Thursday, April 4, 2013

Quick and Easy Lentil Tacos with DIY Taco Spice!

Hola!  Ready for a simple, Mexican delight?!  

I haven't had ground meat in a couple of decades at least, but I would guess that the meat flavor isn't the thing that stands out the most about a taco. Could it possibly be the spicy flavors?!

Lentil Tacos

Yummy Lentil Tacos
Lentil tacos are SO simple!  Basically just lentils, and taco seasoning.

Lentils and beans are AMAZING (read here)!  Another cool thing about lentils and beans is that you don't have to worry about food borne illness, the way you should when cooking meat.

Lentil Tacos (idea from this recipe)  Check out awesome!

1 c dry lentils, rinsed and drained
1c water
3 Tbsp taco seasoning, one packet, (single batch Taco Spice)

Let simmer for ~20 minutes, or until tender and water has evaporated and been absorbed into lentils.

Optional step: blend lentils in a food processor, adding water slowly, as necessary, until mixture resembles ground meat. Optionally, you may also add a bit of extra virgin olive oil or canola oil.

Fill taco shells.
Top with whatever toppings you enjoy.
We use lettuce, tomato, and avocado - YUM! (Greek yogurt in the pic, but no need!)
Hubby enjoys plenty of salsa too.
We haven't use it, but a bit of vegan cheddar cheese would make a very familiar taco.

Taco Spice (adapted from this recipe)

Single batch (taco seasoning packet equivalent):
1/2 tsp each of cayenne*, oregano, cumin, and garlic (optional: add 1/2 tsp paprika for color)
1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper (optional: add 1/4 tsp onion powder ~ great flavor!)
pinch of unsweetened cocoa (Mexican flavor trick!)
*adjust for more or less spicy mix.

Single batch (~3 Tbsp of mix) per cup dry lentils (with 3 c water) or pound of "meat" (with 2/3 c water).

Make lots of taco spice, store in spice container, and use over and over!

Multiple batches (24x single):

1/2 c each of cayenne, oregano, cumin, and garlic (optional: add 1/2 c paprika for color)
1/4 c each of pepper and onion powder (salt optional)
1/8 tsp of unsweetened cocoa

Quick and Easy DIY Taco Spice
  • HUGE SAVINGS (awesome breakdown here)! Make a batch of this recipe for 25 cents or buy a packet for over $1!)
  • AVOID chemicals, preservatives, strange, unnecessary ingredients!  Especially excess sodium, and monosodium glutamate (MSG).
  • Tastier, more authentic FLAVORS!
Homemade taco seasoning is great for...
tortilla soup, taco dip, chili, enchiladas, and of course TACOS (vegetarian tacos or other!)!

Try Taco Spice in:
Tasty Tamale Pie
Mexican Fiesta Bowl (2-Minute Friday Night Dinner)
Healthy Mexican Lasagna
Tofu Scramble
Anything that you want to give a spicy flavor boost!

COMMENTS:  Do you use any spice mixes?  It seems making them ourselves can save money and perhaps even make a better flavor!  Pumpkin Pie Spice?Curry? Other Indian mixes? What do you think?

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