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simple grilled sweet potato + black bean burrito bowls (with spicy cumin garlic drizzle)

simple sweet potato + black bean burrito bowls with cumin garlic drizzle // @thefirstmesssimple sweet potato + black bean burrito bowls with cumin garlic drizzle // @thefirstmessfor cumin + garlic drizzle // @thefirstmesspreppin
Today’s post is another episode of “things we actually eat all the time.” I was stumped last week on what to share here and was about thisclose to throwing my hands up again when I remembered that whole overarching ethos thing about cooking seasonally with accessible ingredients/methods so that we can all be a bit healthier and happier. That’s the thing that I love and this bowl is something that we eat weekly, in one form or another. When a dish repeats and cravings/excitement are detectable, it’s time to share, no matter how simple it is. I even started a new category here for this sorta dish called “everyday eats.” I’m excited to share more of those meals that are thrown together with pantry stock and seasonal bits, but still have an overall vibe of wellness and vibrance too. Hope you can feel me on this.

We’ve been spending most of the hours outdoors, sometimes for fun and most often times working on something or other. There have been going away parties, roller coasters, funnel cakes (oy), birthdays, hangry pizza lunches after visits to the “natural regeneration” portion of the dump, big and half-dead cedar hedges ripped out with my badass mum, deck planning, smoke alarms in the middle of the night (to choruses of “FUCK, COME OOOON”), talks on creating, long walks after dinner, chats about a lot of upcoming projects (one of which will have me getting my bake on in a serious way–yesssss), tons of iced coffee, thunderstorms, and a decent handful of major career-shifting questions. Just lots of sweat, laughs and growth I guess. And we still haven’t been to the drive-in, a baseball game, Algonquin or the beach yet. Maaaan, summer though.

So when the season is full and the meals are needed in a more relaxed sort of way (but still have to be mega-nourishing), this burrito bowl works out pretty nicely. If you’re even a little bit like me, this is all pantry stuff for you: sweet potatoes, canned black beans, herbs, brown rice, spices, chilies, citrus… It’s just a little blend, boil and grill away from yummy supper on the porch/balcony/kitchen counter with a cold beer (or iced tea!) in your favourite cut-offs. Hope you’re all eating well, loving each other, and adventuring often out there. Big hugs and some fist bumps for everyday good eatin’. xoxo

sweet potatoes // @thefirstmessgo-to black beans // @thefirstmessgrilled // @thefirstmesssimple sweet potato + black bean burrito bowls with cumin garlic drizzle // @thefirstmess
simple grilled sweet potato + black bean burrito bowls with spicy cumin garlic drizzle
serves: 4
additional gear: 4-5 pre soaked wooden skewers
notes: The cumin garlic drizzle serves as a protective coating for the sweet potatoes and peppers as they grill, but also as a light sauce too, so just make sure you reserve enough for serving at the end. You could make these up with any and all types of of salsa, various cheeses, extra lime wedges, sour cream (dairy or non-dairy based), some fresh corn etc etc. Burritos are personal preference driven (duh that’s why they’re so awesome), so this bowl is no different.

spicy cumin garlic drizzle:
1 small jalapeño, seeded
1 clove of garlic, peeled
2 1/2 tsp ground cumin
juice of 2 limes + a little bit of zest
1 tbsp agave nectar/other liquid sweetener
salt + pepper
1/4 cup neutral tasting oil (I used avocado)
big splash of water

bowls:
1 medium-large sweet potato, cut into 1 inch chunks
2 cups cooked black beans
1/4 cup small diced red onion
big handful fresh cilantro leaves, divided
2 red bell peppers, stems/seeds removed
cooked brown rice
1 ripe avocado

In an upright blender, combine all of the ingredients for the spicy cumin garlic drizzle. Blend on high until you have a smooth, liquid-y mixture. Check for seasoning, adjust, and set aside.

Put your pot of rice on if you haven’t got any on hand. Place the cut sweet potatoes in another medium saucepan and cover them with water. Bring the sweet potatoes to a boil over medium heat and simmer until a knife just goes through when you try to prick one, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool slightly.

