Monday, March 18, 2013

5-Ingredient Mondays: Sweet Potato Fries with Spicy Curried Coconut Milk Dip

Today's 5-Ingredient recipe is coming to you courtesy of one of my favorite bloggers, Jonathan Itchon of The Canary Files. Jonathan and a few other bloggers are helping me out in the next couple of weeks while I'm (finally!) driving from L.A. to Missouri. Jonathan has a talent for developing simple recipes with a twist. Today is a perfect example of that. There are a lot of recipes for sweet potato fries, but Jonathan takes it a step further by adding a spicy curried coconut milk dip. 

I wonder if I can get Jonathan to move to Missouri too? 

I'm going to share the rules for 5-Ingredient Mondays here and then let Jonathan take over. 

Here are the rules for 5-Ingredient Mondays: 
  1. The dish must contain 5 ingredients or less. But to make it easier, pantry staples are not counted as ingredients. Neither are optional ingredients.
    1. Examples: salt, pepper, olive oil, baking soda, baking powder...basically if you think you would find the ingredient in any kitchen, you don't have to count it as one of your 5 ingredients. On the other hand, if it's a staple in your kitchen but not the average American's (i.e. coconut oil), count it. If you're unsure, go ahead and add the link. I'm not a stickler for rules!
  2. The dish must be gluten-free. Your recipe can be paleo, vegan, or anything in between. Breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert. Side dish or main dish. The purpose here is to create a place where you can come to find recipes that you know will be gluten-free and super simple. 
  3. You must leave a link to your own recipe that goes to that week's 5-Ingredient Monday post, not on this static page. 
Your recipes don't need to be from this week, so feel free to check your recipe list for your favorite recipes to share. I will sometimes share photos of the recipes with links back to your blog, so by sharing your recipe, you are giving me permission to use your photo and link back to your recipe. 

The linky will be live through noon on Thursday.

Hello, Everyone! My name is Jonathan Itchon, and today I have the distinct privilege of offering a guest post while Iris takes a well-deserved break. I discovered The Daily Dietribe nearly two years ago when I began my own blog, The Canary Files, and I have been a fan, advocate, and friend ever since. In reading about Iris' journey in regards to food, health, and discovering love and wisdom in the sometimes most unlikely of places, I found a kindred spirit. I used to live a life governed by illness, pain, frustration, and a sense of helplessness. But once I adopted a gluten-free way of living in the Fall of 2007, I found not only relief from chronic fatigue and pain, but I found clarity, a renewed sense of purpose, and ultimately for me, a second chance to live the life I knew I was meant to live. And so through my everyday interactions, through my blog, and now here, today, with you, I hope to pay that forward. To be a "canary" who sings because of his circumstance - not in spite of them.

I love 5-Ingredient Mondays. In the past, I used to believe that the only recipes people would be interested in seeing would require me to reinvent the wheel. Use unexpected ingredients, make foods that one wouldn't think could be made gluten-free, dairy-free, and/or vegan, and make jaws drop, etc. Basically, I was always in Top Chef Quickfire mode. And while a lot of wonderful recipes were borne of that mindset, in real life my cooking is really quite simple. It's about ingredients, inspiration, and honoring the body, the mind, the Earth, and the soul. And while these kinds of recipes may not bring me more followers or more views, they are what sustains me in my every day. So with this weekly blogging event, I am not only allowed to share these recipes, but I am actually encouraged to do so. Simple is celebrated. And I love that.

Today's recipe is an homage to a favorite childhood memory. Adjectives that would accurately describe me as a youth would include "husky," "big-boned," and "healthy." And one of the big reasons for it was my declared love of fast food, particularly french fries. But my Mother, being clever and loving as she was, would make fries of her own from time to time to satisfy my cravings. And these fries were made with sweet potato, baked in an oven, and served with a curried honey mayo dip. When I told her that I liked them better, I wasn't just kissing up: I meant it. The tender sweetness enclosed in a crisp, savory exterior and then slathered in a sweet and aromatically spicy rich dip was seriously the bee's knees. So today, I tip my hat to that memory with this no-fuss recipe for both the oven fries and the dipping sauce that requires only 5 ingredients (so long as you accept that agave nectar or maple syrup is a pantry staple).

