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Lentil Tacos

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Time: 45 minutes to prepare initial batch of lentils; 5 minutes to make a few tacos

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

Inspired by: I surf frequently in Mexico. Years ago I wanted to figure out an after-surf meal that was full of protein, healthy, filling and that would only take about minutes to prepare when I was super hungry. I made a batch of lentils and happened to have fresh tortillas at the time. After experimenting with adding various combinations of veggies and flavors to the lentils, I ended up with something simple, with ingredients I can always find, and that has a delicious flavor (even though the canned Jalapeños may sound suspicious!). I never get tired of these on my surf trips.

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 make and serve the tacos

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups lentils
  • 1, 12-15 ounce can of diced Jalapeños (I rarely eat anything out of a can, but it’s a unique flavor)
  • 3-4 tomatoes
  • Romaine lettuce or other greens
  • Your favorite cheese, shaved or crumbled
  • Lime or lemon
  • Fresh corn tortillas
  • Salsa Verde or other hot sauce (optional)

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. Start checking on them at 20 minutes. When the water is absorbed and lentils are cooked through they are done. If they start 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, dice tomatoes into small pieces. Strain out excess water.
  • Strain liquid from canned Jalapeños as well.
  • When lentils are finished cooking, transfer them into large bowl and let them cool. Then add the tomatoes, jalapeños and some salsa verde to your taste preference. 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 small pan over the stove.  Chop some romaine and drizzle with lime or lemon. Warm the tortillas over the fire of gas burners. Transfer the tortillas into your taco holders. Add some romaine as the 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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