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That changed when we had our first daughter. We moved to a safer but less exciting (at least in terms of food) neighborhood, and eating out with a baby was quite a hassle. I took a temporary break from my architecture career to be with my daughter, and I ended up spending a significant amount of time cooking food for my family. I wanted to turn that effort into a project, so it doesn't become a mundane chore that will eventually be forgotten. That's how White Blank Space started.
|When my daughter turned 18 months, she started attending Montessori toddler school so that I could go back to working outside the home. And our lunchbox journey started. The lunchboxes I packed for my daughter had a special meaning to me. I wanted her to feel loved through the lunches I pack, even though I was apart from her. I like to use cute bento boxes and accessories, punch out shapes using veggie cutters, and mix colorful ingredients. One time, I went to see my daughter through her classroom window during lunchtime, and I happened to see her face lit up when she opened her lunchbox. It melted my heart.||
I try to keep lunchboxes easy to make because, as a mother, I'm always short on time. I achieve this by packing fresh fruits and veggies that don't require any cooking on the side and keeping the meal recipes simple. I don't believe that it takes a whole lot of effort to pack an inviting lunchbox. Five to ten more minutes of care can transform how it looks and make packing lunchboxes fun for me.
Since the pandemic, my daughter has been with me at home, and we welcomed another baby. One silver lining for this rough time is that we get to cook together more often. She helped me prepare this lunch I am sharing with you. It is packed in a blue Takenaka bento box, my daughter's favorite color because it reminds her of the Disney Character, Elsa.
I hope you enjoy this recipe, and please visit me on my Instagram or YouTube Channel.
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 (15oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1.5 cup shredded Mexican-style cheese
5 flour tortillas
* Dipping Sauce
15.5 oz jar marinara sauce
1 roasted red bell pepper (from a jar)
Blend marinara sauce and pepper until smooth.
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a saucepan. Add onion and cook until lightly browned and softened.
Add garlic and cook for an additional 30 to 60 seconds.
Mix in water, tomato paste, and cumin. Bring to a simmer.
Add black beans and simmer for 5 minutes while stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
Spread cheese all over a tortilla and place cooked beans on one half of it. (See photo) Tightly roll starting from the side of the beans.
Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a pan. Place the burritos seam-side down and cook until golden brown. The cheese will melt and hold the burritos together. Cook all sides until golden brown.
Cut the burrito into four sections and place them in a lunchbox with a dipping sauce.