetarian chili with sweet potatoes

Black bean vegetarian chili with sweet potatoes

1 small onion, diced

2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped

2 medium carrots, sliced

1/2 red bell pepper, chopped (optional)

2 tbsp olive oil

1 15 ounce can black beans

1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes or tomato sauce

1/2 cup vegetable broth

1 tbsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp cayenne (or to taste)

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

Sautee onions and garlic in olive oil for a minute or two, then add sweet potatoes, carrots and bell pepper until onions are soft, about 5-6 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low, and add remaining ingredients, stirring to combine well. Simmer, partially covered and stirring occasionally, for 20-25 minutes, until flavors have mingled and vegetables are cooked. Makes 5 servings of homemade black bean chili.

Recipe taken from





I am a Clark County native. I am Level 2 WSET (wine and spirit education trust)-certified and enjoy pairing wine with my passion for travel and fondness of food. My most prized possessions are the memories of places I've been with my husband, the chance encounters we've been blessed to have along the way and my carry-on bag. I can often be seen around town and in tasting rooms with our two beautiful, double-Merle Australian shepherds, Challenge and Baby Girl.

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