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:
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!
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.
Friends. There is really nothing like a good friend. Someone who will listen to you, pick you up when you are down, laugh with you and cry with you. Today I discovered simply how lucky I am to have such great friends. After having a down-in-the-dumps type of day, for no particular reason but my own, I happened to run into two friends on the bike commute home. And I’ll tell you there is nothing like sharing a good meal with friends to turn that frown upside down. So here’s a recipe dedicated to all friends, those close by and those far far away, those who are here and those who have left this world, those we have known for a while and to those who we haven’t even met yet. So friends, this one goes out to you and next time your with your best buddies remember to tell them how great they are just because you can. Now on to the food.
Katie, my best farmer friend, came up with this delicious recipe using bok choi greens, lentils and most things you can find in an ordinary kitchen. Delicous. Healthy. Simple.
Bok Choi Burgers
1 cup chopped bok choi greens (save the white stalks to add to stir frys later)
1 garlic scape or clove of garlic, diced
1.5 cups bread crumbs
1.5 cups pre-cooked green lentils (see note for cooking directions)
1 cup cooked quinoa, rice, or bulgar
1 tsp Garam Masala spice
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 cup salted sunflower seeds
salt and pepper to taste
1 large egg
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp olive oil (for frying burgers)
1. Pre cook the lentils and quinoa (see note). Combine all ingredients in order listed in a large bowl.
2. Heat a large pan on medium heat and drizzle with olive oil. Hand mould burger mixture to shape and size desired. You can do classic burgers or falafel style meatballs. Fry for 3-4 minutes each side until golden brown.
3. Serve on a bun, in a pita or on top of toast with toppings of your choice. Eat with friends.
Note: To cook lentils add 1 cup of dried lentils to 2 cups veggie broth to a pot and bring to a boil and let simmer, uncovered, until lentils are tender, approx 20-30 minutes. I usually make a big batch of lentils and store in the fridge and freezer for convenient use.
I was blessed with a bunch of delicious leftover from a recent visit from my family. During the May long weekend we toured around Vancouver on our bikes and on foot and gosh did we get hungry! I’ve probably mentioned this before, but my dad is an amazing cook and always inspires me to make delicious healthy recipes. One of his famous and ridiculously easy recipes is his “Meal-in-a-pan” dish which is very adaptable to any ingredients you might have lying around. Needless to say daddo made this while visiting and now I have leftovers in the fridge. To use these leftovers, I was inspired by a wrap I got at Whole Foods the other day which put me back 6 bucks! But look-you can be a Whole Foods chef and make your own!
Meal-in-a-pan (recipe from Dad)
3/4 cup lentils (any kind-I used green)
3/4 cup rice (any kind-I used brown)
2 small shallots or 1/2 onion chopped fine
1 clove garlic crushed
2 big leaves of kale, chard or a big handful of spinach (anything green and leafy) chopped fine (optional)
1/2 cup veggie chopped fine (you can use carrots, mushrooms, red peppers, etc)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp Garam Masala
1 ½ tsp Curry Powder (any kind – mild, medium, hot)
salt and pepper to taste
3 cups vegetable broth (any kind)
1. Saute first 6 ingredients over medium heat in the oil. Add Garam Masala and curry powder after about 5 minutes. Saute another 3 minutes while stirring to mix well.
2. Pour in vegetable broth and cover on low heat for 45 minutes or so until all liquid is absorbed.
1/2 cup of Meal-in-a-pan curry rice mixture
1 tbsp mango chutney
1 handful of spinach
1 tortilla wrap
1. Place all ingredients in wrap roll it up and enjoy!