Tuesday, February 02, 2010

January 27, 2010: Lentil tacos

Cindy had tucked this recipe away for speedy school-night shenanigans, and I was happy to take charge of throwing it together. Lindyloo has provided us with many delicious recipes, so I was a bit surprised to see that this was basically a kit-taco assembled with lentils taking the place of mince. Still, the use of slightly terrifying pre-mixed taco spices added speed and simplicity to the whole deal, along with a distinct nostalgic flavour - back in the day many a share-house meal was based on the powdery delights of the taco seasoning sachet.

The chipotle sour-cream sauce effortlessly trumped the watery salsa included in the taco pack, demonstrating the limits of pre-packaged condiments, and a smattering of salad later we had ourselves some fine tacos. I tend to favour soft shell Mexican goodness, primarily because I lack the basic coordination to eat crunchy ones - but I had a smile on my sauce-stained face after this meal. Outstanding.

Spiced lentil tacos
(courtesy of Yeah, That "Vegan" Shit)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dried brown lentils, rinsed
1 packet taco seasoning (it came in our Mission taco kit!)
2.5 cups vegie stock
1/2 cup vegan sour cream
1-2 chipotles in adobo sauce, finely chopped (with as much extra adobo as you can scrape out)
6-8 taco shells
Salad-y toppings (we had grated carrot, capsicum and greens - although it looks like Cindy skimped on her greens)

Heat the oil in a frypan and fry the onion, garlic and salt until soft.

Add the dry lentils and the seasoning and stir through, cooking for about a minute.

Pour in the stock and bring everything to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the lentils have softened. Uncover and simmer for a few more minutes to thicken up the mixture.

While the sauce is thickening, give the tacos 2-3 minutes in the oven, at about 180 degrees.

Mix together the sour cream and the chipotles.

Serve it up and enjoy!


  1. This is such a great idea for my meatless day. I may give lentils a go again...

  2. Might I ask where you procured chiptoles in adobo sauce? I've been wanting to use those for awhile now, but haven't yet tracked down a source in Canberra...

  3. Sounds yum, I'd actually got a taco kit for dinner tonight, I was going to do TVP, but I think I'll do half and half. I usually chuck all the veg in with the hot mix (to hide from my daughter).

  4. I am always a bit suspicious about taco seasoning as I have not enjoyed it when I have used it but sounds like an interesting recipe - crunchy tacos are fun but if you want to avoid mess you can put it on the side - and eat your filling with a fork

  5. Hi Penny - it is! And reasonably quick and easy for a weeknight. :-)

    Hannah, we buy them from Casa Iberica. I've no idea if there's a similar deli in Canberra. If you're desperate you might be able to mail order some from USA Foods (although they're currently out of stock).

    Hi Nudbot! I imagine mincey things are a good hiding place for a few veges. :-)

    Johanna, I am thinking that we should make our own taco seasoning sometime - how hard can it be?

  6. I made this the other night with regular chilis and with my own taco seasoning (just cumin, chili powder, paprika and a teaspoon of sugar - nothing special). I added half a can of tomatos to the lentils. Was fantastic.

  7. Nice one, cbp! Is there anything canned tomatoes can't do?!

  8. We often eat taco salad - lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, cheese, and something brown (usually Quorn, sometimes black beans) mixed with half a taco seasoning packet. The dressing is Greek yogurt mixed with store-bought salsa. Crumble corn chips on top. I will have to try your version with lentils and chipotle!

    1. That sounds good, elf! I wonder if I could trust my hand with a corn chip packet, I'm at risk of going overboard...