Happy Halloween! I hope y’all had an amazing and safe Halloween this year. We had a very chill 20-30 kids through our neighborhood but had an absolute blast handing out candy to some polite kiddos in not so scary costumes. And that is what I call a win-win. I came home from work to a pleasant surprise. Greg had placed lawn chairs in the driveway with a bowl of candy for the trick-or-treaters and for the two of us chips, salsa, boiled peanuts, pumpkin beer and cider on ice (in a 10 gallon bucket haha). It was the perfect set-up! Within minutes we needed the citronella candle but hey, they say Zika is a day biter we weren’t worried.
This whole time I thought Greg set up in the driveway because our dog, Snook, barks at anyone who approaches the house. You know, to help keep her stress level down; because a happy dog is a happy home. As we where catching up on our day and sharing stories of Halloween traditions come to find out he set up in the drive way as this was a tradition in his childhood. He went on to explain this started because his dad wanted to keep kids off the lawn! By setting up in the drive way they did not have the opportunity to trek through the grass…I am sure some of you can relate.
We had quite a few traditions growing up, including on Halloween. The whole gang gathered together at at the Harts and we would take a picture in front of the fireplace. To this day, my parents still go over to the Harts to hand out candy and eat chili. Chili was a big part of our Halloween. Yes, I do realize we live in Florida. And I do realize more often than not it is still in the 80’s when the end of October rolls around. It does not matter, because c’mon, this is tradition! I still love making chili on October 31st and have tried multiple veggie chili recipes over the past several years. This year, however, I think I knocked it out of the park. This chili is smokey, not spooky, and sweet over a sweet potato. Skip the corn bread, cheese, and sour cream. This recipe will get you in the spirit for…well anything!
Serving Size: 2-4 depending on how much candy you already ate 😉
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
- 2 sweet potatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/2 sweet onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon chipotle seasoning
- 1 teaspoon chili
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup kidney beans
- 1/2 cup corn, fresh if possible – or frozen
- 1 can, diced tomato (I prefer fire roasted but any will do!)
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1/2 avocado, rough chop
- Splash of white balsamic vinegar
- Quick splash of agave nectar
- Lime wedge, optional
- 1/2 teaspoon cilantro, optional
- Salt and pepper to taste
Pre-heat the oven to 350 F
Poke holes around each washed sweet potatoes using a fork. Place on cookie sheet and drizzle each puh-tot with olive oil.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, flip over and bake for another 20 minutes or until soft in the center. Depending on the size of your potatoes this can take up to an hour.
While your potatoes are baking, saute onion and garlic in a saute pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil until fragrant and onions are translucent, about three minutes. Add in spices. I love toasting the spices instead of adding them toward the end. With the onion and garlic, instant kitchen plug-in, hggmmmm yum.
Do you see how tuckered out Snook is from all that barking tonight!
After a few minutes, before the spices start sticking to the bottom of your pan, add the tomatoes and beans. Stir it up, little darlin, stir it up! Let it simmer on low until potatoes are nearly done. Splash in the balsamic and agave, salt, and pepper to taste. I always add a sweet component to my chili. Tomatoes have so much acidity that adding some agave really helps to counter the acidity and the white balsamic vinegar rounds out the flavor, real nice like. Add the spinach last, just a few minutes so that it begins to wilt but the color is still bright green.
Split open the sweet potato by cutting down the middle. Use your fork to push down the skin and create a small well for your chili to pour into. Using a slotted spoon, ladle the chili into the sweet potato. Top with avocado, lime and cilantro if so desired. This chili has a serious kick with the chipotle seasoning and oh man does it smell good. Like I said, instant kitchen plug-in. The avocado offers a nice cooling element and the orange of the sweet potato is just perfect for Halloween! What traditions do you have for Halloween? Any candy that you have to grab or special treats you are sure to make? I would love to hear from you 🙂