Sunday, November 14, 2010

Lentil Tacos

My daughters are “sometimes” vegetarians. They like eating hamburgers, hot dogs and other foods that carnivores enjoy, but only on days when they don't have to think about where it came from. Other days getting them to eat anything that came as the result of killing an animal is like negotiating with an emotional terrorist.

“What's for dinner, Dad?” they ask.

“We're having meatloaf tonight.”

“What? No! I can't eat that. A cow was murdered for this, Dad!”

“You ate the hamburgers we had the other day and went back for seconds. This is the same kind of meat. You've liked my meatloaf in the past. What's the problem?”

“Oh, Dad! You just don't understand!” and they dash off to their rooms crying like little banshees and making me feel like I've broken their hearts by killing the family dog.

They certainly got one thing right in that conversation. I don't understand.

At times like this it's helpful to have a few vegetarian recipes up your cooking sleeve. In this case, it's a taco made with lentils instead of murdered cows.

Equipment needed:
Large frying pan with lid
Kitchen knife
measuring cups and spoons

1 tablespoon Cooking Oil
1 medium Onion, finely chopped
2 cloves Garlic, finely minced
1 cup Dried Lentils, rinsed and sorted
2 teaspoons Chili Powder
2 teaspoons Ground Cumin
1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
2 teaspoons Paprika
2 1/2 cups Vegetable Broth, or water
1/2 cup Salsa
12 Tortillas
Lettuce, shredded
Tomatoes, chopped
Sour Cream
Queso Fresco, or other cheese, grated

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the lentils, chili powder, cumin, oregano and paprika. Cook and stir for one minute, allowing the spices to bloom.

Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer until lentils are tender, about 25 - 30 minutes. Uncover and sit in the salsa. Cook about 6-8 minutes more, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thick and some of the lentils start to break up.

Spoon about 1/4 cup of the mixture into a tortilla shell and top with the tomatoes, lettuce, sour cream and cheese as desired. Enjoy!

Makes 6 servings.

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