This one’s for you Gabs.
Lentil Taco “Meat”
Recipe adapted from The Ordinary Vegetarian
- 1 cup lentils, rinsed and picked over - I usually use brown lentils, but when my stock is low, red lentils and/or chana dal work just fine. Be sure to soak the chana dal before you cook it.
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced - or more, if you’re nasty
- 1/2 large bell pepper, chopped - red, yellow or orange, I do not recommend green
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms - I like crimni best
- 1 carrot, peeled and sliced
- 2 ribs of celery, sliced
- 1 can diced tomato - Muir Glen’s Organic Fire Roasted are where it’s at
- 1-1/2 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- dash cayenne
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- Kosher salt and cracked pepper to taste.
- Olive oil for sautéing - I use about 2 T, but you can use more or less depending on your preference.
Saute onion until soft and slightly brown. Add about 1/4 cup of water and stir in the garlic, bell pepper, and mushrooms. If the pan starts to dry up and the contents get sticky icky, add a bit more water. Next, add in the lentils, carrots, celery, chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, bay leaf, and cayenne, and saute for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add in the broth and bring to a boil. Let the goodness boil for about 1 minute, stirring constantly so as not to burn. Then, turn the heat down to a simmer and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the mixture starts drying out, add more water or broth.
Remove from heat and carefully drain off extra liquid. Don’t forget to remove bay leaf! Stir in tomato paste and lime juice. Transfer to food processor, blender or nifty hand blender and pulse a few times, until a crumbly texture is achieved. Be advised to not puree the mixture, otherwise you’ll have taco soup. Which is not bad, just not the goal here.
This recipe will make six 1/2 cup servings, which you can could be use to make tacos, burritos, nachos or a salad (my preferred way to enjoy).
For taco salad, I like to use a mixture of spring greens and spinach. I add avocado, radishes (trust on this one), tomato, fresh parsley and/or cilantro, cucumber, black olives, if I haven’t already demolished the jar, and lime juice.