Saturday, April 6, 2013

Lentil Tacos with Cauliflower Rice


I have been obsessed with these tacos since the first time I made them! Thanks Erica! Previously, I've mentioned them in this post.
Earlier this week I saw a similar recipe for lentil tacos that also incorporated cauliflower rice. I didn't think the lentil tacos could get any better until I thought about adding the cauliflower rice into the equation. YUM! Luckily, we had a head of cauliflower from our produce crate this week. So when my fiance gave me the green light to make these tacos AGAIN I was stoked. I am so glad he likes them!
The other great thing about this recipe is that it is another "different" way to use cauliflower. What a versatile veggie!

This recipe was adapted from these recipes from FatFreeVegan, TheCurvyCarrot, and TheHealthyJunky. These three food blogs are all outstanding!

Taco Ingredients (makes 6-8 tacos)

  1. 1 Tbsp EVOO
  2. 1/2 onion (red or yellow) chopped
  3. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  4. salt to taste
  5. 1 cup of dried brown lentils, rinsed
  6. 1 packet of taco seasoning, 1.25 oz. (check the label to avoid MSG and other unnatural ingredients!)
  7. 2.5 cups of vegetable stock or broth
  8. 6-8 taco shells, tortillas, etc. (Choose the tortilla based on whether you want a corn or flour, soft or hard taco and number of servings depends on how much filling you use in each taco.)

Garnish

Load them up! I suggest lettuce, tomato, avocado or guacamole, salsa, red onion, cilantro, vegan or dairy cheese, vegan or dairy sour cream.

Method

In a medium sauce pan, heat EVOO then add garlic, onion, and salt (go easy on the salt because the taco seasoning provides a lot of salty flavor). Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion has softened, about 4 minutes. Next add lentils and taco seasoning. Stir until well combined, about 1 minute. Next, add veggie broth/stock. Mix well then reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook 25 minutes, checking and stirring lentils often. If making Cauliflower Rice, see recipe below, as you can make the rice while lentils are cooking. Once lentils are softened, remove pan from heat and remove lid. Allow lentils to sit for 6 minutes so that the mixture can thicken. Place a few Tablespoons of lentil mixture in each taco shell then top with your favorite garnishes! Serve alongside Cauliflower Rice.

Note: I bought a new product to try with these. It is a corn tortilla that is uncooked and they are found in the dairy/refrigerated section of my local grocery store. Once ready to eat your tacos, you cook the tortillas 20 seconds on each side in a pan. They were great! The brand I used was "Tortilla Land". I also really like "Garden of Eatin" brand for a hard taco shell. They are organic and don't have any of the additives/preservatives that most of the taco shells have.

Cauliflower Rice Ingredients (Serves 2-4)

  1. 1 head of cauliflower
  2. 1 Tbsp of EVOO
  3. 1 Tbsp Chili Powder
  4. 1 tsp of salt or salt to taste
  5. 1/2 of an onion (red, yellow, or white would all work)
  6. 2-4 garlic cloves (use 2 if you don't want a strong garlic flavor, 3-4 if you are a garlic lover)

Method

To transform your cauliflower into rice, you have two options. You can grate the cauliflower or you can use a food processor. First, wash cauliflower, remove all leaves, base stem, and cut head into four pieces. To grate, use a box grater, grating one quadrant at a time. To process, break or cut each quadrant into slightly smaller pieces then add those pieces to the food processor. Then pulse (ONLY 3-4 TIMES so your cauliflower doesn't get pulverized) in the processor. Transfer "riced" cauliflower to a medium bowl then repeat the process with each quadrant.

Next heat EVOO in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and onion. Saute for 3 minutes then add cauliflower. Cook cauliflower mixture for 4 minutes then add chili powder and salt. Cook an additional 4 minutes or until cauliflower is tender. Serve alongside lentil tacos.

Note: If you would like to, you could mix the cauliflower mixture and lentil mixture together. You would have a very large amount of taco filling, enough for about 21 tacos. I haven't tried this, but it was recommended on one of the blog recipes I used. It sounds good and I am sure it would taste great!

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