Happy Lunch

Since I’ve been back to work for a few months now, I wanted to share a few thoughts on lunch. I’ve been spoiled with the ability to cook almost all of my meals fresh, at home, right before eating. Going back to this lunch packing thing, combined with far less time to actually make food all together, called for some new ideas on how to give my lunches some much needed love.

Did you know that digestion actually starts in your brain? Smelling, seeing, and touching food brings on hunger and causes digestive juices, enzymes, and saliva production to kick into high gear, preparing the body for some awesome digestion action. Enabling this “pre-digestive” process gives the digestive system a head start and a little extra help to make sure that all of this beautiful food that you eat is broken down, absorbed, and put to good use. It’s more than just what you eat.

This is where cooking or “prepping” food makes total sense! In addition to getting to eat home made goodness, the ability to interact with the food before eating gets the body all fired up and ready to go. I’ve been trying to find ways to do this at lunch, and it actually turns out to be pretty simple. Having access to a decent paring knife, whole fruit and veggies can be sliced and diced fresh into your lunch. A few extra containers will help transport all of the ingredients separately, preventing them from getting all mixed up and soggy. With a few minutes of packing the evening before and 5 minutes of prep before lunch, putting it all together is almost like making your meal fresh at home. Good for digestion and deliciousness.

Finding the time to make lunch can be tough and I will tell you that the salad bar in my office building is my good friend. I just wanted to share this post as a reminder (to myself included) that homemade lunch rocks and a tiny bit of extra effort goes a long way.

Spicy Mango + Veggie Black Rice Bowl
  • 1/2 cup cooked black rice, cooked the night before
  • 1 ataulfo mango
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 Tbsp. kimchi
  • 1/4 cup broccoli, alfalfa, or clover sprouts
  • 2 Tbsp. green onions, thinly sliced the night before
  • 1 lime
  • soy sauce and sriracha, to season (optional)
  1. Place the rice in a large plate or bowl, and gently warm it up if you want (ok but not necessary).
  2. Slice the mango and avocado on top of the rice.
  3. Arrange kimchi, sprouts, and onions on top.
  4. Squeeze the lime juice over it all, and season with soy sauce and sriracha if you wish. I find that there's enough salt and spice in the kimchi, but you will need to season if omitting it.

Leave a Reply



  1. Now this is a post! Wonderful recipe and photos. They look great.

    • Sofia

      The day I took the pictures, it was breakfast :) Works for any meal. Hope you like it!

  2. Wow…I am always amazed at the flavor combinations that you come up with. This dish sounds unbelievably wonderful. I would never have thought to put kimchi with mango and avocado. I am already dreaming of what this dish would taste like. I will definitely need to be making this.

    Do you have a particular brand of kimchi that you like or do you make your own? I am very interested in learning to make my own…because we haven’t found a particular brand that we love yet.

    • Sofia

      Thanks, Sandra! I’ve tried making kimchi a couple of times and it never turned out. I’m not giving up yet, but in the meantime I buy it. No favourite brand, but I live in a Korean neighborhood, so there’s no shortage of ones to try, I usually rotate.

  3. Oh…you lucky lady you! We used to live in an area with a large Korean population as well. But since we moved we are having a hard time getting our favorite foods. We have had to become good at making our own bulgogi as well.

    • Sofia

      Please share your bulgogi recipe one day (or email it to me?)
      I find that it’s usually too sweet at restaurants, but would love to try making it.

  4. I have been wanting to make this for ages and I finally got all the ingredients together. This was the most delicious thing I have eaten. Now I’m going to make sure I always have all the ingredients I need to make this again. Oh…and I haven’t forgotten about that bulgogi. I just haven’t been able to measure out ingredients. Normally we make up all we need to go through in the summer in one big batch and freeze the portions. As soon as the weather starts getting nice we’ll be making it up again ;)

    • Sofia

      So happy you liked it, Sandra!
      I remember you asking me about making kim chee….I still haven’t made it the traditional way, but I’ve been making a kraut-chi which is better than both sauerkraut and kim chee in my opinion. It’s just a standard kraut recipe with a little garlic, green onions, fish sauce, and korean chilie powder added in during the fermentation. I’ll post the recipe sometime :)
      Looking forward to the bulgogi recipe when you make it next time! Don’t worry about measuring it too carefully…just the general ingredients + process is good for me.

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