Today’s post started out as an assignment for my intern Courtney and turned into a tasty lunch for me. See, I’m smart that way.

While Courtney generally helps me with design and layout duties, this week she wanted to play in the kitchen and I said, “Go for it girlie! Let’s check out your chops!” She chose her favorite ingredient combo, created the recipe and after we played around taking pics in the kitchen she wrote this post. My stomach says she came up with a winner and I know you’ll agree after you make her vegetarian Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burritos.

Take it away Courtney…

There are a few things in life that make me really happy. A well designed book cover, a beautiful fall day, the sound of my kids playing nicely with each other – without me.

When it comes to food, nothing compares to the smell of diced onion and minced garlic over an open flame. I don’t know why but it makes me feel like I know what I’m doing in the kitchen. I feel legit. I feel happy. And once your onions are nice and translucent, the possibilities are endless.

While most of us associate the aroma of onions and garlic with the start of favorite comfort foods like chicken pot pie, meatloaf or just about any Italian or Mexican meal, today we’re going full-on vegetarian.

First up, is my own go-to recipe. My Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burrito is easily adaptable to whatever you have in your fridge that day, and with a busy schedule and kids to feed, that’s key for me.

This recipe’s go to ingredients are the aforementioned onion, garlic and black beans but adding in different ingredients is what makes this recipe special. But don’t EVER omit the cream cheese. That’s just plain wrong.

On this particular day, I had a sweet potato and red pepper on hand, as well as a few cherry tomatoes that survived the freeze from last week’s first frost (way to go little ‘maters). The sweet potato really upped the satisfaction ratio and brought in that fall flavor that makes everything seem cozy.

A couple of other ideas for bursting burritos? Like I said, cleaning out the fridge makes for good grub, and here’s a few combos to take along on your ride:

  • green peppers or spicy hatch chiles with fresh corn (I freeze my own at the peak of corn season)

  • butternut squash and brown rice

  • or summer squash, green onions and quinoa

  • and don’t ever forget the cream cheese!

Just ask my neighbors what I borrow from them the most—I’ll give you a clue it’s not a cup of sugar—it’s probably a new burrito combo in the making.

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burritos |

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burritos
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced, or about ½ cup
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ red bell pepper, diced or about ½ cup
  • 1 tablespoon jalapeno, diced
  • 1 small sweet potato, cubed, or about 1 cup
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Whole wheat tortillas
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
  • Cherry tomatoes, halved
  1. Place sweet potatoes in a microwave safe bowl with a tablespoon of water and cook for 3 minutes, or until tender. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and peppers and cook until onions are translucent, about 3 minutes. Add beans and sweet potato and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add creme cheese and stir until combined. Add salt and stir. Scoop onto whole wheat tortillas and top with cilantro and tomatoes.

I’ve rounded up six more divine dishes that can do double duty as dinner (today’s post brought to you by the letter “D”). With just a few steps each, and some quality ingredients, a great meal is just minutes away.

All of these recipes are vegetarian, because that’s usually the route I go when deciding what to make for dinner while simultaneously cooking dinner.

Get ready for a flavor explosion with Lindsay’s Southwestern Quinoa and Black Bean Casserole on Pinch of Yum.

Luisa of the Wednesday Chef breaks all the rules of roasting vegetables and comes up with something pretty great with her Best Roasted Vegetables Ever recipe.

Of course I had to include a brinner recipe, and it doesn’t get simpler than a basic fritatta.  Lindsey of Cafe Johnsonia makes her Simple Kale Frittata special with yummy home fries.

Join Amanda at Marshalls Abroad to see how she makes a gorgeous homemade pizza using ingredients found near her local Japanese farmers market.

I have been replacing butternut for pumpkin this fall in all my recipes just for fun. Jennifer’s Curried Apple Pumpkin Soup at Savory Simple is looking perfect for this weekend.

Alison at Simple Bites combines, beets, carrots, goat cheese and bread (and garlic and onion, of course) in a most simple and beautiful way in her Quick Skillet Roasted Vegetables on Cheese Toast.

I hope you liked my onion and garlic themed line-up, and thanks for letting me share my first post with you. If you like this one, I just might be back. ~ Intern Courtney

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