I am by no means a vegetarian, but I do like to serve meatless meals at least 1 or 2 times per week. Fortunately, Hubs is just fine with that. Am I lucky or what?

There’s not much he won’t eat. Liver? Never, ever. Duck? Only recently and only in certain dishes (that’s a HUGE change, y’all). Curry? He’ll tolerate it in small doses while I’m a lover!

Since January is National Soup Month, my segments on THV11 will focus on soups, stews and chilis. That suits us just fine since rarely does a week go by that we don’t have one of those on the dinner table. Hubby gets a HUGE plus for that, y’all. He’s fine with soup being a meal rather than just a course preceding the “real” meal.

This Vegetarian Chili contains some unique flavors not typically found in our American chilis. Cocoa isn’t a stranger in Mexican dishes. In fact, The Aztecs were some of the world’s first chocolate lovers, even using it as currency. 

Etymologists trace the origin of the word “chocolate” to the Aztec word “xocoatl,” which referred to a bitter drink brewed from cacao beans. The Latin name for thecacao tree, Theobroma cacao, means “food of the gods

Somewhat reminiscent of a molé with a hint of sweetness, I like to add a squeeze of lime to balance out the flavors. 

Vegetarian Sweet Potato Chili {Slow Cooker}


  • 2 teaspoons cumin seed
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeño, minced (optional)
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons unsweetened dark cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 Tablespoons Williams Chili Seasoning (or to taste)
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 28-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 150-ounce can Bush’s Chili Beans (pinto), undrained
  • 1 15.5-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15.5-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15.5-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium sweet potato (about 8 ounces), peeled and cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces (substitute Hubbard squash or pumpkin)
  • sour cream, sliced scallions, sliced radishes, and tortilla chips, for serving


  1. In a large cast iron skillet, add 2 Tablespoons oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add in cumin seed and toast until fragrant.
  3. Add onion and peppers to skillet and sauté until onions are transparent; add in garlic and sauté 2-3 minutes more.
  4. Stir in cumin powder, cocoa powder, cinnamon, salt and pepper.
  5. In the insert of a 5 or 6 quart slow cooker, add diced tomatoes, and beans.
  6. Add in onion mixture and water or broth.
  7. Cover and cook on LOW 7-8 hours or HIGH 4-5 hours or until thickened.
  8. 1 1/2 hours before serving, turn heat to HIGH (if on LOW) and add sweet potatoes.
  9. Chili is done when potatoes are tender.
  10. Garnish as desired