My mom has an amazing holiday tradition every year. Rather than hustling to her house with the kids on Christmas morning, the Sunday before Christmas we head over to her place for a Family Pajama Party. Everyone gets dressed in their favorite PJ’s, we exchange gifts with cousins, eat brunch for dinner, (my mom makes her famous waffles that the grandkids go nuts for,) and of course, we dance around the Christmas Tree.
After a few years of this tradition I started to notice that while the food was all delicious, it was all about one color…. Beige. For the little Crohnie in our family that steers clear of gluten, dairy, and sugar, “beige” usually means there are not a ton of food options for her at the table. From scones to sugary syrup, a playful brunch party can quickly limit foods for a person with Crohn’s, or anyone on a restrictive diet for that matter. That is why this year I decided to make a Roasted Sweet Potato & Veggie Hash. For many people with Crohn’s, both sweet and regular potatoes and can be pretty safe “go-to” foods. But in a traditional potato hash, by the time you add butter, cheese and usually some kind of pork, it quickly can become totally off-limits. A hash, by definition, is a dish consisting of diced or chopped potatoes, spices, and some type of meat that are mixed together and then cooked either alone or with other ingredients such as onions. By changing up the dish a bit and roasting beautiful vegetables and sweet potatoes, a natural sweetness is added to the hash that doesn’t require dumping loads of dairy on top for flavor. (Not to mention, it adds some much needed nutrients to your meal!) Depending on your food tolerances with Crohn’s, you can use any vegetable you like. I love to roast sweet potatoes. They automatically add a caramelized sweetness that cannot be duplicated. Roasted red peppers, zucchini, red onions and garlic are always delicious. You could try roasting any type of squash and add any type of meat that works for you. (Or just leave out the meat completely.) As always, use the ingredients that work best for your dietary needs, and have remember to experiment and have fun!
This is my version of sweet potato and veggies hash…
- 2 Sweet Potatoes, Peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 Red Pepper, Seeds and Membranes Removed, Cut into 1 inch cubes
- 2 Zucchinis, Cut into 1 inch cubes (Remove skins and seeds if not tolerated well.)
- 1/2 Red Onion, Sliced to your desired thickness
- 4 Cloves of Garlic, Diced
- 4 Red Potatoes, Skins Cleaned, Cut into 1 inch Cubes. (Again, if the skins irritate your digestion, peel the skins.)
- A few Tablespoons of Olive Oil (or butter based on tolerance)
- Salt and Ground Pepper to taste
- Eggs (To fry to order later)
- (Optional * Any fresh herbs that you can tolerate, such as rosemary, thyme, oregano. You can always roast the herbs with the veggies for flavor and remove before serving.)
- (Optional* Cooked and diced Bacon, Ham, Sausage, etc.)
*If feeding a large crowd, double or even triple the recipe…but don’t over crowd your pan! Use multiple pans or large baking sheets.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Lay the diced sweet & red potatoes along with the chopped veggies out in a single layer on a cast iron skillet or roasting tray. Drizzle the oil, salt and fresh ground pepper over the mixture and toss until evenly coated. Put in the oven and check after about 15 minutes to flip veggies and evenly roast on other side. Roast for a total of 25 to 30 minutes in oven, or until fork tender.
Sautee thinly sliced red onions in oil or butter on the stove top until translucent, about 5-7 min. Add the diced garlic to the pan and cook briefly, (until you can smell the garlic,) about 1-2 minutes. You don’t want the garlic to overcook.
Remove the roasting veggies from the oven, and mix the onions and garlic onto the skillet or baking sheet along with the veggies. Toss all the ingredients together, and add back to the oven for about 3 more minutes to infuse the flavors. (You don’t want the garlic and thin onions to burn.) *If you like thicker slices of red onions, slice them into 1 inch cubes as well and cook them along with the rest of the veggies in the oven from the start.
Fry an egg to preference, (Sunny Side Up, Over Easy, etc.) and top over hash on individual serving plates. The egg provides a delicious creaminess as a substitute for dairy. If you would like to add a type of meat that you can tolerate, cook the meat separately and mix in your choice of protein after the veggies come out of the oven.
Tip* The trick to this dish is to cut the veggies in similar sized pieces so they will roast evenly. Spread out the veggies of your choice on the skillet or baking sheet with a bit of space between them. Flip them about half way through roasting to make sure they don’t burn on one side. If you prefer smaller chunks of one type of food, (like I do with red onions,) cut them thinner, but either add them later to the skillet or sautee them on the stove top and add while you are mixing and completing the hash once out of the oven. Make sure to not burn your garlic…it just creates a bitter flavor 🙂
Do you have any roasted veggies or hash recipe that work best for you? We’d love to hear your ideas!! Please share with us!
* Please Note: This is merely an opinion blog. The research and information covered in this blog is open to public domain for discussion. We do not have any formal medical background. We simply want to share and discuss foods for those with Crohn’s Disease. Because people suffering from Crohn’s Disease tolerate a variety of foods differently, recipes often need specific alterations for each individual. Get creative! Leave out the foods that don’t work for you and use the foods that make you feel good. As always, please consult your doctor or health care professional before applying ideas from this website. Happy Cooking!!