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Smoky Lentil Tacos with Kabocha Squash & Green Tomato Salsa

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Prepare for a smoky dinner that is filled to the brim with robust flavors. Note that you will not be smoking while eating; rather, the spices and cooking techniques in this recipe work to achieve smoky flavors in the various components of the tacos.

smoky-lentil-squash-tacos
  • Prep Time: 15m
  • Cook Time: 35m
  • Total Time: 50m

Ingredients

For the Tacos

  • 8 crunchy taco shells (or soft tortillas that your warm in a pan)
  • 1/2 c fresh cilantro, chopped

For the Green Salsa

  • 2 very firm, green tomatoes (medium-size), diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp. cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 lime, zested & juiced
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste

For the Smoky Lentils

  • 2 c strong smoky tea (I used 3 bags of Lapsang Souchong, but you can also use Russian Caravan, stronger tea = smokier lentils)
  • 1 c red lentils
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. smoked sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper

For the Kabocha Squash

  • 1/2 kabocha squash, cubed and de-seeded
  • 1 part coriander powder
  • 1 part garlic powder
  • 1 part sea salt
  • 1 part chili powder
  • 2 parts cumin powder

Instructions

For the Green Tomato Salsa

  1. Add all of the ingredients to a mixing bowl and mix well to combine the flavors. Taste and season with sea salt and pepper if necessary. Cover and place in the fridge while you make the other components of the recipe.

For the Smoky Lentils

  1. Brew the tea by boiling 2 cups of water and then pouring it into a bowl or large mug with the tea bags. Allow the tea to steep for about 4 minutes and then remove the tea bags.
  2. Pour the tea and lentils into a medium saucepan and bring the tea to a boil. Reduce the heat to a low flame and simmer until the lentils absorb the tea (about 20-30 minutes.
  3. Pour the lentils into a bowl and set aside. In that same pot over medium heat, warm the olive oil for 30 seconds before adding the diced onions. Saute until the onions are translucent.
  4. Add the lentils back into the pot with the onions and season with season with paprika, cumin, smoked sea salt, and pepper. Stir and cook for an additional two minutes to let the lentils absorb the flavors. Remove from heat and set aside.

For the Kabocha Squash

  1. While the lentils are simmering, warm about one tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan. While the oil is warming, season the squash heavily with the spices and then add them to the pan.
  2. Cook for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. You can cover the pan to allow the squash to steam and cook more evenly. Remove from the heat when the squash cubes are fork tender.

Taco Assembly

  1. Remove the Green Tomato Salsa from the fridge.
  2. Spoon some lentils and squash into each taco shell and scoop your desired amount of the salsa over the taco. Top with freshly chopped cilantro and enjoy!
2019-05-02T16:01:35+00:00