Sure it’s not Tuesday, but tacos are too good to have only one day a week dedicated to them, right?! Last week, I was pretty excited about having them for lunch leftovers two days in a row and love this new tres taco meat I whipped up featuring walnuts, chickpeas and lentils. It’s a tres-fecta of plant-based protein.
In keeping with weeknights, which typically are busy for many of us, this recipe is simple and requires quick heating or none at all in case you prepare the ingredients ahead of time.
Let me walk you through this recipe with that busy schedule in mind…
- The night before, put the walnuts and water in a bowl, cover and place in the fridge.
- Also, go ahead and cook those lentils (and while they’re cooking, you can tidy up from dinner, put away some laundry, help your kids with homework, read to them or just put up your feet for a well-deserved rest)
- If you plan on serving guacamole, you’ll want to mix up it up just before you serve it.
- The morning of…chop up some lettuce, tomatoes and any other fresh topping that won’t spoil and store in separate airtight bags or containers. Have your salsa chilling in the fridge too and set out your spices for the tres taco “meat.”
- Dinnertime prep…prepare the tres taco meat according to the directions. If you want the taco meat warmed, add it to a saucepan with a some salsa and gently warm it over medium-high heat which takes less than 5 minutes. If your children are old enough, they can help set out the toppings while you do this!
- If you’re making the guac…pull out the bowl with some the prepared ingredients, add the lime juice and then the avocado and mash away.
There you go. Dinner reading in one, two, tres!
Before we get to the recipe, I have a little something extra for you…
How would you like my favorite go-to guacamole recipe, and top three guac-tips which include cutting the fat but not the flavor, how to make it easier to prep on busy weeknights PLUS the secret ingredient I like to pair it with delivered right to your inbox? You would! Super! Just click this link to receive your FREE printable guacamole recipe + tip sheet.
This plant-protein packed taco "meat." featuring lentils, chickpeas and walnuts is simple to prepare and even with a little extra prep step. The lentils and chickpeas also keep it budget friendly. When combined with crisp organic taco shells and a few simple topping, weeknight dinners come together in one, two, tres!
- 3/4 cups walnuts, soaked 6 hours or overnight
- 1/3 cup uncooked lentils
- 2/3 cup cooked chickpeas
- 2 tbsp chiii powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup salsa or 1 medium tomato
- lettuce, chopped fine
- tomatoes, diced fine
- sugar free salsa*
- jalapeno peppers
Put the walnuts in a bowl with enough water to cover them completely and place in the fridge for at least 6 hours to overnight.
Either the night before or at least 1 one before you want to make your taco meat, cook the lentils according to package directions.
In the meantime, prepare the other taco toppings. I recommend making the guacamole just before you're ready to eat it to minimize the oxidation.
When you're ready to make the taco meat, drain the walnuts and rinse, then add to a food processor along with the remaining taco meat ingredients. If you want to warm the taco meat, add to a medium saucepan along with some salsa and heat over medium-high for about 5 minutes.
Assemble and enjoy!
*I usually buy Tostitos or Old El Paso salsa, but you can buy any kind that is free of sugar (read the ingredients to be sure!)
*I love Jeff's Natural's jalapeno peppers because they're free of some of the additives and dyes typically found in most prepared jalapeno pepper brands.
(contains affiliate links which help fund this blog at no cost to you 🙂 )
- Click here for my favorite food processor
- I usually buy my taco shells at Trader Joe’s because they are organic which you can get online here!
- I love Jeff’s Natural’s jalepeno peppers which are free from the usual additives and dyes found on store shelves. I find mine at Whole Foods Market, but you also can get them here.