Around the holidays, we're never quite sure who will drop in, or when, or how long they might stay. One thing we do know is that everyone must be fed, and fed in holiday style. Vegetarians and vegans merit special attention in our household, because there are so many of them, and I always have a batch of this vegan black bean and sweet potato stew made ahead and stashed in the freezer. Like all stews, this one tastes better when made a bit ahead, and the slow cooker does most of the work, so it's perfect for holiday entertaining. The vibrant colors and bright citrus-accented flavors appeal to all ages, and make this stew a great side dish or main course. I like to serve it with wedges of polenta, but it would be great over rice or noodles, too.
Slow cooker vegan black bean and sweet potato stew
Adapted for the slow cooker from my favorite stovetop black bean and sweet potato stew recipe, which I shared in Meatless Holidays: Festive recipes for vegetarians, vegans, and the people who cook for them. Serves 4-6.
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups finely chopped onions
2 Tbsp minced fresh ginger root
2 tsp chili powder
1-1/2 tsp ground cumin
1-1/2 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams; about 2 medium), peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1-1/4 cups orange juice
2 Tbsp minced garlic
2 15- to 16-ounce cans black beans, rinsed, drained
1-2 chipotle chiles in adobo, chopped (to taste)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
Toppings (optional): sour cream, diced avocado, orange or lime wedges
In a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker, add the olive oil, onions and ginger root. Turn the cooker to HIGH while you prepare the sweet potatoes.
Add the chili powder, cumin, sweet potato pieces, orange juice and garlic. Turn the cooker to LOW, cover, and cook for 3 hours.
After the potatoes have cooked and are nearly tender, stir in the black beans, chipotle chile peppers, bell pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon each of kosher salt and black pepper. Cook on LOW for 1 hour, or until the sweet potatoes are cooked through.
Taste, and adjust seasoning with more salt and pepper, if needed.
Serve hot. Can be made several days ahead.
More slow cooker beans that would be great for the holidays:
Slow cooker turkey, black bean and squash chili
Slow cooker tomatillo chicken and black bean tacos
Slow cooker chicken and pinto bean burrito bowl
Slow cooker vegan spicy pinto bean chili with corn and kale
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Black bean and sweet potato quesadillas, from Eat, Live, Run
Southwestern black bean potato salad, from FatFree Vegan Kitchen
Roasted sweet potato black bean salad, from Chez Us
Sweet potato and black bean tacos with cilantro cabbage slaw, from Mountain Mama Cooks
Hearty black bean and sweet potato soup, from Shutterbean
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