Cooking for Wellness

Sweet Potato Chili

Jan. 3, 2018

A “twist” on traditional chili recipes with a couple of unexpected ingredients- sweet potatoes and cocoa. Sweet potatoes pair well with black beans and the spices in this dish. They also provide beta-carotene and dietary fiber. Cocoa is used in a small amount and adds “richness” to the flavor profile. Cocoa is an essential ingredient in Mexican mole sauces. The cooked tomatoes provide lycopene, a phytonutrient associated with reducing prostate cancer risk. 


  • 6


  • 1 onion, chopped 
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped 
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1⁄4-inch pieces 
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic 
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin 
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (more or less, depending on how spicy you like your chili) 
  • 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 black pepper
  • 1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes, including liquid
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups vegetable broth or water, adjust amount to achieve desired consistency


  1. In a 4 to 6 quart stockpot, sauté the chopped vegetables (onion, green peppers and sweet potatoes) in 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Stir the ingredients every few minutes so they can cook evenly. 
  2. Once the onions start turning translucent, turn the heat down to medium-low. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, cocoa powder, cinnamon, salt and black pepper). Stir to coat the vegetables. 
  3. Add the tomatoes, beans and vegetable broth (or water) and stir. 
  4. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes until the sweet potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. You can simmer up to two hours to develop the flavors. If you prefer a thicker consistency, remove the lid to allow some of the liquid to evaporate. 
  5. Garnish as desired and serve. 

Avocado Cream

Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats, vitamin E and minerals, including potassium. This topping adds a cooling richness to the “heat” of any chili dish. It can be used as a sandwich spread, instead of mayo. 


  • 1 cup


  • 1 avocado, pitted and peeled
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1/8 tsp salt


  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.


The Cancer Fighting Kitchen by Rebecca Katz