I’ll keep those Meatless Monday recipes flowing with this my latest offering…Spicy Lager Lentil Tacos! Everyone loves tacos right? We love all spicy food around here and tacos are not exception. I must admit though, usually when we have tacos they are stuffed with some sort of spicy grilled meat. Just take a look at these Carnitas Tacos, Double Decker Taco Cupcakes, and Carne Asada Tacos. I think my Breakfast Tacos are the only meatless variety I’ve mentioned thus far, and they are stuffed full of egg, which I know is off limits for some folks. So here is a spicy, flavourful meatless taco that everyone will love…Spicy Lager Lentil Tacos!
I found this recipe over at Delish Knowledge. Now the recipe as they posted it is very healthy and vegan. Mine, well…..I’d like to think it was a bit healthier than your average meat-stuffed taco, however I must admit I took that virtuous vegan creation and altered it a bit. Yup…I added in some beer, a bunch of cheese and some sour cream. Go figure! What can I say, I have a weakness of cheese…oh yeah and beer….
So although these tacos are not suitable for vegans anymore, they still do offer all the benefits of lentils. Lentils, besides being quite tasty, are packed full of protein, essential amino acids and vitamins. They are also pretty inexpensive if you are on a budget. They add great texture to these tacos and really take on the wonderful smoky spicy flavours of the spice mixture.
We had several meals from this batch of lentils, tacos one night, followed by burritos and finally as a Spicy Lager Lentil Taco Salad. I tell you, you won’t miss the meat at all and I bet you’ll find that you are eating them on days other than Meatless Monday.
Spicy Lager Lentil Tacos
recipe adapted from: Delish Knowledge
- 1 cup lentils, cooked (you will end up with about 2 cups of lentils when cooked)
- 1 white onion, finely diced
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 oz. chopped green chilis
- 1/2 cup salsa (your favourite – We love Green Mountain Gringo Salsa)
- 6 oz.- 8 oz. lager beer (I used Estrella Damm, Dos Equis would be great too )
- 12 – 18 small taco sized Corn or Flour Tortillas, or Taco Shells
For the spice mixture:
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon Spanish Smoked paprika
- 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
For the Taco toppings: Your choice of: shredded lettuce, sliced jalapenos, diced tomatoes, shredded mexican cheese, sour cream, cotija cheese, fresh cilantro, guacamole, sliced avocados, jalapeno/cilantro crema
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook for 4-5 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic and tin of green chilis, cook for another minute or two. Add the spice mixture and cook, stirring frequently. You don’t want to burn the spices just crank up the flavor by cooking them.
Add the lentils, salsa and 6 ounces of the beer and stir to combine. Let cook for 2-3 minutes. Using a potato masher or fork, gently mash the lentils until the mixture reaches the consistency you are happy with. Cook another few minutes until hot. If the lentils start to dry out, add another glug or two of the lager. ( If you haven’t slurped it down…cooking is hard & thirsty work!)
Place a heaping spoonful or two into warmed taco shells or tortillas and add your toppings. The lentil filling will make about 12-14 tacos, depending on how stuffed you like them!
Spicy Lentil Tacos brought to you by: Runcible Eats (http://www.leaandjay.com )