Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tasty Lentil Tacos

I tried a new recipe today that was recommended to me by a friend.  I would highly recommend this yummy, healthy, fun taco dish.  My husband's comment when he ate this was "I had no idea there wasn't meat in this. It's delicious!" The original source is allrecipes.com, where it has a 4.5 rating which means that me and my family aren't the only ones who love this awesome dish.  As a meat eater, I'm usually a bit wary of meat replacements, but I really think this one was just as tasty as ground beef.  I have been looking for ways to cook lentils. They are healthy, inexpensive, and make great food storage since they store for thirty years or more.  Lentils are low in calories and high in nutrition.  They lower cholesterol, are a great source of folate and magnesium (which contribute to heart health), improve digestive health, stabilize blood sugar, are a good protein, increase energy, and can help with weight loss since they have virtually no fat.  Try it, you won't regret it.

Prep:  10 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Servings:  About 6
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 2/3 cup dried lentils, rinsed
  • 1 Tablespoon taco seasoning, or to taste
  • 1 2/3 cups chicken broth
  • 2/3 cups salsa
  • 12 taco shells
  1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat; cook and stir onion and garlic until tender, about five minutes.  Mix lentils and taco seasoning into onion mixture; cook and stir for one minute.
  2. Cover lentils with chicken broth and bring to boil.  Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until lentils are tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
  3. Uncover and cook until mixture is slightly thickened, 6 to 8 minutes.  Mash lentils slightly; stir in salsa.
  4. Serve about 1/4 cup lentil mixture in each taco shell; top with lettuce, tomatoes, Cheddar cheese, and sour cream.  

 For the taco shells, I tried a method that was new to me:  baking corn tortillas on the reverse side of a muffin tin.  I will do this again. They turned out very pretty, it was easier than frying them, and definitely healthier than frying.  The trick is to get the malleable by adding moisture.  Layer them on a plate between wet paper towels and heat in the microwave for about thirty seconds.  That way they will be less likely to crack when you fold them in half and place them between the muffin tin rows.  I sprayed mine with olive oil and sprinkled a bit of garlic salt before tossing it into the oven.  Bake at 375 degrees for about 5 to 7 minutes or until a bit brown around the edges.  Click here for another method for baking taco shells.  This one drapes them right on the oven rack.

I hope you enjoy this as much as we did!  Any recommendations for other tasty ways to use lentils?

Monday, June 3, 2013

Baby Squash Medley

If you have a garden, you probably grow squash.  But you probably don't pick them this little.  But you should.  They are so tender and delicious.  This is a mixture of patty pan squash, zuchinni, and scallopini.  You can boil them whole when they're this little, too and they're delicious.
In a saute pan, heat some olive oil.  Add a diced onion.  Put the squash in and saute  the squash and onion together until tender.  It doesn't take very long- just 5-10 minutes.  Add some dried basil (maybe a teaspoon or two) OR  basil pesto (can be store bought.  I freeze it in ziplock bags, then break off a chunk and put in with the squash) and a handful of parmesan cheese.  Stir well and serve when cheese is melted. This is a yummy and healthy sidedish.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

What's For Dinner? - June

Here's what's for dinner at our house this month:
1. Kristen's Beef Enchiladas (If you haven't tried these, you need to.  They are so yummy.  They would be good with chicken, too)

2.  Michelle's Sauteed Vegetable Tuscan Orzo (Again, it's time to try this if you haven't!)

The Pasta Factory's Copycat Alfredo Sauce, Pasta, Topped with Seasoned Chicken Breast, Italian Vegetables, and Sauteed Mushrooms / Garlic Bread

4.  Kristen's Enchilada Soup/ Muffins (try it with green enchilada sauce instead of red.  Man, it's good!)
5. Roast Beef/ Carrots/ Potatoes, Homemade Rolls

7.  Cheesy Enchilada Casserole (Taste of Home's #1 Casserole)


Enjoy June!