I’ll admit that vegetarian tacos are not what I usually think about first when someone mentions tacos. Let’s face it…a lot of times vegetarian tacos taste pretty bad. What’s with that faux meat flavor and texture? ICK! These vegetarian tacos are pretty damn tasty. No faux meat in these. A combination of lentils, chard and squash and good ol’ taco seasoning all but ensures even the pickiest eaters will love these.
So I made the ‘mistake’ of mentioning that we were having lentil tacos for dinner at some point during the week and I got the big nose scrunch from the husband. Fast forward a couple of days and he questions me about what we’d be having for dinner that night. This time I call them vegetarian tacos. The response is ‘hmmmm…those could be good.’ Of course the vegetarian tacos would be the same recipe as the lentil tacos, but it’s all about the delivery and the old saying of know your audience.
Some days my husband might as well be a 4 year old. With his ‘I don’t like that’ (without ever having tried it) and the ‘am I going to like that’ (to which my response is always the same ‘no, of course not…I only feed you stuff you’ll hate’) I begin to wonder why I even bother. That box of Hamburger Helper is going to end up in my cart and on his plate one day. I promise!
I have made vegetarian tacos before, and we both gobbled them up. While that recipe had a hint of the Mexican flavors you look for in a taco, it was still pretty avant garde for a taco. This taco, with its mixture of lentils and winter vegetables tends to be more along the lines of traditional flavors. In fact, with the different textures from the lentils, chard and roasted squash you even feel like you’re eating meat.
While Craig was expecting a dinner that was ‘taco like,’ he was blown away by how authentic these tasted for vegetarian tacos. The next night we rolled the mixture up into burritos. I even took some of the leftovers and made up a taco salad.
Of course, you’re really not going to fool anyone that you’re feeding them meat tacos (the green chard and orange squash squares kind of give it away), but you’ll definitely be able to get them to eat these healthier vegetarian tacos without getting much lip. That’s a win-win in my book.
- 1 Cup Dried Green or Brown Lentils
- 1 Acorn Squash
- 1 Bunch Swiss Chard
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 2 Tablespoons Taco Seasoning
- Rinse and pick through the lentils before adding them to the cooking pot.
- Add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20-30 minutes. (Make sure that the lentils are always covered with water.)
- When done, strain and set aside.
- While the lentils are cooking, peel and dice the squash to ½" pieces.
- Drop the diced squash into a shallow bowl and add ½" of water.
- Microwave the squash on High for 2-3 minutes or until the squash has just barely begun to soften.
- When squash is done, drain and set aside.
- While squash is cooking, roughly chop the swiss chard into bite size pieces.
- Add oil to a large skillet and heat over medium high heat.
- Once oil is hot, add the lentils and squash to the pan.
- Stir everything to keep it from sticking to the pan and burning.
- Once you see some browned edges on the squash, add a tablespoon or 2 of water. This should help to soften the squash a bit more.
- Stir in the taco seasoning along with ½ cup of water.
- Now add the chard to the pan.
- Keep stirring everything and cook until the pan is almost dry and the chard has wilted.
- Remove pan from heat.
- Serve the taco filling with all of your favorite things like cheese, salsa, avocado, onions, crema etc.
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