Quinoa-Lentil Tacos

We eat a lot of Mexican food around here. A few of the first recipes I posted were Lentil Tacos and Quinoa Tacos. Most of the time I prefer a combination of the two. Enter Quinoa-Lentil Tacos.

Quinoa-Lentil Tacos

I made these for some ladies last week and they all wanted the recipe so I guess everyone else loves them as much as we do. We don’t always keep tortillas on hand anymore so we normally eat this on nachos or in a lettuce wrap. I assure you these are great in stuffed burritos too.

It’s easy to throw these together with ingredients that are already cooked. When I make a big batch of quinoa and lentils, I’ll make these when I don’t have a lot of time to cook.

Quinoa-Lentil Tacos

Try using this taco filling on baked potatoes too.

This recipe can be kept warm in the oven or a crockpot until ready to eat. Try Quinoa-Lentil Tacos with Faux Cheese Sauce, Unfried Beans, and Mexican Rice. This recipe is pretty mild since I serve it to company and kids often but I love to spice it up!

If your family is not following a plant-based diet this recipe could be added to your traditional tacos to make them healthier, more filling, and more frugal.

This recipe will make about 4 cups of taco “meat” and you can use about 1/4 cup per taco for a total of 16 tacos give or take a few and about half as many burritos.

Quinoa-Lentil Tacos

This healthy, plant-based taco recipe is both filling and delicious. Choose your favorite ingredients or make it a Taco Bar so everyone can make it their way.

Quinoa-Lentil Tacos
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 c cooked quinoa
  • 2 c cooked brown lentils
  • 1½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1½ tsp onion powder
  • 1½ tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 4 oz tomato sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • crushed red pepper (optional more spice)
  • add your favorite taco fixings like lettuce, tomatoes, salsa and tortillas
Instructions
  1. If quinoa and lentils are cold heat in microwave or on stove until warm.
  2. Mix the lentils, quinoa, seasonings and tomato sauce together in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Assemble your tacos with your favorite ingredients.

 

Rocking Leftover Mexican Food

I’ve mentioned the feast we had last Thursday and all of the leftovers we’ve been eating. I’ll give you a quick run down of the food I made:

  • Faux “taco” filling made with lentils and quinoa
  • Unfried Beans
  • Mexican Rice
  • Portobello Fajitas (recipe coming soon-ish)
  • flour and corn tortillas, and tortilla chips
  • faux cheese sauce
  • veggies for tacos (lettuce, tomatoes, onions)
  • homemade salsa
  • guacamole
  • three different kinds of hummus
  • veggie tray (carrots, cucumber, bell peppers, tomatoes, celery)
  • mixed fruit bowl (strawberries, pineapple, grapes, oranges)
  • Chocolate Mousse and Strawberries
  • Apple Pie with a whole wheat crust

This is all I can remember, now you see why we are eating leftovers and not getting tired of them. The first 5 things alone can be mixed and matched. Check out this Taco Salad, it is hard to see but you can rest assured there is plenty of guacamole and homemade salsa on this baby.

I also made, devoured, and thoroughly enjoyed this French Bread Pizza. If your wondering, “Holly, Do you miss pizza since switching to Plant-Based?” YES I DO! But I don’t miss the cheese or even the meat, for me it is all about the sauce! I love a good marinara. For this pizza I took advantage of an 88¢ baguette loaf ( I shared so I really only ate about half of it) slathered it with sauce and topped it with leftover veggies. You may also notice the portobello strip, I am NOT a muchroom fan but I have been won over with these.

The portobello brings me to the fajita’s. I was very skeptical of these but I wanted to have something else for my guests in case they weren’t fans of the quinoa/lentil combo. I broiled them in the oven so I could keep an eye on them. I have a tendency to forget about things outside on the grill, especially when I have company. Also, I had never even touched a portobello before so I wasn’t sure how it would behave while cooking. All in all I was pleasantly surprised. I think these will be on a regular rotation at our house. This first picture is of the mushrooms, onions and peppers covered in a marinade and going into the oven. 

This is a horrible picture of leftover fajita’s. What can I say, I’m not really a photographer and I don’t play one on TV.

I’ve also been eating a few too many Nachos and more than my fair share of hummus and veggies. I’m guessing no one feels bad about the leftovers at this point. The only problem is they are almost gone. I’ll probably only get one more meal out of them then it is back to cooking. 

How do you use up your leftovers? 

What to Eat

If your interested in a plant based diet you may be wondering what to eat, or thinking you will surely starve to death. Let me assure you that there is a lot of really good food out there so you will not starve. Each day this week I plan to share a sample meal plan. These meal plans will be easy to prepare with common ingredients that can be found at any grocery store. (With the exception of one ingredient in Nachos!) 

Today’s Menu Plan

Breakfast: Oatmeal

Oatmeal is easy to make, inexpensive, and really good for you. I like to make a large batch on the weekend and eat it throughout the week. I prefer steel cut oats or rolled oats cooked on the stove but if you only have time for instant you can still have a hearty healthy breakfast. Follow the package instructions as different types of oats need to be cooked for different lengths of time.

