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January 24, 2011

Super Veggie Lentil Taco "Meat"


I am celebrating!

What, you ask?

I have been vegan for a whole year, no biggie! Well it is a big deal actually, so it's a good thing that this super veggie lentil taco meat knows how to party fiesta! It was a week long fiesta, in fact. Made on a Monday, this recipe made enough delicious leftovers to eat for lunch at work all week.

My favorite uses for the super veggie lentil taco meat was on taco salads and in lettuce wrap tacos, but it is very versatile and adaptable and could be used in place of the premade "meat"' crumbles in many recipes. For Italian flavors, drop the chili powder, cumin, and lime juice and sub in basil, thyme, and sage. Like I said, these lentils know how to party.

I should also mention that this recipe is perfect for hiding certain veggies from the certain people who don't like them. I had not originally planned to partially blend the mixture, but decided to last minute when my mushroom-hating brother stopped by for a bite. Success! He did not detect the mushrooms, and I loved the resulting texture. I could not be happier with this winging-it, weeknight dinner (and the lunches that followed).

One year vegan and loving it. I can honestly say my life gets more delicious by the day!



Super Veggie Lentil Taco "Meat"
(makes about 3 cups)

1 cup brown lentils, rinsed and picked over
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 large bell pepper, chopped (any color)
1 cup sliced mushrooms (any kind)
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
2 ribs of celery, sliced
1-1/2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp oregano
1 bay leaf
dash cayenne
2 cups vegetable broth
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp lime juice

Heat 1/4 cup water in a large skillet. Saute onion for 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic, bell pepper, and mushrooms and cook for another 3 minutes. If the pan starts to dry up and the contents start sticking, add a tablespoon or two more of water. Add in the lentils, carrots, celery, chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, bay leaf, and cayenne, and saute for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in the broth and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium low and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the mixture starts drying out, add 1/4 cup water or broth.

Remove from heat and carefully drain off any extra liquid (a little bit of liquid is fine, excessive liquid is not desirable). Remove bay leaf and stir in tomato paste and lime juice. Transfer to food processor or blender and pulse a few times, until a crumbly texture is achieved--do not puree. Serve hot.

Makes six 1/2 cup servings, which could be used to make 12 tacos, 6 burritos, 6 taco salads, or 6 nacho platters.

58 comments:

  1. This sounds so good. Perfect for a Mexican Monday or Taco Tuesday meal ;-) Congrats on your anniversary!

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  2. Yummy. Lentil is a really versatile cooking ingredient! Where in the recipe do you add the lentils? Somehow I'm missing it.

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    1. fifth sentence; first paragraph.

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  3. TheVeganAsana -- good catch, thanks! Fixed.

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  4. Congrats Sarah! I love this idea - especially for Mexican food.

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  5. Happy veganaversary!!! That is awesome....and so sneaky of you to hide those mushrooms from your brother. Love it!

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  6. congrats on your veganniversary! i hope you celebrated... ;)

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  7. Happy Vegan-versary!!!!! And thank you for the terrific recipe! It looks delicious and will most certainly try it out!

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  8. Congrats on being vegan for a whole year :)

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  9. Isnt vegan the best! Peaceful and delicious way to live! Ok, I love the taco meat recipe using the lentis!!!!!!!! What a great idea!!!

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  10. That looks soo, so yummy :) This has the perfect blend of spices too. I can't wait to try it!

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  11. Love this idea! Can't wait to make some for myself (and others I might be willing to share with!)

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  12. Congratualtions, that is awesome!

    That recipe would probably be perfect for my sisters boyfriend who claims to be allergic to veggies. It looks very, very delicious!

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  13. This dish looks so delicious. What a great creation!

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  14. congrats! happy vegaversary!

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  15. I do hate mushrooms but I suppose if you hide them and lie about thing I wouldn't know

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  16. Looks so delicious!
    BTW if you want any tips about Ireland, drop me a line at adventuresinveg at gmail.com x

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  17. I am so drooling over this taco salad. It's fantastic. What is that sour cream type dollop you've got going on there?

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  18. Happy veganversary! What a wonderful milestone to celebrate, and a delicious way to do it. :)

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  19. Happy anniversary! I am so happy you are enjoying being vegan. :-)

    Your lentil taco meat is genius!