Simple, delicious, and truly satisfying.

Oven-Baked Sweet Potato Fries with a Spicy Curried Coconut Milk Dip
Gluten-Free & Vegan

Active Prep Time: 5 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
Baking Time: 25-30 minutes
Yield: about 4 servings

1 lb. sweet potatoes (about 4 small ones)
scant 1/8 c oil
salt & pepper

1/4 c full-fat coconut milk
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon agave nectar or maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
1/4-1/2 teaspoon sriracha
salt, to taste

What you need: large mixing bowl, baking pan, foil, cooling rack, tongs, whisk

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Peel and chop sweet potatoes into fries. I started by slicing them in half lengthwise and then slicing each half into long strips and then slicing those in half. Your aim is for them all to be approximately the same size and thickness so they cook evenly. For the photo, I used three different varieties: Japanese Kotobuki (white-fleshed), Garnet (orange), and Okinawan (purple).
3. In a large mixing bowl, toss the uncooked fries with oil until well coated and season with salt and pepper. Choose an oil with a high smoke point that can withstand high heat, like refined coconut, canola, or sunflower.
4. Line the baking pan with foil and place the cooling rack in the center. Arrange the fries on the rack, spacing them about 1" apart. If all fries will not fit on one baking pan, I would suggest baking each batch in succession rather than simultaneously. Your fries will be crispier for it.
5. Bake for 15 minutes and then remove from oven to flip each fry using tongs. Replace in oven and continue baking for another 10-15 minutes. You may notice some blackening of the tips and edges in addition to 'puffing' of the exterior of each fry as they bake, particularly in the final minutes - totally normal and totally tasty.
6. Fresh from the oven, they may not feel very crispy, but as they cool, the exterior of each fry will firm up. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
7. Meanwhile, in a bowl combine all dip ingredients except salt. Whisk until well combined, and then salt to taste. And if spicier is better for you, feel free to take the amount of sriracha as a suggestion - you may want to also up your sweetener to maintain the balance. And if on the flip side, spicy is not your thing, feel free to omit the sriracha altogether.

And there it is - so simple and delicious and a wonderful way for kids, and adults, to eat their veggies and not know it. And the recipe easily doubles, which is good to know because "serving size" when it comes to fries is definitely relative.

Thank you again to Iris, for graciously allowing me to share this guest post with you. It's truly been an honor and a privilege.

Thank you, Jonathan! Don't forget to follow Jonathan at The Canary Files.


Jonathan said...

Thank you again, Iris, for allowing me the opportunity to contribute a guest post as you trek across the country. It was a wonderful thing to wake up to, seeing my photo, recipe, and words here. Safe travels and all the best!

Heather @Gluten-Free Cat said...

Hi Iris! It's my first time participating in 5-Ingredient Mondays. Thanks for hosting such a great event!

hunterslyonesse said...


gfe--gluten free easily said...

Great post, Jonathan! Love that dip for making sweet potato fries and even more special treat! :-) It looks so appealing the photo, too.

Iris, even after we talked this morning, I forgot to link up today. :-( Thankfully, Debi's FB post reminded me. Anyway, I've linked up my Crustless "Faux Pumpkin" Pie recipe, which includes 5 ingredients when you don't count the spices and salt. I don't think you have to count 2 eggs as two ingredients, do you? ;-) This pie is surprising with its main ingredient and surprisingly good!

Safe travels, dear! xo,
Shirley said...

Does this taste just as good without the agave?? I'm doing a challenge right now and no sweeteners are allowed...wondering if it would cut it or if the agave is essential!

Iris said...

Glutenfreemuse- I would stop by Jonathan's site and ask him, but it looks to me like you could leave it out and be okay. It's only a teaspoon and coconut milk is pretty sweet.

Jonathan said...

I echo that, Iris. It is only a teaspoon, and only as an homage to the curried mayo my Mother used to make which was sweetened with honey. If you leave it out, it is still mighty tasty. :)


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