In a medium bowl, toss the black beans with a hearty pour of the spicy cumin garlic drizzle, the diced red onions and almost all of the cilantro. Season them with salt and pepper, toss once more, and set aside.

Preheat your grill to high. Skewer the sweet potatoes onto the bamboo sticks, making sure you don’t weigh them down too heavily. Place skewers on a dinner plate along with the pieces of red bell pepper. Pour some of the spicy cumin garlic drizzle on top and lightly toss everything to coat. Grill sweet potatoes and red peppers until char marks appear and vegetables have softened slightly, about 10-12 minutes total. Remove from the grill and cut peppers into bite-sized pieces if you like.

Portion the rice into 4 bowls. Divide the black beans among the bowls. Top rice and beans with grilled sweet potatoes, red peppers and extra cilantro leaves. Pit and peel the avocado, and then dice into chunks on top of the bowls. Finish all of the bowls with extra spicy cumin garlic drizzle and some more salt and pepper. Serve warm.

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Valentina - sweet kabocha23/07/2014 - 5:18 am

I could kill for this plate. Totally.

This is my kind of eating, not to structured and with all the best things! I love sweet potato. That cumin drizzle sounds perfect for my meal tonight!

Katie @ Whole Nourishment23/07/2014 - 7:11 am

This is absolutely my kind of rice bowl! Love the flavor combo and especially the cumin garlic drizzle. Glad you decided to share your everyday meals with us!

Ileana23/07/2014 - 7:35 am

You manage to make everything look so vibrant! I wish I had this for lunch today. :) The cumin-garlic drizzle sounds soooo good!

Denise | TLT23/07/2014 - 7:59 am

Simply gorgeous and totally calling me. I’d live out the cilantro (can’t help it) and add some cheese (again: can’t help it) though. Bookmarking this and will probably make it this week. Thanks for the lovely inspiration!

Shanae23/07/2014 - 8:03 am

This looks so amazing! I cannot wait to make this for dinner tonight :D

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar23/07/2014 - 8:16 am

These bowls look great! Such a yummy combo of flavours!

Kathryn23/07/2014 - 8:23 am

I think I probably like real deal everyday eating posts more than fancy recipe posts (not that I don’t love every single one of your posts obviously). But there’s something extra special about getting a peek into the way that other people eat on a day to day basis that’s always inspiring + fascinating.

Amanda23/07/2014 - 8:31 am

Love a good bowl! Fist-bump indeed.

Sini | my blue&white kitchen23/07/2014 - 8:54 am

Absolutely loving your new everyday eats concept! More of that, please! Fancy, complicated dinners sure are wonderful and can make your jaw drop but everyday food is the one that keeps us nourished; keeps us going, and inspired. These burrito bowls look absolutely perfect. Can’t wait to make some soon.

P.S. Those quinoa tacos still linger on my mind…just SO GOOD!

Brian @ A Thought For Food23/07/2014 - 9:00 am

Yup… I’m all about this bowl. I often do sweet potato and black bean tacos, so I just know I’d be a fan of this.

Ashley23/07/2014 - 9:20 am

Love your idea for “everyday eats!” It’s those simple meals that get us through the busy so we can enjoy the outdoors and all the little projects we have going on. But it’s in those full times when we really need these home-cooked, nutrient dense meals! Well done, friend. Also…the photos…again + again…you amaze me! xo

molly yeh23/07/2014 - 9:38 am

gahhh sooo pretty and colorful!!!!! love.

Heather23/07/2014 - 9:55 am

fist bumps for the new nourishing everyday eats category! more time to enjoy the outdoors :) thanks for this one, Laura!

Erin23/07/2014 - 11:01 am

SO. MANY. of your recipes have become ‘everyday eats’ at my house. Can I hear it for the Busy Lady Bowl?! I have a feeling this one will follow suit. Thank you!

Kathy23/07/2014 - 1:06 pm

Hi! Love your recipes! Is there any way to print them out? I’ve tried cut and paste to word and it gets all messed up! Please let me know if there’s a button I’m missing.. Thanks!!!

