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Can you believe that for a while there I went off sweet potatoes? I know. Let me explain.
With the tumultuous journey that has been my digestive diagnoses, I’ve gone on and off foods. When I first became unwell, I craved extremely simple foods because I was constantly nauseous. I ate a lot of baked potatoes with a lot of canned baked beans, I’m not afraid to admit that.
When I was diagnosed with gastroparesis, I was told to ease up on the beans. When the SIBO diagnosis came, I was initially told to ease up on the potatoes. When no relief came, I tried the GAPS diet. Next, I tried going low FODMAP. And now, at the moment, I’m beginning to trial a hybrid: low FODMAP and grain free.
WHY IM DOING WHAT IM DOING
Last year, I wrote a cookbook on FODMAP friendly food, and it wouldn’t be ‘me’ if I didn’t jump into the project without any practical considerations. I was given two months to develop 100 recipes, and two weeks (which ended up being a month) to shoot them. I was confident that would be a walk in the park. To say it was insane is an understatement – I think I’ve blanked out the memory of just how stressful it was, and of just how many cookies and cakes I had to try. FYI, there becomes a point where trialling cookies is no longer enjoyable. Who would have thought.
Testing all those foods, as FODMAP friendly as they were, was taxing on my fragile digestive system. That, combined with the stress, had a spiral effect on my health, both mental and physical, that I think I’m only coming to grips with now.
I am so grateful to be writing recipes and books for a living. I feel like this is what I was always meant to do – the stuffed toys who had to watch my 10 year old self host cooking shows would attest to. That said, there has come a point that it feels as if the ethos of my recipes and my own way have eating have diverged.
For starters, more sweet potatoes. Like these 3 ingredient sweet potato waffles.
More FODMAP friendly recipes, because they’re doing great things for me. More books, I hope. But most importantly, more recipes that work around my digestive system, and at the moment that means more grain free recipes.
I’ve got plenty of grainy recipes in the pipeline for Christmas and beyond, so you might not see a huge difference in the offering immediately, or even at all. That’s how I’ll be eating for the next while though – veg forward, grain free, mostly nut and seed free.
ONTO THE SWEET POTATOES
I’m glad we got that health rant out of the way. Let’s talk sweet potatoes. These particular sweet potatoes are covered in a Thai inspired lemongrass, lime, kaffir and ginger dressing, and baked. They’re gluten free, vegan, FODMAP friendly, and grain free. Which is probably important, given the topic of discussion.
I get a lot of questions about coconut yoghurt and it’s FODMAP content. According to Monash, a pot sized serve of coconut yoghurt per person is completely FODMAP friendly. Make sure, though, that it doesn’t contain added sugars or unnecessary starches.
Half a cup (75g) of sweet potato is FODMAP friendly, and if you don’t mal-absorb the polyol mannitol, you can have more. If you do, you could try this recipe with pumpkin or potato, or bulk up your portions with salads and herbs.
LEMONGRASS AND LIME ROASTED SWEET POTATOES WITH KAFFIR COCONUT YOGHURT AND CRUSHED PEANUTS
For the lemongrass and lime sweet potato:
- 750 g sweet potato
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar or coconut sugar
- 2 teaspoons peanut or vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons tamarind paste
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon white ground pepper
- 2 packed teaspoons freshly ground lemongrass
- 1 packed teaspoon freshly ground ginger
- optional: grating of fresh kaffir lime
For the kaffir coconut yoghurt:
- Good grating of fresh kaffir lime
- 1 cup coconut yoghurt plain and without added inulin
- Remaining dressing 1-3 tablespoons
- Rice wine vinegar to taste (optional)
- 1/4-1/2 cup toasted and crushed peanuts
- Vietnamese mint or thai basil
- Red chilli
- Lettuce to bulk it out (optional)
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients for the sweet potato dressing. Whisk to combine and adjust for taste.
- Add the sweet potato rounds, and use your hands to cover all the pieces in the dressing. If you have time, let them sit for a while – I let mine sit for an hour or two.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius, and line a baking tray.
- Once the oven is ready, place the slices on 2 baking trays. If you like really crispy sweet potato, you could try adding a teaspoon of cornflour to the dressing mixture. Just make sure to pour some out for the coconut yoghurt dressing before you do.
- Cook the sweet potato for 20 minutes. After this, flip the sweet potato coins, brush them with a bit of extra dressing, and cook for an additional 10-20, depending on how large your rounds are.
TO MAKE THE DRESSING
- While the sweet potatoes are finishing off, combine all the ingredients for the coconut yoghurt dressing, and adjust for taste. Add extra lime juice, salt, sugar or tamarind paste if necessary. Set aside.
- If you need to, toast your peanuts to a dark roast. I crushed mine in a mortar and pestle, adding a bit of brown sugar and salt to season.
- Arrange the sweet potatoes on a bed of lettuce, if you’re using it. Top with the coconut yoghurt dressing, crushed peanuts, chilli, herbs, and an extra squeeze of lime.