Wednesday, May 25

Crispy Yam Tacos with Chipotle Dip

When we lived in Victoria we used to eat tacos at an exorbitant weekly rate. It just so happened that two of the best taco places in town were conveniently located close to work, our home, and luckily enough, happened to be right across the street from each other (go figure). For our romantic date nights, Adam and I would get takeaway and sit at the beach, listening to the car stereo and watching the waves toss driftwood onto the shore like matchsticks. During the busy holiday season I would run down on my lunch break from work to snag my co-workers favourite flavours in an attempt to make their work day a little more palatable and prevent any potential hangry outbursts that come from spending 8 hours pithing lemons (seriously the worst task). And more often than I'd like to admit it, I'd grab one after staying out a little too late (and maybe after enjoying a few beers) and eat it in secret beneath my scarf on the cold walk home.   

Since moving to the big city, our taco consumption has dropped drastically. And it's by no means a welcomed change. While I'm sure this city has a great selection to offer, the likelihood of riding a bus 40 minutes for a taco seems a little farfetched, even for me. This leaves us with one option, master the art of taco making!

My taco choices used to vary depending on what shop we decided to hit up, which was highly dependent on what kind of day it was. If it was a good day it was Beans and Veggie Rajas, but if it was a tough day, it could only be solved with the rich combination of deep fried Yams and Chipotle Dip.

While deep-frying is too much commitment for me, and kind of leaves me feeling blasé, crispy yams can still be achieved in a healthy and easy manner with the addition of a cornmeal crust. With a simple swap of mayonnaise for a plant-based spread like Hellmann's new Carefully Crafted Spread, you're looking at a pretty high vibe version of my fav indulgence. Fresh spicy salsa and crunchy cabbage marry perfectly with the richness of the spread and the crispy crunch of the yams. 

Crispy Yam Tacos with Chipotle Dip

Serves 4 (Print Recipe Here)


4 Small or 2 Medium Yams (about 700g/ or 24 oz)
1/2 Cup Organic Polenta
1 tsp. Sea Salt, or more to taste
Big Pinch Pepper
Pinch of Smoked Paprika

Chipotle Dip

1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
1 Clove Garlic, Grated
1 Lime, Juiced (about 2 Tbsp)
Pinch Black Pepper
Pinch Smoked Paprika
2 tsp Chopped Canned Chipotles
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. Adobe Sauce (from the can of Chipotles)


2 Cups Diced Cherry or Grape Tomatoes
2 Cloves Garlic, Grated
2 Red Spring Onions (or two Green Onions and a Shallot diced)
1 Red Pepper, Diced (about 1 Cup)
1 Serrano or Jalapeño, Minced (depending on taste)
1/2 Chopped Cilantro
1 tsp. Sea Salt
2 tsp. Olive Oil

To Serve

Organic Corn Tortillas
Shredded Cabbage
Hot Sauce

1. Begin by peeling the yams, and slicing them into small finger sized pieces, about 6 cm (2.5 inch) by 2 cm (1/2 inch). Cover them with water for about 1/2 hour, then drain and dry thoroughly. Toss them with the oil, salt, pepper, paprika, and polenta, coating evenly. Distribute on two trays leaving plenty of space between each slice. Bake in a 205 C (400 F) for 20 minutes or until cooked through, flipping halfway.

2. Meanwhile, while the yams are cooking, prepare the Chipotle Dip. Stir together the Hellmann's spread, sea salt, spices, lime juice, adobe, and chopped chipotle peppers. Taste and adjust seasoning.

3. Next prepare the salsa by combining all the ingredients in a large bowl. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

4. To serve, warm tortillas according to package directions. Serve crispy yams with shredded cabbage, salsa, avocado, and a good dollop of chipotle dip.

This blog post was created in partnership with Hellmann's Canada. The opinions expressed here are my own. Thank you for supporting Wholehearted Eats by supporting our sponsors!!

xox Sophie

Tuesday, May 17

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream from N'ice Cream (+ Giveaway!)

I adore ice cream, it's as simple as that. Making it from scratch has always been a goal of mine (I even convinced my Grandmother to buy us an ice cream maker when I was 12), but it's something I usually push aside as being too labour intensive. Yet, in all honesty, if you can make a smoothie you can gosh darn well make ice cream - and a good one at that. Making a vegan ice cream, unlike dairy, doesn't involve making a custard base, which allows the process to come together in under ten minutes (less time than it takes me to pick up a carton at the store). This ridiculous Strawberry Cheesecake Ice cream for example, took about five minutes to make - and only dirtied one blender (hallelujah!). The result is an ice cream which is  fresh on the palate, not overwhelmingly sweet, and made with enough wholesome and nutritious ingredients you can feel good about eating a really big bowl.

