Thursday, September 16, 2010

Gluten-Free Fall Specials: Curried Sweet Potato and Pea Wraps from City|Life|Eats

Valerie is one of my newer blog friends, but we bonded quickly over our love of Brooklyn and good food. I was delighted when she tested a few of my recipes as part of Adopt A Gluten-Free Blogger in July (and secretly relieved that she liked them, as I always get nervous when someone tries my recipes). After perusing her recipes, I'm sure I'll be trying out many of them in the upcoming months as well. Like me, she has a love of curry recipes, and I've been wanting to try her Curried Adzuki Beans with Mango. Now I can add her Curried Sweet Potato and Pea Wraps to that list!

I am so excited to be part of The Daily Dietribe’s Gluten-Free Fall Specials Series.  My name is Valerie and I blog at City|Life|Eats.  My contribution to the fall series is a gluten-free lunchbox recipe. I bring my lunch to work every single day; even before I switched to eating freely (aka gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, refined-sugar-free), I brought lunch with me to work often, but now it is a daily necessity.  And keeping lunches varied and interesting can get a bit tedious.  In fact, in preparation for this guest post, I decided to start blogging my lunchboxes.  Originally it was meant to be a week-long project, but now I hope to continue the lunchbox series as long as possible as I have been getting lots of great feedback.  I usually rely on leftovers, but once in a while I want something more lunch-like, by which I really mean sandwich-like. Lately I have been on a huge sweet potato kick, and then I was thinking of some gluten-filled former favorites (like samosas, kati rolls and empanadas) which were all stuffed with some amount of potato.  At the time, I used to think that it was the potato plus bread carb-on-carb combination that would make my stomach and my joints feels heavy and achy after lunch, while my head would be beset by foggy headachiness.  Now I realize it was the gluten.

I have not yet attempted to recreate gluten-free versions of those old favorites, but instead have been playing with lighter, easier and faster interpretations, such as these Curried Sweet Potato and Pea Wraps.  I have included below the recipe for about four to six servings of the curried sweet potatoes, along with tips on making the wraps.  When we make this dish, my husband and I actually eat the curried sweet potatoes as part of dinner one night, and then use the leftovers to make the wraps.  Finally, the approach to cooking is totally not traditional Indian cooking – I recommend steaming the sweet potatoes and then adding them to the aromatics – for two reasons: speed and texture.  This approach means you can cook the dish in under 20 minutes once the peeling and chopping is done.  And by steaming the sweet potatoes you can easily mash them without mashing the peas.   If you would like to see the lunchbox that included this recipe, click here for Monday's lunchbox.

Curried Sweet Potatoes and Peas

3 sweet potatoes (or yams), peeled and cut into large cubes
2 teaspoons grapeseed oil
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1 jalapeño, ribs and seeds removed, diced
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon coriander
1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
2 scallions, chopped into rounds (about 1/3 cup)
¼ cup of cilantro, chopped
Juice of half a lime
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Steam the sweet potatoes for about 15 minutes, using either a steamer basket or a rice cooker with insert.  When the sweet potatoes are soft, set aside.  
  2. Heat the grapeseed oil in a large sauté pan and add the garlic, ginger and jalapeno. Cook for 2 minutes, until softened, and add the spices, stirring constantly.  You may need to add a bit of water to prevent the spices and vegetables for sticking to the pan.
  3. Add the steamed sweet potatoes, mashing them right away with the back of a wooden spoon or a potatoes masher.  You are looking for a chunky texture.   
  4. Once the potatoes are mashed, add the defrosted peas and heat through for about 2 minutes. 
  5. Add the scallions, stir, and turn the heat off.  
  6. Add the lime juice and cilantro and stir. Taste for seasoning. I ended up adding about a ¼ teaspoon salt.
Note: feel free to substitute curry powder for the spices in the recipe.
To make the wraps:   I use the Food for Life Brown Rice Tortillas.  I think the key for using these tortillas is to run them under water so they are a bit damp (but not soaked through or breaking) and then toast in a dry frying pan on high heat on both sides.  For each wrap, heat a frying pan on high, run a tortilla under water, and place in the frying pan. Reduce heat to medium and flip the tortilla after 30 seconds.  Arrange about a 1/3 cup of sweet potato filling on one side of the tortilla, and fold over the tortilla.  You can leave the tortilla in the pan longer, and even flip to get the other side toasted, but then it wrap will get crispy, while my goal is to keep it soft and pliable.  That said, it is up to you.   I make the wrap at night, and store it in the refrigerator and bring it to work with me the next day, and I find that the pliable wrap maintains a nice texture.

Makes 4-6 servings. 

Valerie blogs at  City|Life|Eats about mindful living, allergy-friendly eats and city life.  In addition to always cooking gluten-free and dairy-free (and often vegan) recipes, Valerie loves exploring farmers’ markets, practicing yoga, and spending time with her husband and loved ones. You can subscribe to City|Life|Eats via RSS or email or connect with Valerie via Twitter or Facebook.

I've been eating salads daily all summer, but now that the weather is cooling down, I want heartier lunch fare. Valerie's curry dishes are exactly what I need right now! You can continue to follow her lunchbox series at City|Life|Eats for more innovative gluten- and dairy-free lunch ideas. And on Sunday, I'll be hosting a guest post from Selene at Veganlicious, who is treating us to a perfect Fall snack: gluten-free blueberry muffins!


Alea said...

Oh these look wonderful! And I have everyone of those ingredients on hand. I can't wait to try the curried sweet potato wraps!

gfe--gluten free easily said...

Wow, those wraps are making my mouth water, Valerie! These do indeed sound like a great lunch ... or any meal really. I'd happily take one right now. I'm slowly warming up to curry. In some dishes, it's amazing and all that's needed is a small amount (at least for my tastes). You should participate in Go Ahead Honey over at Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen if you think any of your lunch ideas are good for school lunches. It sure seems like they would be!

Iris, thanks so much for featuring Valerie. She has a whole different take on food from my own, which I just love! Hope you're happily getting settled in Seattle and are not sleepless (forgive me!).


Juanita said...


Valerie @ City|Life|Eats said...

Thanks Iris for your lovely introduction. It's been a pleasure to guest blog for you!!

Pure2raw twins said...

These look great, I just Valerie mention them on her site.

Ricki said...

Sounds like just my kind of dinner . . . yum!

Ali said...

These look so tasty, I think I'll make them for lunch tomorrow. I bet it would also be tasty with the addition of some cooked chickpeas. Thanks for sharing Valerie. :)

Farty Girl said...

Dude - every time I see samosas, I growl with envy that I can't eat them. Thank you for posting!!!

Maggie said...

I love Valerie's sweet potato obsession as of late! As a result, I've been eating sweet potatoes every day! I think Pete is getting tired of them, not me. I'll definitely make these in few days, especially since sweet potatoes are popping up at the market! Woohoo. Thanks Iris and Valerie.

Iris said...

@Maggie, I love sweet potatoes too! I could eat them every day...for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert!

Sophie said...

MMMMMMMMMMMMMM,..Iris!! What a lovely comnined combo & to put that in tortilla's must taste awesome!

Chelsey said...

I've been craving I indian curry as of late. This wrap is new! I like it.

I Am Gluten Free said...

It's 9:45 AM. I haven't yet had breakfast. I'm going upstairs right now to make this for breakfast/lunch! Thank you Iris and Valerie! As usual, my GF peeps rock!


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