A quick and delicious lunch & an introduction to conscious consuming.

May 11, 2010 § 5 Comments

I have just discovered the most amazing, filling, SPEEDY lunch option ever! Inspired by a technique from Healthy Tipping Point, the glorious sweet potato is fast becoming my go-to meal when pressed for time.

Crummy iPhone photography aside, take a look at what may just be the tastiest thing I’ve ever eaten…

Normally I’m not too mad about using the microwave because I’m convinced they are somehow filling our food with super-sonic death rays of death….but i’m willing to ingest some bad juju in the case of this meal! And the best part? It takes only 6 minutes to create!

Chilli con-carnage sweet potato boat (for 1):

1 medium-sized sweet potato, or half a fat one

1/4 can mixed beans

chilli veggie tapenade, like this one below I bought at the local growers markets (I’m working on trying to re-create my own version):

hummus (I used thai-chilli & lime flavour, but regular will work just fine)

sea salt to taste


  • Wash your sweet-potato, and puncture aggressively in a few places here & there with a stabby object.
  • Place whole in the microwave, loosely wrapped in a couple of sheets of paper towel. And no, they will not catch alight and burn down your house (I was so not convinced until I tried it myself!)
  • Cook the sucker on high for around 6 mins. Might need a little more if extra chunky, but basically you can’t go wrong.
  • While that is cooking, make some kind of delectable side salad, and the topping.
  • Combine 1/4 can of beans with with a couple of scoops each of spicy veggie paste & hummus, depending on how saucy you like it.
  • Take spud out when done & cut down the middle.
  • Sprinkle with sea salt flakes.
  • Microwave bean mix for around a minute to heat, then pour over the potato.

THIS IS SERIOUSLY SO TASTY! I never wanted it to end!

Why are sweet potato’s our friend? A whole one is only around 130 calories – when you compare that to 2 slices of bread containing on average 200 cals, which may be the basis for many people’s lunch, the sweet potato is a superior option! It is extremely filling too, and adding a bean topping will provide extra protein and fibre. It also has the lowest GI of all the root vegetables (source) which probably explains why I can run on this lunch for hours. They are rich in dietary fibre and carotenes (which are converted to Vitamin A in the body, essential for healthy skin, hair & bone development) and contain high levels of antioxidants, potassium and folate. Wow!

With my super-powered lunch which I ACTUALLY COULDN’T FINISH (this is a major first for me – I’m in it to win it with every meal) I was ready for the babysitting onslaught, and a peaceful walk around the beaches when I got home.

In other news, I have been thinking more and more about the importance of where we spend our money, and the ongoing implications of ‘mindless consumerism’. Let me tell you, there is no going back once you start uncovering the facts about products & companies that many of us recognise as familiar staples in our home. I’m hoping that my beautiful Mum will be doing a bit of a guest post about the need to shop locally and invest in ethical products, however I wanted to put into motion some kind of awareness of what we are really buying into when we hand over our cash.

The true impact of every dollar we spend was illuminated for me when I bought this guide for only $6 from a local bookstore in Paddington.

I would also recommend downloading the iPhone app Shop Ethical! which provides much more detailed information about which companies to support, and those to avoid when buying groceries & other household items.

I was amazed & appalled by the facts: Did you know that Maybelline is owned by L’Oreal? L’Oreal has a record of animal testing and even lobbied against an EU ban on the practice. Ralph Lauren which is a subsidiary of L’Oreal has been notorioulsy involved in sweatshop labour and worker abuse. As well as that, Nestlé is a part owner, and as you may be aware, there is a boycott call against this company for the irresponsible marketing of infant formula in developing countries. Not to mention indirect involvement in child labour by continuing to buy cocoa from the Ivory Coast despite forced child labour in that region. They also promote bottled water which undermines local control of water supplies in communities.

I hate to sound like i’m scare-mongering or playing on fears about large corporations, but to see this information (which is all non-biased and evidence-based) has really sparked my interest in treating every dollar I spend as an investment… What am I investing in when I buy this product? Who are the beneficiaries? What kind of practices am I inadvertently supporting when I choose to purchase this item?

It may seem like ignorance is bliss in this department, but realistically, consumers have the ultimate power & responsibility when it comes to putting an end to malpractice in big business. We have a collective duty to stick it to the man!

I’m going to blog more on the topic, but in the meantime it would be great to hear from you if you think this is an important issue. Do you think it should be a priority to make informed choices about what we buy? Is it particularly hard because of financial constraints, etc? Let’s hear it!

§ 5 Responses to A quick and delicious lunch & an introduction to conscious consuming.

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  • han says:

    yummy, do you think the sweet potato would be good with good ol’ mexican salsa?

    • bonne_santé says:

      For sure! Sounds delish. I made it again last night with lots of random tomato/spicy-themed ingredients, and it worked a treat! I don’t think you can go wrong with a big bed of schweeeeet potato.

  • likes_bad_films says:

    hi katey,
    i would like to buy more organic, fair trade, etc, products, but it is hard to buy EVERYTHING organic, fair trade, etc, because of availibility or cost. so then i start thinking, why should i bother buying anything organic, etc, if i’m not going to go the whole hog, you know? do you find constraints like cost on these things too? if you can’t afford/find everything, where do you draw the line?
    oh ethical dilemmas haha!

    • bonne_santé says:

      Hey! I totally understand where you’re coming from. Whichever way you look at it, it is more expensive to buy beautiful organic produce – even though they have to do less to it, go figure! But there are some ways you can minimise the outlay. I’ve talked before about the fact that I choose to spend more on groceries each week, and less on eating out, lunches and hot drinks here & there. If I buy the good stuff, i’m going to pack it for lunch everyday as opposed to shelling out another $10-15 on top of it all for takeaway food. Unfortunately if you’re on a budget, you may have to decide between the two! Also you should look into food co-op’s that give you boxes of seasonal produce for cheaper – looking at your email address, I can tell you that your uni actually has a co-op (you may already know this) that does organic food for students. Their prices are very reasonable & it’s local & fresh.
      Even if you can’t afford to buy everything organic, don’t despair! Like most things in life, every little bit counts. Do what you can, but it’s ultimately better to be eating lots of non-organic fruit & veg, than abstaining and not eating any because it’s not pesticide-free.
      Good luck!

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