Taco Meat Sans Beef- Delicious Lentil and Walnut Taco “Meat”

This taco “meat” is a delicious plant-based substitute for seasoned ground beef taco meat. Filling, satisfying, and full of plant-based protein, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and an array of wonderful vitamins and minerals, this is a recipe that your whole family can benefit from and enjoy.  It’s very versatile and can be served in soft or crunchy tortillas, romaine lettuce boats, on a bun-sloppy Joe style, or with tortilla chips!  A good place to find lentils is prepackaged with dry beans, or in the bulk foods section of some grocery stores. 

*You will need a food processor for this recipe*

By | March 26, 2018

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dry French green lentils or brown lentils
  • ¾ cup raw unsalted walnuts (optional- toasted in oven @ 350 °F for ~8 minutes).
  • ¾ medium yellow or white onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 2.5 teaspoons cumin
  • 1.5 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 pinch cayenne (if you are feeling wild)
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • Cracked black pepper to taste
  • Other: Soft or crunchy tortillas or romaine lettuce.

Instructions

Cook lentils according to package or bulk bin directions. Toast walnuts if desired.

While lentils are cooking, in a large skillet, sauté onions and garlic together.  Oil free sauté method: Add a small amount of water (2-3 tablespoons) to the skillet along with the onions, cooking over medium heat.  If desired, add salt and pepper to taste.  Add additional water to the pan as it evaporates.  About 5 minutes into sautéing, add minced garlic and continue sautéing/adding water until the onions become very soft and translucent.

In the same skillet on low to medium heat, add tomato paste plus ½ cup water.  Stir. 

Add seasonings: cumin, chili powder, coriander, salt, coconut sugar, cayenne, and black pepper to taste.  Continue stirring to combine. As the mixture thickens, add ½ cup more water. Continue cooking/stirring on low for about 10-12 minutes.  Sauce will be a thick, somewhat pasty consistency.

While sauce cooks, add walnuts to food processor and process until chopped into very tiny pieces but not ground into a powder.  You still want some texture.  

Once lentils are cooked, drain any remaining water.  Add drained lentils into food processor with ground walnuts.  Give walnuts/lentils a quick stir in the food processor and then pulse a couple times.  If you process for too long, the lentils will become too mushy.  You do want some lentils to remain whole.  You can also roughly mash the lentils and walnuts together in a mixing bowl.  Add lentil/walnut mixture to skillet with the sauce.

Mix until fully combined and heated.  

Serve and enjoy as you would regular taco meat.  Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days and reheat as needed

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup dry French green lentils or brown lentils
  • ¾ cup raw unsalted walnuts (optional- toasted in oven @ 350 °F for ~8 minutes).
  • ¾ medium yellow or white onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 2.5 teaspoons cumin
  • 1.5 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 pinch cayenne (if you are feeling wild)
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • Cracked black pepper to taste
  • Other: Soft or crunchy tortillas or romaine lettuce.
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