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Smoky Lentil Tacos with Kabocha Squash & Green Tomato Salsa



  • Smoky Lentil Tacos: Recommended taco accoutrements
  • Pan Fried tacos shells from fresh corn tortillas
  • Lime-y sour cream (vegan sour cream with lime zest)
  • Vegan feta cheese or Queso Fresco, chopped
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Extra jalapenos
  • Smoky lentils (recipe below)
  • Spiced squash (recipe below)
  • Green Tomato Salsa (recipe below)
  • A small amount of Green Tomato Salsa:
  • 2 very firm, green tomatoes (medium-ish)
  • 2 small cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 TB finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 lime, zested & juiced (I use the zest in my sour cream)
  • 1/4 ts roasted, ground cumin seeds (more if you really like cumin)
  • Sea Salt & Pepper
  • Smoky Lentil for Tacos: 
  • 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 black lentils
  • 2 TB extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1/4 -1/2 ts Spanish smoked paprika
  • 1/2 ts toasted cumin seeds, ground
  • 1/4 -1/2 ts smoked sea salt
  • 1/8 ts black pepper
  • Spiced Kabocha Squash: 
  • 1 part coriander powder
  • 1 part garlic powder
  • 1 part sea salt
  • 1 part chili powder
  • 2 parts cumin powder


  1. Green Tomato Salsa
  2. 1. Taste the jalapeno for heat – if it’s too hot, you should remove the seeds and set them aside. You can always add them back in later. Mince the jalapeno flesh.
  3. 2. Chop 1 tomato coarsely and 1 tomato very fine – be sure to reserve the juices by halving and de-seeding into a bowl. This will ensure that you get a chunky salsa that’s very juicy. You can make it all finely chopped if you like a smoother salsa but I like it both ways so I do different cuts.
  4. 3. Mix the tomatoes with the cilantro, shallots, garlic, lime juice, cumin, and the jalapenos (be careful to add the jalapenos a bit at a time).
  5. 4. Salt and Pepper your salsa to taste. Set aside. The salt will help the tomatoes release their juices and the time will allow the cumin and flavors to meld.
  6. Smoky Lentils
  7. 1. Brew the tea by heating up 2 cups of hot water and allow to steep for about 4 minutes. Bring the tea and lentils to a boil and then allow to simmer until the lentils have absorbed the tea. 20-30 minutes
  8. 2. Remove the lentils from the pot and heat oil in the same pot. Saute the onions until clear. Add cumin and smoked paprika and cook for another minute. Add lentils back into the pot and mix well until lentils are heated. Salt and pepper to taste. I will say that I added 1/4 ts and it was not enough. Make it saltier than you normally would. The lentils are balanced by a salsa and sour cream so don’t be afraid to salt them.
  9. * Smoke the lentils after they are cooked, otherwise you will lose their flavors in the cooking process. Serve immediately. 
  10. Spiced Kabocha Squash
  11. You can eat Kabocha skin, that’s why I use them all the time, but if you have a few slices of butternut, toss them in. Roast or cook squash on the skillet with a heavy dose of this spice rub. Don’t be afraid to char it a bit. Roast 30 minutes in a 400F oven.
  12. * You can also use nopales, poblanos, or probably even okras. Just whatever’s in season…