Meet Your New Favorite Side Dish: RA-Friendly Sweet Potatoes

Patient Expert

A couple of months ago, I tried the Whole30 diet. It was a challenge to resist many of my favorite foods and ingredients for 30 days, as the diet requires. The goal was to see if it helped improve my life with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The diet did not turn out to be a magic cure for my RA symptoms, but one of the perks, in addition to feeling healthier in body and mind, was that it elevated my kitchen chops.

My wife and I subscribe to a weekly service that delivers fresh produce from local farms to your doorstep. During our month of dieting, we enjoyed the task of assessing the produce we’d received, which was always a surprise, and foraging through endless recipes on cyberspace for something that would allow us to use as many of our ingredients as possible.

One week, we found ourselves with the peculiar task of finding a recipe that called for sweet potatoes, parsley, and lemon, as these were the ingredients left in our box. I was not optimistic. What resulted from our search, however, was a dish that my wife has since labeled her favorite dish, ever.

Not her favorite dish during Whole30. Not her favorite from our kitchen. But her favorite dish, ever. That’s a pretty serious allegation. Some perspective here: I liked it. A lot. I had seconds. But it’s not my favorite dish ever. Nonetheless, here are two reasons why I highly recommend people with RA try this dish.

  1. It tastes great and is not too labor-intensive or time-consuming.
  2. It incorporates many ingredients known to help alleviate inflammation in people with RA, such as ginger, turmeric, and parsley. The dish is also gluten-free and vegan, which helps keep the body clean of potential inflammatory foods and toxins.

Here’s how to make Turmeric Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Parsley Tahini sauce, or “Mesopotatoes”— my personal name for the dish for its middle eastern ingredients. Get it? Thanks middle-school history!


Credit: Emil DeAndreis. These are the famous mesopotatoes, with spicy garlic ginger chicken wings and green salad.



  • 8 cups chopped sweet potatoes (In my opinion, this dish would be fine no matter the potato: red potatoes, Russet potatoes, yams etc.)
  • 3 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoons black pepper


  • 1 bunch of flat leaf parsley
  • 1 large clove of garlic, peeled (feel free to throw in more; I sure did)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons tahini
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup of olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper and set it aside.
  2. Combine your sweet potatoes with the melted coconut oil and spices in a large mixing bowl. Mix together until the oil and the spices are evenly distributed over the potatoes.
  3. Pour the potatoes onto the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the potatoes from the oven, stir them up, and bake them for another 10 minutes, or until they are cooked through and slightly crispy or browned. Note: I found that in my oven 30 minutes total was not enough, so be sure to check that the potatoes are finished.
  4. To make the sauce, combine all of your sauce ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Use this as a dipping sauce for your sweet potatoes, or very liberally drizzle it over them after they come out of the oven. Enjoy!

See more helpful articles:

What People With RA Should and Shouldn't Eat

RA Friendly Baking Projects

Five Smoothies for RA