Cajun baked sweet potatoes with tahini dressing – gluten free, grain free, dairy free, clean and paleo friendly.
Now that Spring is here and the weather is warming up (ignoring this week’s hideous weather of course), we are more inclined to head outdoors to eat.
It’s always been Aussie tradition to enjoy lots of picnics and barbeques in warm weather. I love the smell of char-grilled steaks and snags wafting and plates filled with sides like baked veggies and a variety of salads. I tend to get more excited though over the side dishes than the meat itself so today’s recipe is all about the side dish.
Tasty, filling and choc full of nutrients, my Cajun baked sweet potatoes with tahini dressing is sure to please. You can eat it hot or cold.
It’s hard to get sweet potatoes to crisp up but with a little help from a coating of arrowroot flour you can achieve a bit of a crust on the outside at least and this will also depend on how long you cook it for. I cooked mine for 1 1/2 hours to get the crust but they are still lovely at the 1 hour mark when they are more soft.
Cooking time will vary depending on the size of your sweet potato and your oven. The amount of arrowroot and spice mix will also depend on the size of your sweet potatoes so feel free to add a little more of both if there’s not enough.
What is arrowroot?
Arrowroot is a plant (herb) native to the Caribbean. The starch is ground from the root and underground stem of the plant and is highly digestable. In fact, in Victorian times, it was used medicinally to wean infants from mother’s milk and helped nourish people with dietary restrictions. It is used to lighten baked goods and to thicken sauces. You can find arrowroot in the baking section of major supermarkets for under $2 or in health food shops.
The tahini dressing is best made ahead of time so the flavours have time to develop. I’ve used half a cup of water as I like my dressing thick like mayonnaise. If you want a thinner dressing as per the photo below, then add a little more water after the initial blitzing in the food processor.
Once the dressing has been drizzled over the potatoes, add a generous sprinkling of chopped fresh flat leaf parsley or coriander leaves. You could almost call it a salad.
Actually this recipe reminds me of a Cajun spiced potato salad I made earlier this year for our Australia Day Party Pontoon adventure. Unhappy with the result, I nicknamed it “The Shi* Salad.”
Michael, one of the pontooners, wolfed down plate after plate of it, almost to the point of stomach ache status, so now we joke about Michael and his “Shi* Salad” rampage.
Enjoy the rest of your Sunday and let’s hope this weather starts warming up like it’s supposed to.
Love, Tash xx
Why this is so good for you
Sweet potato lowers blood pressure, supports a healthy digestive system, protects against colon cancer, helps provide relief from rheumatism and helps reduce inflammation.
Arrowroot helps prevent neural-tube defect and other congenital malformation in offspring, helps regulate heart rate and blood pressure, aids in fat metabolism in the body, aids in digestion and regulates bowel movement, can relieve nausea and replaces nutrients that are lost due to diarrhea and vomiting.
Sesame seeds (from tahini) protect the liver, help relieve rheumatoid arthritis, lower blood pressure, help prevent colon cancer, improve bone health and strengthen the immune system.
Olive oil helps prevent breast cancer, heart disease, lowers blood pressure, reduces the risk of diabetes, reduces the risk of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis, helps prevent strokes and reduces risk of depression.
Lemon promotes heart health, maintains blood pressure levels, lowers bad cholesterol, reduces risk of heart disease and high blood pressure, helps prevent skin, colon and breast cancer, helps prevent osteoarthritis, inflammatory polyarthritis, bone fractures and osteoporosis, helps treat sore throat, flu, cold and similar infections, encourages healthy bowel movements and improves oral health.
Apple cider vinegar fights diabetes, aids digestion, reduces the risk of heart diseases, aids in weight loss, helps relieve upset stomach, boosts energy, helps the body detox and helps alleviate sinus infection, sore throats and headache.
Garlic has antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antioxidant properties, supports the circulatory, digestive and immune systems, helps lower blood pressure, assists in detoxification, prevents formation of blood clots, reduces blood pressure, helps with asthma, regulates blood sugar levels in diabetics and lower the risk of most types of cancer.
Himalayan Salt contains all of the 84 elements found in your body. It is anti aging, increases hydration, promotes blood sugar health, prevents muscle cramping, strengthens bones, lowers blood pressure, improves circulation, helps expel toxins from the body, helps reduce acid reflux and helps the intestines absorb nutrients.
Coriander promotes liver function and bowel movement, lowers blood sugar levels, helps treat Alzheimer’s disease, helps protect the body from lung and cavity cancers, helps relieve arthritis, cures mouth ulcers, stimulates memory, helps remove heavy metals from the body and helps cure anemia.
* It's important to line your trays with baking paper, otherwise the sweet potato will stick.
* Around the 1 hour mark the sweet potatoes should be cooked but on the soft side. If you leave for another 1/2 hour or more, they will develop more of a crust. This all depends on the size of your sweet potato pieces and your oven,
- 5 medium - large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes (my uncut sweet potatoes were 20 - 22 cm long and 20 cm in diametre)
- 1/4 cup olive oil (or oil of choice)
- 1/4 cup (or more) arrowroot starch
- 1/4 cup (or more) Cajun spice mix
- 1/2 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, cut in half
- 1/4 teaspoon fine pink Himalayan salt
- A few generous grinds of cracked black pepper
- 1/2 - 1 cup water (depending on how thin you want your dressing)
- Fresh chopped coriander or flat leaf parsley
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees C
- Line 2 baking trays with baking paper *
- Coat sweet potato cubes in oil. Add more if you need to.
- In a small bowl, combine the arrowroot and Cajun spice mix and then sprinkle over the potatoes, coating all sides.
- Arrange on baking trays. Try not to overcrowd the potatoes as this will affect the baking.
- Cook for 1 - 1 1/2 hours or until a slight crust has formed.
- Place all ingredients in a food processor or high speed blender and blitz till smooth and creamy. Start off with 1/2 cup water and thin out as necessary.