Tag Archives: eat

Lunchbox ideas: 5minute sweet potato & black bean bowl

I’ve been carrying a packed lunch since I was 5 (minus those college years where lunch was mainly at the cafeteria). Luckily, those first 13 years my mom packed my lunch nearly everyday and she forced me into a healthy habit! Nowadays I tend to rely on leftovers as the main source of lunch for both J and I.
With Australia’s high food costs, grabbing a sandwich from a cafe is at least $10. If you have a partner, that’s $20 per day for lunch which equals $100 for the work week. That’s not taking into account drinks and don’t get me started on coffee/tea breaks! My grocery bill for the week is around $100 and that covers all meals for an entire week for two active people. The other challenges with buying lunch is the lack of ingredient control, tendency to be underwhelmed or overeat and promotes further poor food choices.

5 ingredient & 5 minute meal!
5 ingredient & 5 minute meal!

For days where I have no leftovers, like today, I try to come up with quick, easy and healthy lunches. For today’s lunch , the only prep I did was throw a handful of shredded cheese in a container and put everything in my lunchbox.  I prepared my lunch at work and was sitting at the table chatting to the girls within 5 minutes.

Thanks mom for my new lunch bag!
Thanks mom for my new lunch bag!

5 Minute Sweet Potato & Black Bean Bowl

1 Small sweet potato (I used about 2/3 of mine)

3-4 Tbs Black beans

1/4 C Cheese

1/2 Avocado

1-2 Tbs Sriracha (more or less depending on preference)

Cut sweet potato in small cubes.  Add  enough water to cover the bottom of the bowl.  Cover bowl with cling wrap and microwave for 2 minutes.

While the sweet potato is cooking, slice avocado and open can of black beans.  Rinse the beans to reduce the sodium levels.

Stir sweet potato and microwave for 40 more seconds.  If there is any water left drain before adding cheese, beans and half the sriracha. Microwave for 20 seconds.  Add avocado and drizzle with remaining sriracha.  Enjoy!!

There are many ways to vary this meal that wouldn’t add much more time!

*1 Tbs Salsa & 1 Tbs of Greek yogurt would be a little less spicy and more creamy than the sriracha

*Adding in 1/3 cup quinoa would add some great protein.

*If you had leftover cooked veggies or corn, they would add a more veggie balance


{Recipe} Mexican Frittata

In our house the majority of our dishes have a Mexican theme – burritos, tacos and quesadillas are always top picks. I find I have more confidence experimenting with Mexican ingredients and flavors more so than any other genre.  This may seem odd as I have no family ties to Mexico and struggled to get my head around Spanish as a child!  Living in Sydney away from the amazing and cheap Mexican restaurants scattered around NC has forced me to recreate healthy alternatives.

Mexican frittata
Mexican frittata

My newest creation is an egg based Mexican frittata.  I typically cook a big batch of quinoa on Sundays to use in various dishes throughout the week.  I was originally planning on throwing together mexi bowls (our version of deconstructed burrito bowls) but since I had a lot of eggs and time I decided to try out a frittata.  The outcome was so amazing and full of flavor!


Mexican Frittata Recipe

Servings 5, prep time 15-20 minutes, cook time 25 minutes

6 eggs

½ cup almond milk (or any milk variation)

1 Tbs Sriracha (or any preferred hot sauce)

¾ cup cooked quinoa

¾ cup shredded cheese (I used tasty cheese but mozzarella would be a great) + a little extra for sprinkling on top

1 small red onion, chopped

1 small sweet potato, chopped

1 small capsicum (bell pepper), chopped

Large handful of baby spinach, chopped (this equates to between 1-2 cups)

½ cup Cherry Tomatoes, quartered (I used 5 large cherry tomatoes)

Mexican spice for seasoning

Coconut oil for cooking veggies (1-2T depending on preference)

In a cast iron skillet, heat 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil on low-medium heat.  Preheat oven to 180C/350F.  Cook onions for about 5 minutes until translucent.  Add in the sweet potato and capsicum for another 8 minutes.  Stir occasionally to keep from burning.  Sprinkle some Mexican spice on the veggies during the last minute of cooking.  Turn off heat and stir through the chopped spinach and tomatoes.

chopped veggies small to speed up cooking
chopped veggies small to speed up cooking

While the veggies are cooking, whisk the eggs and milk together in a bowl.  Add in the cheese, quinoa and sriracha.  Set aside until veggies are ready.

add the chopped spinach and tomatoes after cooking veggies to wilt spinach slightly
add the chopped spinach and tomatoes after cooking veggies to wilt spinach slightly

Once the veggies are cooked and the oven is pre-heated, pour the egg mixture over the veggie mix into the cast iron pan*.  Mix to ensure all ingredients are evenly distributed.  Sprinkle a small handful of cheese on top and place on middle rack in the oven.  Bake for 25 minutes or until firm and top is golden (or in my case one episode of New Girl while fast-forwarding commercials!).  Let cool and serve.


mexican frittata

I ate mine with avocado and it was delish!  J put his in a Mountain Bread Rye wrap and ate it like a burrito.  Having some salsa and greek yogurt on top would really take this quiche to the next level.

*if you don’t have a cast iron skillet, cook your veggies in a standard pan and transfer all ingredients to a baking/casserole dish before baking.