Spicy Two Bean Vegetable Chili with Polenta Dumplings

The weather is getting nippy out and warming meals are exactly what I am craving these days.  Chili is one of the best dishes for this kind of weather that I can think of.  It is warm, spicy and so delicious. If you add lots of beans & vegetables to it, it is a healthy one-dish meal.  It is also one of my husband’s favorites! You cannot lose with warming bowls filled with spicy, vegetable & bean chili on a cold day!

Here is what you need:

(makes 4 servings)

  • 2 cans of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can of kidney beans  (drained)
  • 1 can of black beans  (drained)
  • 2 Tb. of Harissa for heat (or hot sauce to taste)
  • 2 – 3 TB. of olive oil
  • 1 red onion (thinly sliced and chopped)
  • 3 – 4 small yams or one large one (cut into slices and pieces)
  • 1  cup of chopped tomatoes  (into bite size pieces)
  • 1 – 2 cups of kale or spinach  (coarsely chopped)
  • 2 TB. of chili powder
  • 1 TB. of smoked paprika (or regular)
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • Polenta Dumplings:
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 cup of polenta
  • 2 TB. of sour cream
  • To top it:
  • 1 cup of sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 1 lime (cut into slices or wedges)
  • 1 avocado  (cut into slices)
  • 1/4 cup of sour cream
  • a few sprigs of fresh cilantro

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* In a pot or large skillet, lightly saute the onions, and yams until tender. When they are golden add the chopped tomatoes and chopped kale.

* Add the crushed tomatoes and beans and spices. Simmer for about 20 – 30 minutes. Add water if you want to thin it out a little .

* As the chili is simmering make the polenta by boiling the water and slowly pouring in the polenta while stirring the pot. Cook on low for 5 – 10 minutes, continuing to stir. Add a touch of salt and the sour cream and stir until smooth.

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*Top the chili with spoonfuls of the polenta, a sprinkling of the cheese, the sliced avocado and a few dollops of sour cream & the cilantro.

Serve and enjoy!

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