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Vegan Lentil Walnut Tacos for Game Day (and Every Day After That)

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Every other Thursday, Gena Hamshaw of the blog Choosing Raw shares satisfying, flavorful recipes that also happen to be vegan.

Today: Who says you need meat to make game day-worthy tacos? This vegan version is easy to make ahead (or make at the last minute), and it's accompanied with a cabbage slaw you'll want to eat on its own.

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Traditional tacos these are not. For one thing, they’re vegan. For another, once you've boiled the lentils, the filling requires no additional cooking at all -- not a single swirl in your skillet. It’s a delicious, easy-to-prepare crumble made from cooked and cooled lentils, ground walnuts, spices, and sun-dried tomatoes, and if you ask me, it’s a pretty ingenious plant-based spin on taco "meat." The crumble isn’t only good for tacos: It’s also great in stir-fries and breakfast scrambles, or sprinkled on top of salads.

These tacos are all about contrast: The crumbly taco mixture is topped with crispy, cooling red cabbage slaw. The slaw is a little sweet, a little spicy (thanks to chopped poblano chile and a sprinkling of red pepper flakes), and freshened with the additions of cilantro and lime juice. 

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I love this dish because you can prepare most of it from your pantry and because it’ll help you to put your extra heads of CSA cabbage to use. I also love it because you can throw it together for a last-minute game day get-together or potluck, and even the pickiest meat eaters will be impressed by the bold flavors and texture. 

Easy Lentil Walnut Tacos with Cabbage Lime Slaw 

Serves 6

1 1/4 cups walnuts, toasted
1 1/2 cups cooked brown lentils
1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
1/2 cup roughly chopped, tightly packed oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
A few tablespoons water
2 cups green cabbage, thinly sliced and tightly packed
2 cups red cabbage, thinly sliced and tightly packed
2 scallions, light green and white parts only, chopped
1 poblano pepper, sliced in half crosswise, seeds removed, and finely diced
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 small clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons agave or maple syrup
Dash red pepper flakes (or to taste)
8 corn taco shells or tortillas, warmed

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

Photos by Bobbi Lin

Choosing RawGena's new book Choosing Raw: Making Raw Foods Part of the Way You Eat is a thorough, relatable guide to incorporating raw and vegan foods into any diet. It's full of no-fuss recipes for every meal, which range from fully raw to mostly cooked, with plenty of snacks and desserts to keep everyone happy.


Tags: vegan, healthy, tacos, the new veganism, weeknight cooking, easy, simple, gena hamshaw, choosing raw, super bowl, football