Entrees

Sweet Potato Chickpea Tacos + Harissa Cashew Cream

chickpea sweet potato tacos

Growing up, my family had a lot of taco nights for dinner. You know the kind. My parents would line up bowls of iceberg lettuce, shredded orange cheddar cheese, El Paso seasoned ground beef, sour cream, and salsa. We’d line the taco shells carefully, leaving enough room for a healthy dollop of salsa on top, and attempt to stuff them in our mouths gracefully. This was Alberta’s take on Mexican food. And I loved it.

Though I would still enjoy an old-fashioned Albertan taco night any time, my older self appreciates a more elegant take on tacos. Well, is elegant the right word? I’m not sure. But I do know that the kind of tacos I love to make involve lots of veggies, beans, some sort of spicy or creamy sauce – and soft shells. Soft shells are key! Anthony and I used to live not 5 blocks away from Vancouver’s most popular (and fanciest) taco shack – Tacofino – and we haven’t yet found a place in Ottawa to satisfy our Tacofino cravings. Crispy chicken taco! My mouth still waters when I think of you. 

Tacos are, secretly, the easiest way to elevate a clean-out-your-cupboard meal because they always feel like a treat, no matter what’s inside. That’s exactly what I was doing when I created these li’l sweet potato chickpea tacos. Sweet potatoes and chickpeas are winter staples in my kitchen. And I topped them with a creamy (vegan) harissa cashew cream sauce that is the lovechild of two of my favourite food bloggers – Andrea Beamis and Amy Chaplin. For a little sharpness, I added some cabbage soaked in honey and lime. Then I stuffed them in my mouth two-at-a-time like the fancy and elegant lady that I am. 

chickpea sweet potato tacos chickpea sweet potato tacos chickpea sweet potato tacos

For the last two weeks, I’ve been working on meeting a freelance deadline that involved a fair bit of chocolate, marzipan, and cookie consumption, a.k.a stress eating. It’s a vicious cycle of lost sleep, lack of exercise, and poor ergonomics that, without fail, leaves me feeling like an exhausted pile of garbage! Though I love my creative side projects, I’m realizing that I need to find ways to write in my spare time without destroying my body or my health. I’m an all or nothing person, so finding this kind of balance is a challenge. Do you guys have any tips? (Luckily A was around to force feed me lots of healthy meals, or else I probably would have ordered pizza four nights in a row and not changed my clothes. Thanks A!) 

Meals like these sweet potato chickpea tacos are easy to compile on weeknights if you know you’ve got a busy week ahead of you. You can make all the components on a Sunday night (except maybe the cabbage) and slap them together on Monday or Tuesday. You’ll have extra sauce, but that’s a good thing! You can drizzle it over the rest of the week’s meals because it tastes good on literally. Anything.

You can eat now!

chickpea sweet potato tacos

Sweet Potato Chickpea Tacos with Harissa Cashew Cream
Wintery tacos that include lots of protein, fibre, and a delicious creamy sauce!
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For the chickpeas
  1. 1 can chickpeas
  2. 3-6 sundried tomatoes (optional)
  3. glug of olive oil
  4. salt and pepper to taste
  5. small yellow onion
  6. pinch of cayenne
  7. 3 scallions
  8. 2 cloves of garlic
For the sweet potatoes
  1. 2 medium sweet potatoes, diced
  2. olive oil for drizzling
  3. salt and pepper to taste
For the Harissa Cashew Cream
  1. 1 cup raw unsalted cashews (soaked in water for at least 2 hours)
  2. 2 cloves of garlic
  3. 3/4 cup of water
  4. 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  5. 1/4 tsp salt
  6. 1 tbsp harissa paste
For the Honey Lime Cabbage Slaw
  1. 1/4 of a red cabbage, shredded
  2. 1 tbsp oil
  3. Juice of 1 lime
  4. 1 tsp honey
  5. salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Coat the diced sweet potatoes in olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast them in the oven for 20 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Saute the chickpeas, garlic, sundered tomatoes (if using), onion, and spices over medium heat until soft and the flavours have melded together (about 5 minutes). Add the scallions in the last minute.
  3. Make the Harissa Cashew Cream. Rinse cashews and combine all ingredients in a high speed blender. Blend until smooth.
  4. Make the Honey Lime Cabbage Slaw. Toss shredded cabbage in oil, lime, honey, and salt mixture. Massage gently and let sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.
  5. Heat taco shells in the oven and serve as desired.
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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Mary Tien
    February 16, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    What a creative alternative! And, being s lover of squash, I will be trying this singular taco recipe soon. Maybe it might bring on springtime soon☺️. Also nice choice of fresh winter veggies that are easy to access at this time of the yearβœ”MPT

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