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Lentil Tacos

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Time: 45 minutes to prepare initial batch of lentils; 5 minutes to make a taco meal.

Serves: approximately 20 tacos – lentils stay fresh in the fridge for 5-6 days.

Inspired by: I surf more than 100 days a year in Mexico. Years ago I wanted to figure out an after-surf meal that was healthy, full of protein, and that would only take minutes to prepare when I was super hungry. I made a large batch of lentils and picked up fresh corn tortillas that morning. After experimenting with adding various combinations of veggies and flavors to the lentils, I ended up with something simple, delicious, and that uses ingredients I can always find in the local stores. I know the canned Jalapeños may sound suspicious! I don’t “do” cans! But the salt and vinegar used in the pickling process are what create this delicious flavor and probably help preserve the lentils for a while in the fridge.

Supplies:

  • Large pot to cook the lentils
  • Large bowl with lid or plastic to store lentils in the refrigerator after preparation
  • Strainer
  • Taco holders – optional, but they make it much easier to serve the tacos

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups lentils
  • 1, 12-15 ounce can of diced Jalapeños
  • 1-2 fresh jalapeños minced (optional for those who like a good kick)
  • 3-4 tomatoes
  • Romaine lettuce or other greens
  • Lime
  • Your favorite cheese, shaved or crumbled
  • Fresh corn tortillas

Preparation:

  • Add 4 cups of water and 2 cups of lentils to a large pot and bring to a hard boil.
  • Drop the heat to a simmer and cover with a lid for 25-30 minutes. Don’t add salt or any other seasoning as it will make the lentils tough. Start checking on them at 20 minutes. When the water is absorbed and lentils are cooked through they are done. If they begin to get too soft and there is still water left, you can strain them. If too much steam escapes while cooking, you may need to add a bit more water.
  • While they are cooking, mince the fresh jalapeños and dice the tomatoes. Strain out excess water from the tomatoes.
  • Strain liquid from canned Jalapeños as well.
  • When lentils are finished cooking, transfer them into large bowl and let them cool. Then add the diced tomatoes, minced fresh Jalapeños and canned Jalapeños Stir well. You can store these in the refrigerator for 5-6 days.
  • When you are ready to serve the tacos, warm your lentils in a microwave or small pan over the stove. You can even add a bit of cheese to this mixture to help it hold better together in the taco.
  • Chop some romaine lettuce or other greens and drizzle with lime.
  • To serve – warm the tortillas over the fire of a gas burner and transfer into your taco holders. Add the limey greens as a first layer, then the warm lentil mixture, and top with your favorite cheese. Serve with a Pacifico. Even better if you can make/eat after several hours of surf in the warm waters of Mexico!

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