Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Grub It Up: Chocolate Chili Sweet Potato Bowl

Last weekend we spent the afternoon at our local Columbia Heights Day moonbouncing, dancing, playing, and sampling some of our food truck favorites, including Pleasant Pops. I tried a hibiscus pop, Kane and daddy had cookies & cream, and mom had a vegan mexican chocolate one. I had a bite of mom's spicy sweet pop and a little lightbulb went off in her head. She'd had her eye on Well Fed's Chocolate Chili recipe, but had been a bit wary that no one else would eat it. She decided to take advantage of my adventurous spirit and try it for dinner. And since we had some leftover sweet, sweet potato mash, she decided to serve it over that and spinach leaves (well, mom and dad had the spinach leaves).

We have to admit -- it was a polarizing dish. Kane liked the idea of chocolate for dinner and he ate it, but he wasn't the biggest fan. The sweetness and cumin reminded daddy too much of Indian food, which he refuses to eat ever since he spent 1/2 a year in India for work. But mom and I LOVED it. The chocolate chili was good, but it was the combination of the chili with the sweet potatoes that made it. So, we thought we'd share it even if it might not be for everyone. You just might get your kids to eat some for the mere fact that it has chocolate in it!

Also, we've had a bunch of inquiries regarding other Paleo/clean eating recipes and tips. What we like, didn't like, etc. We are by no means experts, but thought it would be helpful to share with you our last weekly menu every week, links to recipes, and any helpful notes. So, before we get to the chili recipe, this is what we ate last week:

Tuesday -- Honey-glazed Salmon with Carmelized Figs. Cucumber and red onion salad for mom and dad; green beans for us. This was super sweet and everyone, even the kiddos, liked it.

Wednesday -- Lemon Chicken with Olives. Cauliflower Rice. This chicken is an easy go to that everyone in the fam loves. There are never leftovers.

Thursday -- Garlic Beef Stew over Sweet Potato Mash (mom added about 1 tablespoon maple syrup to the mash and it was awesome). Kane picked the veggies out, of course.

Friday -- Egg and Bacon Cups. Salad for mom and dad; black beans and fruit for us.

Saturday -- Chocolate Chili Sweet Potato Bowl!

Sunday -- Apple Basil Chicken Burgers. Balsamic Carmelized Brussel Sprouts for mom and dad (mom used olive oil instead of bacon fat and no bacon); green beans and brown rice for the kids. This was a new recipe and is now at the top of our favorites list.

Monday -- leftovers.

Chocolate Chili Sweet Potato Bowl

Chocolate Chili
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 medium onions (about 2 cups)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced (about 4 teaspoons)
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) fire-roasted, chopped tomatoes
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) beef broth
- 1 cup water

- Heat a large, deep pot over medium-high heat, then add the coconut oil. When the oil melted, add onions, stir with a wooden spoon and cook until they're translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and as soon as it's fragrant, about 30 seconds, crumble the ground meat into the pan with your hands, mixing with the wooden spoon to combine. Continue to cook the meat, stirring often, until it's no longer pink.

- In a small bowl, crush the oregano between your palms to release its flavor, then add the chili powder, cumin, cocoa, allspice, and salt. Combine with a fork, then add to the pot, stirring like you mean it. Add tomato paste and stir until combined, about 2 minutes.

- Add the tomatoes with their juice, beef broth, and water to the pot. Stir well. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat so the chili enjoys a gentle simmer. Simmer uncovered for at least 2 hours.

Sweet Potato Mash 
- 2 pounds of peeled sweet potatoes
- 1/2 cup grassfed butter
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
{I left out the pecans}

- In a large pot, bring water to a boil and cook potatoes until soft enough to mash. Strain the potatoes and return them to pot.
- Add the butter and mash until all butter is melted and potatoes are smooth.
- Add onions, cinnamon, and maple syrup and mix thoroughly.

In each serving bowl, spoon and spread a layer of sweet potato mash. Place a handful of spinach leaves on top and then spoon chili over the layers. If you'd like, lay a few slices of avocado on it. Mom put a little shredded cheese on ours as well. YUM.

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