A long time ago I came across this recipe on All Recipes. I hadn’t cooked much with lentils (if ever) and it looked like a good way to serve Mexican food without meat (I don’t eat a lot of meat these days). I saved it to my recipe box and then never made it. Finally a few weeks ago we got around to it. I pretty much made it as directed.
Lentil Taco Filling
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 chicken broth (use veggie to make this vegetarian)
1 cup salsa
In a large skillet, saute the onion and garlic until tender. Add the lentil, chili powder, cumin and oregano and stir. Cook for one minute. Add the chicken broth and simmer for 30 minutes or until lentils are tender. Uncover, cook for 6-8 minutes longer or until mixture has thickened. Mash lentils slightly. Stir in salsa.
Use filling wherever you would normally use taco meat, in soft or hard shells, on nachos or in a taco salad. Top with whatever you want.
When I made this recipe I used our homemade chicken stock from the freezer and served it in soft wheat tortillas with brown rice and black beans. I normally use veggie stock for everything but since we had the homemade stuff available I went with that. I remember that the lentils seemed to take longer to cook than what the recipe suggested but I don’t remember how long. I don’t know if I bought the wrong kind of lentils or what. I did not rinse them as the recipe suggests so maybe that’s what went wrong. It was not a big deal though, we just cooked them a little longer.
My husband and I both really enjoyed this recipe. I had a great flavor and was a good way to enjoy Mexican food without meat. You could easily make this a vegetarian meal by using vegetable stock instead of chicken stock. And by leaving off any cheese or sour cream it becomes a vegan meal. Eat it without a tortilla and it becomes a gluten-free meal. So adaptable to everyone’s diet needs!
I will definitely be making this recipe again. Dried lentils keep forever so I plan to stock up on them. The ingredients for this recipe are pretty much pantry staples around here so we could whip this up anytime. And lentils are cheeeeeap. We buy them from the bulk bins at Whole Foods. They are much cheaper than meat. And better for you nutritionally. They have very little fat and a lot of protein and fiber. They also are a good source of iron and folate (good for us girls). Click here to see some nutrition information about lentils.
If anyone has any good lentil recipes, please share. I’m starting to like them a lot!