Spicy Lentil Tacos

Spicy Lentil Tacos

Mexican food is one of my favourite types of cuisine, however often times it’s tough to find a veggie option; especially when it comes to tacos. I was recently inspired to create a delicious vegan taco that packs some serious protein and nutrition. The mushrooms and lentils give this dish a meaty texture and delicious flavour. Gluten free, dairy free to boot!

Spicy Lentil Tacos 

Lentil Taco Filling:

1/2 cup dry lentils (I used french lentils but you can also use brown or green lentils)
2 cups vegetable broth (I used 2 cups of water and one bouillon cube)
1 tbsp olive oil
6 mushrooms, diced into small cubes
1 jalapeno pepper , diced (use less if you don’t like too much heat)
1 small shallot or onion, diced
1 small tomato, diced
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp cumin*
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried oregano

*If you don’t have all of these spices, don’t fret. You can simply use cumin and it will still taste great.


1. Combine the lentils and vegetable broth in a pot on medium heat. Allow to boil for 20-30 minutes, adding more liquid if necessary. Cook until lentils are tender.


2. Meanwhile in another pan, saute shallots in olive oil for 3 minutes on medium heat until well cooked, then add mushrooms, jalapeno and diced tomato. Saute until all vegetables are well cooked, about 8 minutes. Add the spices.

3. Once the lentils are cooked (soft and starting to come apart) add them to the vegetable mixture and stir well. Allow taco mixture to simmer on the stove top for 5 minutes for flavours to meld, adding a bit of water if it starts to look dry.


To make this for dinner you’ll need:

corn tortillas


Toppings, which can include:
red or yellow pepper, diced
fresh tomato, diced
avocado, mashed or sliced
lime (for squeezing on top)

Serve a spoonful of lentil taco filling on each tortilla and pile with toppings of your choice. Enjoy!

Spicy Lentil Tacos


Heart Warming Kale Autumn Salad


Well folks, it’s officially autumn. But don’t let that stop you from enjoying salad. This evening I whipped up a nice warm salad that lets those autumn veggies shine though. I have recently rekindled my love for squash and I’m so excited about all the possibilities. So far I’m loving the buttercup squash which are beautiful form the inside out, but there are more varieties to be discovered!

Heart Warming Kale Autumn Salad (makes about 2 servings) 


1 smallish to medium sized squash  (I used buttercup squash but you can use any type)
4 cups roughly chopped kale (about 8-10 leaves)
1/2 cup dried green lentils
1 cup veggie stock
salt and pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 350F. Cut squash in half and place face down in a glass baking dish with about 1/2 inch of water. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until squash is tender and can be poked easily with a fork.

2. Meanwhile, prepare lentils by rinsing and placing them in a small pot over medium heat with the veggie stock. Cover and let simmer for 10 minutes or until lentils are not hard anymore.

3. Steam kale by placing in a pan over medium heat with a splash of water, stirring it around until leaves are dark green. About 3-4 minutes. When squash is finished, remove from oven and chop into bite sized chunks. Careful it’s very hot!

4. Assemble. Place kale in a bowl, layer on lentils, and finally top with squash.

Tip: Notice that this salad has no dressing. I wanted to keep the flavours simple so I opted for no dressing. But if you just can’t live without it I would suggest a light balsamic and olive oil dressing for this salad. You could also add more /different flavour by adding spices to the lentils such as rosemary.


Curry Cashews

Apologies for not posting in a while. To be honest my life has been hectic lately and I haven’t felt very inspired in the kitchen. This time of year seems to be a period of transition. The progression from summer produce to fall produce, from tomatoes, to winter squash. So in the spirit of autumn and becoming inspired to make fall recipes, here is a simple, healthy recipe to keep you going. It would make a great snack on the go or to sprinkle on top of a salad or curry.


Curry Cashews (inspired by GI 365


2 Tbsp curry powder
1 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp liquid honey
2 Tbsp hot water
1 tsp olive oil
3 cups raw cashews


1. Preheat oven to 275F (or somewhere between 250F and 300F). Mix first 5 ingredients in a bowl.

2. Stir mixture with the cashews and spread out on a lined baking sheet.

3. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until cashews are light brown on the edges and all of the liquid mixture has dried up.

4. Allow to cool before storing in an airtight container. You can also freeze some if you want to save them longer than 1 or 2 weeks.



Vegetable Moroccan Stew

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI am home (in Calgary) for the long weekend. Every time I come home, I always enjoy cooking with (and for) my family. Tonight my mum and I cooked a moroccan stew together. This recipe has been enjoyed by my family for quite some time now. It was ripped out of a 1993 March edition of Canadian Living Magazine by my mum and continues to exist in my her recipe archive.

