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!
I will start off by saying that I’m loving the free wi-fi on the Bolt Bus! I am currently en route to the Seattle region to visit my aunt (the one who inquired about chickpeas if you remember that post) and family for the Easter weekend. I thought I would kill the hour bus ride to the border by blogging about collard greens.
Not sure what to do with collard greens? I have the perfect solution. My best-friend-for-life Katie and I made this great discovery a while back and have been raving about it ever since. Think warm mexican flavours wrapped in a lush green leaf. Not only is this recipe delicious and easy but also so healthy!
Here’s how to do it:
For the mexican style filling:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup cooked quinoa (1/2 cup uncooked)
1 sweet potato
1 red pepper, chopped
5 or 6 mushrooms, chopped
1 cup black beans (you can use canned, but I used ones that I had cooked previously and stored in the freezer)
2 fresh tomatoes, chopped (if you don’t have fresh tomatoes on hand, I have also gotten away with using 1/3 cup crushed tomatoes from a jar or can to add a bit of moisture)
2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or red chili flakes
hand ful chopped spinach or kale (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
*feel free to add 1/2 a chopped onion and 1 or 2 diced garlic cloves to this, I have been omitting those ingredients for my own cooking lately due to some food sensitivities, but it would definitely enhance the flavour.
For the wraps:
5 or 6 fresh and LARGE collard leaves (the bigger the better!)
large bowl full of boiling water
paper towel or clean kitchen towel for blotting
1. Bake sweet potato in a 450F oven, until a fork pokes through easily, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool and chop into bite sized cubes. Don’t worry if it gets mushy, thats exactly what it is supposed to do, set aside.
2. Meanwhile, on medium heat, saute the red pepper, mushrooms, beans, tomatoes, spices and optional greens with olive oil until veggies are tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add sweet potato and quinoa, stir and let flavours meld for 5 minutes on low heat. This should reach a burrito-type consistency aka a little mushy. Add more spice if necessary. If it looks a bit dry, add more tomato or a bit of water.
3. Prepare the collard leaves by washing them in cold water and cutting the end of the stem off leaving you with an oval leaf. Then slice the centre stem at the base of the leaf length wise. Think of it as “shaving” off a little bulk from the stem, remember your not cutting the whole stem out just thinning it down. Once the leaves are prepared, fill a large bowl with boiling water and soak the leaves for 45 seconds and remove. Rinse in cold water, blot dry and set out to cool. Note that if you leave them in for longer than a few minutes the leaves run the risk of getting bitter.
4. Next, place some of your filling in the open wrap and roll it up as you would a burrito. I find it helps to not over fill them and fold in both ends to make it easier to roll up. Enjoy!!
You can also try the lime vinaigrette from this recipe as a condiment which is the recipe that inspired this collard adventure.
Feel free to experiment with other filling ingredients and leave a comment below with your creations! I’m always looking for ways to invent new recipes or adapt one’s I already have.