Thursday, February 12, 2009

Spiced Lentil Tacos

                                       from Self Magazine

So I think I've mentioned before that I'm lucky enough to have a "boss" here at work who is uber-considerate about being inclusive to us veg*n freaks when we have food-oriented events at work. (Shout-out to the QBL!) And actually, you'll even occasionally see her commenting here. (Burn with jealousy, all you chumps with shitty "bosses"!) Anyways, she often brings me in some of the things she's cooked over her weekend--chili, soup, etc.--whenever they happen to be vegan. I've never featured any of her concoctions here 'cause, well, it would be kind of creepy taking pics of it at work. Especially when the dude who sits next to me likes to joke about meat with me all the time anyways (albeit non-maliciously)...

Two actual conversations from yesterday:


[I bump into him by the coffee machine]

CO-WORKER: Um, can you actually HAVE coffee? I mean, doesn't it have meat in it or something?



[a copy of Veg Times is sitting out on my desk]

CO-WORKER (standing in my cube until I suddenly realize he's there): Vegetarian Times, huh? *snickering*

ME: Yeah.

CO-WORKER: I only get one magazine subscription, and you know what it's called? Meat... um, Meat-Eaters... Um...

ME: (snarky laughter) BA HA HA! Yeah, it helps if you think of the punchline BEFORE you start talking.

CO-WORKER: Gah. Shut it. (walks away looking dejected)


So yeah: Taking pics of my vegan food at work would no doubt just give him more fuel for the fire. And although he's not malicious, I really don't want to encourage him. He's enough to handle, what with all his coughing and snorting and inexplicable trumpet and bomb noises.

So despite the fact that I've not featured her cooking here at all, I DID want to give her a shout-out and post this recipe today, as she's the one who passed it along to me, and it IS really fricking simple and good.

I'd never really thought about using lentils as a taco filling. I mean, it sort of makes sense, seeing as I dig them in snobby joes as well. But holy crappers! What a nice healthy substitute for faux-ground beef or something.

And what's also great about this recipe is that it takes so little time to whip up, so it's definitely something I could scrounge up after work without starving to death before I was done preparing it.

Oh: and the chipotle/sour-cream idea--fricking BRILLIANT. If you make these tacos, do not puss out on that, as it very well may be the best part.

Remember: As I always say, many foods are just vehicles for condiments. And when a condiment is THIS good, slather slather slather.

  • 1 T. olive oil

  • 1 c. finely chopped onion

  • 1 clove garlic, chopped

  • 1/2 t. salt--I omitted this since the taco seasoning packet and veggie broth are salty enough

  • 1 c. dried brown lentils, rinsed

  • 1 package taco seasoning (I use I think Ortega, or whatever one it is that has the vegan seal of approval on the Peta site)

  • 2 1/2 c. vegetable broth

  • 1/2 c. vegan sour cream

  • 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, finely chopped (use half for less heat)

  • 2 t. adobo sauce

  • 8 taco shells

  • Toppings of choice:

  • Lettuce

  • Tomato

  • Some sort of fake cheez

  • Olives

  • Etc.


Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook onion, garlic and salt until onion begins to soften, 3 to 4 minutes.

Add lentils and taco seasoning. Cook until spices are fragrant and lentils are dry, about 1 minute.

Add broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until lentils are tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Uncover lentils and cook until mixture thickens, 6 to 8 minutes.

Mix sour cream, chile and adobo sauce in a bowl. Mash with a rubber spatula (or not).

Spoon 1/4 cup lentil mixture into each taco shell.

Top with sour cream for sure, and then any other toppings of your choice.

(Recipe from Self Magazine, posted at

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