The cleanliness and simplicity of this recipe should be of no surprise as it's created by the incredibly inventive nordic duo of Virpi and Tuulia. I was first introduced to Virpi last year when she won the Saveur Blog Award (which I'm a little obsessed with!) for her site Vanelja, shortly later I was introduced to her friend Tuulia through social media. In the vein of their stunning blogs, Vanelja and Tuulia, their new book N'ice Cream is filled to the brim with mouth watering, airy, and bright photos which has my libra heart singing praises. 

N'ice Cream has a great balance of recipes that utilize an array of different bases, from banana, to cashews, coconut milk, and even avocados! Every recipe in this book honours the simple and seasonal ingredients and the natural sweetness of ripe, juicy fruit- just in time for summer! Although deciding on what recipe to make was a real challenge, I ended up making this Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream with Cake Crumbs. The ice cream was slightly tangy like a real cheesecake, booming with fresh strawberry flavours, and garnished with the cake crumbles that add a graham cracker taste that brought it to the next level. While at the time I didn't add any sweetener to the base, I think I'll add a touch of maple syrup next time, or perhaps find some more plump and juicy berries to help add a little extra sweetness. Next on the agenda are the Match White Chocolate Popsicles, Raw Chocolate Covered Magnums (which look out of this world), and the Pina Colada Milkshakes for a warm evening on the porch. 

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Recipe Serves about 4. Print it Here

1 1/2 Cup fresh strawberries, stems removed
1 Ripe Banana
1 Cup Unsweetened Almond or other Plant based milk
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 Tbsp. Cashew Butter or Nut Butter of choice, I used Almond
1 Cup Raw Cashews
2 Tbsp. Arrowroot Powder
1 Recipe Cake Crumble (See Below)

1. Chop 1/4 cup of the strawberries and set them aside. Add the remaining strawberries, banana, almond milk, vanilla, cashews, nut butter, and arrowroot powder in a blender and puree until smooth. 

2. Taste to adjust sweetener if needed (maple syrup would be a nice ad in) and vanilla. Stir in the remaining strawberries. 

3. Chill until firm. If you have an ice cream maker, follow the manufacturer's instructions, if not place the mixture into a freezer safe bowl and freeze for about 3 hours, mixing every thirty minutes or so. Alternatively, you can freeze the mixture in ice cube trays then once frozen, puree them as you would banana ice cream until it's soft-serve consistency. And don't forget to serve with the cake crumbles!

Cake Crumble

1 Cup Macadamia or Nuts of Choice
2-3 Pitted Dates
1/2 tsp Cardamom
A Pinch of Sea Salt
1 tsp. Coconut Syrup (optional)

1. Pulse all ingredients together until fine crumbs form. 

Reprinted by arrangement with Avery Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © Virpi Mikkonen and Tuulia Talvio, 2016.

Want to get your own copy of N'ice Cream by Virpri Mikkonen and Tullia Talvio? Just tell me your favourite type of ice cream in the comments below! Open Worldwide (Winners in the U.S.A will receive a paper edition, other countries may receive a digital copy). Contest closes on Saturday 21st at 8 a.m PST.

Contest Now closed  
xox Sophie

Sunday, May 15

Brownie Bites + Weekend Links

The weather has turned here on the coast and full out summer time has kicked off. While I see my east coast friends are still battling the odd snow flurry, here we're ready to pick strawberries and radishes. The roses and peonies are heavy with intoxicating blooms, the volleyball nets line the beach like a labyrinth, and bike rides are at a ultimate high. When it's like this outside, we try to spend as little time inside as we can. Which also means as little time in the kitchen and away from the hot stove. Recently, I whipped up a little batch of these Brownie Bites to have on hand as they are easy to grab and take to the beach or on a hike. They are sweet and fill the chocolate craving need, but are also full of protein and good fats to keep you going. Super simple and satisfying, what more can we ask for. Find the recipe for them along with some other inspiring recipes over at Ali's blog. Her work is truly gorgeous and she's a sweetheart to boot. 

  • I love historical articles like this, especially food related ones, and ones about weird communes and food trends (also it's amazing to see how 'modern' people were a hundred years ago). If you guys like that kooky kind of stuff too, I recommend the Source Family doc.
  • The amazing Laura at it again with this Superfood coffee recipe. It has become our new morning beverage and reminds us so much of the coffee we sipped in Morocco - sweet and cinnamony. Side note, so excited for her book dropping this month.
  • My soul sister Demetria made this dreamy woodland cake that has me swooning! Also, I can't get over how incredibly cute baby Mabel is <3
  • and if you're in need of a cuteness overload, check out this video for some warm fuzzies.

xox Sophie