Laura Wright23/07/2014 - 1:19 pm

Hi Kathy, Thanks for this! There isn’t a button for printing as of right now. I am working on this though. My apologies in the meantime!
-L

Liz @ Floating Kitchen23/07/2014 - 1:29 pm

These are so beautiful! Love the colors and the flavors!

Francesca23/07/2014 - 6:47 pm

I am running with that drizzle. Would honey be a reasonable substitute or is it too sweet? A great easy meal for those hot and busy days. How does the sweet potato go when cooked this way? Does it soften up enough?

shanna mallon23/07/2014 - 11:10 pm

um, yeah, I definitely feel you on this one. I love everything about this post.

jessica (BAKECETERA)24/07/2014 - 8:49 am

i could certainly eat this every day! i’m a huge fan of sweet potatoes, but i’ve never grilled them! i can’t wait to try this out. ps: i didn’t know you were canadian, excitement!!

Laura Wright24/07/2014 - 2:10 pm

Hi Francesca, honey would substitute just fine for this. And I’ll add that in the recipe, the sweet potato is boiled for a short period of time before it hits the grill, so perfectly soft but still a bit crisp by the time it’s ready to eat :)
-L

Jacqui24/07/2014 - 10:29 pm

Love it, this is exactly my kind of everyday meal and I love that you’re keepin’ it real and enjoying your summer as you should be. Goes by to fast, especially up in the north! And it sounds like lots of exciting new things are happening, much deserved!

Kate @ ¡Hola! Jalapeño25/07/2014 - 7:23 am

The flavor combination here is so fantastic! This is absolutely something we could eat on a weekly basis. Yum!

Tea25/07/2014 - 10:07 am

Everyday Eats are where it is at in the summer time. Next time I whip up a similar bowl your dressing is going in it.

[…] that’s on the table in 10 minutes but feels like it took way more effort than it did. These sweet potato and black bean burrito bowls might take a little longer but still fit that kind of easy but tasty vibe that I like to end the […]

[…] Fire up the grill to make sweet potato burrito bowls. (The First Mess.) […]

Thalia @ butter and brioche26/07/2014 - 2:58 am

love these burrito bowls.. definitely will be recreating this meal for my vegetarian household. looks seriously delicious!

Emily @ Life on Food26/07/2014 - 11:51 am

Sweet potatoes are my fav. This looks so delicious. How can I make it appear in front of me now?

Nik@ABrownTable27/07/2014 - 12:20 am

I really love no fuss meals at home. I love sweet potatoes and I know I will have to make this at home soon!

Petra27/07/2014 - 6:11 pm

Beautiful compositions! I wish I could arrange food and take pictures of it like you, because I believe that “all you eat needs to look fabulous, or else it’s not going to taste as good” (well, the source of the quote is here). I especially like the combination of grey and orange, it creates a really nice contrast evoking the tastes of autumn.

Millie l Add A Little27/07/2014 - 8:01 pm

This looks like absolute perfection!! I’ve got to make this STAT!

http://youtube.com/addalittlefood

[…] grilled sweet potato burrito bowls. […]

Sophie28/07/2014 - 2:15 pm

Just perfect! So pretty, too with your eye for colors and textures. We get excited about burrito bowls here too at least a couple times a month, and I can’t wait to try this drizzle all over our next bowls! Summer forces me to be a little more spontaneous and pantry dinners are perfect for just that :)

Paige28/07/2014 - 5:35 pm

What a great lunch! Easy to pack, so tasty, and sustained me well. I took one less step (out of laziness) by blending the cilantro in. It also made a great sauce for a falafel (which means my laziness paid off.) Thank you so much for wonderful recipes.

Lynn @ The Actor’s Diet28/07/2014 - 8:36 pm

Almost had this for dinner tonight – but I forgot the sweet potatoes! (<—important)

Lisa29/07/2014 - 9:27 am

Made this for dinner and it was absolutely amazing! A wonderful combination of flavours. Thanks for sharing this great meal.

