It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only (A Tale of Two Cities-Dickens-opening paragraph).
If I haven’t lost ya yet, now you have some trivia knowledge and two taco recipes coming right up! See this is why we are friends! Speaking of friends that tolerate me, my friend Angela asked me about these lentil tacos I keep talking about. I went to direct her to my blog and realized, crap, I have never shared them on my blog. Here you go Angela! I have no pictures for you, but the recipe needs to get out into the universe. We all know that pink slime, er beef is bad; love on a lentil instead.
Recipe One: Lentil Tacos
Adapted from Isa Chandra.
2 teaspoons olive oil (you can do this oil free if you add a smidge of water to the onion when it starts getting sticky from sauteing it)
- 1 small onion, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 1/2 cups cooked lentils (from about 1 cup dried)
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons hot sauce (preferably Cholula)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons ground ancho chile
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
First combine all of the ingredients for the spice mix and set aside. Also, keep a cup of water within reach, you’ll need to add splashes as you cook. You can totally put in taco sauce or salsa for the hot sauce and chili powder for the ancho pepper in the spice mix to make it less of a shock.
Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sautee the onion and garlic in the oil with a pinch of salt for about 3 minutes, until lightly browned. Add spices and toss them for 30 seconds or so to toast.
Lower heat to medium, add lentils, a few splashes of water, tomato paste and hot sauce; use a spatula to mash them a bit as they cook, until they hold together. If your spatula isn’t strong enough to accomplish this, just use a fork. Do this for about 5 minutes, adding splashes of water as necessary if it appears dry. Depending on the type of lentil you land, it will take more or less time to cook. Taste for salt and seasoning; you may want to add more spices or hot sauce. And that’s it, time to serve!
Lentil Tacos Take Two
Adapted from the recipe above based on what I had in my kitchen
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon canola oil
- 1 cup dried lentils, rinsed
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2-1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup salsa
- 12 taco shells
- shredded lettuce, chopped fresh tomato, vegan cheese, avocado, limes
In a large nonstick skillet, saute the onion and garlic in oil until tender. Add the lentils, chili powder, cumin and oregano; cook and stir for 1 minute. Add broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
Uncover; cook for 6-8 minutes or until mixture is thickened. Mash lentils slightly. Stir in salsa. Stuff in your shell of choice and serve with toppings as you have them available.