I have never met someone who dislikes tacos. If you are that person then stay far, far away from me so I can live in this blissful bubble where certain foods are universally loved. Like tacos, pizza (no cheese, please!), and waffles. Tacos are so customizable, too! The anatomy of a taco is: a well-seasoned filling, inside some sort of open-top vehicle, with fresh toppings and a little acid. So let’s toss out the sad, pre-made beef crumbles with packaged taco seasoning and over processed cheese toppings in stale corn tortilla shells (I’m looking at you, depressing Old El Paso products) and make something fresh and festive and summery!
These hot summer days have me reminiscing about last year’s summer when I tried to grow my own vegetables on a pathetic little balcony. Throwback Instagram picture:
Check out that filter. Oh man. I was SO excited to be all sustainable and grow my own food. And then all I got was 2 micro bell peppers before some bugs came and ATE EVERYTHING. I didn’t think to protect my plants because I was all crunchy and organic (I still am, but even organic farms use organic pesticides..!! Lesson learned). The saddest loss was my little radicchios that were only days away from being picked. So I will pour one out for you little guys and turn your brethren into these yummy tacos.
Ok, I also picked radicchio because I am shallow and think the leaves are a ridiculously beautiful colour. Plus the size is perrrrrrfect for tacos. The only downside of using radicchio is that the leaves are a bit bitter. But, if you must, you can use red cabbage or some other leafy thing. The filling is really what this is all about and I definitely use the same spice combination on different dishes like beans, potatoes, tofu, and whatever else you want to taste like tacos! I bet this would also be a great spice combo for veggie burgers, too! Mmmm I’m getting some great ideas for the next BBQ I need to cater for myself.
So spicy… Actually, it’s fairly mild but adding more cayenne will kick it up a notch!
Tacos x 3
Tacos, tacos, tacos!
I topped these bad boys with an herby tofu sour cream (recipe below!!), some store-bought salsa, and a couple arugula leaves (because.. contrast). I also highly recommend guacamole because everything is better with avocado.. but I didn’t have any on hand. Next time! Pair it with your favourite (vegan) summer beer, margarita, or whatever helps you keep cool in this heat!
Red Lentil Radicchio Tacos
Makes about 12 tacos. 40 minutes.
For the Lentils
- 2/3 c dried red lentils, rinsed
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 t vegetable oil
- 2 cups vegetable bouillon
- 2 T chilli powder
- 1 T cumin
- 1 t garlic powder
- 1/2 t cayenne pepper
- 1/4 t ground oregano
- 1 T corn starch
Herby Sour Tofu Cream
- 1/3 carton firm silken tofu (about 4 oz.)
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 chives
- 1 T parsley or cilantro
- salt, to taste
- pinch of cayenne
- 1 radicchio, leaves separated (cut off the bottom and gently pull the leaves from the base)
- Your favourite salsa!
- Heat vegetable oil in a large pan and cook onion until soft (while it’s cooking I mixed my taco seasoning, just throw all the spices in a bowl and mix until combined). Add lentils and stir until coated with oil.
- Add vegetable broth and taco seasoning. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer for about 25 minutes or until the lentils are soft. Add water (1/4 c at a time) if the liquid gets too thick. Stir occasionally to keep it from sticking!
- While the lentils are cooking combine the ingredients for the sour cream using a food processor or blender. If you don’t have a food processor, you can just mash it up with a fork really well but it won’t be perfectly smooth. (I also prepped the radicchio leaves while the lentils were cooking too! So efficient!).
- Assemble the tacos and enjoy!