Lentil Tacos and a return to vegging out

22 Mar

I’m baaaack! Did you miss me?

Life has been pretty crazy since January. Between closing my play, breaking up with my (now former) taller half, moving in with my new boyfriend, taking over managing director duties for a Shakespeare festival, and everything else in between, I’ve been chasing my tail for a while now. I am finally getting into the swing of things, though, and the internet has returned to me, so expect more updates. Yay!

The only thing I still lack is a camera. OK, I have two cameras but still haven’t located a charger for either, so you’re stuck with cell phone pics for a while. Did I mention I upgraded to a smart phone? I love my Droid. 🙂

So what better way to get back into my life as a food blogger than by showing you some comestibles. Enter my lunch this week: Lentil tacos and carrots with tahini dip.

Oh yes, desk photos have returned. Holla.

The tacos are a highly bastardized version of the one found in Skinny Bitch Ultimate Everyday Cookbook. I am not exaggerating with the phrase “highly bastardized.” Also, I am smirking over typing two of the naughty “B” words in that first sentence. Tee hee.

Anyway, here is my recipe for Lentil Tacos with Fresh Salsa:

  • 1 cup dried red lentils
  • 2 tablespoons white or yellow onion, chopped finely
  • 3 cloves plus 2 cloves of garlic, minced and divided (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1-2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1-2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (or to taste)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2/3 cup cherry tomatoes, diced (and seeded if you abhor those little bugger as much as I do)
  • 2 tablespoons red onion, chopped finely
  • 1/4 of a jalapeno pepper, minced (and seeded if you want less spice)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 whole wheat tortillas
  • 1 large avocado, flesh sliced

Bring two cups of water to boil in a medium saucepan. Add lentils and white or yellow onion. Return to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook 10 to 15 minutes, or until lentils are cooked. Mash lightly (or, conversely, overcook them in too much water like I did and watch them mash themselves when you try to drain off the extra moisture) and combine with 3 minced garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon of olive oil, tomato paste and spices. I found this pretty easy to do with a giant spoon, but you can use a blender.

While the lentils are cooking, make the salsa (this is almost identical to Skinny Bitch’s): combine cherry tomatoes, 2 minced garlic cloves, red onion, jalapeno, lime juice, cilantro and 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a bowl. Mix well.

Heat up tortillas either in a warm, dry skillet or in the microwave between damp paper towels (about 15 seconds per tortilla). Spoon 1/4 of the lentil mixture into each tortilla and top with 1/4 of the fresh salsa and – yes – 1/4 of the avocado chunks.

Makes four servings.

I nooched the heck out of mine before eating:

I gotsta say, the fresh salsa makes this recipe. Oh man, it’s delicious! This attempt was actually my first ever making salsa, but it will not be my last. Maybe some mango-pineapple action will rear its head next? Also, the avocado was luscious and wonderful.

The main changes I made to the original recipe were reducing the amount of olive oil (and actually I think it can be omitted entirely, especially from the lentil mixture); subbing red lentils in for the green, which changed the texture, but I much prefer the flavor of red; using whole wheat tortillas instead of crunchy corn ones; and, of course, adding more spice.

The tahini dip I ate with my carrots was incredibly basic: about 1/4 cup tahini mixed with the juice from one lemon, 3 minced garlic cloves, salt and pepper to taste, and enough hot water to thin out the consistency. I made it originally to top an Edamame Corn Salad (literally just 12 ounce of frozen, shelled edamame and 1/3 cup frozen corn, plus salt and pepper), but there was enough extra for some dipping action. No complaints.

So how’s that for my first post back in the game?


One Response to “Lentil Tacos and a return to vegging out”

  1. Ashley March 22, 2011 at 11:14 am #

    Welcome back! And yes, this is a great post for jumping back in. 🙂 Thanks for the lentil taco recipe! I’ve been wanting to try a couple but haven’t been sure which recipe to try first, so you’ve solved that dilemma. Thanks! And once again, it’s great to see you back.

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