Baked Lentil Tacos
Yields: about 10 tacos Prep Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 1.5 hours (including lentil cooking time)
A new vegetarian favorite in our house, these tacos are super simple and filled with iron and protein rich lentils. Add your favorite toppings and enjoy!
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup small green lentils (dry)
2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground sweet paprika
3 teaspoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1/2 cup (or more) shredded cheese
1. Combine the lentils in a sauce pan with 2 cups of vegetable (or preferred) stock, olive oil, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, paprika, sugar and tomato paste. Cook lentils as directed until cooked through and liquid is absorbed, about 45 minutes to an hour.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. Lightly coat a baking dish (around 9 x 11 inches). If you have a ceramic coating or other non-stick, this step isn’t necessary. Just be aware, the cheese and/or lentils can bake on the dish.
4. Divide the lentil mixture evenly into the ten tacos. Sprinkle about a tablespoon or so of cheese in each taco. (Feel free to add more ingredients at this stage to bake. We like to add toppings after they are done!)
5. Bake at 375 degrees for about 20-25 minutes until cheese is melted and tacos are lightly browned.
6. Remove from oven and serve with whatever toppings your family enjoys! (We like, tomatoes, lettuce, avocados, olives and salsa, just to name a few!)
Many of you may be aware of my plight with one of my slightest kiddos, and her newly declared vegetarianism. It’s been a few months, and for the sake of the rest of us, sometimes I still make chicken or another meat entrée.
One of those meals is tacos. We love tacos! I mean seriously, corn tortillas, cheese, avocados, olives, salsa…it’s all delicious! However, I have been determined to make a lentil version, to have at least one vegetarian taco meal.
I was talking to a friend on the playground, and she says she makes them all of the time. She explained how she just cooked the lentils with the seasonings and her kids love hem more than meat tacos. Well, I gave it a try, and while most of the family was on board, my little picky one gave a little push-back.
I was determined. This was a good base recipe, and I wasn’t going to let it go. Plus, she and her younger sister didn’t get that the lentils tasted extra delicious when they were INSIDE the taco. They just kept eating the shell. So, the next time around, I decided to bake the lentils in the shell, and Voila!, that was the key.
It is amazing how these little fiber and protein packed lentils can taste so much like meat. Although, I’m not a die-hard meat fan, so someone who may not be so impressed. But I love them, and so did the rest of the family. I’m sold!