Potatoes rejoin the paleo fold


The latest news in the paleo world is that white potatoes are now permitted under The Whole30. (The Whole30 is basically a 30 day introduction to paleo in the form of an elimination diet, and represents a type of strict paleo which excludes, among other things, all dairy, sweeteners, paleo treats and paleo-ised versions of junk food.)

For the white potato to be welcomed back into the Whole30 fold represents an official stamp of approval (well, as official as you can get in the paleosphere) for the beloved spud, which many primal followers were eating anyway, and is confirmation that the nutrient-dense tuber can be a healthy part of your diet (provided you are not intolerant of nightshades). The proviso is that white potatoes in the form of chips/fries or deep-fried are not permitted under the Whole30.

One food which is unlikely to ever make it on the Whole30-approved list is pasta. Many paleo recipe writers extol the delights of a vegetable known as ‘spaghetti squash’ which is reputed to be as, or more, delicious than the real thing (if you can believe it). Unfortunately this mystical vegetable is rarely seen in Australia so I’ve yet to try it. I suspect that it is as similar to real spaghetti as cauliflower rice is to real rice. However, I have tried another paleo substitute for pasta which is quite delightful and very similar to the real thing: sweet potato noodles or regular potato noodles. They are made with either sweet potato starch or potato starch, and are therefore suitable for those eating gluten-free. Available from asian grocers, they may also be labelled ‘sweet potato vermicelli’. On account of their high carbohydrate count, potato noodles would make a good post-workout or Carb Nite meal. They have a neutral taste rather like real pasta, and cook up nicely al dente.

potato vermicelli

The method for cooking potato noodles is similar to that of regular pasta. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil. Add some salt to the water, add the noodles and turn the heat down to a simmer. The amount of time you need to simmer the noodles will vary according to their thickness, but I have found somewhere between 7-9 minutes works a treat.

We enjoy these noodles with a number of accoutrements, including chinese BBQ pork, preserved vegetables, sesame seeds, seaweed, scallions, paleo XO sauce & a drizzle of soy sauce. I have also tried using sweet potato noodles in Italian recipes such as carbonara and it worked very well. Since going paleo, I have fallen out of the habit of eating high carb meals regularly but it is good to have an option for when the pasta craving strikes.

by Lorinda

3 thoughts on “Potatoes rejoin the paleo fold

  1. Gaby says:

    Hey Lorinda, re: noodle substitutes: you can find spaghetti squash at Harris Farm in Broadway, another alternative are konjaku-based noodles (like Jen’s Noodles and Asian brands) and kelp noodles. Re: potatoes… I’m a not a fan of saying “this is paleo or not” or “this is allowed or not”… my stance with potatoes is that if they work for you (i.e. you don’t have inflammation, weight or blood sugar issues), help yourself. I think programs like Whole30 are great for people who need some structure to tackle their goals but they do increase the halo of dogmatism around paleo. Just my opinion :)

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