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Chili Lentils for Tacos

What you really want to know is how does it taste? Incredible! Oh my gosh – these chili lentils are amazing. They have a “meaty” texture to them and the seasonings were perfect. I made them to take to a friend’s house for a taco bar and everyone loved them. Even the meat lovers! The leftovers heat up well and have even more flavor than the first day. This recipe is going into our regular rotation as a quick and easy meal. Not only is it tasty, meatless, economical and quick, but it’s also low calorie. What’s not to love? For a 1/2 cup serving it’s only 135 calories! If you follow Weight Watchers it’s only 3 WWPP! Stuff the filling into your favorite tortilla, pita bread, flat bread, baked potato or serve it over a bed of romaine. I think it will freeze well too and since it makes a huge batch there is plenty left over to do just that.

Chili Lentils for Tacos

  • 1 pound brown lentils, rinsed (I used green lentils and increased the cooking time)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or water or vegetable broth
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 can (15 oz) tomatoes diced
  • salt & pepper to taste

Bring 5 cups of water and lentils to a boil in a covered 12 inch skillet. Reduce heat to medium and cook until the water is almost absorbed and the lentils are just tender about 12 minutes. (Note: I used green lentils and they took 20-25 minutes to cook.) Turn off heat.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, and oregano and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the cooked lentils and canned tomatoes. Reduce heat to medium low and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Adjust the seasoning, including a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper.

Servings: 14

Yield: 7 cups (The recipe says 6 cups, but I measured mine and got 7 cups)

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 1/14 of a recipe (2.8 ounces) about 1/2 cup

Updated 3/25/13 Amount Per Serving; Calories 135.3,Total Fat 0.8g, Saturated Fat 0.1g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 58.4mg, Potassium 366.1mg,  Total Carbohydrates 22.9g, Fiber 10.9g, Sugar 1.8g, Protein 9.1g  WWPP 3

Source: Cook Without a Book Meatless Meals, Author: Pam Anderson


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  1. Artichoke Lentil Loaf » Nutmeg Notebook says:

    [...] Lentils cook up quick and easy but if life is busy you can save even more time by buying lentils already cooked and ready to go. Not only do they work well in the lentil loaf but they are outstanding in soups or seasoned up with Mexican spices for Chili Lentil Tacos. [...]

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    [...] baby greens and fresh spinach for a more hearty salad. Shredded it’s also perfect for topping Lentil Tacos and taco salad. My refrigerator is already full of kale, spinach and [...]

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