Why I Am Posting These Recipes

I believe that it is healthier for an individual and for the planet to reduce the consumption of animal products in the human diet. However, I love to eat all kinds of delicious food, and find it really, really difficult to go totally vegetarian. Also, my family protests if I serve too many vegetarian meals in a row. So I am committed to making an effort to move towards a vegetarian diet without wholly doing so. I will post recipes several times a week that represent my philosophy of eating well, eating healthy, eating local. Most recipes will be easy to prepare, as I have a busy life. So I expect my followers to be people who love to cook and eat well, want to try to help the planet through their eating (by eating local foods and trying to reduce the use of meat in our diets), and have many other things to do each day besides cook.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

It's Taco Tuesday: Lentil Tacos

It's Taco Tuesday! These are the easiest tacos imaginable, especially if you happen to have leftover cooked lentils in your refrigerator.  That's what happened to me.  I cooked lentils for dinner one night, then the next night just loaded them into taco shells with traditional taco additions:  shredded cheese, chopped cherry tomatoes, arugula (OK, maybe arugula is not traditional, but I didn't have plain old lettuce and the arugula tasted great in the tacos!), and a special sauce.  In this case, I made a quick sauce out of sour cream, lime juice, and ground chipotle chile, instead of using a red taco sauce.  Delicious creation! In case you don't have leftover lentils sitting in your fridge, I am supplying you with an easy recipe for lentils that can stand alone or go into these tacos.  But really all you have to do is boil some lentils and be sure to include cumin in the spices that go into them.
The Lentils:

1 carrot, diced,
2 celery stalks, diced
1 leek, chopped
1 large garlic clove, pressed
Olive oil
1 tomato, diced
1 TBS tomato paste
2 cups lentils, rinsed
6 cups water or vegetable broth, or a combination
1 TBS cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp marjoram
Salt and pepper to taste
pinch of Aleppo pepper (you can substitute cayenne pepper)
3 handfuls of baby spinach

Heat olive oil in saucepan.  Add leeks and sautéed until they become soft and translucent.  Add pressed garlic clove and stir.  Add diced carrots, celery and tomato.  Sautée everything for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften.  Add lentils, water and/or vegetable broth, tomato paste, cumin, oregano and marjoram.  Cover and simmer until lentils soften, about 45 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste and continue to cook uncovered for about 10 minutes or so.  Stir in a pinch of Aleppo pepper and the baby spinach, cover and cook a few more minutes, until spinach is wilted. The longer you cook the lentils, the thicker they will get.  If you use them before they have thickened, and they are watery, just serve them with a straining spoon so that they are not too watery for the tacos. If you don't use all the lentils for the tacos, the water is good to store the lentils in because they will continue to thicken in the refrigerator, so don't drain the water out of the tacos and throw it away.

Chipotle Sour Cream Sauce:

1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 tsp chipotle powder
1/8 tsp salt

Mix ingredients together in a small bowl.

Build Your Taco:
Cherry tomatoes, quartered
Shredded cheddar cheese
Cooked Lentils
Chipotle Sour Cream Sauce

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