Day 27 of vegan recipe challenge: it’s time for Taco Tuesday

Plug (and not shameless) for The Lego Movie, which recently was snubbed by the Academy in this year’s Oscar animated movie nominations. This is one of the 3,409,340 movies I watched over Christmas (also known as 7 in my frame of reference), and I really, truly enjoyed it. So watch it, and say: everything is awesome. Which you will. Because it will be stuck in your head. (If you would like to remove that song from your head, I would recommend watching Frozen…so you can…let it gooooo…let it go.)

Back to taco Tuesday: no picture of these beautiful tacos because – tacos don’t last long enough in this house for their photoshoot.Fortunately, Isa and her crew at PPK also shared this recipe on their blog:

Ancho-Lentil Tacos (photo by IsaChandra)

This is also found in the Isa Does It cookbook (am I starting to sound like a broken record?) and one that is fast, tasty, and taco-riffic. For the times I have made this recipe, I have cooked up my lentils the night before. You can make them prior to starting the rest of this dish, or, if you’re in a pinch, you can purchase cooked lentils from the store. Canned lentils may throw off the salt balance, so be warned if you go that route. You can often find cooked lentils in either the produce or healthy foods sections.

Ancho-Lentil Tacos
Serves 6
Total time: 20 minutes; Active time: 20 minutes

For the Ancho Spice Mix:
2 teaspoons ground ancho chili
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the lentils:
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small yellow onion. minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch of salt
2 1/2 cups cooked brown lentils
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons hot sauce (Isa recommends Cholula; I used Frank’s)

For serving:
Corn tortillas
Shredded lettuce
Salsa
Slice avocado or guacamole
Whatever else you like on your tacos

Prepare the spice mix: Put ingredients for spice mix together, Boom goes the dynamite.

Prepare the lentils:
Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. Keep a cup of water within reach; you’ll need to add splashes as you cook. Saute the onion and garlic in the oil with a pinch of salt for about 3 minutes, until lightly browned. Add the spice mix and toss for 30 seconds or so to roast.

Lower the heat to medium, and add the lentils, a few splashes of water, the tomato paste, and hot sauce; use a spatula to mash the lentils a bit as they cook, until they hold together. If your spatula isn’t working to accomplish this, just use a fork. Do this for about 5 minutes, adding splashes of water as necessary if it appears dry. Taste for seasoning; you may want to add more spices or hot sauce.

To assemble:
Lightly toast the tortillas in a dry pan, if desired, or microwave briefly just to warm through. Stuff with filling and fixings and then stuff face.

Taco Tuesday doesn’t just have to be on Tuesdays. Because today is Wednesday. And that makes this recipe taste even better. And, because:

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