Holy butts on all fronts, my son Liam is over a year old now. And he is eating way more than just formula. My wife and I are raising him vegetarian, so it's been a process finding him meals that are nutritional and also not secretly loaded with animal byproducts (shout out to Happy Tots for fortifying their products with plant-based DHA 'n' Omega-3!). But as a guy who enjoys cooking, I have a ton of fun cooking for Liam. He's at a point where he's interested in what mommy and daddy eat, so I try to prepare dialed down versions of our meals for him. With the Polar Vortex punching Pennsylvania right in the junk, I've been craving soups and chilis something fierce. Below is a toddler-approved version of sweet potato chili. This recipe yields a ton of food. It comes out on the sweet side and gives my baby a huge boost in protein, fiber, and vitamins A 'n' C:
Baby L's Sweet Potato Chili
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 sweet onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
2 cans of black beans (15 ounces each), rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes (or if you have time, 1 pound of fresh tomatoes diced)
1 lime, halved
2 1/2 cups water
3 tablespoons olive oil
Heat the olive oil in a large pot while you prep the onions and sweet potato. Don't worry about cutting them too small; it's all going into a food processor anyway. Add the onions and sweet potato to the oil and sweat them on low-medium heat for about 7-10 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, and cumin. Stir to evenly distribute the spices. Add the water. Bring to a simmer, cover, and reduce heat to maintain the sweet simmer action. Let the chili stew for 12-14 minutes. Add the beans and tomatoes. Squeeze the juice out of the limes. Bring back that simmer you've heard so much about, cover, and ride that simmer out for another 5 minutes.
Afterwards, dump everything into a food processor and pulse it for a few seconds. Be careful not to liquify the chili; my baby/toddler/other prefers food with texture and I bets yours will too. If your kid is OK in terms of food allergies, add a cup of frozen corn to the mix. If you want to make this for yourself, add a chili pepper of your choosing when you throw in the garlic, increase the chili powder and cumin to 2 tablespoons each, and maybe sprinkle in some salt and pepper to taste.