About a year ago I instituted meatless Monday’s in our house. Now, let’s be clear I am a carnivore through and through. So are my kids. But I also really believe in plant-based protein. It’s delicious. It’s healthy. And it’s often very cost effective. And it’s incredibly versatile. It really encouraged me to mix things up! So, one day perusing my pantry I found some lentils and thought, “what the hell do I have these for?! And what am I going to do with them?!”
I started Googling recipe ideas. As it turns out there are a ton of ways to use lentils. They are extremely versatile, can be very cheap and are also sort of idiot proof. Literally. Make sure they are covered with water. Bring to boil. Reduce to simmer. Simmer until tender. If the water drops below the lentils before they are tender, add more water. Once tender, drain remaining water. Boom.
I was still intimidated, but when I came upon the idea of lentil taco bowls I figured it was a no-brainer. We LOVE tacos. And anything that my kids can assemble themselves is a winner in my book. I did not include exact measurements because it’s really up to you. Just follow the directions on your lentil and rice, or any grain really, packages to make sure you’re making enough servings for however many people you’re feeding. For our family of six, 1 cup of uncooked lentils and 2 cups uncooked rice is plenty. Then chop one of each veggie listed below. Again though, adjust as it suits the number you’re serving and your tastes.
You can use frozen of fresh veggies. And literally any other toppings you desire plain greek yogurt or sour cream, chives or scallions, hot sauces, pickled jalapeños, salsa, etc. I love to dress up the rice a little, but don’t always and it’s not necessary. Really, the sky is the limit. Below is my recipe from last night, which includes my favorite toppings, but again do not feel limited. The most important components are the rice, or again whatever grain you want, and the lentils. Though I highly recommend adding the fajita seasoning to the lentils while they’re cooking as described below.
We have had this dish as described below and also when supplies have been pretty low. Really, we have this like once a week. The kids look for it on the menu board and get really excited. I can’t make this up. I promise though, every time, no matter the fixings, it’s been delicious. In fact, when the big kids were visiting their biological mother over vacation, the baby and I had lentil taco bowls with just cucumbers and cheese on top. Don’t judge, we were leaving for New Hampshire the next day so the fridge was scarce, but the lentil taco bowls were still delicious!
This dish also reheats so well! I often send it with the kids to school in their thermos’ or eat it myself for lunch the next day.
I hope this recipe brings you as much joy and ease as it clearly has my family. Let me know what you think!