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Monday, March 21, 2011

Meatless Quickie: Lentil Tacos, and an Exciting Announcement!

Mornin'!
It's Monday and that means I have an easy idea for a meatless meal you'll be excited to eat.  Today, it's a super quick one, with only one photo and short instructions.
This recipe is quick to throw together, very inexpensive, and great for you.
Lentils, like quinoa, are a food that I didn't grow up eating but have become a staple in my home.  Lentils are legumes and they're great for all diets, but especially meatless ones, because they're so high in protein and iron, the latter of which poses a challenge for those who don't eat animal products.  Aside from their nutritional benefits, lentils are great to have around because they cook very quickly, especially when compared to dried beans.  This recipe comes together in around 30 minutes.
Check your local bulk section for lentils, or ethnic grocery stores.   Always rinse them before cooking and check for stones, which can make it through the sorting process.  You can purchase a packet of premade taco seasoning if you'd like, but read the ingredients list first.  I avoid mixes that contain salt (so I can adjust seasoning to taste) and any artificial ingredients.

Lentil Taco Filling
1 c. green lentils
1 yellow onion

Spice Mix:
Whole spices:
2 tbsp. oregano
1 tsp. cumin (toasted in a dry pan, cooled, and ground)
Ground:
1 tsp-1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. garlic powder (or 1-2 cloves garlic, crushed)
1 tsp. onion powder
salt and pepper to taste

Begin by browning up the chopped onion in a medium sauce pan.  Once the onion is translucent, add the lentils and spices.  Add just a little salt and pepper because you'll adjust for these after the lentils have cooked. 
Cover with 2 cups of water or broth, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 20-25 minutes.  You might need to add more water/broth as it cooks off.  Just be sure you're simmering and not boiling or you'll end up adding too much.  Check the lentils to see if they're cooked to your liking.  I like them to be a little toothy in the middle, but soft on the outside. 
Mash up a little of the lentil mixture with your spoon so the filling holds together.  Serve up as you would taco meat.  (Note that this filling is vegan, so skip the cheese and yogurt/sour cream and you can enjoy it with your vegan friends, too.)
DSC01119Locals, we really like Kramer's Salsa. Yum.
Something simple I've been eating a lot recently: frozen fruit pureed with just a little orange juice.  This is just cherries and strawberries, but it has satisfied my fruit cravings that have come on with the warmer weather.
DSC01100Soon I'll tell you what I did with these.  (Hint: it involved ham hocks!)
DSC01113Finally, I have some super exciting news to share with you. 

Are you ready to see some of this
Here?
DSC00851That's right folks.  Starting Tuesday afternoon, you'll be able to walk into the downtown location of New Pioneer Coop (our local cooperatively owned grocery store) and buy some of your very own Rosie's Best granola.  I'm pretty darn excited for you guys to be able to taste what I've been working on, and would love to hear what you think.  Soon we'll do a sampling event at the store on a weekend or two and I'd love for you to come down and say hi and take a taste.  Until then, drop into the coop and let me know what you think (here or at rosiesbest AT gmail.com).  If you're not in the Iowa City area, stop by the Etsy shop and get some delivered fresh to your front door.
Have a great day everybody!

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