Who doesn't love a good taco?! Or taco salad. Or loaded nachos. Or burrito. Or enchiladas.
Ground beef is so last decade. Did you know that a single pound of ground beef contains flesh from up to 100 cows?! I'm not here to make you sad/angry/disgusted, which are all of the emotions that inevitably come up when I start sharing what I've learned about how we raise animals for food and the effects on our health, the planet, and of course the animal whose life gets taken. BTW, I'm talking about factory farms (which is 99% of meat in this country) AND grass-fed, humanely raised, blah blah blah as well. The whole point is - let's eat plants, not animals. At least as often as we can. At least when we have amazingly yummy plant-based options like this!
OK - This lentil walnut taco meat is the BOMB!
Just ask the meal prep client that asks for it every single time I cook for them - LOL.
It checks all my boxes - easy, healthy, and delicious. Especially easy if you buy pre-cooked lentils, which is what I often do - Thanks, Trader Joe's! However, cooking lentils is quite easy too!
Lentil Walnut Taco Meat
2 cups cooked green lentils
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1/2 cup bell pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves
1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
1 TBSP ground cumin
1 TBSP chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp cayenne pepper, optional
1/2 tsp salt
1.5 TBSP avocado oil
In a food processor, add the walnuts, garlic, sun dried tomato, oregano, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, and salt, and pulse until the mixture becomes crumbly.
In a large (ideally nonstick) skillet, saute the onion and pepper over medium heat, adding water as needed to prevent sticking. Once soft and translucent, drizzle the pan with the avocado oil, then add the walnut mixture, and lentils, and mix everything to combine.
Spread the mixture as wide as you can across the pan and let it cook over medium heat without disturbing it too much, and keeping the lentils intact. What you want is for the crumbles to get a little bit browned/crispy. Toss and repeat/let cook undisturbed a couple more times, just be sure to not over stir and turn it into mush, which will cause it to stick to the pan.
Another option is to spread the mixture on an oiled or parchment paper lined baking sheet and either bake or lightly broil until desired result is reached. Everything is cooked, so it's all about texture now.
And that's it! Now you have taco meat crumbles that will blow your mind and taste buds!
Assemble tacos by either using corn tortillas, wheat tortillas, or lettuce wraps and adding all your favorite toppings such as lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, avocado, etc.
-If the mixture is too dry, you can add a splash of tamari or spoonful of salsa
-If the mixture is too wet/mushy, spread it out and bake until it dries out
-The wet/dry depends on how the lentils are cooked, so I wanted to give you both options since I've had it go both ways! Either way it will taste amazing :)