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. 

Tempeh-Bacon Wrap

Since we had leftover tempeh-bacon, we found other ways to eat it. (Especially since avocados can be so darn expensive.) This recipe makes enough for four wraps, assuming that 1/2 of the tempeh-bacon from the previous recipe is used. I had one of these wraps as a leftover the next day, and it retained all of its deliciousness!


  • Tempeh-Bacon (1/2 recipe)
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 250g mushrooms, sliced
  • Little extra barbecue sauce from the Tempeh-Bacon recipe
  • 1 tbsp sunflower or canola oil
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Wraps


  1. In a frying pan, fry the tempeh-bacon in the marinade (no extra oil required). Fry until browned on both sides.
  2. In the same pan, once the tempeh-bacon is done, (or in a new pan simultaneously- if you’re feeling lucky) sauté the onions with a little bit of oil and some of the extra barbecue sauce. Once the onions begin to get translucent, add the mushrooms. Cook til mushrooms are cooked through & everything is delicious. (Add a bit more barbecue sauce if desired.)
  3. Wrap up your bacon with the mushroom & onions, lettuce & tomato.

Many-Bean Chili

I had the worst craving for veggie chili a few days back, and thus the many-bean chili was born. This makes enough for about 6 hungry adults. Any leftovers can be frozen and heated up as desired!


  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 medium-sized onions, chopped
  • 4 bell peppers (any color will do, an assortment is nice), chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tbsp chili flakes (add a bit less if you’re afraid of spicy food, and more if you love it!)
  • 2 vegetable bouillons, crushed
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 4 cans of beans– your choice! In this chili we used 2 cans of brown beans (very cheap in Holland), 1 can of black beans, and 1 can of kidney beans; strained and rinsed
  • 4-5 large tomatoes, chopped and de-seeded
  • 1 cup water
  • 700g tomato passata (or just plain tomato sauce)


  1. Sauté onion in the oil in a big pot. Add in the garlic, then the bell peppers, and sauté until the onions begin to get a little translucent.
  2. Add in the chili flakes, crushed bouillon, and cumin. Toss.
  3. Add in the rinsed beans, then tomatoes. Toss again. Finally add in the tomato passata and water and mix well.
  4. Bring to a light boil, then reduce heat and simmer for as long as you can wait. (At least 30 minutes.) Stir occasionally.
  5. Can be served on its own, or with rice, cornbread, or couscous! We served it with couscous and it turned out well. We stuck the leftover couscous in the chili and let it all absorb, and it was delicious on day 2!
Many-Bean Chili
Many-Bean Chili

Simple Black Bean Spread

Eating “bread” (aka sandwiches) for lunch everyday is standard in Holland. A common sandwich usually involves buttering your bread plus one ‘topping’. So: cheese + butter; jam + butter; “syrup” + butter; peanut butter + butter. No peanut butter AND jelly, no meat AND cheese. Adding more than one veggie to your sandwich? No no no no. Apparently it’s some kind of lunchtime sacrilege. I digress. Generally, if going vegan in Holland, you have to get creative with what you put on your sandwiches. Enter- the (very easy) black bean spread:

Ingredients (makes enough for sandwiches for the week for two people):

  • 2 cans black beans
  • 1 onion, chopped into chunks
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt to taste


  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender/food processor… and blend/process away! The end result should be pretty creamy but still have a few chunks here in there
  2. Spread on bread alone, or add some salsa to spice things up even more!

Eet smakelijk!