You Put the Lime in the Coconut

And you then mix it with sweet potatoes?  For real?

This is indeed something completely different, and my whole family enjoyed it and O.K.’ed it as a thermos filler in the lunchbox.  I love it.

Believe what you will about serendipity / fate / destiny, but how often do you have leftover coconut milk, cilantro and lime and then randomly choose a recipe in your new book “Meals That Heal Inflammation” that requires all 3?  Seemed like I was the chosen one in the chosen moment to try this strange concoction called “Sweet Potato Gratin.”  (By the way, I had those ingredients after making Thai Tomato Soup a la An Unrefined Vegan – a GREAT source for inventive and delicious vegan recipes, and Thai Tomato Soup rocks.)

Destiny (or maybe it was physics) also required that I use my mandoline for the 2nd time as it is difficult to shove a sweet potato through the feeder chute of the food processor.  The mandoline was about as fast and a little more fun 🙂

My mandoline has a little blue smile with a very sharp tooth.

Ta Dah!

Here then is the recipe which, since I am indeed genetically and spiritually tied to Little Sis, I varied a little…

Sweet Potato Gratin
adapted by Cathy Hayashi from Molly Katzen and printed in “Meals That Heal Inflammation” by Julie Daniluk, R.H.N. (registered holistic nutritionist)

Be sure to thinly slice the sweet potatoes so they’ll cook properly and release enough starch to thicken and set the gratin.  Slicing the spinach into ribbons helps disperse the flavor throughout.  (I didn’t ribbon because I’m lazy.)

1 large garlic clove minced (I pressed)
2 tsp (10ml) freshly grated lime peel
3 Tbsp. (45 ml) fresh lime juice
3Tbsp. (45 ml) chopped cilantro
1 tsp. (5 ml) dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp (7.5 ml) gray sea salt or pink rock salt (I used plain ol’ sea salt)
14 oz. (400 ml) coconut milk (I was a tad short and threw in the missing tad of almond milk)
1/2 cup (125 ml) filtered water
4 cups (1 L) sweet potatoes, peeled, halved, then thinly sliced (I didn’t peel because I’m lazy)
2 cups (500 ml) cooked brown rice
15 oz. (415 ml) cooked black beans or 1.5 cups cooked chicken in small pieces (I used beans because they’re good for your heart)
4 cups (1 L) fresh spinach leaves, sliced into ribbons (We’ve already discussed my cutting deficits)

3/4 cup (185 ml) quinoa flakes (I used crushed gluten free crackers)
2 tsp (10 ml) fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp (1 ml) cumin
1/4 tsp. (1 ml gray sea salt or pink rock salt (again plain ol’ sea salt for me)
1 Tbsp (15 ml) olive oil


1) Preheat oven to 350 (175C).  Combine the first 8 ingredients in something you can pour from

Excuse the jewelry making paraphernalia, I liked the light in this spot.

2) Pour 1/3 of the mixture into a 9X13″ (20 X 30 cm) baking pan
3) Layer half of the sweet potato, then half of the rice, black beans and spinach.

There is a glass pan under there although it looks like the layers are right on the counter.

4) Pour another third of the coconut mixture over this layer and repeat the layering with remaining sweet potatoes, rice, black beans and spinach.

5) Pour remaining coconut mixture to cover the entire dish.

6) Combine all topping ingredients and sprinkle over the gratin.

7) Bake, uncovered, for about 60 minutes, rotating the pan in the oven after 30 minutes to ensure uniform baking.

8) When the sweet potatoes are tender and the topping is crisp, remove from the oven and let sit for 2 to 3 minutes to firm up before serving.

I served these with steamed green beans from the garden which my son and I picked while the Gratin was baking.

Again, this was a very tasty and different dish.  We all enjoyed it very much!  The book is also very interesting.  It is well researched, has lots of interesting recipes and might be of interest to anyone with an inflammatory condition.

May the odd ingredients in your own refrigerators lead you to new discoveries today!

15 responses

  1. Thanks for the soup reminder, I meant to make that but didn’t have the ingredients on hand at the time :/

    I’m loving your concoction! What a fabulous combo. I thought the black beans were raisins… Raisins might actually be good in that too!

    • Actually, Somer I think raisins is a grand idea. I’m always up for raisins. It’s hard to think of foods that can not be improved by adding raisins or chocolate… or both 🙂

  2. Yeah, lazy, that’s what we all say about you. People, don’t believe a word of it – about the laziness. The woman is a powerhouse. And the food looks yummy. I immediately started a mental inventory – will have to wait until later in the week, but am looking forward to it.

    • Okay, so I’m not lazy about many things – but peeling is definitely one of them 😉
      It’s yummy. You and Bro-in-Law will love it. Not thinking your little people will appreciate this – but hey, mine did, so who knows?

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