Michelle @ Vitamin Sunshine30/07/2014 - 5:50 am

All of my favorite things all nestled in a bowl together! Your photography is stunning!

Pragati30/07/2014 - 8:23 am

YUM! This sounds so delicious!

Pragati

JC30/07/2014 - 11:17 am

Haphazard bowls of goodness are always the best. Kind of like how the messier a sandwich is the better it usually is.

spotlight | This is for Real30/07/2014 - 1:19 pm

[…] love a good burrito bowl. they are one of my go-to fast, easy […]

Amy30/07/2014 - 8:39 pm

Made this tonight for dinner, with a couple minor tweaks (no grill, so I roasted the veggies.) It was SO delicious- that cumin drizzle is a keeper! My husband had seconds, we’re having it tomorrow night too, and I’m about to email it to friends.

[…] sweet potatoes and red peppers, which are drenched in a cumin and garlic drizzle inspired by the first mess. The roasted veggies go on top of fresh greens, along with avocado, an easy mango salsa, and black […]

Hilary01/08/2014 - 12:25 am

I read this post – then your interview with Tara

1) You are so cool

2) Your simple recipes are often my favourite – what you eat every day might seem boring and not worth posting – but they are not. I am probably more likely to make something that is a staple in your life! B/c I’m always looking for something to add into regular rotation

3) if you ever do something outside of this blog – business wise. Please let us know because I probably live close enough that I would come out and support you!

Thanks!

Kathryne01/08/2014 - 10:10 am

This is my kind of meal right here. Bring on the everyday recipe inspiration! P.s. Love that all-caps f-bomb. If only my readers knew that I drop it on the daily.

Linda @ Veganosity01/08/2014 - 1:02 pm

I just discovered your blog, love it! Your photos are beautiful.

Isn’t it great how the simplest foods make the best meals? This is similar to what I feed my family on a daily basis. Color, color, and more color. The more vibrant the meal the better it tastes.

Hilary02/08/2014 - 3:26 pm

So I just made a variation of this for lunch. Holy jebus. I did more of a sauté – onion, sweet potato, beans, rice, beet greens, tomato, + the drizzle. Dynamite! Thanks for the inspiration.

Valerie05/08/2014 - 2:34 pm

My hangry pizza “lunches” usually take place on errant early mornings; after stepping (barefoot!) through cat vomit. *Cue* the salty sailor talk + cheese-bedazzled pizza pies.

This dish is gorgeous in its simplicity! I rarely have sweet potatoes on hand but this is lush enough to make a random grocery store run.

30 day vegetarian challenge |05/08/2014 - 8:45 pm

[…] found on The First Mess […]

[…] sweet potato burrito bowls: don’t mind if I do, and I do, and I […]

Carrie Pacini18/08/2014 - 10:38 am

This looks tasty and so healthy! Love all the colors.

Jessica DeMarra23/08/2014 - 10:09 am

Your photography is so beautiful you make the humblest of ingredients, in this case beans and rice, look breathtaking and mouth watering! I am so inspired by you and your site to up my game while I stuff my face. Thank you!

September | New England Nosh26/08/2014 - 5:59 am

[…] 1: Vegan Lasagna (recipe soon). {Make 2 and freeze one for later in the month} Tuesday, Sep 2nd: Burrito Bowls with Sweet Potatoes Wednesday, Sep 3rd: Soba Noodle Salad Thursday, Sep 4th: Zucchini Noodles with Pesto Friday, Sep […]

Annie28/08/2014 - 10:21 pm

Made this for dinner tonight. Followed everything to a T except used quinoa instead of rice and doubled everything–had a feeling it’d be that good. :) It WAS! Oh man, I loved this dish and will definitely be making it again! I’m a sucker for the dressing and will quadruple that next time, though!

Ella29/08/2014 - 11:10 pm

Made this exactly as Annie above did- doubled with quinoa. My mom wanted me to inform you that it’s one of the better dinners she has ever had. Absolutely delicious, Laura! Thanks so much for the recipe.
http://www.youtube.com/sparklesandsuch26

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