Our journey towards eating mostly grass-fed meats has forced me to get more creative with my dinner planning, as I mentioned in my post on beans. We love eating grass-fed meats, but they are a bit more expensive and not always as convenient as conventionally-rasied meat. With all of the venison that we have in our freezer, it's not often that I'm in need or want of beef. However, I do sometimes find myself missing ground beef. (We've been planning to grind venison, but don't have a grinder and just haven't gotten around to borrowing one...) One of the things that I often used to use ground beef for was tacos. I love making tacos. I could eat them on a regular basis and probably not get bored. So, when I found this recipe for Spiced Lentil Tacos, I decided to try it and ended up falling in love! It's so yummy, so cheap, and so easy!
I now use that basic recipe in place of taco meat when I'm out of good beef or want to make a cheap meal. Basically, you cook the lentils kind of like you would taco meat. Sauté some onions and garlic in oil, add the dry lentils, add the taco seasoning, add some broth and let simmer until lentils are soft, mash them up a bit, and ta-da!!
Also, on the note of taco seasoning....I haven't bought a packet of store-bought seasoning in years. I find that it's a lot easier to whip together some tacos if I just use the seasonings I have on hand. It's also much cheaper and there are no mystery ingredients!
Taco Seasoning Recipe (approximation would be better word....)
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp dried basil
hot spices, if you so desire, such as red pepper flakes, Tabasco, Siracha, jalapeños, chilies, etc.
This recipe is for a one pound batch of taco meat or lentils. I always cook my meat or lentils with a chopped onion and some garlic to add flavor. I also never really measure the proportions listed above, I just kind of guess. Make it your own, experiment with the mixture. Have fun with it!