Crunchy tacos are definitely authentic TexMex, but this vegetarian version is something you’re probably not going to find on any Casa Ole menu. I like taco grease just as much as the next Texan, but I enjoy the challenge of figuring out new and exciting versions of one of my favorite dishes. Also, I try to eat plant based as often as I can mostly to counterbalance the upcoming grilling season. So to give these meat-free tacos a little naughty flavor, I served them with Chipotle sour cream. I had a single serving of lentils sitting in my freezer, and decided to add a bit of quinoa to them to help punch up the texture and protein. In a pinch for time or just not in the mood to hang out on the range, then any can of beans could easily be substituted for a quicker version. Lentils are quick cooking however, and do not require any pre-soaking so give them a try. They have great nutrients, texture, and are very versatile.
Lentil Quinoa Tacos
1 cup cooked Lentils
1/2 cup cooked Quinoa, per pkg directions
about 1/4 cup water or stock
2 tablespoons Cumin powder, or to taste
2 tablespoons TexJoy Chili powder, or to taste
1 tsp Garlic powder
1 tsp Onion powder
1 tsp Smoked Paprika, or Spanish Paprika
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 tablespoons Chipotle Cream, recipe follows
2 Crunchy Taco Shells, handmade or heated per pkg instructions
Garnish: Romaine Lettuce, Radish, Red Cabbage, Fresh Jalapeno Slices, Fresh Lime Wedges
Over medium flame in a med sauce pan, add the cooked lentils and quinoa with the 1/4 cup water or stock. Once the water is simmering, add the paprika, chili, cumin, garlic, and onion powder and stir until well combined. Salt and pepper to taste. Allow the water to completely thicken and cook down stirring occasionally. Turn off flame, adjust seasonings as needed. Assemble the tacos. Evenly spread the Chipotle cream on the inside of the taco shell then add the lentil quinoa mixture. Top with lettuce, cabbage, radish, and fresh jalapeno. Serve with lime wedges.
Chipotle Cream: 1 to 2 tablespoons sour cream mixed with about 1 tsp of Chipotles in Adobo sauce; salt and pepper to taste