Because my daughter Celia is a vegetarian and I don’t eat much meat either, I’m always in search of meatless meals that are still hearty and filling enough to keep my family satisfied. This recipe for chili potatoes with sweet peppers turns baked potatoes into an incredibly healthy and filling meal by topping them with beans, vegetables, cheese and sour cream.
Sometimes potatoes get a bad rap. Potatoes are actually rich in nutrients and fiber, with a medium potato containing about the same amount of vitamin C as a cup of blueberries and more than double the potassium of a medium banana! Whenever possible I purchase organic potatoes because conventional potato farming uses a lot of harsh pesticides and chemicals.
You can also top baked potatoes with any homemade or store-bought chili, steamed or sautéed and chopped vegetables, cheeses, even barbecue sauce and salsa. They’re a mild medium for all sorts of bold flavors.
Recipe: Chili Potatoes with Sweet Peppers
Easy to make, satisfying, and lots of fiber and nutrients.
- 4 russet (baking) potatoes
- 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 red or green bell pepper, diced
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeds removed and finely diced
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- ¾ tsp. chili powder, or more to taste
- ¼ tsp. ground cumin, or more to taste
- ½ tsp. dried oregano or 1 ½ tsp. fresh
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 15 oz. canned black beans, drained and rinsed (or use combination of beans and corn kernels)
- ½ cup shredded Cheddar cheese, for serving
- ½ cup shredded Monterey Jack or mozzarella cheese, for serving
- ½ cup salsa, for serving (optional)
- ½ cup nonfat sour cream, for serving (optional)
Scrub the potatoes, pat them dry, and pierce the skins in several places with a fork. Place the potatoes in a microwave-safe glass dish and cover it with wax paper. Cook them on high power for 10 – 20 minutes (depending on your microwave), turning them once, until they are tender. (Alternatively, cook the potatoes in a 400 degree oven for 50 – 60 minutes.)
Meanwhile, in a heavy skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the bell peppers, jalapeños, onions, chili powder, cumin, oregano and salt. After about 10 minutes, stir in the beans (or bean and corn combination). Cook the vegetables, stirring often, until they are very tender, 10 – 15 minutes.
Cut the potatoes lengthwise and press them open. Top each potato with 1/4 of the vegetables, 1/4 of the cheeses, and 1 – 2 Tbsp. of salsa and sour cream, if desired.
Slow Cooker Directions: Add the oil, peppers, onions, black beans and spices to the slow cooker, and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-6 hours. Top the potatoes with the mixture, then the optional cheese, salsa and sour cream. If you are fortunate enough to have two slow cookers, the potatoes can also be prepared in a slow cooker. Prick the scrubbed potatoes with a fork, wrap in foil, then put in the slow cooker, stacking as necessary to fit. Cook on low for 9-10 hours or high for 5-6.