A REAL Checkup – Spicy Lentil Tacos

So it’s time to check in again and see how “real” I’ve been keeping things.  I believe the last time we did this little self check-up was back in June.  Can you believe I have stuck with this blog thing for almost SIX months now?  I can’t.

So back in June I felt good overall about the meals we were eating, but didn’t give myself such a great grade on the snacks front or in the dessert arena.

Summer brought some interesting snack experimentation.  If you joined me for any of those posts, we tried Carrot Protein Breakfast Bars, Apple Peach Fruit Leathers, Cranberry Pistachio Energy Bites, Baked Oatmeal Bars, and a few others.  Some of these I’ve added to my reappearing snack repertoire.  My other big decision?  I just quit buying the stuff I would turn to when we needed to grab something on-the-go.  And you know what?  If you don’t have it, you can’t grab it.  Ha!  How profound is that?!  Seriously though, I found that if I don’t buy it, they’ll just grab something else that we DO have (meaning a fruit, a veggie, some nuts, cheese, or a yogurt).

I wish I could say we had improved on the dessert front, but NOPE!  Baking is just too fun.  And during the summer we turned that notch way up.  In fact, just tonight I dished up a number that I can’t wait to tell you about.  But I’ll have to save that for another post.  Just think . . . grapes and cake.  Ok – enough said.

So our snacking habits have taken a step forward and let’s just say our dessert dilemma remains status quo.  If you remember back in July, I was all about advocating the baby step approach.  I even (at the risk of sounding bossy . . .. pfffff, I’ve tried to deny that accusation my whole life) gave 5 suggested steps you could take toward eating a more “real” diet.

I figured since no one sent me any threatening e-mails after those suggestions, that as we enter into the fall, I would go out on a limb and give a few more suggestions.  So here goes.

1) Buy what you will eat for the next 5-7 days (specifically stuff that will go bad after that time window) and nothing more.  Don’t shop again until you are literally out of food.  Real food, because it is actually real, will go bad.  Stuff you can stock up on (with a few exceptions, of course) is generally not real food.  Try to adopt this cycle of shop, consume, shop again.  Try to ditch the cycle of shop, store up, consume a little, shop some more, consume, store up, etc.

2) Consider a CSA program.  I recently decided to get a weekly delivery from Abundant Harvest Organics.  I can’t tell you how much I LOVE it.  First of all, it totally accomplishes what I suggested in #1 above.  Our little box arrives and I know exactly what I have to make my meals out of for the next 5 – 7 days.  It can also expose you to new fruits and veggies you may not be friends with yet, and expand your recipe and meal options.

3) The post-it plan.  Research says it takes about 21 days to acquire a habit.  Take 21 post-it notes and number them 1 – 21.  Display them (in a line) in a prominent place in your kitchen.  Start with a specific meal.  I would recommend dinner.  For every evening that you eat a dinner of real food, pull a post-it from your line, starting with the number 1.  By the time you remove post-it number 21, you may be surprised at how much more real your meals have become.

So go ahead and give these a whirl.  I’ll check back in around winter time to see how things are moving along – baby  step by baby step.  In the meantime, let me introduce you to some Spicy Lentil Tacos.  Good for you, fast, and easy peasy lemon squeezey.

I started by sauteeing up some onion with some olive oil, garlic, and salt.  I rinsed my lentils (green ones in this case because I was out of brown) and drained them.  Then I added them to the onion sautee mixture along with a packet of taco seasoning.  I like the Trader Joe’s taco seasoning, although it tends on the spicy side.  If you have little mouths that are sensitive to spice  to feed, I would recommend only using half a packet.

Lentil tacos - 2

I let that mixture cook for about a minute just to blend the flavors and then I added in some veggie broth.

Lentil tacos - 3

I covered things and turned down my heat to simmer.  I simmered until the liquid was mostly absorbed – about 30 minutes.

Lentil tacos - 4

I set everything out “taco buffet” style (shells, cheese, sour cream, lettuce, cilantro, lime, salsa & rice), and let the troops have at it.  As usual, they loved assembling their own deal and hence, not a complaint around the table.

Lentil tacos - 9

Interested in knowing more about my friend, the lentil?  This site is bursting with helpful info.

Here’s the complete recipe for Spicy Lentil Tacos, adapted from Epicurious.

And finally, some other good lentil recipes for your perusing pleasure:

4 responses

  1. That’s what we called poor man’s taco’s, when we didn’t have meat,we used pootates as a filler. Diced pootates, boiled in salted water, then use masher but gently, you want some chunks and lumps, add pepper, bit of butter not too much.You can put cheese, queso fresco, sour cream, chopped up red onions, cilantro, white onions, avocado’s,diced jalapeno’s,diced radishes .Endless possibilities

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