On the weekends I like to cook a large batch of oatmeal for quick breakfasts. I like to add a diced apples to the water as it starts to boil, then add the oats. Stir regularly as it cooks and add cinnamon. Raisins, dried cranberries, or other seasonal fruit will naturally sweeten your oatmeal and provide variety. I like to sweeten oatmeal with Stevia, agave or real maple syrup. In the past I would add a ton of white sugar to my oatmeal but that is not healthy and OATMEAL SHOULD NOT TASTE LIKE DESSERT! Nuts and seed provide a great topping with a little crunch. 

Lunch: Sandwich Wrap or Salad

Sandwich wraps are a quick and easy way to eat raw veggies. I usually prefer a wrap to a salad. Try to find a whole grain tortilla, pita, or some type of wrap. I like to add fat free hummus, lettuce, bell peppers, onions, beans and what ever veggies need to be used up. I’ll typically eat two wraps for lunch. If your more or a salad person eat that instead. Just eat enough that you are not hungry. Try adding avocado to your wrap or salad. Most salad dressing contain a lot of oil so try to find a fat free version, a fat free balsamic vinaigrette is a good choice. Tortilla chips and salsa can help you feel less deprived as well.

Dinner: Lentil Tacos with Beans and Mexican Rice 

Lentils are a tasty and inexpensive stand in for traditional ground beef in tacos.    Find out how to make lentil tacos here. If your short on time choose canned refried beans or pinto beans. Mexican Rice is healthy, delicious and filling. Cooking brown rice takes longer than cooking white rice so allow extra time to make this.

Mexican Rice

Ingredients
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 6 oz of tomato sauce (use an 8 oz can and save the other two ounces)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic
  • cilantro (optional)
Do
  1. Add 1 cup of brown rice to a skillet on medium heat. I like to toast the rice a bit before adding water but if you are too impatient you can skip that part.
  2. Add 2 1/2 cups of water and the 6 ounces of tomato sauce. I’ve used the whole 8 ounces when I made this with white rice but the brown rice doesn’t need all of the tomato sauce.
  3. Add the salt and garlic.
  4. Stir everything well then put a lid on the pan. The rice will cook best with a lid on. The temperature can be turned down once it is boiling well. Start checking the rice at about 30 minutes but it may need to cook closer to 45 minutes. It is done when most of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is soft. Remove from heat.
  5. Cilantro can be added on top of the rice after it is done cooking. Just sprinkle fresh cilantro on top of the rice and place lid back on skillet for a few minutes. 
Serve

This can be served as a side dish or as part of a burrito. I’ll often eat this rice with leftover beans and salsa. It is tasty in a wrap and reheats well.

 

Snacks/Dessert

When beginning a plant based diet there is no need to feel deprived. Fresh fruit makes a yummy snack. Apples, bananas, grapes, and oranges are inexpensive and easy to find. Baby carrots and other raw veggies easily portable when your on the go. Smoothies are tasty and can be made from a variety of fruits and veggies. We like Naked Juice when we are on the go. We buy them at Costco for the best deal. 

Coming this week…

Potato Soup

Apple Muffins

Lentil Tacos

I don’t know about you but I love tacos! In my mind, Taco Tuesday is a real thing.

Most kids love tacos, and I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t consider tacos to be a family favorite.

Lentil Tacos are a family favorite! Win over friends and family with these vegan tacos.

This page contains affiliate links. 

I first started using lentil in tacos before we went plant-based. We had three growing (read hungry) kids at home who were in elementary school and we were on a tight budget. I started adding cooked lentils to our ground beef to make it go further. My kids barely noticed the lentils.

That moved started my love of lentils. They are a low fat and high fiber food with 9 grams of protein for a half cup serving. That’s basically 2 tacos for me.

Additionally, lentils are inexpensive and very easy to cook, perfect for beginners.

You can buy dry lentils in the bean section of any grocery store. They will cost less than $2 per pound for conventional lentils. I almost always buy brown lentils. I like buying them from Amazon because I can get a better variety. This kind cost more but they are non-gmo and you can trace which field they were grown in. Pretty cool!

Lentil Tacos are a family favorite! Win over friends and family with these vegan tacos.UPDATE: If you have an Instant Pot check out my Instant Pot Lentil Tacos!

Lentil Tacos

This vegan recipe is so good even the carnivores will be asking for more.

The tacos can be made to each family members preference. My husband and I enjoy ours with lettuce, lentils, guacamole, and fresh salsa. If I had been making burritos or nachos I would have made a dairy-free cheeze sauce and possibly added more beans.

Lentil Tacos
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 cup dry lentils (rinsed)
  • taco seasoning (chili powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, cumin) to taste
  • 2 oz tomato sauce
  • lettuce
  • salsa
  • guacamole
  • tortillas
Instructions
  1. Cook lentils in a medium sauce pan with 2 cups of water.
  2. Cook them for 15 minutes or until they are soft.
  3. If there is still water in the pan drain them.
  4. Add taco seasoning to taste and the tomato sauce.
  5. Stir and enjoy.

 

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