Meatless Monday: Make your slow cooker work for you this autumn

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By: Danielle Waldron
dwaldron@flavor574.com

Meal Makeover Moms/Flickr

We’re all about efficiencies, especially on busy weeknights. 

Last weekend was one of our first sure signs of fall, which has us dreaming of hearty meals and crisp evenings. 

Chili is one of the stars of the colder months, especially since it’s so flexible for any diet. Rather than standing over the stove on a Monday night when there’s chores and homework to be done, bring the slow cooker out and let it do the heavy lifting for you. You’ll save so much time, your house will smell great and you’ll probably have enough for leftovers tomorrow. 

This recipe from Real Simple is vegan-friendly, unless you top with cheese or sour cream. 

SLOW COOKER VEGETARIAN CHILI WITH SWEET POTATOES 

From Real Simple

Ingredients: 

  • 1 medium red onion, chopped 
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped 
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped 
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder 
  • 1 tbsp. ground cumin 
  • 2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon 
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste 
  • 28 oz. can fire-roasted diced tomatoes 
  • 15.5 oz. can black beans, rinsed 
  • 15.5 oz. can kidney beans, rinsed 
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into half-inch piece s
  • Sour cream, sliced scallions, tortilla chips or cheese, for serving (optional) 

Directions: 

  1. In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, combine onion, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, cocoa, cinnamon, 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Add the tomatoes and liquid, beans, sweet potato and 1 cup water.
  2. Cover and cook until the sweet potatoes are tender and the chili has thickened, on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours. 
  3. Serve with any toppings. 
Follow editor Danielle Waldron on Twitter @DanielleWaldron
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