After going deep into a take-out only phase during a 2-month GRE study fire drill, I’ve come back out into the world. Which means I’m ready to do things like see people, clean my room, sleep…and start making lunch again. I needed to ease my way back in, and was brainstorming some basic salad or sandwich options when my fabulous co-author here sent me a recipe with the challenging subject line “The Perfect Lunch?” That name has a lot to live up to. For us nine-to-fivers The Perfect Lunch must be supremely easy to make. It must be easy to bring in, especially if you commute on the most crowded bus ever in San Francisco (me) and have had a traumatic bus experience involving an exploded tupperware of soup, where you had to let it spill into an upside down umbrella until you could get off (yep, me again). This lunch must be nutritious, cheap enough to beat its takeout competition, keep you full all day, and easily combat the “well maybe I’ll eat it tomorrow” feeling when your coworkers tell you they’re doing another trip to the Grilled Cheese Truck. The Perfect Lunch? Obviously, I was intrigued.
This recipe hits all the main points of a solid lunch – filling beans, starchy sweet potato, lots of kale, warm spices. All wrapped up in an easy to eat pita. The recipe calls for making your own whole wheat pita and actually baking the filling in – which sounds amazing, I just wasn’t ready for it. It also calls for lentils, but canned black beans sounded pretty great in this dish and they take all of 2 seconds to open. It was a great foray back into lunch-making in particular and domesticity in general, and I really did feel ok next to the grilled cheese.
Spiced bean, sweet potato, and kale pita pockets
Adapted from here
1 bunch of dino (lacinato) kale
1 large sweet potato
1 can of black beans
a pack of whole wheat pitas
Preheat your oven to 350, pierce your sweet potato, and bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour.
Slice the onion into slivers and sautee over medium-high heat in a pan with olive oil until it starts to turn brown, about 10 minutes. Add chopped dino kale, salt, pepper, and a dash of cumin and let cook, about another 8-10 minutes. Add black beans to pan with another healthy dash of salt and pepper, and a few dashes of cumin. Peel your sweet potato and cut into half-inch chunks. Add the sweet potato to your pan. Toast pita and fill with your mixture.