Vegetable Moroccan Stew (serves 6) 


1 cups carrots, chopped
2 cups rutabaga, chopped
half small cabbage, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil/butter/butter alternative
1/2 cup pitted prunes
1 tsp each tumeric, cinnamon, and salt
1 tsp fresh ginger, diced
pinch of pepper
2 cups vegetable stock
1.5 cups cooked chickpeas
3 large tomatoes, chopped


1. Chop carrots, rutabaga and tomato into bite sized chunks. Cut cabbage into large chunks as it will shrink when cooked.

2. In a large sauce pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add carrots, rutabaga, prunes, turmeric, cinnamon, slat, ginger, and pepper. Cover pot and cook on low for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Stir in cabbage, vegetable stock, chickpeas, and tomatoes; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer stirring occasionally, for 35-40 minutes or until vegetables are tender. You can serve the stew right away, on top of a bed of brown rice, cous cous, quinoa, or with naan breads.

*Tip: If you allow the stew to heat in the oven at 300F covered for an hour before serving, it will meld the flavours more. Stew can also be frozen and kept for leftovers.


Sesame Cabbage No-slaw

Coleslaw is one of those foods I have never liked. As a kid I didn’t like anything with a dressing or a sauce so that pretty much ruled out a lot of foods. Slowly as I aged I began to develop a taste for sauces and dressings but unfortunately coleslaw is still on my no-no list. But here’s a “coleslaw like” recipe that I think is my new favourite salad. My farmer friends Ruth and Katie introduced me to this dish and I can’t get enough! A delicious refreshing take on coleslaw with a unique Asian flavour!

Sesame Cabbage Salad (makes a large-ish bowls worth…about 3 servings)

Sesame Dressing:

3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp vinegar (I used apple cider, you can also use rice or balsamic)
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
pinch red pepper flakes


½ cabbage head, chopped
3 carrots, grated
2 leaves of kale, chopped
1 beet, grated
3 spring onion sprigs, diced
1 avocado, chopped into cubes
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds


1. Combine dressing ingredients in a sealable jar and shake until well combined.

2. Combine all salad ingredients (excepte sesame seeds) in a bowl and toss.

3. Drizzle dressing over top of salad, mix around and sprinkle with sesame seeds.


Tips from the kitchen: The Stoneground Truth

Besides being really excited about my new Facebook page debut for Ivysmushbowl, I have also been doing a lot of thinking about what else I could share with you, other than recipes of course. And then it dawned on me. Although, yes, I do create lots of wonderful, tasty, and healthy recipes in my kitchen; I also have lots of disasters and make tonnes of mistakes. Nobody’s perfect. Rather than keep all of that a secret, I thought I would start a little “Tips from the Kitchen” segment in which I will share with you what I have learned as I experiment and play with ingredients in my kitchen.


A lesson about stoneground flour.

I purchased some stoneground flour from my local organic produce and grocery store thinking it would bake up similarly to the regular whole wheat flour that I am used to using for banana bread. Imagining a fluffy, soft banana bread, I began mixing the ingredients using only the stoneground flour. I was in my happy space. When the loaf came out of the oven, I noticed it was a little dense and grainy in texture. Still delicious, but not at all the texture I was expecting from the loaf.

Lesson learned? Not all flours are not created equal. This “stoneground” flour seemed very heavy compared to my regular whole wheat flour. I’ve used 100% whole wheat flour in some recipes producing a nice fluffy bread, while other flours can be so dense. This is probably due to the fact that there are different types of wheat that flour are made from and some achieve a softer texture than others. I think this dense, grainy flour is best suited for things like cookies and granola bars-which are already quite dense themselves.

Having said all of this here is the recipe I used to make this dense but delicious whole wheat banana bread:

Stoneground Truth Banana Bread

1/4 cup melted coconut oil
scant 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
3 tbsp milk of choice (I used soy milk)
3 medium bananas
 (I used 3 frozen bananas, thawed out)
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
4 tbsp seeds (I used 1 tbsp each ground flax seeds and chia seeds)
1/2 cup oat flour
1/4 cup whole oats
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped dates


1. Preheat oven to 325F. Mix all wet ingredients (first 6  ingredients listed) in a large mixing bowl.

2. Next combine remaining dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add dry ingredients to wet mixture and stir until well mixed.

3. Turn out batter into a greased or lined loaf pan and bake for about 1 hour, until a knife inserted in the centre of the loaf comes out clean.