Wednesday, October 17, 2012

the Smarter Supper series: Lentil Tacos

Lentils are one of my favorite legumes, because they don't require soaking or long cooking and they are still full of fiber and protein. I started experimenting with them as a replacement for ground meat this summer and while lentil loaf isn't making another appearance in my kitchen for ever a while again - these 'taco lentils' are in heavy rotation. 

Taco Lentils 
serves 4, with plenty of leftovers 

1 cup green lentils 
kosher salt
1 tablespoon canola oil  
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small bell pepper, finely chopped 
1 tablespoon smoked paprika 
2 teaspoons ground cumin 
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder 
1/2 cup water, more or less as needed  

Cover the lentils with 3 cups of water in a small saucepan, cover, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook until the lentils are just tender, 15 to 20 minutes. 

Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, heat the oil to a shimmer over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring often, until tender and beginning to brown. Add the lentils to the vegetables and season to taste with salt. Add the remaining spices and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes over medium heat, adding more water, if needed. You want the mixture to be moist, but not soupy. Taste and adjust spices and season as needed. 

Serve in hard taco shells with cheese, chopped tomato, and shredded lettuce, over over a bed of lettuce with salsa and sour cream. 

Stored in an airtight container in the fridge these tasties will keep for about a week. 

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