Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Meatless Mexican Monday!

Apparently Meatless Mondays are a 'thing'. I didn't really know that, but Gary and I are trying to eat less meat for a few reasons. It's cheaper, it's healthy, and it's fun. I like trying out new recipes!
Monday night I gave these lentil tacos a go. I've tried making lentil taco filling before, in my slow cooker, and it was a disaster. A smoking, charred disaster. These were great. I didn't use taco seasoning (I thought about it - so easy!) to keep the sodium lower. I also used low-sodium chicken broth, but you could use vegetable broth or beef broth, whatever you have - or even water, and just up the spices to your taste.
This recipe is a keeper. The taco filling is flavourful but not greasy, has a great chewy texture and fantastic spicyness - but the best part is, it's customizable. Your family doesn't like spice? Use mild salsa and the chili powder sparingly. I upped the chili powder a bit and used a medium salsa and it was sooo good. And easy. And low-fat, high in fibre and protein, and delicious. Did I mention delicious?
This would also be good for taco salad, or in a burrito, or on nachos...
Lentil Tacos (originally from a Taste of Home publication I bought at the supermarket)

1 cup finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 cup dried lentils, rinsed
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano - I didn't have any so I used some cayenne pepper instead.
2-1/2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup salsa
Taco fixings - whatever you like, or:
12 taco shells
1-1/2 cups shredded lettuce
1 cup chopped fresh tomato
1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
6 tablespoons fat-free sour cream - or plain fat-free greek yogurt!
In a large nonstick skillet, saute the onion and garlic in oil until tender. Add the lentils, chili powder, cumin and oregano; cook and stir for 1 minute. Add broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
Uncover; cook for 6-8 minutes or until mixture is thickened. Mash lentils slightly. Stir in salsa.
Spoon about 1/4 cup lentil mixture into each taco shell. Top with lettuce, tomato, cheese and sour cream. Yield: 6 servings.
Nutrition Facts: 2 tacos equals 361 calories, 12 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 25 mg cholesterol, 874 mg sodium, 44 g carbohydrate, 12 g fiber, 19 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2-1/2 starch, 2 lean meat, 1 vegetable, 1 fat.


Gary said...

Also awsome when eaten as left overs in a taco salad!

Carolyn said...

This is an awesome 'happy Megan' post. It brings me such joy to see you back in this place. Just a quick cooking question... did you use red or green lentils?


Meg said...

Thanks Carolyn :)

I used green lentils. I've never cooked with red - is there a difference? I've also heard that Puy lentils are supposed to be awesome!