When someone is first diagnosed with celiac disease or another condition warranting avoidance of gluten, their initial inclination is often to go to the grocery store and load up on everything labeled gluten free. And with the recent rise in popularity of gluten free diets, there are thousands of nutritious and tasty gluten free products. that make gluten free easier, more pleasurable and more exciting. Of course, this can lead to quite the surprise at the cash register!

So it’s important not to forget about all the naturally gluten free foods out there! Gluten free grains like polenta and quinoa make a tasty base for your favorite pasta sauce loaded with tons of fresh veggies. A baked or mashed white potato is just as family friendly as a dinner roll. Beans, like chickpeas, are a fiber rich swap for croutons on your salad – roast them first to make them crunchy. And then there’s sweet potatoes, one of nature’s most nutrient dense foods!

Sweet potatoes, which are actually not related to white potatoes, are the richest food source of vitamin A, which gives the vegetable it’s characteristic hue. Vitamin A is a family of antioxidant vitamins that helps support healthy vision, the immune system, and cell growth. Despite it’s sweet taste, sweet potatoes help support healthy glucose metabolism thanks to their fiber content and other nutrients that help regulate blood sugar. Sweet potatoes are also a very good source of vitamin C, copper, and vitamin B6 and a good source of potassium, phosphorus, and the B vitamins niacin, thiamin and riboflavin.

This recipe uses tempeh, a gluten free vegan protein made from fermented soy beans. Crumbled up it has a texture and taste similar to ground meat. If you prefer to use meat, try half a pound of ground chicken or pork instead. A fun way to experiment with this recipe is to make it with the different varieties of sweet potatoes sold at Earth Fare!

Vegan Thai Tempeh Sweet Potatoes
Serves 4


For the potatoes:
– 4 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed
– 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
– ½ large yellow onion, finely diced
– 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
– 8 ounces tempeh, crumbled
– 1 teaspoon tamari (gluten free soy sauce)

For the toppings:
– ½ avocado, sliced
– Chopped fresh cilantro
– Sliced green onions
– Toasted peanuts, chopped
– Toasted sesame seeds
– Sriracha

For the Thai Peanut Sauce:
– ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
– 2 tablespoons tamari (gluten free soy sauce)
– 1 tablespoon sesame oil
– 1 tablespoon sriracha
– Juice of half a lime
– 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
– 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place on a baking sheet and roast for about 1 hour, flipping halfway, until tender. Prick with a knife or press with an oven mitted hand to see if they are done.
2. While the potatoes are baking, make the peanut sauce. Place all the peanut sauce ingredients together in the food processor and blend until combined, scraping down the sides as needed. Season with salt to taste. Set aside until ready to use.
3. Next, make the tempeh filling. Heat oil in a medium skillet on medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add tempeh and cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add soy sauce, cook another minute then turn off heat.
4. When the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, carefully cut a slit in the middle of each one, being careful not to get burnt by steam. Fill with tempeh filling, a couple slices of avocado and drizzle with peanut sauce. Garnish with cilantro, green onions, peanuts, sesame seeds and sriracha.


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About the Author

Rachael Hartley, RD, LD, CDE, CLT

Rachael Hartley is a private practice dietitian and food and wellness blogger at The Joy of Eating. She believes loving every bite of food is central to living a happy and healthy life. Through her practice and blog, Rachael inspires clients and readers to rediscover the joy of eating with nourishment, not deprivation, and to nurture a healthy relationship with food. Follow along on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.