Monday, October 17, 2016

Day 11 - Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili

Pinterest Day 11
The Pinterest recipe I looked at today was Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili at Alida's Kitchen. 

The Reasons:
Trying to stick to my good diet so I feel better and can be more functional, and I had sweet potatoes and beans I could use. That's really it.

The Ingredients:
What I can use:
olive oil
sweet potatoes (but have pale ones, not orange)
yellow onion (so happy i can have a little of this now!)
dried oregano
tomatoes (just not the canned ones they ask for)
beans (just not the black ones they asked for)

What I can't use:
4 garlic cloves, minced (working up to being able to have this)
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin (maybe if I grow this I can have it!)
¼ teaspoon cayenne

What I could have used but didn't have:
green bell pepper
vegetable broth

The Challenges:
1. I ended up with no flavored liquids to add - they had juices from the tomato cans plus broth, and I had tomatoes that were old enough they started sprouting and I had to eliminate the juicy middle parts as a result, and no broth made at all.

2. My sweet potatoes are milder, pale ones rather than the stronger tasting orange ones

3. I react to black beans, so had to have a different kind of bean.

4. Can't use most of the seasonings.

5. Didn't have a pepper

What I did:
1. For the beans, I used an heirloom type called Mayocorba, from Rancho Gordo company.  They are pale, a bit like a mild pinto bean in look and taste.

2. I used my sweet potatoes and hoped for the best.

3. I added salted water, but in smaller amounts than the broth. I tried for a thicker stew, in an attempt to avoid diluting the flavors so much.

4. Seasonings, I just used what I have, which is oregano, thyme, sage, and a wild foraged herb called wild tarragon that tastes nothing like tarragon and instead is kind of unique to itself - reminds me of the smell of mugwort, honestly.

5. Used a bit of peeled, chopped zucchini instead of bell pepper.

Why did I make these choices:
I am just trying to find some way to eat this that's palatable and I can tolerate as I am starting my diet again! One of many attempts to just use up what ingredients I have, until it's time to shop again.

The result:
The color palette is completely different. Pale, with the sweet potatoes looking like potatoes, and the zucchini and beans not adding much color. The tomatoes were really the only bright color. Not bad, just a totally different look than the recipe.

The flavor was pretty bland. Not bad, but just kind of 'eh.'  Needed to add more salt to improve. 

How would I change this:
I think it would be improved if I can get the pepper and broth next time, plus add more seasonings - overall, texture was fine, just needed more intensity to the flavor, is all.

Would I make it again:
Yeah, just alter it a bit.

Allergy issues:
It's gluten free, dairy free, egg free, and corn free (my herbs were all from the garden). It's got onions, though, which can be an issue for some who react to high sulfur foods. The tomatoes make it not so compliant with the low histamine diet.

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