Saturday Night Supper-Vegetarian Lentil Tacos

Lentil Tacos

Ingredients

2 onions finely chopped- your choice of color and sharpness (yellow, red-sweet, etc.)

2 green bell peppers finely diced

1 TBS oil of your choice

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp oregano

1 1/2 TBS taco seasoning

2 cups lentils, rinsed well

3 1/2 cups organic vegetable broth

Instructions

In a deep, non-stick pan add oil and heat. Add green peppers and onions, simmer approximately 10 minutes until soft. Stir in the spices and simmer between 30 seconds and 1 minute to bring out the flavors. Add lentils then cook and stir for 1 minute to blend flavors together.

Add broth to the pan and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. (If the mixture starts to dry out, add more broth in small increments to avoid burning.)

Remove cover, simmer an additional 10 minutes until broth has evaporated and mixture is thick.

Spoon into taco shells. Top with favorite toppings.

Suggested toppings – Salsa, taco sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, black olives, cheese, avocados, sour cream, jalapenos, cilantro, guacamole or whatever you like! (Mangos are also good if you like sweet and spicy.)

We ate this like tacos. However, we plan to try it next as quesadillas. I think it would work really well as a taco salad or burrito, too.

This easily serves 6 with some leftovers. The amount of leftovers depends on how much you put in the taco shell and how many toppings you use.

And there you have it! It tastes as good as it looks, too-I know because I ate both of those!

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Friday Food Fun!

We made another great meal the other night that also offers lots of options. Because I had a little bit of frozen hamburger meat, I decided to use it.

First, start lentils and rice, following the package directions.

Take one decent sized zucchini for each person, cut it in half then scoop out the middle leaving a “pocket” to fill. I saved the flesh from the center.

Set the oven to 425° to preheat.

Fry the hamburger meat, drain and rinse it, and add back to the pan with just a small amount of olive oil. To that, add diced onions, bell pepper and the zucchini flesh. Cook this just long enough to heat everything up.

Add a can of drained black beans and also one of drained corn into a small pot and heat it until warm.

Put all the above ingredients (Except the hollowed out zucchini) together in a bowl and mix thoroughly.

Using a sheet pan, lightly coated with oil, place the hollowed out zucchini on it. Fill the hollowed area with the mixture and top it with a sprinkling of parmesan and grated cheese. Place it in the oven and cook it for 25 minutes.

I added some mushrooms to mine, too because I like mushrooms.

The fun thing about this is recipe is it can be made so many different ways. It can be made similar to a pizza by filling the hollowed out area with pizza sauce and your favorite pizza toppings, then top with cheese. You could use alfredo sauce and chicken. You could use mixed veggies seasoned with oregano or Italian seasoning, and top with breadcrumbs and tomato sauce…the possibilities are virtually endless, and they are all so delicious!

Friday Food Fun

We had another delicious meal this week that the granddaughter fixed. It was an interesting combination that created a fantastic burrito.

Lentil Burrito

Ingredients

3-4 medium-sized sweet potatoes, thoroughly cleaned

1 cup dry lentils

1 cup dry rice

1-16 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained

1-12 ounce package frozen corn

1 medium onion

2 medium bell peppers

1-3 TBS olive oil

Garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cayenne, salt, pepper or other spices as desired

6 Tortillas

Sour cream

Shredded cheese

Taco sauce

Directions

Prepare rice and lentils as per package instructions (1 cup dry should make 3 cups cooked)

While rice and lentils are cooking, heat sweet potatoes in a microwave just long enough to make tender enough peel and cube.  Let cool slightly, then peel and cube. Place in large pan with small amount of olive oil, cook until slightly tender. Season as desired.

Slice onions and bell peppers in long strips. Add a small amount of olive oil to another pan, season onion and bell peppers to taste, cook until crisp, but tender.

Cook corn according to package directions.

Heat black beans.

Once everything is cooked or heated, transfer to the table.

Heat tortillas.

Add ingredients to tortillas, roll up and enjoy!

I hope this makes sense, I tried to keep up with what she was doing without getting in her way too much! These were really good!

I would enjoy avocados with these as I really like avocados.

The nice thing about this recipe is it can be tailored to your likes. It would taste great with lettuce, tomatoes (unfortunately I can’t eat tomatoes), raw onions (I can’t eat those either!) or any of a wide range of vegetables.

Friday Food Fun

We made another delicious vegan casserole. However, it was a little labor intensive, but worth it! I forgot about pictures until it was too late!!

Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

Ingredients

1 medium onion

1 1/2 cups uncooked brown or green lentils (red lentils don’t work well)

4 cups vegetable stock

3 pounds yellow potatoes

1-12-ounce bag frozen mixed vegetables

3-4 TBS vegan butter

1 TBS olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

Peel and dice onions.

In a large pot over medium heat, sauté onions in 1 TBS olive oil until lightly browned and caramelized (about 5 minutes).

Add lentils and stock, then stir. Bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to simmer and continue to cook until lentils are tender (about 35-40 minutes).

During the last 10 minutes of cooking, add frozen vegetables and stir. Cover and cook for the remaining 10 minutes.

While the lentils are cooking, thoroughly wash and peel potatoes (peeling is optional).

Cut potatoes in quarters and place in a large pot. Fill with water until just covered. Bring to a low boil on medium-high heat then salt, cover and cook for 20-30 minutes or until soft.

Once cooked, drain and put in mixing bowl. Mash thoroughly. Add vegan butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and set aside.

Preheat oven to 425°. Lightly grease a 9×13 pan and set aside.

When lentils and vegetable mix are finished, pour into prepared pan. Top with mashed potatoes, making swirls or fork marks as desired.

Place the 9×13 pan of casserole on a baking sheet to catch any overflow. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes are browned on top.

Cool briefly before serving. It will thicken as it sits. Cool completely before covering leftovers. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Can be reheated in microwave. Freezing is not recommended.

Whew!! I hope that makes sense-the recipe I used didn’t, so I adjusted it!!

Great Casserole Recipe!

This is another adapted recipe. If you are following a whole-foods, plant-based diet this does contain cheese, but I think it would still be tasty without cheese!

***Update-this also has eggs, I forgot 😏. Thanks for the reminder, Lynn! For those allergic to eggs or on a vegan diet, you can substitute ground flax seeds. To substitute ground flax seed-for each egg-mix 1 TBS of flaxseed to 3 TBS water. You need to let mixture sit for a few minutes to absorb the water.***

Rice and Lentil Casserole

2 1/2 cups cooked lentils

4 cups cooked brown rice

1 yellow onion, diced

3 TBS olive oil (reserve 2 TBS for later)

1 cup milk

2 large eggs

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese (reserve the 1/2 for later)

1 1/2 cup cheddar cheese (reserve the 1/2 for later)

Salt and pepper

Coat a 9×13-inch baking dish with 1 TBS olive oil. Heat oven to 375°F.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in large frying pan over medium heat until the oil flows smoothly, quickly coating the bottom of the pan.

Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent.  Remove pan from heat.

Whisk together milk, eggs and 2 cups of the grated cheeses in a large bowl. Add rice, lentils, onion and garlic powder. Season (if desired) with salt and pepper. Stir to thoroughly combine. Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish.

Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and place on center rack in oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and sprinkle with remaining grated cheeses. Continue to bake 10 to 15 minutes more, until bubbling and golden-brown.

This will serve 8-10 people.

(It is delicious, too! The brown rice gives it a somewhat crunchy texture.)

We served a broccoli, cauliflower and carrot mix with the casserole.