It is a really basic, simple, flavorful and... it could pass as a "fake" meat. Or, don't even think about it like that. Think about how lentils are filled with beneficial plant protein, minerals, vitamins, and delicious-ness. So this is just a new way to eat tacos, and you may not really care about ground meat any more...
Lentil Mixture Recipe
1/2 cup of diced onions
3-4 garlic cloves minced
1 TB of olive oil
1 1/2 cup of dry organic red lentils
3 cups of pure water
1 TB of ground cumin
1 TB of ground paprika
dash to 1/2 ts. of ground cayenne pepper (or more if you like it hot)
2 ts. of ground turmeric
1/2 ts. of sea salt, or more or less to taste
1/2 ts. of ground black pepper, or more or less to taste
1/3 cup of crushed tomatoes (I used canned, but fresh could work)
2-3 TB of non-dairy milk, I use unsweetened So Delicious coconut milk (or 2 TB of organic butter or ghee would work too)
huge handful of fresh cilantro (finely chopped)
fresh lemon or lime juice to serve
Saute the chopped onion garlic in the olive oil in a large pan. Wait until the onions are clear or a little crispy, then pour in the red lentils with the pure water and stir and let simmer till it boils. It will take about 15-20 minutes for it to soak in and become a thicker texture.
After the thickening happens, you can add the spices, tomatoes, and non-dairy milk. You are constantly stirring at this point so that the mixture doesn't burn. It will start to become almost like a ground-meat texture. If your mix is a bit watery, just keep cooking on medium heat and it will thicken up as you go. I like to throw in the fresh cilantro in last to add some fresh flavor and color. I also add some fresh lemon or lime at the end to cool down the spices. Not too much, just a splash and lets the flavors dance together. Hm, it smells delicious!
Now serve up how you wish:
You can pile the mixture in a soft gluten-free corn taco shell that has been heated up in a pan with a touch of olive oil and salt. When you warm up the shell a bit it makes it easier to stretch when you are putting the insides in. You really only need to take about one minute to do this. If you over warm it up it will probably become a crispy chip that won't let you fold or wrap. If you want a crispy chip, then by all means... I liked having a flexible taco shell with this specific recipe. Load your vegan taco with lentil mixture, leftover brown rice (or quinoa), lettuce or greens, salsa, and avocado. Then splash with lemon or lime and eat!
Or, you can use this lentil mixture as a "bean-dip-bowl" kind of meal. You could pile on a plate some rice or quinoa, add the lentil mix and top with lettuce, avocado and salsa. Use gluten-free corn chips to scoop up your layers of flavor. Or forget the chips and just eat with a fork.
I made up this lentil mixture as a meat replacement for tacos and it actually turned out to be a very tasty comparison. I actually like it better! It has the legume flavor and texture of a burrito, but the fun of a messy and hand eaten taco.
Now that wasn't too hard... now, enjoy!
Servings, usually can make up to 8 tacos, so can serve anywhere from 4 to 8 people.
Much love to you today!