Thursday, March 22, 2012
Spicy Lentil Tostadas
My husband doesn't like it when I make lentils. When I make lentils, it means that the meal will not include meat, something that he craves. However, when I prepare lentils like this, he actually enjoys them (even if he does pretend in his head that its beef he's eating).
This is also one of my favorite preparations of lentils because it is delicious and super-easy. I soak the lentils for 12-24 hours (if I remember) and prepare them as normal. Soaking helps release more of the nutrients to your body, but it's not necessary. Once they are done cooking, I add taco seasoning, just like I would add to ground beef. While the lentils are cooking, I cook the corn tortillas and prepare and set out the toppings: lettuce, tomatoes, onion, cheese, avocado, sour cream, whatever else I feel like putting on a tostada.
Once everything is complete, I assemble the tostadas and serve. My Not-So-Little man didn't even realize that it wasn't ground beef the first time I made these. Now, he loves lentils. I have this recipe to thank for his openness to and approval of lentils. Another great thing about this recipe is its flexibility. I often don't have corn tortillas, or make my own wheat ones, and serve this up as "Spicy Lentil Tacos". I'm sure they could even be used in burritos, I have successfully also used the leftovers in Spicy Lentil Nachos; do you see my pattern here?
I love lentils because they are nutritious, cheap, flexible, and a wonderful source of protein. I have to admit that lentils were not part of my food repertoire until about a year ago. I've always known they were good for me, but really was in the dark about how to prepare them and how to use them. I have to thank Steph from The Cheapskate Cook for demystifying lentils for me. She has a whole series on her blog here , titled "For the Love of Lentils". She has some fantastic recipes and ideas for lentils and using them to stretch your food budget.
So, for those of you who are like me and like a recipe (at least at first) when cooking, Voila:
Spicy Lentil Tostadas (or tacos, burritos, or nachos)
Serves about 4
2 1/2 C. Water
1 C. Lentils (soaked for 12-24 hours or unsoaked)
1/4 C Taco Seasoning (homemade or packaged) or to your liking
4-6 Corn Tortillas, fried until crisp. (I fried mine in palm shortening)
Salsa or Taco Sauce
Bring water to a boil and add lentils and half of the taco seasoning. Boil until lentils are tender, it will take longer if the lentils are not soaked. Once tender and water is absorbed, add the rest of the taco seasoning. While lentils are cooking, fry tortillas until crisp and prepare (shred, slice, chop) your chosen toppings. When everything is prepared, top corn tortillas with lentil mixture and toppings. I like to put my cheese just after the hot lentils so it melts. Enjoy!
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