Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Speedy Laura's Chili

By: TriSaraTops

I don't know about you, but I LOVE fall training. Here in the Midwest, it is absolutely my favorite season to train. Low humidity, sunny skies, and a little bit of a chill in the air...perfect!

I also love to use the Crock Pot in the fall. I'm a firm believer that the crock pot is a busy triathlete's best friend. With a little know-how, you can whip up a fabulous meal that's healthy and all ready for you when you come in the door from a nice, fall, post-work run! It just doesn't get better than that.

My friend Laura has this amazing recipe that she threw together for black bean and sweet potato chili. It is so fabulous, that I'm going to name it after her. It will hereby be called Speedy Laura's Chili. Because this girl is FAST. She's pretty much my running mommy idol. Throw this together and you'll be amazed, too! I just wish it could make me run crazy fast like Laura, but I'll settle for some tasty grub for now.

Speedy Laura's Chili
(serves 6-8)

2 x-large sweet potatoes chopped (if you only have smaller ones then shoot for about a pound of sweet potatoes)
1 large onion chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
5 stalks of celery chopped
1.5 c dried black beans
1 c brown rice (we like it thick, but you can omit and serve cooked rice separately if you like it more soupy)
24 oz of strained tomatoes (I have also used 2 cans of diced, fire-roasted tomatoes)
3 c veggie broth
1 c water (may need to add more over the course of cooking--check periodically)
1 TBSP cumin (I like herbs and spices a lot, so I use a lot!)
1 TBSP coriander
1 TBSP oregano
Cayenne to taste (My little guy loves this so I back off a bit for him, but you could make it as spicy as you want!)
Salt to taste

Throw everything in the crock pot and cook on low for 8 hours. And here's a secret: it's even better the second day! My husband the carnivore asked for some ground turkey thrown in, so I tried it--also fabulous, but I think I prefer it veggie-style.

This recipe is chock-full of tastiness AND is great for triathletes, too! The sweet potatoes and black beans are a great source of vitamins A, C, folate, protein, and fiber. So follow up a nice fall ride with a bowl of this Speedy Chili, and don't forget to pick up some crusty bread for dipping!

Happy fall training...and eating!