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Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Crostini

I am beyond psyched to have my kid in a preschool where the moms are as awesome as the kids. My mommy friend, April, is no exception.  She’s an awesome mom and writer who was recently forced to go gluten-free. She was devastated to give up all her favorite bread/cake/pasta dishes so she started chronicling the transition on a really funny blog called Gluten is My Bitch [1]. I read her blog [1]religiously and have discovered that she is a pretty amazing cook. I asked if she’d be so kind as to post one of her new recipes on this blog. She obliged. I think you’re really going to like her. Here’s April…  April, the gluten-free girl here, ready to rock your gf world. It’s true there is life after a celiac diagnosis, as witnessed by my reinvention of the crostini. You don’t have to have a crusty baguette handy to create a fantastic crostini, all you need is some polenta and a little Italian inspiration.

While you can toss any lovely topping on a crostini, I have a special place in my heart for this delicious mashed sweet potato, that you can also use alone as an appetizer. You’ve just got to put out your best gluten-free crackers [2]. But you were going to do that anyway, right.

A word about polenta. While something coming from corn should be naturally gluten-free, you run the risk of the corn grits being processed in a facility where wheat is processed as well. Not unlike the great oat controversy of ‘09, you have to find either a pre-made package of polenta (which works well for this recipe) or a package of polenta grits that is clearly marked “gluten-free.”

Now you have a decision to make: Bake or fry? I say bake because then this snack really has the benefit of being low-fat. But feel free to drown those lovely polenta circles in a vat of hot oil, if that floats your boat. Hey, if you’re a celiac you’ve got enough to worry about, what with all the gluten avoidance.

Once your sweet potato has cooled off from baking, you can peel the skin away easily with a sharp knife, and scoop out the potato goodness into a bowl for mashing. Which is where the children earn their keep. Kids love mashing things, that is a fact.

That’s my kid mashing sweet potatoes. She’s having a blast. I swear!

Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Crostini Recipe

Prep time: 20 minutes  Cooking time: 1 hour

1 pre-cooked roll of polenta
Olive oil, spray or 2 teaspoons for coating
1 large, or 2 medium sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white pepper

1. Rub one large, or 2 medium sweet potatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper, and pop it into a 400 degree oven. Give it the squeeze test after 30 minutes, but it may take up to one hour to achieve the perfect softness for mashing, depending on the size.
2. While the potato is baking, cut your polenta into 3/4 inch circles. If you’ve made polenta instead of buying the roll, use biscuit or cookie cutters to create the circles. Oil a cookie sheet, and use olive oil, or an olive oil spray, to lightly coat your polenta. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.
3. Your sweet potato should be soft enough for mashing, and cool enough for peeling after letting it set for about 10 minutes after it comes out of the oven.
4. Peel the potato with a sharp knife, and scoop the innards into a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1 teaspoon of white pepper and mash until smooth.
5. Use a tablespoon to scoop the sweet potato onto the polenta, and serve.

Makes: 12 servings

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URLs in this post:

[1] Gluten is My Bitch: http://glutenismybitch.wordpress.com/

[2] best gluten-free crackers: http://glutenismybitch.wordpress.com/2011/05/25/i-ate-that-best-gluten-free-crackers/

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