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Lentils Tacos with Lime Crema


(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

Several of my readers have recently asked me to create more vegetarian dishes.

As one who enjoys a challenge, I ventured out to try a completely new dish, and to my surprise, I found lentils to be a wonderful substitute to meat, not to mention an excellent source of protein.


Some fantastic benefits that lentils bring include: lowers cholesterol, heart & digestive health, stabilizes blood sugar, increases energy and promotes weight loss.

What better and fun way to enjoy lentils than with tacos? Add some fresh pico de gallo topping, sharp cheddar cheese blend and freshly made lime crema and you will have a truly delicioso meal.


Let’s get cooking!


Menu:

Lentils tacos with lime crema & pico de gallo


Wine pairing:

2017 - Bodegas San Isidro “Rumor“

Old Vine Monastrell/Mourvèdre

(Jumilla, Murcia, D.O. - Jumilla, Spain)


Serves 4


Ingredients

Tacos:

  • 12 Soft corn tortillas (3 per serving)

  • 1 cup of dried lentils, rinsed

  • 1 tablespoon of grape seed oil (olive oil can also be used)

  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced

  • 1 tablespoon of chili powder

  • 1/2 tablespoon of cayenne pepper

  • 1 tablespoon of dried oregano

  • 2 1/2 cups of vegetable stock

  • 1/4 cup of red wine

  • 1/2 cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese blend


Lime Crema:

  • 3/4 cups of sour cream or Central American style cream (crema)

  • 2 teaspoons of minced garlic

  • Juice and zest of 1 lime

  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt


Pico de Gallo:

  • 1 medium-sized yellow onion, finely chopped

  • 1 large tomato, seeded and cut in small cubes

  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

  • Juice of one lime


Garnish:

  • shredded lettuce (approx 1/4 cup per serving)

  • lime wedges (2 per serving)

  • fresh cilantro or parsley leaves (approx 2-3 leaves per serving)

Directions

Lentils:

  • In a large nonstick skillet or pot, heat oil over medium heat; saute onion and garlic until tender. Add lentils and seasonings; cook and stir 1 minute. Stir in broth; bring to a boil. Add wine.

  • Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until lentils are tender, 25-30 minutes.

  • Cook, uncovered, until mixture is thickened, 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mash lentils slightly.


Tacos:

  • warm corn tortillas in oven.


Lime Crema:

  • Whisk sour cream, garlic, salt, lime zest and lime juice in a small bowl.

  • Cover bowl and refrigerate until serving.


Pico de Gallo:

  • Mix onions, tomatoes, cilantro and lime in a small bowl. Set aside.


Garnishes:

  • Place shredded lettuce, lime wedges and cilantro leaves on a large plate and set aside until it is time for plating (refer to ingredients section for exact garnish measurements).

Serve it up! On each individual plate, arrange a small nest of shredded lettuce on one side the plate. Scoop a tablespoon or two of pico de gallo on top of the lettuce.

Next to the lettuce and pico de gallo, place a few leaves of cilantro (or parsley). Place lime wedges between the lettuce and cilantro (or parsley).


Prepare three soft corn tortillas tacos by scooping on each: 3 tablespoons of lentils, 1 tablespoon of shredded cheese, and top off by drizzling the lime crema. Place tacos on plate next to garnishes.


*The lettuce/pico de gallo/cilantro garnish can be added on top of tacos after serving and the lime wedges can be squeezed on top right before eating.

Buen provecho! Enjoy!

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)


(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)


(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

About the wine...

Special thanks to my friends at VinAmericas for their wonderful contribution of this intensely aromatic Monastrell wine that paired wonderfully with the tacos.


VINAMERICAS is a national fine wine import company headquartered in Miami with warehousing facilities in New Jersey, California, South Florida, and Europe (Spain).

Their ever-growing curated portfolio includes over 100 wines from 35 high-quality family wineries from Spain, France, Chile, Argentina and South Africa.

2017 - Bodegas San Isidro “Rumor“

Old Vine Monastrell/Mourvèdre

(Jumilla, Murcia, D.O. - Jumilla, Spain)

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)


Bodegas San Isidro was founded in 1934 in some of the darkest days of the Spanish civil war.


The survival of the winery to become one of the largest in the region by 1966 is a testament to the quality and determination of its winemakers to make outstanding wines at great values.


The winery specializes in crafting wines from the Monastrell grape (Mourvèdre) and has the largest acreage of pre-phylloxera vineyards in the world.


Grapes: 100% Monastrell (Mourvèdre) from old vines.


Taste: An Intense red cherry color. Aromas of ripe raspberries, plum and black berries with violets in the background. A sweet sensation delivered by the grapes’ perfect ripeness, elegant tannins, long persistent and very pleasant velvety finish.


Food pairing: Pairs with grilled meats, BBQ, and stews.


For more information on this wine and VinAmericas, visit: https://www.vinamericas.com/product-page/rumor-old-vine-monastrell

&

https://www.vinamericas.com


Decorative wine drip collar by: https://dripstosips.com

(Special discount promo code: CFW15)


(Photo: Alison Joslyn)




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