What do you get when you combine one ton of sweet potatoes and an elementary school? You get an all-hands-on-deck chili fest! When KEYS for Healthy Kids, a Charleston, WV based non-profit that focuses on children's health, received a pallet of West Virginia grown sweet potatoes from the state Department of Agriculture, they made sure the crop made it into good hands.
Principal Henry Nearman at Ruffner Elementary hosted "Sweet Potato Day," inviting children into the cafeteria to jump in for some sweet potato read aloud and a bunch of cooking fun, followed by a tasting for all. We made a 20-times batch in the cafeteria's soup kettle to rave reviews. Get your hands on some sweet potatoes and try this at home!
Sweet Potato Chili for 3 (or 300)
for our tasting, a 20-times batch made 300 sample servings. At home, a single batch will feed 3 or 4. Add a green salad accented with orange segments and avocado and it's dinner!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 teaspoons chili powder (I prefer pure Ancho Chili Powder)
- 1 cup water
- 1 10-ounce red-skinned sweet potato, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 (14 ½ -ounce) can diced tomatoes (I prefer Fire Roasted)
- 1 (15- to 16-ounce) can black or pinto beans, drained
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 ½ teaspoons grated orange peel
Heat olive oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until golden, about 5 minutes. Add chili powder and stir 1 minute. Add water and sweet potato cubes. Cover pan; reduce heat to medium and simmer until potato is almost tender, about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes with their juices and beans. Simmer uncovered until chili thickens and potato is very tender, about 10 minutes. Mix in cilantro and orange peel. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.
Serves 3 or 4, and easily doubles