Friday, March 21, 2014

Lentil Taco "Meat"

I'm not sure why I've shied away from lentils for so long (probably a bland childhood experience), but I decided to pick up some of the pretty French green ones last time I was at the natural foods store, and we've been having a field day with them this Lent. They're packed with protein (more than every bean but soy), and take a fraction of the time to cook, which is great if your meal-planning skills, like mine, don't usually extend to the night before.
The three-year-old "Makin' 'mollys'." He even ate them. ;-)
This recipe for taco filling is packed with flavor, and can be used pretty much anywhere you'd use meat. Half of ours went into tamales, with the rest reappearing from the freezer for taco salad.

Serves four.
(recipe source)

2 T olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 tsp cumin
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp chili powder
½ tsp chipotle powder (or, use all regular chili powder and a dash of liquid smoke)
1 T tomato paste
½ tsp toasted sesame oil
1 cup dry lentils (any variety but red or yellow)
1½ cups water
1 T white vinegar
¼ cup smoked sundried tomatoes, finely chopped

In a skillet or large saucepan over medium heat, add the olive oil and onion. Saute until translucent, then add the cumin, salt, chili powders, and tomato paste. Cook for a minute or so until fragrant. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 20–30 minutes until liquid is absorbed and lentils are tender but not falling apart.

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