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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Once the potatoes are mashed, add the defrosted peas and heat through for about 2 minutes.
- Add the scallions, stir, and turn the heat off.
- Add the lime juice and cilantro and stir. Taste for seasoning. I ended up adding about a ¼ teaspoon salt.
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!