Years ago my husband and I owned a CrossFit gym. We decided to host a “paleo challenge” for our clients, which means, everyone basically cuts out processed foods and follows the paleo diet for 30 days and at the end we hosted a big potluck and handed out prizes. This was when I first discovered how food makes us feel, and that I have a pretty significant sensitivity to gluten. We’ve since added lots of foods back into our diet, especially since we had kids, but we’ve kept many of those clean recipes in our rotation. One of them is a good, classic and easy sweet potato chili. Below is a very easy way to prepare this dish, which has enough for two or three family dinners during the week. This takes less than 15 minutes to prep and can simmer for as little as 30 minutes and as much as 3 hours.
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 2 lbs grass fed ground beef
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons (more or less to taste) sea salt. I start with one teaspoon and work up after that.
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- cracked pepper, to taste
- 2 large cans Italian Style tomatoes, either whole or diced (with the juice)
- 1 small can of green chilis, diced (heat level is up to you, I use hot!)
- 1 bag of cubed sweet potatoes (16 oz). You can dice your own, but this makes it so easy.
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, but only if you don’t care if it’s paleo! If you are a paleo person this can be omitted.
- Cilantro, for garnish
- Chopped red or green onion, for garnish
Heat the oil in a large pan or dutch oven. Add the onion and saute until soft, about two to three minutes. Add the beef and chop it down to small chunks. Add the spices, and stir for three to four minutes, chopping the meat to small chunks all the while. Add the tomatoes, green chilis and sweet potatoes and let simmer about ten minutes on medium. Taste and correct for salt and pepper. If you don’t care if it’s paleo, you can add about a half a cup of brown sugar at this point for extra richness. Cover the pot and simmer on low for at least 30 minutes and up to three hours. Serve in bowls and garnish with chopped cilantro and onions of your choice. I also like to add a little bit of goat cheese cheddar.