June 13, 2013

That Vegan Thing: Lentils a protein-rich substitute for meat in this taco treatment

By JEFF PETERSON

No doubt about it, Mexican food is king in our home and making it vegan is pretty simple.   

LENTIL TACOS

1 cup brown lentils

1 cup water

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 tablespoon tomato paste

2 garlic cloves minced

1 avocado

Tomatoes, lettuce, salsa and vegan cheese

Boil lentils for 20 minutes or until tender and add spices to taste. Then add the garlic and tomato paste. Blend half of the lentils in a food processor or blender, then mix back together with the other half. Fill corn or flour tortillas with lentils and all the toppings

Our children love tacos and you don’t need beef, chicken or pork to make them delicious. We’ve used black beans and guacamole as a meat replacement, but we just recently discovered lentils as a yummy option.   

I can’t believe we didn’t think of this sooner. Lentils with the right seasoning taste great, but that’s not the only reason you should fill your tacos with this legume.   

To say lentils are good for you is an understatement. They are high in fiber, low in calories and low in cholesterol.   

The best thing about lentils for vegans is a really good answer to that question non-vegans ask, “Where do you get your protein from?” Now I say “lentils.” Twenty-six percent of the calories in lentils are attributed to protein.   

These tacos also are pretty easy to prepare. Along with lettuce, tomatoes and other toppings, you can also add some vegan cheese or vegan sour cream, and salsa, of course. We use Daiya for cheese and Tofutti for sour cream. Come on, leave out the meat once, use lentils and enjoy that vegan thing.   

Jeff Peterson anchors the 5 a.m. and 5 p.m. news on WGME-TV and is a vegan.

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