Happy National Taco Day!
Also, happy National Vodka Day, and to our Swedish friends, Happy Cinnamon Roll Day! Because of my work schedule I could only do one of the three celebrations, and since I can’t resist a taco…
We have a lentil taco recipe in our household that we’ve been using for years. It’s a really good recipe and offers itself up to endless variations. The recipe used to be available on allrecipes.com, but it’s not there anymore. Fortunately, it lives on in our house!
- 1 C diced onion
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 2 t oil, for sauteeing
- 1 C brown/green lentils, rinsed
- 2.5 C vegetable broth (low sodium if possible, or you can use water if you don’t have broth)
- 1 T chili powder
- 2 t cumin powder
- 1 t dried oregano (if you feel lazy, you can replace the chili, cumin, and oregano with a packet of taco seasoning)
In a large skillet, saute the onion and garlic in oil until soft. Add the lentils, chili powder, cumin powder, and oregano. Saute for 1 minute. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 25-30 minutes. If your lentils are older or stubborn, you may need more time, but this usually works for us. Use as you would any taco filling!
It doesn’t get any simpler, so to spice things up a bit we tried something we’d never done before. We made tortillas! Let me tell you, the first time you make your own tortillas, you’ll smack yourself in the forehead for not doing it sooner. I’d post a recipe, but there are recipes for corn tortillas all over the internet and on the back of the masa package (we used Maseca) and they are all pretty much the same. It’s basically corn masa, warm water, and salt. You knead everything together into a firm, pliable dough, make walnut shaped balls, and smash them into tortillas with a tortilla press. You could also use a rolling pin to flatten them out, but I splurged and treated myself to a press. The aluminum ones are inexpensive, and after today I know we’ll use it often. Besides I had a groupon for a local kitchen supply store to use up, and what better to use it on than a tortilla press?
I also made cabbage salsa. So good! I made enough to have extra to take to work and eat on my morning break tomorrow with tortilla chips. The recipe I used is a loose conglomeration of lots of recipes all smushed together to my liking. Here’s the rough outline:
- 1/2 small head of cabbage, roughly shredded with a knife (you could use a food processor, but I like the pieces a bit irregular)
- 1/2 medium red onion, diced
- 2 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced small
- 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
- 1 small jalapeno, seeded and chopped (you can leave the seeds in for more heat, if you prefer)
- juice of 1 medium lime
- 1-3 T juice from a jar of pickled jalapenos, to taste (if you don’t have a jar of jalapenos lurking in your fridge, or if you don’t want a little extra heat, a splash of vinegar would work fine too)
- salt and pepper to taste
Mix everything together in a large bowl. Adjust flavors to taste. This is good right off the bat, but even better after a few hours or overnight when the flavors have had time to meld.
So here they are, our delicious lentil tacos with homemade corn tortillas and all the fixins!
Every day should be taco day! And seriously, go buy some masa and make yourself a batch of homemade tortillas! For under $3, you can purchase enough masa to make a hundred delicious tortillas! DOOO EEEEET!!!