Sweet Potato Chili

I promised a friend that I would put this recipe up… So now I’m finally doing it! This is the recipe for the chili that we have been making on a weekly basis. It’s usually enough for dinner for two nights (for two people), as well as lunch for a few days. It’s easy to throw together and heavy on canned goods.

The recipe is very versatile– if you are missing an ingredient, just omit it. Or substitute it with something you do have. No corn? No problem. Can’t stand cilantro? Leave it out. The world (chili?) is your oyster. 


  • 1/4 cup sunflower oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 3 tbsp paprika 
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 crushed vegetable bouillon 
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled, and cut into small cubes
  • 1 zucchini, cubed
  • 2 bell peppers, cut into squares
  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can of sweet corn
  • 4 cans of beans/lentils of choice (we used 1 black, 1 lentils, 1 brown, 1 kidney)
  • 500g tomato passata (aka plain cheap tomato sauce– €0.28 at Albert Heijn!)
  • handful of cilantro


  1. Heat the oil in a large soup pan. Stir in the paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, and crushed vegetable bouillon.
  2. Add the onions and sauté until they start to get soft. Then add the sweet potato. Continue to sauté until the sweet potato is soft enough to be easily pierced with a fork (but not too soft– it shouldn’t be mushy!). This could take up to 15 minutes, and make sure to keep stirring during this part so that the potatoes/onions don’t burn. If it starts to get too dry, add a little tomato sauce to keep things going.
  3. Now add the zucchini and bell peppers and sauté until they start to get a little soft.
  4. Wooo! You’re out of the woods! The hardest part is over. Now add the cans of diced tomatoes, can of corn, and beans. Stir. WOAH!! It barely fits in the pot!
  5. Add the tomato passata as needed. It should be used to make sure the chili begins in a liquid state. Finally, sprinkle in the handful of chopped cilantro.
  6. Bring to a boil, then quickly down to a simmer. Let it simmer with the lid on for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then take the lid off and continue to simmer for another 30 minutes or so (to let some of the liquid evaporate). 
  7. Poof! Food for a week. It’s one of those foods that’s usually better on the second day. I served the chili pictured here on a bed of spinach and topped with some cherry tomatoes. 

Barbecued Lentil Soft Tacos

The man of the (female-dominated) house did not find lentils too palatable the last time I made them. So we had a big bag of lentils hanging around the house that were collecting dust… and this turned out to be a sneaky way to make them again! So delicious that it can turn anyone into a lentil-lover.

Lentil Soft Taco

For the full soft tacos you will need:

  • Soft taco shells
  • Leafy greens of choice
  • Chopped and de-seeded tomatoes
  • Guacamole
  • Barbequed lentils (see below)

Ingredients for the barbequed lentils:

  • 1 cup of lentils
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp olive/sunflower oil
  • 2 medium-sized onions, sliced in half-moons
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped (we used a yellow bell pepper, any color will do)
  • *1 tbsp chili flakes
  • *1 tsp garlic powder
  • *1 tsp paprika
  • *1/2 tsp salt
  • *2 tiny cans of tomato paste (if in Holland– the Euroshopper kind of 0.07€/can!), about 1/2 cup in total
  • *1/4 cup ketchup
  • *2 tbsp syrup
  • *1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • *1 vegetable bouillon, crushed

You can omit everything with a * and replace with 1 cup of barbecue sauce if you are in a time or ingredient crunch… or are afraid of too many ingredients (like my mother).


  1. Start by cooking the lentils. Put the lentils and water in a pot, bring to a low boil, then reduce to a simmer. They should cook for about 30 minutes or so, or until they get to be a little tender. (We will finish them off in the sauce, so they don’t need to be completely done.)
  2. Sauté onions in oil until they get translucent. Then add bell peppers. Sauté until peppers begin to get soft.
  3. Then add in the chili flakes, garlic powder, paprika and salt. Toss.
  4. Add in the tomato paste, ketchup, soy sauce & syrup.
  5. Take your mostly-cooked lentils and add to the sauce. Add in the water and the crushed vegetable bouillon.
  6. Let the lentils simmer until the water has been absorbed and the lentils stick together in the barbecue sauce. If lentils are too hard still, then add a bit more water. You are done when the lentils are cooked to your liking, and everything is sticking together!