Vegetarian Lentil Taco Meat

veggie taco meat
Last night was our Taco Tuesday… on a Monday. Do people still do Taco Tuesdays? I think my husband (!) would love it if we actually religiously followed Taco Tuesday because his dinner requests are always either Mexican food or pizza. Perhaps that is clear from the fact that at least half of my recipes are Mexican-inspired in some way. As a bonus, this meal also counts for Meatless Mondays, so you could eat it TWO days in a row. That’s the dream.

Speaking of my husband (!), we’ve been married for over a week now and it’s still very thrilling to hear other people use those titles. I’ll be honest with you though, I’ve been calling him my husband to strangers for a few months now to practice. Just like, the lady at the post office – “Oh, this package is for my husband, can I pick it up instead?” But um, that’s not actually a new habit of mine. In my single days, I would refer to people who I was barely dating as my boyfriend to random people – baristas, hair dressers, etc. I guess I thought I might never use the term for real, so I wanted to know what it felt like. So now being legally allowed to call Will my husband, so weird!

veggie taco meat
Other than the new title though, not much else has changed in our life, which is good. We still spend a lot of time watching standup comedians on Netflix. The other night we watched Chelsea Peretti, who kept saying things that were eerily close to how I feel. Like, she talked about how much she hates eating in front of people, and that her dream eating situation is just her with a buffet, in a ditch, no one around. Yes. I hate eating in front of people, especially messy food. These tacos are not for eating in front of other people. They are for eating in front of your husband, who cannot judge you (pretty sure that was in the vows at some point).

veggie taco meat
Vegetarian Lentil Taco Meat

Lentils are amazing, right? They have like, 18 grams of protein per cup and also quick pretty quick. Cooked this way they almost have a refried beans texture. And come on, with tacos, do you really care what’s in the filling? Tacos are mainly an excuse to eat as much shredded cheese as humanly possible.

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1 cup red lentils (brown would be more beef-like but also take longer to cook)
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Taco fixings: hard or soft taco shells, shredded romaine lettuce, diced tomatoes, salsa, cubed avocado, sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, etc.

Heat the olive oil over medium heat for a few minutes, then add the minced onion. Cook for around 5 minutes, stirring often, until the onions have softened. Add the lentils, all the spices except the salt and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil at high heat then turn down to medium and shimmer. Once the water has been absorbed, add another cup. Continue cooking for around 20 minutes, stirring and testing for softness occasionally. While the lentils are cooking, prep your toppings and heat up your shells. Once the lentils are soft and all the water has cooked out, add salt to taste and remove from heat. Scoop into a bowl and serve alongside any other desired toppings and some heated taco shells.

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