Lentil tacos

This week I discovered another recipe that also got the blessing of my guinea pig Sim. This picture is from the cookbook (I was planning on taking a picture of my own but the tacos didn’t last long enough on the plate). The recipe is from Skinny Bitch Ultimate Everyday Cookbook by Kim Barnouin. This is a new cookbook, which is bigger and more thorough than the first, and nearly every recipe is new.

Lentils are high in protein, iron, fiber, and lots of other nutrients. But let’s face it, lentils are kind of boring. They are the food of law abiding, overly cautious citizens, like my mother, who have never received a parking ticket or been late paying a bill. But this recipe transforms lentils from frumpy librarians into Vegas showgirls. Seriously, it pimps them out.

I must warn you, though, that while the lentils *look* like pinto beans, they don’t taste like them. So the garlic, onion, and salt that is cooked with/added to the lentils is essential to the recipe.

Lentils:

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup dried green lentils
  • 2 tbs. diced white onion (or more)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbs. olive oil
  • 2 tbs. tomato paste (or not, because who the hell has exactly 2 tbs. of this sitting around?)
  • Salt to taste

Salsa:

  • 2/3 cup diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbs. diced red onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ tsp. diced jalapeño pepper
  • 3 tsp. lime juice
  • 1 tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
  • Note: Diced mango is really good in the salsa
Other:
  • ½ cup shredded lettuce
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • About 10 hard shell tacos or corn tortillas

Instructions: In a saucepan, bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add the lentils, white onion, and garlic. Return to a boil and then reduce heat, cover, and simmer until soft, about 30-40 minutes. Drain any remaining water (either drain with a sieve so garlic doesn’t slip through or else don’t mince garlic to start with). Place half the lentils in a food processor and blend. Process olive oil and tomato paste into mixture, and add salt to taste. Pour the lentil mixture into a bowl and stir in the remaining lentils.

In a separate bowl, mix together the tomatoes, red onion, garlic, jalapeno, lime, and cilantro for the salsa. Add salt to taste.

Homemade tortillas: You can also make your own tortillas. Sim taught me how to do this last spring and it is SO fun and easy. And they really taste like restaurant style corn tortillas. I know, this *is* how tortillas are made. I have been inside of a tortilla factory, actually, in Mexico. But that’s another story. Just buy Masa Mix (super cheap), add water, rolls into balls, press by hand or use a rolling pin, and throw them in a pan for a couple minutes. But do remember to cover the balls with a wet paper towel so they don’t dry out as you go.

Nutritional information:
4 servings (Yeah right, more like 2)
330 calories
12 grams fat
1 gram saturated fat
O cholesterol
47 grams carbohydrates
11 grams fiber
13 grams protein
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