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When I need an easy meal, I need one that can be on the table within 10 minutes of me walking in the door. This requires minimal slicing, dicing, seasoning, and stirring. And Leanne Ely's Saving Dinner provided me one with this chili recipe, by utilizing two essential techniques.

  1. Use a crock pot/slow cooker (which means I assemble the ingredients before I leave for work, and when I walk in the door, it's ready)
  2. Use prepackaged seasoning (minimal slicing and dicing!)
Needless to say, if you don't have either one of those on hand, this recipe will be a difficult vegetarian chili.


(If you don't have taco seasoning mix on hand, try 2 teaspoons oregano with 2 teaspoons cumin and 2 tablespoons chili powder, and throw in some onion or garlic (dried if you have it, if not, saute some first... but now we're doing more slicing and dicing, which wasn't part of the "easy" plan now, was it?))

Cube the sweet potato into bite size pieces. Toss it in the crock pot. Rinse and drain the beans. Toss them in the crock pot. Toss in the rest of the ingredients. Turn the crock pot on low, cover, and cook for 6-8 hours (I'm away at work for 10 hours, and it comes out fine). The chili will be thick. If it comes out too thick, next time, add more salsa, or add a few tablespooons of water in at the beginning to. (I find VooDoo Bayou and Mrs. Renfro's line of salsas are too watery to serve with chips or to prepare Mexican dishes but just right for this recipe).

Optional: (for the nights when you're ambitious enough to take it one step beyond easy)
Chop some cilantro or scallions and throw them over the top. Grate some cheddar cheese and use that as a topping. Warm some tortillas to serve on the side or spoon the chili into the center, fold the sides over, and make a faux burrito.

Serves about four to six people.