I have to say, I am super excited to share these tacos with you finally! I had originally whipped them up with a girlfriend for a dinner gathering a few months ago, and couldn't forget their incredible taste! This recipe is simple and relatively quick to prepare, and pleases even the biggest meat eaters!
If you or someone you love tends to crave some ground beef in their tacos once in a while, give this recipe a whirl and I promise everyone's taste buds will be refreshingly satisfied. Bonus: these tacos boast anti-inflammatory properties & heart health instead of packing on the saturated fat and cholesterol that we'd typically get from eating meat products.
These babies will have ya feelin' all fly; trust.
So how the heck does walnuts and lentils even come close to taste like ground beef, you may ask? I was a bit skeptical at first too, but once I did a little researching and taste testing I was able to find a spice/condiment combo that gave a delicious and savory flavor. All you need is a food processor or blender, pop the walnuts + spices in for a few seconds, and BAM! Mock meat that is completely plant based and sans cruddy additives that we can't pronounce. I added the lentils into the mix to give it a boost of additional protein and fiber, and because they were leftover from last week's soup making.
As far as toppings go, you can get creative with what you already have in the kitchen if you don't have time or means to go out. Some favorites: any fresh herbs, greens, avocado/guac, chipotle mayo (YUM!), tomatoes, corn salsa.
Walnut & Lentil "Meat" Tacos
ground corn tortillas (I used Trader Joe's)
1/2 C. dry lentils + 1 C. water + pinch of sea salt
1 C. raw walnuts
2 tsp tamari
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 red bell pepper (organic), sliced thin
1 green bell pepper (organic), sliced thin
1/2 large onion, sliced thin or chopped
Toppings (optional/your choice):
Directions: Start off by adding lentils, water, and sea salt into a sauce pan. Heat on high until water is boiling, then lower heat to simmer for 20-30 minutes or until lentils are soft.
In the mean time, begin to prep your walnut meat. Add walnuts, tamari, cumin, paprika, and garlic powder into a food processor. Blend until well-mixed, but be careful not to let the walnuts turn into a paste. They should resemble ground beef!
In a large skillet, heat your olive oil and garlic. Throw in your veggies, and sauté until onions are slightly transparent; roughly 5-7 minutes. The peppers should still have somewhat of a crunch to them still.
Once the lentils are done cooking, remove from heat and strain out any excess water. Toss the lentils and walnut meat together. Now's the time to prepare your tacos! I like to heat a skillet with a little bit of coconut oil or spray and throw a tortilla on to warm/slightly crisp it up before fixing my taco. Once done, add your meat, onions and peppers, and any additional toppings of your choice. I love garnishing with fresh herbs and avocado as it gives a wonderful flavor and balance of greens/healthy fats.