Friday, September 20, 2013

Quinoa Lentil Tacos


This is a good news/bad news post. For me at least. I found out last Friday that I'm losing my job. I'm being laid off and have another week to wrap things up. This is bad news because losing a job is generally a little rough, regardless of the circumstances. So what's the good news? I'm incredibly optimistic about the future. Whatever I do next is going to be great! I've got some time to figure things out. That will be nice. Time to breathe and unwind while I decide my next move will be nice. I maybe started to burn out a bit over the last few months, between work and all the other stuff I do, which tends to be a lot. Yoga, food, blog, art classes, projects...the problem is that I love it all and can't stand the idea of giving any of it up. Now I have a breather where I don't have to. Sigh.

On to more good news: taco night! Actually, this relates to my little work disclosure, as my favorite work nights were often those where my boyfriend did the cooking. As much as I love to cook, having a meal prepared for you is always nice. Taco night is a fixture, and a favorite. My boyfriend's version (which is delicious) involves seasoning some meatless crumbles as taco filling, but for this taco night I wanted to try something a little more involved. Enter quinoa. 


I've seen a few recipes using quinoa as taco filling and I've even tried it myself as a quesadilla filling, which was delicious. Although quinoa is hearty and stands well on its own in the protein department, I wanted to give it a little boost. I thought lentils would be the perfect complement. I often keep a bag or two filled with precooked lentils and/or quinoa in my freezer, which made this a relatively quick and easy meal. I did fancy things up a bit by making my own taco shells, using this method. It was easy and well worth the effort. My only word of caution is that it is seriously easy to burn yourself on the oven rack. Or maybe it's not and I'm just a kitchen klutz. Either way, be careful. If you don't burn yourself you will be very happy. These shells totally tasted (to me) like something out of a nice authentic Mexican restaurant, which maybe makes up for the inauthentic Mexican vibe from the quinoa. Whatever...authentic, not authentic...it's all delicious. Make this stuff.




Quinoa Lentil Tacos


Makes about 8 tacos

1/2 cup red quinoa (okay, it doesn't have to be red, I just like that color with the lentils)
1 cup vegetable broth
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 large red onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups cooked brown lentils (or 1 can)
1 can diced tomatoes
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. chipotle chili powder
8 taco shells (use premade or make your own with this awesome method, like I did)

Bring vegetable broth to boil in small saucepan. Add quinoa, cover, and lower heat to simmer. Cook about fifteen minutes, or until broth is absorbed. Allow to sit, covered, for another five minutes. Meanwhile, you can get started on the rest of your taco filling.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and sautee for about thirty seconds. Add onion and sautee until soft - about ten minutes. Add lentils, cooked quinoa, tomatoes and spices and cook until heated through.



Make your shells last if you're doing that part (it only takes ten minutes - you should go for it). Stuff your mixture into shells and top with your favorite taco fixings. I highly recommend some fresh cilantro, scallions, lettuce, tomato, perhaps an avocado. Happy taco night!


4 comments:

  1. This looks amazing! Going to try it this week :)

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    1. You are a hero in our house and I've finally made this recipe so many times that I really needed to let you know how much we appreciate it! We've used this so many ways! We put it on top of tostada shells with green onions, taco sauce, pickled jalapenos, and avocados. Another favorite is putting it in a whole wheat tortilla with "cheese" sauce (we love http://www.veggieonapenny.com/vegan-cheese/ ), pickled jalapenos, and taco sauce, then fry it quesadilla style. So good! Thanks from us!

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    2. Awww...I think I'm actually blushing! This is so great to hear!! You are so welcome and thank you so much for sharing. I love all of your variations and that vegan cheese sauce recipe sounds fantastic. I had some Mexican cooking planned for this week so I might just give it a try :)

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