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Red Lentil Tacos

Posted Mar 16 2009 12:00am

It actually reached into the 60's today here in Grand Rapids, which is pretty much a delite to all people after the last long cold, depressing- no-sun months of winter. The streets are filled with walkers, runners, and kids. The city has come alive again.  People are going crazy with spring fever and all I can think about is something a little more fresh to eat and maybe even some finger-food fun. It's still a bit hard to get any local home grown veggies, but spinach season is coming and I thought I would start a little early with adding some to lentil tacos with some fresh homemade salsa. So, with the sun still shining into my kitchen windows I work up an easy dish to enjoy the freshness coming through my window... 
Lentil Mixture-

1/2 cup of diced onions
4 small chopped garlic
1 TB of olive oil
1 1/2 cup of organic red lentils
3 cups of pure water
2 TB of ground cumin
2 TB of ground paprika
1 ts of ground cayenne pepper
2 ts of ground tumeric
sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
1/3 cups of crushed tomatoes (canned or fresh both could work)
1/4 cup of almond milk
huge handful of fresh cilantro (finely chopped)
fresh lemon or lime juice to serve

Saute the onion and the garlic in the olive oil and wait until the onions are clear or a little crispy. Then pour in the rinsed red lentils with the pure water and stir and let simmer till it boils. It will take about 15-20 minutes for it to soak in and become a thick texture. 

After the thickening happens, you can throw in the spices, tomatoes, almond milk. You are constantly stirring at this point so that the mixture doesn't burn. It will start to become almost like a ground meat texture. I like to throw in the fresh cilantro in last to add some fresh flavor and color. I also add some fresh lemon or lime at the end to cool down the spices. Not too much, just a splash and lets the flavors dance together. Hm, its smells delicious!  

pile the mixture in a soft corn taco shell that has been heated up in a pan with a touch of olive oil and salt. When you warm up the shell a bit it makes it easier to stretch when you are putting the insides in. You really only need to take about one minute to do this. If you over warm it up it will probably become a crispy chip that won't let you fold or wrap. If you want a crispy chip, then by all means... I liked having a flexible taco shell with this specific recipe.

I always have some cooked brown rice on hand to use.. 
And so, I like to add a little brown rice to my lentil filling, then I pile on the diced avocado, fresh torn spinach, and a dollop of fresh salsa. Making it a gluten-free, dairy-free, and meat-free taco of delite

I made up this lentil mixture kinda as a meat replacement in taco and it actually turned out to be a very tasty supplement. It has the legume flavor and texture of a burrito, but the fun of a messy and hand eaten taco. 

Now wasn't that easy..... now, enjoy!

Servings, usually can make up to 8 tacos, so can serve anywhere from 4 to 8. 

I also want to add that this meal is still a great dinner to have in the beginning stages of  raw detox or fast. It is a good mixture of protein and vegetables so that you can avoid meat/animal proteins and it still allows you to feel satisfied after without feeling like you need something more.  
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