Taco Salad w/ Spiced Lentil Meat

Hi! How’ve you been?

Watching, reading or listening to anything binge-worthy lately?

I just finished Where the Crawdads Sing. Have you read it?

I liked it! A good combo of mystery and romance…also (ironically) an interesting look at how living in isolation can impact a person (which at this point, is sadly something we could all write a book on!) 😨

Let’s not talk about quarantine life right now though. I’m gonna assume you, like me, need a lil break from the All “Rona” All The Time Network.

People like us want to flip the switch, change the channel and talk about other things!

But are we allowed to?

Will conversations that don’t include the “C” word and the importance of staying at home (or washing hands, wearing masks and not hoarding TP) come across as superficial, out-of-touch or unimportant?

My take: is that in the midst of any tragedy or large-scale pandemic, there’s always room for other things. Good things.

Distractions, inspiration, motivation, humor.

You know, the stuff that won’t expose you to any virus-carrying droplets, but that will keep you going when the going gets tough.

So, here are some non-virus-related things:

#1. Tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo.

#2. Your FB + Gram feeds are gonna be stuffed like piñatas with taco, burrito and guac posts.

#3. You’ll crave Mexican food. Your favorite taqueria will be closed. (Oops, sorry, that IS Corona related) And you won’t know what to do.

Then BOOM 💥: you’ll remember you’ve got recipes to try!

Like this:

Taco Salad w/ Spiced Lentil Meat

This recipe might look like it’s trying to be extra — but it’s not. It’s actually super simple and straight-forward.

And as you’ll see, some steps are optional.

Taco Salad w/ Spiced Lentil “Meat” & Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing

INGREDIENTS:

For the Spiced Lentil Taco “Meat”:

  • 1 cup brown lentils, cooked
  • ½ cup portabella mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup raw walnuts, lightly toasted and roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

For the Salad:

  • 2 cups of your favorite lettuce or dark leafy greens
  • 1 cup of corn, fresh or frozen (thawed)
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 avocado, pitted and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon red onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
  • Homemade Tortilla Chips (recipe below * or your favorite store-bought chips)
  • ¼ cup Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing (recipe below)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Prepare the lentil taco “meat” by: adding all ingredients to a food processor and pulsing until you have a chunky texture. Be careful not to over-process or the mixture will become paste-like.
  2. Prep the rest of your salad ingredients, as needed.
  3. Assemble: Add your lettuce to a bowl and top with the spiced lentil taco “meat”, corn, tomatoes, avocado slices, radish, chips a squeeze of fresh lime juice and a drizzle of dressing.

For the Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing:

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours and then drained
  • ¾ cup water, as needed
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • Juice of one large lime
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Add more or less water until you reach your desired consistency.

For the Homemade Tortilla Chips:

  • 1package of your favorite corn or flour tortillas
  • Avocado oil spray
  • Sea salt, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. While the oven is preheating, use a pizza cutter to cut the tortillas into triangle chip shapes.
  3. Place the chips on the baking sheet, lightly spray with avocado oil and sprinkle with sea salt.
  4. Bake until crispy, about 15 minutes. Watch them carefully as they will burn quickly once they turn brown.

Looking for a few more ideas to sink your teeth into tomorrow?

Check these out:

If you haven’t jumped on the cook-yourself-silly bandwagon, maybe now’s the time.

Not saying you should make all of this stuff, but who’d judge you if ya did? Not me!

Also, have you ever tried tempeh?

I was zooming with a friend yesterday and she mentioned she’d never had it! I was like, “wait, WHAT? REALLY? C’mon!”

She has so much to look forward to with those ☝️ Tempeh Tacos. You do too!

Okay, hopefully there’s enough here to help keep your mind off COVID…at least for a little while.

If you need someone to talk to about something that’s not that, comment below.

Besides tacos, what good things have you been making room for? 

LMK. Hope you’re doing great!

xo

Vicki