Lentil Walnut Tacos

My husband is not a full time vegan yet, but he absolutely LOVES these tacos. I need to remember to make larger batches for leftovers! The recipe is inspired by one on Oh She Glows with some tweaks.

 

Ingredients:

1 cup brown or green uncooked lentils or about 1.75 cups cooked or sprouted lentils (see note below on sprouting)

1 cup toasted walnuts

2 tbsp water

1.5 tsp oregano

1.5 tsp chili powder

1.5 tsp cumin

Salt to taste (I used a little under ½ tsp sea salt)

 

2 small or 1 large onion

1 red bell pepper

1 squash

(can also add mushrooms or other veggies)

~2 to 4 tbsp water or vegetable broth to sauté veggies

 

Taco shells (can use lettuce leaves for raw)

Avocado or guacamole

Cilantro

Salsa

 

  1. If not using raw sprouted lentils, cook lentils in a medium pot along with a few cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes until tender, then drain off the excess water.
  2. Sauté the pepper, onion, squash filling: Add a couple of tablespoons of water into a large skillet. Cook the veggies over medium heat for about 15 minutes, reducing heat if necessary and stirring frequently, until soft but not overly mushy.
  3. Prepare the taco “meat”: Add the cooked/sprouted lentils and the toasted walnuts into a food processor and pulse until chopped (but not fully blended, leave chunks). Stir or pulse in the spices and salt. Add in the 2 tbsp water until combined.
  4. Prepare the taco shells, and place the “meat” in the base, followed by the sautéed veggies and any toppings.

 

*Note: Sprouting is a great way to help remove phytic acid and make legumes easier to digest. I sprout legumes/seeds by rinsing them in fine-mesh colander and letting them soak in water overnight (6-12 hours). The next day, drain and rinse again, and leave them in the colander under a dish cloth on top of a bowl to catch any drips. Rinse and cover them each morning and evening until tiny roots/leaves come out! Don’t rinse them again before storing them in a glass jar in the fridge. They will last in the fridge about a week after they have sprouted.

 

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Lentil Walnut tacos

I tend to be an introvert. I also love learning and sharing knowledge with others, hence I started a blog. I hope to use this platform to share my way of living for others who are interested in (hopefully) making some changes themselves. For my first post, a bit more about my journey…

Animals are my number one passion, and it was inevitable that I would “find” vegetarianism in my youth, over 13 years ago. As a Texan, raised in Cowtown itself (Fort Worth for any of you non-Texans out there!), my parents were less than thrilled to find out I wouldn’t be eating the meat they put in front of me at mealtimes. I quickly took it upon myself to find vegetarian recipes and cookbooks, and was soon making my own entree in addition to my mom’s salads and veggie side dishes. When she would make spaghetti and meatballs, I would make a side of mushroom tomato sauce. Making burgers? I found the frozen vegetarian section at the grocery store (small section at that time in Texas!) and brought home a veggie burger.

College was an easy transition for me when it came to food…college campuses tend to have plenty of non-meat options! It took me a while (ok not just a while, 10 years, a full DECADE!) for it to sink in that veganism was the way to go. Like many of my fellow vegetarians, vegan sounded too extreme. No CHEESE or ICE CREAM? Who can live like that? Turns out, like many people, I was addicted to dairy (no I am not kidding or exaggerating, most people are addicted to dairy, but I will delve into that on a later post). About 3 years ago I was  dabbling in more vegan recipes and came across the documentary Forks Over Knives, and decided to just stop eating dairy and eggs. And it was a lot easier than I expected. I think the most difficult part was dealing with others’ reactions to the news, as fellow vegans can attest (“Yes, I am getting enough protein, calcium and B12, thanks for your concern”).

Since that turning point, I have found a new passion that fits perfectly hand-in-hand with my love for animals, and that is the nutrition of a whole food plant-based lifestyle. It is the mantra of Forks Over Knives, and its “sequel” Plant Pure Nation (both are on Netflix!). For those of you who haven’t yet had the opportunity to watch them, a whole food plant based diet is exactly what it sounds like. It incorporates eating foods that are plants, made from plants in their most unprocessed or whole form. It excludes all forms of meat, dairy, and eggs, as well as refined products like corn syrup, processed sugars, white flour, and oils. My future posts will focus on easy, whole food vegan recipes, as well as nutritional tidbits about herbivorous living. Stay tuned!