sweet potato chili

Chili with beans and sweet potatoes
Bowl of chili with beans and sweet potatoes

we’re getting into the cooler months FINALLY here in virginia, and i’m getting super excited to start getting some soups and stews on the table. i haven’t made this chili for about a year and have made some tweaks and it’s finally ready to share. i love the sweetness from the sweet potatoes to counter the spiciness from the chilis and cayenne pepper, and you can really use any ground meat. it’s great with ground turkey as well if you’re going for a lower fat option, but i’ve been making an effort to try to eat traditionally and metabolically and that includes plenty of red meat and fats. hope you enjoy it as much as we do, especially served with a buttery slice of sourdough cornbread.


1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into bite sized pieces
1 15 oz can rotel tomatoes with chilis (mild or hot, your preference)
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup water
1 tsp ancho chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cinnamon
s + p to taste
sugar to taste (i used just a sprinkle)


heat a dutch oven to medium heat, then saute the chopped onion in the olive oil until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. add the garlic and continue cooking until fragrant, another minute. add the ground beef to the pan and brown it off, about 8-10 minutes breaking it apart as you go. season with a pinch of salt and some fresh ground black pepper. if needed, drain some of the grease if it seems like too much. add the sweet potato, canned tomatoes, sauce, water, and tomato paste, as well as the spices. bring the pot to a boil, then reduce it to a low simmer and cook partially covered until the sweet potatoes are soft, about 25-30 minutes. taste and season with more salt and pepper and a sprinkle of sugar to taste. since we used canned tomatoes, i tend to like a little sugar to offset all the acidity and spiciness from the cayenne. enjoy with sour cream, shredded cheese, avocado, or any other favorite chili toppings. we love to serve ours with a skillet of cornbread.

hearty pork stew with carrots and mushrooms

it’s soup season! perfect stew for chilly fall nights

i’m just really really excited that it’s finally getting cool enough to be acceptable to make meals like this all the time. even though i still make them in the summer, it’s so much more satisfying to sit down with a hearty bowl of stew when it’s cold outside 🙂 i used leftover pork that i made in the instant pot, but you could use raw pork and you’d just need to adjust cooking time to make sure it gets tender. this stew would also be delicious with beef, and i’d recommend a chuck roast if you’re going to go that route.

we served it over roasted garlic mashed potatoes, but you could also serve with a crusty loaf of bread, and put potatoes in the stew. it’s so versatile, and also a great freezer meal.


1.5 lbs cooked or uncooked pork shoulder*
1 onion
2-3 cloves minced garlic
5 large carrots
8-10 oz baby bella mushrooms
1 sprig fresh rosemary
2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
3 tbsp flour
3 tbsp olive oil or butter
1.5 cups red wine
5 cups beef broth or stock (i love better than bouillon)
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste


cut the pork into bite sized pieces and heat a large heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven to medium high heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil or butter and start browning the pork in batches, making sure not to crowd the pan. meanwhile, roughly chop the onion, carrots and mushrooms, as well as the garlic if you are using whole garlic cloves. i typically use the pre-minced garlic so that saves a step.

as the pork gets brown, transfer it to a plate. i used precooked pork that i had made in the instant pot the day before, and i still browned it in the pan just to get it a little more brown and start heating it through. turn the heat down to medium once the pork is done, and add the third tablespoon of olive oil or butter and start cooking the onions and carrots. cook until the onions become translucent, about 3-5 minutes. then add the garlic, mushrooms, thyme, and rosemary, and a pinch of salt and fresh cracked pepper. cook the mushrooms down until all the liquid is released and evaporated. this took me about 8 minutes. add the pork back into the pan, mix everything thoroughly and then add the three tablespoons of flour. cook this for 2 more minutes, mixing the whole time so the flour doesn’t burn. add the red wine and boil for a minute. add the beef broth and worcestershire and bring the stew to a boil. turn it down to a simmer, and simmer partially covered for 45 minutes if using precooked pork. if you are using raw pork you will probably need to adjust your cooking time to make sure the pork gets tender, probably about an hour to an hour and a half. taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

we served the stew over roasted garlic mashed potatoes, but you could easily enjoy this with a nice crusty loaf of bread, add potatoes into the stew, etc. it’s really easy and versatile. hope you enjoy!

*for my instant pot pork shoulder, i used a large boneless pork shoulder, cut it into four pieces and removed the larger pieces of fat. then i seasoned with kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper, browned it over high in a large dutch oven and pressure cooked on manual with chicken broth, onions, thyme, rosemary, and garlic for 45 minutes until it was falling apart tender. i turned the cooking liquid into gravy and we had this the night before i made the stew.