This lentil taco filling is a perfect way to explore the difference between Plant-Based and Plant-Forward. Plant-Based refers to foods that are made up entirely of plant ingredients, with no animal ingredients. Plant-Forward is a style of eating that features mostly Plant-Based foods, but also includes some animal ingredients. This lentil taco filling can be either. As seen in the video below, if you add chicken and the cotija cheese to the tacos, it would align with plant-forward. To keep it plant-based, use a vegan cheese or skip the cheese entirely.
- 4 1/3 Tbsp fresh cilantro chopped
- 2 ea fresh garlic cloves minced
- 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- 2 tsp canola oil
- 3/4 cup fresh yellow onions minced
- 1 Tbsp canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce minced
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/8 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup tomato puree
- 1 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup fresh green bell peppers diced
- 6 oz red lentils dry
- 10 ea 6 inch tortilla
- 10 tsp cotija cheese
- 10 Tbsp cabbage shredded
- 5 ea fresh lime wedge
- Wash all produce prior to prepping. Rinse and drain lentils well. Heat the oil over medium heat in a thick bottomed pot or pan. Once the oil is hot add half of the onion, (reserve the rest for finishing) green pepper, and garlic and sweat for 2-3 minutes. Add the lentils and chipotle pepper and continue to cook everything for another 2-3 minutes. Add all dried spices (except the salt), tomato puree, lime juice and one quarter of the cilantro (reserve the rest for finishing). Add half the water to start and add the rest as needed. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce to simmer. Cook for 8-10 minutes to reduce most of the liquid and allow the vegetables and lentils to soften completely. Once finished cooking add the salt and mix well.
- In a pan on high heat, heat tortillas on both sides. A little color is more flavor. To build the tacos: for each shell – 1/4 cup filling, 1 Tbsp. cabbage, 1 tsp diced onion, 1 tsp cilantro, 1 tsp crumbled cheese. Serve with one lime wedge for two tacos. Hot sauce recommended, but optional.