Tag Archives: crock-pot

Sweet Potato Chili

We had some friends over for dinner the other night and I had fun planning a menu for a mixed audience of vegetarians and meat-eaters. I wanted to please everyone, so I decided to put together a vegetarian main entrée, asked Chris to barbecue some chicken, and made a batch of cornbread. I also asked each couple to bring a dish – an appetizer and a desert – freeing me up to focus on picking out the main meal.

After digging through my recipes, I came across this Slow-Cooker Vegetarian Chili with Sweet Potatoes from Real Simple. I took a few liberties with the original recipe (which you can find here) to suit our party of six (RS’s version is for four). We already had a lot of the ingredients, so I just picked up a couple of things from the store and got to work. The longest part of prep for me was chopping everything up, particularly the onion. One slice in and I was crying like a baby and then I saw my swim goggles sitting on the counter. Problem solved – no more onion tears! I crossed my fingers that no one (read: Chris or Cooper) discovered me in my exercise-turned-cooking gear but given that it was 8am on a Sunday, I knew they were both asleep for at least another two hours.

Warning: the quantities below will make way more than six servings. In hindsight, I was probably OK going with the original but thought it better to have more than less!

Sweet potato chili, topped with scallions

Slow-Cooker Vegetarian Chili with Sweet Potatoes 


  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 3 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 3 15.5-oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 15.5-oz can black beans, rinsed
  • 1 15.5-oz can dark red kidney beans, rinsed
  • 1 15.5-oz can red kidney beans, rinsed
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes (about 8 ounces), peeled and cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces
  • sour cream, sliced scallions, and tortilla chips (for serving)


  1. In a large slow cooker, combine the onion, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, cocoa, cinnamon, 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Add the tomatoes (and their liquid), beans, sweet potatoes, and 1 1/2 cup water.
  2. Cover and cook until the sweet potatoes are tender and the chili has thickened, on low for 8 to 9 hours or on high for 5 to 6 hours.
  3. Serve the chili with the sour cream, scallions, and tortilla chips.
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Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Stew

In addition for my delirious obsession with chicken wings, I also have a thing for Mexican food. Unfortunately, as with wings, some of my favorite dishes are also the least healthy: fried and smothered with cheese. During my quest to find healthy takes on Mexican food, I stumbled upon this chicken taco stew. It’s flavorful and full of protein. Plus, the recipe below makes about 12 servings – more than enough to save some leftovers and freeze lunch-sized portions for busy weeks.

And, maybe the best part: this crowd-pleasing recipe is so foolproof that I made it while I was sleeping. I put everything in the slow cooker before I went to bed, and when I woke up it was done. What a dream for this busy life! 

Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Stew

Chicken taco stew - ready to eat!

1 onion, chopped
1 16-oz can black beans, rinsed
1 16-oz can kidney beans, rinsed
1 16-oz can corn, drained
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
2 14.5-oz cans diced tomatoes w/chilies
1 1.25-oz packet taco seasoning (or make your own)
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Greek yogurt

I love all the colors!


  1. Mix the beans, corn, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and taco seasoning in slow cooker.
  2. Place chicken on top of mixture and cover.
  3. Cook on low for 6-8 hours (or on high for 3-4 hours*).
  4. Remove chicken 30 minutes before serving and shred.
  5. Return chicken to slow cooker and stir in.
  6. Serve with tortilla chips (I highly recommend the Food Should Taste Good sweet potato tortillas) or brown rice; top with Greek yogurt.

*I usually cook the stew for 7-8 hours on low; I’ve tried the shorter cooking time and it’s just not the same.

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