Sweet Potato Chili (V)

IMG_8431As you may have deduced from my previous posts, I have incredible roommates; the three of us have always been best friends, but our short time of living together has already drawn us closer than ever. That being said, we are all young, driven, busy people, so the fact that we literally occupy the same building has only provided a minimal increase in the amount of time we actually spend with each other. Getting all of us in the same room for something beyond a  “good morning” or “see you later, love y’all!” has been frustratingly rare, which is why I’m both thrilled and shocked to announce that we had not just one, but THREE whole instances of communal activity this week! Last Friday, we watched both the season finale to a show we’ve managed to view together (often weeks separating episodes) and a terrible Christmas rom-com (how can you not love them); on Monday we had another–this time spontaneous–movie event; and just yesterday, we planned to share a pancake breakfast. Any of you who spend more time away from home than in your house or who experience instant suspicion when a period of free time seems to appear in your schedule–you can understand how monumental this was!

One of the activities in which we ended up engaging post-movie was reading and answering would-you-rather questions. I can’t recall how or why we started, but within minutes of reading through them, our cozy adult living room was transformed into the scene of a sleepover party, laden with pillows and laced with an ambiance of giggles. Given the fact that all three of us are far too difficult to simply pick one of the two choices, many of the questions evolved into elaborate discussion, brimming with hypothetical terms and conditions before we dared choose our answers. Truthfully, we quite obliterated the purposefully minimalist nature of the game, finding pleasure in manipulating each option to fit our liking– but it certainly provided some entertaining banter.

I did notice one trend, though, in our conversation. Many of the questions involved being able to travel for free, dine anywhere we pleased, receive an unheard of opportunity or superpower–all of those imagination-sparking scenarios. Often when we were contemplating the choices, the most common followup question was “Well, would I be doing this by myself, or with other people?” Many times, we found that we simply couldn’t decide on a statement unless we invented the prerequisite that we would be with family, for example. IMG_8417

I realize, of course–and I’d tell anyone who inquired–that being able to see and spend time with my family is very important in my life. But the imaginative situations of would-you-rather, as nonsensical as they are, really emboldened my understanding of just how important it is. Listening to the impossible crossroads of the questions and realizing that they were impossible for me largely because I am not wholly me without my family and friends was telling. I sat on that couch last Friday with Allie and Annie, participating in an activity that, on my own, would have been comparatively boring. I’m writing this from the plane home to see my family–without whom, Thanksgiving would simply not be Thanksgiving. I went to a cafe with my friend Maddie, an outing that probably would have been uneventful, if not borderline depressing alone. And  even killed three hours at the airport (a place notorious for its blandness) having fun with my good friend Sam. 

Maybe it’s the whole tone of Thanksgiving, or even the nearing Christmas season that’s bringing out a sentimental spirit in me. But wow, doing life is just SO much better with people you love. I think we can all look forward, as always, to the food this Thursday, but pay some special attention to the faces at the table too. 

I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in their toil–this is the gift of God.

Ecclesiastes 3:12-13

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Sweet Potato Chili (V)

Ingredients

  • 8 cups coarsely chopped sweet potatoes
  • 2 cans black beans
  • 2 cans garbanzo beans
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp chili powder

 

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a slow cooker. 
  2. Cook on low for 6 hours, or until potatoes are tender. Turn slow cooker down to warm. 
  3. Remove 2-3 cups of chili, and allow to cool completely.
  4. Pulse cooled chili in Nutribullet or blender until completely smooth.
  5. Stir the pureed chili back into the original pot of chili to thicken it. 
  6. *Repeat steps 3-5 with another batch of chili if you desire it thicker.
  7. Add toppings of choice, and enjoy! (vegan/non-vegan cheese, plain Greek yogurt, avocado, etc)
  8. Refrigerate leftovers in sealed containers; reheat in microwave.

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