Dining & Wine

Lentil and Walnut Tacos With Turmeric Pickled Onions and Corn and Avocado Salsa (Recipe!)

January 17, 2020

From Desiree Nielsen’s Eat More Plants cookbook: "Every once in a while, you happen on a seemingly simple arrangement of ingredients that turns into a mind-blowing meal. High in fibre and healthy fats, these tacos are insanely flavourful and quick to prepare. They come together in 15 minutes if you have already made the pickled onions and lentils or in 40 minutes if you want to do it all on the fly. Trust me, you want to make the pickled onions! These onions, with their prebiotic fibres and anti-inflammatory sulphur-based com- pounds, become almost delicate in flavour and very addictive. You will never have a reason to skip taco Tuesday again." Serves 4.


Turmeric Pickled Onions:
1 sweet yellow onion, thinly sliced on a mandolin
1/2 cup (125 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 3 juicy lemons)
1-1/2 teaspoons (7 mL) salt
1 teaspoon (5 mL) cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) ground turmeric

Corn and Avocado Salsa:
2 cups (500 mL) fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels
2 avocados, pitted, peeled, and diced
1 cup (250 mL) lightly packed chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup (60 mL) freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) salt

Lentil and Walnut Filling:
2 tablespoons (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon (5 mL) dried oregano
1 teaspoon (5 mL) dried cumin
1 teaspoon (5 mL) chili powder
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) sweet paprika
2 cups (500 mL) cooked French lentils
1 cup (250 mL) finely chopped raw walnuts
1/2 cup (125 mL) water
1 tablespoon (15 mL) tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) salt (omit if using salted canned lentils)

For Serving:
8 small corn tortillas (or Bibb lettuce or large collard leaves)

Make the Turmeric Pickled Onions Add the onion, lemon juice, salt, sugar, and turmeric to a 1-quart (1 L) mason jar. Place the lid on tightly and shake. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour. you can store the pickled onions in the fridge for up to 1 week. Make the Corn and Avocado Salsa in a medium bowl, add the corn, avocado, cilantro, lime juice, jalapeño, and salt and stir to combine. Make the Lentil and Walnut Filling in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring often, for 1 minute. Add the oregano, cumin, chili powder, and paprika and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the lentils, walnuts, water, tomato paste, and salt (if using) and simmer for 5 minutes. To serve, fill the tortillas with the Lentil and Walnut filling, then top with Turmeric Pickled Onions and Corn and Avocado Salsa. Need to make this a 10-minute meal? Serve the Lentil and Walnut filling with pre-shredded cabbage and store- bought salsa.

Excerpted from Eat More Plants by Desiree Nielsen. Copyright © 2019 by Desiree Nielsen. Published by Penguin an imprint of Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.


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