    Ali

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  20. This looks incredible! So much beter than TVP and the processed soy junk! I bet this won't make me feel preggo ;P haha

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  21. Congratulations. I am only on Day 11 of a vegan diet (only been veggie for 2 months) so you are an inspiration to me.

    Great blog with some great recipes. Cant wait to try some!

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  22. I love using lentils as cow subs...and lettuce cups = happyfish!
    Shellyfish (www.shellyfish.wordpress.com)
    evil blogger won't let me comment via openid.

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  23. We made this last night and it was very good! Thank you for a new awesome recipe!! We ate it in whole wheat tortillas with ranch, onions, and tomatoes. I love the taco salad concept you have.. I think I'll make that next time.

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  24. I'm making your mix right now and I'm making taquitos with it !!! With DAIYA!!!

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  25. Amazing recipe! Such a brilliant idea. My whole family loved it...even my 1 year old!!!!

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  26. Soo yummy! Way better than icky meat-free "meat" and super delish! I'm going to use this ground meat stand-in recipe again!

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  27. Lentils! Of course, lentils would be the perfect veg taco filling! I can't believe that never occurred to me before, and I'm so happy to have stumbled upon your blog today. What genius!

    Definitely can't wait to have taco night this week. Yum!

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  28. My own vegetarian taco filling uses a combination of lentils and TVP, but I like the sound of yours as well. Congrats on being vegan for a year!!!!

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  29. This is a great recipe.
    Glad you are having success being vegan. It inspires me

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  30. I just finished making this and it is amazing!! My hubs is still a meat eater but I know he will find this satisfying in a taco salad tonight. Thanks!!!

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  31. I really don't like the veggie ground round/fake ground meat. This however looks really good!! I love lentils and I would love a big taco salad mmm. Saving this recipe for sure. A belated congratulations on 1 year (now 1 year and a couple of months) of being vegan!! :)

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  32. I found this recipe through a Google search for vegetarian taco filling. SWEET JEEBUS, this is seriously the most delicious recipe EVER. I've made this at least twice a week for about the last month. My husband and I are obsessed! Thank you so much for sharing this awesome, awesome recipe.

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  33. LOVE this recipe!! It's perfect for getting my husband to eat all those vegetables he normally would not eat :) I just cant seem to get it the right texture...maybe i need to add less broth? I'll be coming back to your blog often!!

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  34. This looks great. Can it be frozen and reheated? Would love to make a big batch and use it as needed.

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  35. I just made this! It's awesome. It really does taste like taco meat. I think mine had a little too much liquid still so it wasn't as crumbly as it was smooth (kind of had the texture of refried beans).... however as it cooled, it started to dry out, so I suspect that subsequent helpings of it over the next week will be more of the desired texture. Great recipe! Thanks for posting.

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  36. This stuff ROCKS!!! I've made it twice since finding this recipe...it's hard for me to express how much I love this stuff, great for tacos, nachos, Daiyadillas ;-) I LOVE it!

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  37. This was delicious. Even better the next day!

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  38. Unfortunately I'm allergic to bell peppers; do you think I can omit them without drastically changing the texture of the dish? If not, can you recommend a possible substitute? Thanks! :-)

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  39. Great job, Sarah. I made this the other night for my non-vegan family, and we all quite enjoyed it.

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  40. I saw your recipe on Pinterest and decided to give it a try for National Taco Day. I'm doing October Unprocessed, so this is the perfect thing! It's simmering now and smells amazing!

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  41. The lentil tacos look delicious. In fact, I can say they TASTE delicious because I've tried them! I went from vegan to vegetarian some time back and have not regretted it at all. I'm not a fan of meat and so most of the vegetarian dishes I make don't mock meat. They LOOK like vegetables, in other words. But I find that I'm healthier when I have dairy (except milk, unless it's lactose-free). I make all sorts of vegetarian dishes that people rave about (not that I'm a good cook... I just use no-fail recipes) and cheese makes many of them exquisite. Yum!!! I make my own butter, yogurt and cheese from REAL non-pasturized, non-homogenized milk.

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  42. Fantastic recipe. Thanks for posting.

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