Smoky lentil and sweet potato tacos

RECIPE: Smoky lentil & sweet potato tacos

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Ready in under an hour this veggie take on tacos is vibrant, fun and perfect for a nutritious week night meal.

This recipe makes a hearty, bright and delicious vegetarian meal that shines its light on the little lentil, one of the best plant-based proteins and a great substitute for meat in any vegetarian or vegan recipe. 

Lentils are a wonderful source of fibre, protein, folate and iron. The fibre and protein contained within lentils are what makes them a great food for when you need to make your meals more sustaining, particularly if you are eating a mostly plant-based diet. 

These nutrients increase satiety, lower the glycemic load of the meal and fibre also assists your digestive system to function effectively.

The slow break down of lentils also gives you are more stable stream of energy, helping you stay on top of your mental and physical game throughout the day rather than giving yourself a high and a low as a result of consuming processed or highly refined foods. 

The iron and folate supports your energy as well as both nutrients being vital in creating strong and healthy blood cells that deliver oxygen and nutrients to other parts of the body. 

Everything for this recipe can be prepared in 45 minutes or so with most of the time being dedicated to your lentils cooking which makes it an easy recipe to add to the weekly meal rotation. 

These vegetarian tacos are a fun, vibrant and fresh way to get the nutrients you need using whole, natural and plant-based ingredients. 
 

Vegetarian, vegan option, gluten free

Serves 4

Ingredients

Lentil taco filling

  • 1 cup uncooked puy or French lentils, rinsed
  • 2 cups vegetable stock, gluten-free if needed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small brown onion, finely diced
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 small jalapeño, finely minced
  • 1 handful fresh coriander, minced, plus more for serving
  • 1 lime, juiced + 1 lime, cut into 8 wedges
  • 1 tbsp chipotle sauce

Sweet potato mash, taco toppings and shells

  • 3 cups sweet potato, peeled if preferred and cut into 2cm cubes
  • Ricotta or a vegan alternative
  • Wasabi pea, sunflower seed or other sprouts or microgreens
  • 8 corn tortillas, warmed

How to make

  • Place the puy lentils, vegetable stock and bay leaves into a saucepan and then place the saucepan on the stove over a high heat. Bring the lentil mixture to the boil, then cover with a lid or plate and turn the heat down to a gentle simmer. Leave to gently cook for 30-40 minutes* until the lentils are cooked through. Check the liquid throughout the cooking and top up slightly if needed
  • While the lentils are cooking, you can make your sweet potato mash. Fill a saucepan with enough water to cover your sweet potato cubes and place this on the stove to boil. Once boiling, add the sweet potato cubes, put the lid on the saucepan and turn the heat down to leave the sweet potato to gently simmer for 15 minutes. Once the sweet potato cubes are soft enough to mash, drain the water out and return the cubes to the pan. Roughly mash the sweet potato in the pan and season with salt and pepper to suit your taste. Set aside
  • Just before the lentils are done, add the finely diced onion to the frypan along with the olive oil, sea salt, smoked and sweet paprika and minced jalapeno. Place the frypan on the stove over a medium heat and stir everything together. When the lentils are ready, drain them and add them to the frypan, stirring everything gently for 5 minutes until everything smells fragrant and the onion is cooked. Once done, turn off the heat, add the minced coriander, lime juice and chipotle sauce and stir once more. Taste and season accordingly
  • To assemble your tacos, place a dollop of sweet potato mash on a warm tortilla as a base and then top with the lentils. Crumble over the ricotta or vegan alternative, add the sprouts and then garnish with extra coriander as well as salt and pepper. Serve immediately with a wedge of lime

Roberta's tips

  • Fresh lentils will take less time to cook than older, drier lentils so test them at the 30 minute mark and continue cooking for another 10 minutes if they are underdone
  • If you have leftovers, store the components separately in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 5 days

Roberta of Naturo Medico is a Naturopathic Practitioner who specialises in preventative care and women’s health. From her Melbourne-based clinic, Roberta sees women of all ages wanting to meet their own health goals and assists them on their path with personalised treatments specific to their needs.

Alongside practice, Roberta shares healthful and nutrient-rich recipes with her readers who inspire her to continue educating on what health and wellbeing means and how it can be achieved.

Follow @naturomedico on Instagram for more healthy eating inspiration!