Chilly Slow Cooker Chili

For a central Floridian like me, when the temperatures dip below 50, it’s chilly outside!  However, even for a central Floridian, it is a little bit hot out for the end of October (temperatures were in the 80’s today)!  Last winter when it got chilly, Artie whipped up a batch of what I termed Slow Cooker Veggie Chili (which was actually vegan chili until I topped it with sour cream and a sprinkle of cheese).  He made up the recipe as he went along, so feel free to adjust to your tastes.  This meal is best served with crusty bread (for dipping) and a tasty brew (like a Harvest Moon).  I’m hoping that by posting this recipe, I can coax some cooler fall temperatures to north Florida this week.  Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Veggie Chili

1 medium onion, diced

1 large sweet potato, diced

1 large zucchini, diced

12-ounce package of frozen Boca crumbles

28-ounce can diced tomatoes

15-ounce can chili beans

15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed

4-ounce can diced green chiles

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

salt, to taste

pepper, to taste

Layer the onion, sweet potato, and zucchini in the bottom of a 5-quart slow cooker.  Top with Boca crumbles, canned tomatoes, beans, diced chilies, and spices.  Cook on low for 8 hours.  Serve topped with sour cream, cheddar cheese, or cilantro.

Cheesy Polenta with Black Beans and Sweet Potato

As I noted in the Cheesy Polenta with Swiss Chard post, Jill and I like to modify the recipe with different combinations of vegetables to serve over the cheesy polenta. In anticipation of the change of seasons, I made a version of the recipe with black beans and sweet potatoes because the color and flavor combination are reminiscent of fall.

To make this variation, I finely chopped one small onion and sautéed it in the olive oil until translucent. Then I peeled, diced, and sautéed two medium sized sweet potatoes with the onion in the olive oil until soft. I added diced chicken sausage (I used Aidell’s Italian Style chicken sausage this time instead of the chicken and apple sausage), a can of fire roasted diced tomatoes, and a can of black beans (instead of cannellini beans). In lieu of the swiss chard, I added chopped fresh spinach. I served the mixture over cheesy polenta, prepared as noted in the previous post.

What combination sounds good to you?  Leave a comment and let us know what variation of this recipe that you would like to eat!

Cheesy Polenta with black beans and sweet potato
Cheesy Polenta with black beans and sweet potato