Saturday, December 6, 2014


After a number of weeks of travelling for work and eating out, I came back to SF looking forward to my regular workouts and home-cooked meals. I got that, and a week of cold rainy gloomy weather! I wanted to make something that's high on the feel-good factor - inside and out. Something that's not raw, not bread, not any grain, not eggs, definitely not meat, and something that makes the whole kitchen smell divine and home-y. Enter this dish...

This perfect-for-cold-rainy-weather dish takes very little time but is nourishing and big on flavour. And, the sweet potatoes, mung bean sprouts and buckwheat combination will keep you full without weighing you down. If you're diabetic or otherwise watching your sugar, use cauliflower instead of sweet potato.

Buckwheat is amazing! Contrary to the name, it's not related to wheat and in fact it's not even a grain. It's a seed - like quinoa. It's delicious, easy to cook, light on the digestive system, gluten-free, low glycemic index which makes it suitable for diabetic diets, and is a complete protein since it contains all essential amino acids. And if you must have a gilded lily: like artichoke flowers, buckwheat flowers smell incredible and make a luscious honey with floral notes. It's the bees knees!

Mung beans sprout really fast and since they're a small bean, they're easy on the stomach even when sprouted for just a day. Growing sprouts is really easy, and if you haven't grown them before, you can see my post here on growing sprouts.

Warming Buckwheat, Bean Sprouts, and Sweet Potatoes
makes: 4 main servings

- 1/2 cup buckwheat
- 2 cups mung bean sprouts (or sprouts from any other small bean/legume)
- 2 cups cubed sweet potatoes
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. minced ginger
- 1 tsp. black pepper, freshly ground
- 1 tsp. cayenne powder
- 1 tsp. turmeric
- 1 tsp. coriander powder
- 1 tsp. cumin powder
- 1 tsp. garam masala (or any curry powder)
- 2 tsp. mustard seeds
- 3 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. coconut oil (or ghee, or any neutral oil - *not* olive oil)
- 1-1/2 cups water
- 1 tbsp. ghee
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F/220 C. Rinse the buckwheat well and soak in a bowl in plenty of water. In a small bowl mix all the dry spices except the garam masala and mustard.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together the sweet potatoes, 1 tsp. salt, 1-2 tsp. spice mixture, coconut oil, and 1 tbsp. water so that the sweet potatoes are evenly coated. Transfer to a baking tray and bake for 25 - 30 min. or until the sweet potatoes are cooked.
  3. While the sweet potatoes are baking, heat the ghee in a deep pan, saucepan or Dutch oven on medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and when they start to pop, turn the heat to medium-low, add the onion, garlic, and ginger and saute until the onion is mostly translucent.
  4. Add in the spice mixture and bean sprouts. Stir well and cook for 3 - 4 minutes. Drain and add the buckwheat. Turn the heat up to medium-high, stir everything well and cook for 1 - 2 minutes. Add the garam masala and 1 cup  of water. Cover the pan, turn the heat down to low or medium-low and cook for 12 - 15 minutes. Take the lid off, give everything a quick stir - if you can still see water, turn the heat up to medium-high and cook the water off.
  5. Turn off the heat and mix in the the sweet potatoes, lemon juice and remaining salt. Taste and adjust salt if needed.
  6. Enjoy this delicious warming dish on its own or with a quick salad of diced cucumbers mixed into 1/2 cup of yogurt! Refrigerate leftovers for up to a day - max 2 days.

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