I am always trying to find easy family meals that are full of plant protein and that everyone likes. These Taco Seasoned Lentils have been a huge hit around here, and are so versatile! I love keeping a big mason jar of them in the refrigerator for a quick dinner or lunch taco salad.
Once in a while, I make a recipe that I end up getting giddy excited to share with you. This 5-minute raw nut taco meat is one of those recipes! Can you imagine not having to deal with the greasy mess of browning hamburger meat for tacos, but still have the amazing flavor of taco meat? This recipe keeps your stove off and will please even the meat eaters in your life.
I served this to my kids last night and said, “I’m trying out a new recipe. It is chopped up nuts that are flavored with taco seasonings. Nuts are super good for you and will give you the protein and good fats that our bodies need. Try it and let me know if you like it.”
Okay, so I only told 2 of my daughters that. My youngest HATES nuts, so I did not tell her what was in her taco until she devoured it. Hee! Sneaky Mom! She looked at me with wide eyes and a dropped jaw when I told her. Then crossed her arms over her chest and said “Mom! Why didn’t you tell me?” I answered, “I thought just maybe you were getting old enough to start liking nuts, but I was not sure.” She was not sure if she liked that answer!
1/4-1/2tspsaltto taste, start with 1/4. If using salted nuts, you may not need salt!
2-4 tbspolive oil (or hemp, or flax, etc)
Put all ingredients into food processor. Pulse until you get desired consistency. Add more oil if it looks too dry. Do not over process or it will be a paste! The flavor is best once it sits a bit.
I used unsalted nuts. The original recipe I found on Pinterest. It is from Raw Veggies & Yoga. It called for an entire teaspoon of salt, which just about ruined my batch. It was WAY too salty. Fortunately, I had enough ingredients to double my batch and I ended up saving it.
I am new to the world of sun-dried tomatoes but bought them for a pasta recipe that I will be sharing with you soon. I am now a HUGE fan. The flavor they add to this recipe is key. I had no idea how much flavor these packed! I now keep a jar in my refrigerator at all times.
I used these Chia Seed Flour Tortillas that I just found at Trader Joes this week. They are my new favorite. Boy, do they fill you up with all that extra fiber from the Chia. New to Chia? Read all about this mega superfood here.
This is the finished Raw Nut Taco Meat. Oh. My. Yum!
I make a large batch of brown rice each week in my rice maker, and keep it in small mason jars. I love to freeze it, too, so I always have it on hand. Using brown rice instead of white keeps your blood sugar level and gives an extra punch of fiber.
Notice we only use a VERY light sprinkling of cheese on our tacos. We eat very little dairy around here, really just shredded cheese, but small portions.
I just put the tortilla on a plate, added some rice and cheese. I microwaved it for 30 seconds until the cheese melted and the tortilla was soft. I put the Raw Nut Taco Meat right on top.
We topped it with lettuce and wrapped it up. My husband had his with some salsa, and loved it. I can’t wait to sprinkle it on top of my salad today for lunch. I will add some black beans and crunch with tortilla chips. Taco Salad! Mmmm.
Would you consider having a meat-free meal once a week? Do you think you could get your family to try this recipe?
This is a recipe that will be added to our “recipes we made on a regular basis” file. I found the recipe at “Vegan Dad” it caught my eye because he called the recipe “kid-friendly”. I have been on the search for recipes that I can make for family dinners that are plant based. No cholesterol and no saturated fat. My goal is to find recipes that are so good that my kids won’t miss the meat. This is one of those recipes!
I was so pleased when the whole family munched away on their Red Lentil Sloppy Joes. There was not one complaint about missing the meat. I served a rare treat of tater tots along side of them, hoping to distract my girls from complaining about the lack of meat, but come to find out they were not necessary!:)
I used leftovers as a dip for a whole wheat, Triscuit- type cracker. It made a great and filling snack.
Lentils are one of my favorite foods. I make my husband and I a big pot of our favorite “French Lentil Soup” for lunch to eat throughout the week. Lentils are packed with protein, fiber, iron, magnesium and B vitamins. They are a quick cooking legume and are super easy to make!
Red Lentil Sloppy Joes
“I love this version because the red wine vinegar gives it lots of zip. Red lentils are also a great choice because they cook quickly and are pretty neutral in flavour. The trick here is to cook the lentils until they are soft enough but not too much so they go mushy.“–V e g a n D a d
– 2 tbsp oil
– 1 onion, chopped
– 1 rib celery, chopped
– 1/2 green pepper, chopped
– 1/2 tsp oregano – 1 cup red lentils, rinsed
– 1 cup ketchup
– 1 1/2 to 2 cups water (more if needed)
– 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
– 1 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce (optional)
– 1 tbsp brown sugar (or sweetener of choice)
– salt to taste
– freshly ground black pepper
– Tabasco sauce to taste
METHOD 1. Heat oil in a frying pan over med-hi heat. Saute onion, celery, green pepper, and oregano for 5-7 mins, until onion is translucent and pepper has softened. 2. Add lentils and mix well. Add ketchup, 1 1/2 cups water, vinegar, Worcestershire (if using), sugar, salt and pepper, and Tabasco. 3. Bring to bubbling, then reduce heat, and cover. Cook for about 30 mins, stirring regularly, adding more water if needed until lentils are cooked but still hold their shape. 4. Serve on toasted rolls, open-faced if you want.
I make homemade soup for my husband every week. He takes a mason jar off to work each day, filled with a healthful portion of vegetable goodness. He would be happy eating the same soup, every day, every week– but that is WAY too boring for me. I love finding new easy, healthy soup recipes, and this one from Zakka Life caught my eye as just that! I made it, and it is a keeper, one I will make often!
Lentils are a super food. They are inexpensive and high in protein, iron, calcium, and fiber.
The fiber in lentils helps lower cholesterol levels. They are also beneficial in managing blood sugar because it is a low glycemic food. The great mix of fiber and protein will fill you up and keep you full, even an hour later.
French Lentil Soup
3 Tbs olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 cup chopped celery (I used 1/2 cup)
1 cup chopped carrots
3 garlic cloves, minced
4-5 cups chicken stock (homemade makes a world of difference!) or vegetable stock
11/4 cups dried lentils, rinsed and drained
14 oz can diced tomatoes plus juice
3 Tbs balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper to taste
(I also added a bit of thyme and rosemary, about 1/2 tsp thyme, and 1/4 tsp rosemary)
1. In a large pot, saute onions, garlic, carrots, and celery in olive oil for about 10-15 minutes.
2. Add lentils, chicken stock, and diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 35 minutes.
3. When lentils are tender, add balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste. Enjoy!