Weeknight Cooking

Mushroom Lentil Tacos with Tahini Yogurt Sauce

August  4, 2014

For those nights when you get home hungry, stressed, and impatient, Hangry is here to help. Each Monday, Kendra Vaculin will share quick, exciting meals that anyone can make -- whether you're in your first apartment or feeding a hangry family.

Today: Feeling stressed? Grab a taco with one hand and a beer with the other.

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List of Things That Are Terrible, Item One: Moving. 

Moving is a horrible idea. Why do we do it? We are masochists. We should never move. We should leave college and settle into one home one time, and then be sedentary like rocks forever. 

I'm moving right now, and if you are curious about how it's going, I will tell you: not well. I have so much crap, and no idea where any of it came from, and somehow all of it is breakable. I'm fairly certain I'm going to arrive at my new apartment with boxes full of rubble.

Couple this with my inability to downsize, and we're really in for some fun. I happen to be moving pretty far this time -- so far that I have to take a plane -- and even though packing makes me want to shred all of my clothes out of rage, I will probably leave nothing behind. I pack 98% empty containers of Q-tips and plastic bags of almonds with 4 left in them. If I just ate a snack and cleaned my ears twice, this would not be a problem, but alas, that would only make space for more miscellaneous debris. Like the singular Band-Aid I tucked into a box this morning. So, this is where I’m at. I need a beer and some tacos.

More: In the mood for a cocktail instead? Here's the perfect shaker for your new digs.

These tacos are dinner for day 3 in your new apartment. Just as sweaty as the first two days, but with a little more of your shit together. You've gone grocery shopping, vowed to never step foot in an IKEA for the rest if your life, and located one pot and one pan. It's a kitchen inauguration dinner: not too fancy but also not from a box, something to eat with your hands, with leftovers to snack on out of the fridge tomorrow while you figure out where to store your towels. Godspeed.

Mushroom Lentil Tacos with Tahini Yogurt Sauce

For the filling:

1 cup cooked lentils
2 1/2 cups chopped mushrooms (I used a mix of farmers market shiitake and button mushrooms)
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
Olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
Salt and pepper
Pinch paprika

For the sauce and assembly:

1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup tahini
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 individual container Greek yogurt (6 ounces)
Salt and pepper
2 big handfuls of arugula
6 tortillas, or other vessels (I had tortillas, so these are "tacos." Were you to use pita, maybe these would be mushroom lentil pita sandwiches. All good. They just have to be structurally sound and portable. Stuffable, foldable, bite-able, on sale at Trader Joe's, whatever.)

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by James Ransom

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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    Kendra Vaculin
A fan of female driven comedies, a good beat, your hair today, and making foods for friends.


J March 9, 2015
I am not moving ever till I die, because I can't part with all the recipes I am saving that I know I'll try sometime because they sound so good. Help! I am getting a reputation for being a good cook and,,,These tacos are already printed out for tomorrow,,,
Nancy F. August 7, 2014
I think you have been living my life for the past week. I think I have 20 boxes of breakable kitchen stuff, 20 boxes of stuff that has no purpose or place, and several boxes of papers dating back to circa 1990. Why can't I just throw out anything with more than 1/2 inch of dust on it?
Jayda B. August 4, 2014
I sympathize with your moving pains- I'm suffering through the same agony. Who bought all this stuff? Why do I have years worth of Vegetarian Times and Cooking light? Do I really need so many tank tops?

I swear I'm never ever buying anything again.

Also these tacos sound divine!
Kendra V. August 4, 2014
one HUGE box full of issue upon issue of bon appetit, lucky peach, cooking light...i totally feel ya.