The purple yam known as ube is a great ingredient that’s becoming more and more familiar to American diners. It takes to roasting just as well as any other naturally earthy-sweet root vegetable, and is extra-pretty on the plate. Seasoned with tahini, lime juice, and coconut oil, it’s a simple, healthy, and delicious side to almost anything, but can stand on its own as well. Skip the bee pollen and it’s vegan too.

Note: The recipe makes one or two servings, but you can easily increase the amounts to make as many as you need.

  • Yield: 2 to 4 servings
  • Total: 35 min
  • Active: 10 min

Ingredients (6)

  • 2 medium purple yams (ube)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons tahini (sesame paste)
  • 1/2 lime, plus extra for serving
  • 1 teaspoon bee pollen
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Prick the yams all over with a fork, place them on the baking sheet, and roast in the oven until soft when pierced in the middle with a fork, about 25 minutes. Set the yams aside to cool slightly.
  3. Using a paring knife, carefully peel the yams while they’re still hot; discard the skins. Slice the yams in half lengthwise and transfer them to a platter (or individual plates). Using a fork, gently press the yam halves into the plate(s), mashing them slightly.
  4. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of the coconut oil to each yam half, distributing the oil evenly with a knife to coat the yam. Drizzle each yam half with 1/2 teaspoon of tahini, then squeeze the lime half evenly over each and grate the lime zest atop. Finally, top each with 1/4 teaspoon of the bee pollen and a pinch of salt. Serve immediately with the remaining lime alongside.

Excerpted from Unicorn Food: Beautiful Plant-Based Recipes to Nurture Your Inner Magical Beast by Kat Odell (Workman Publishing). Copyright © 2018. Photographs by AJ Meeker.