Recipe: Lentil Tacos & a Night in the Cemetery

Last night, my boyfriend, my sister, her husband and I all went to a screening of The Addams Family at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. I hadn’t been to see a movie at the cemetery in nearly two years, so the trip was long overdue. It’s the perfect thing to do on a warm summer night in LA- laying on blankets on the grass and watching one of our favorite childhood movies. No movie in the cemetery is complete without a picnic, and ours was fantastic.

I made lentil tacos for the movie, they’re perfect for picnicking because every ingredient can be individually packed and assembled later on. They were excellent- just a little spicy with bold flavor and perfect texture. My brother-in-law even said the taco ‘meat’ tasted and smelled just like the the kind his grandma used to make for him, which is very high praise for this recipe. (Considering both my boyfriend and my sister’s husband are just about the pickiest eaters I know.)

The recipe for the taco meat was something I adapted from one of Isa Chandra’s recipes in ‘Isa Does It’; the Ancho-Lentil Tacos. I intended to make her recipe verbatim, but couldn’t find a few of the ingredients it called for, so I ended up altering the spice mix a lot. I love the way this dish came out, though! The lentils are soft and flavorful, and since the recipe calls to mash them, they have more of a meaty texture.
Only takes about 20 minutes to prepare and serves six.

Here’s what you need:

For the lentils:
2 1/2 cups cooked brown lentils
1 small onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp olive oil
3 tbsp The Wizard’s Organic Hot Stuff*

For the spice mix:
2 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp Himalayan salt
Sprinkle of BRAGG Sea Kelp Seasoning

Here’s what you do:

Combine all ingredients for the spice mix.

Preheat a skillet over medium high, pour in the oil and sauté the onion and garlic until slightly browned- about three minutes. Add the spice mix and toss to coat.

Lower the heat, add the lentils, a splash or two of water, tomato paste, and hot sauce; use a spatula to mash the lentils as they cook, until they hold together. This should take about five minutes; add a few more splashes of water if they get too dry.

Serve with sliced avocado or homemade guacamole, salsa and chopped lettuce on a toasted tortilla.

So easy and perfect for leftovers. The lentils reheat well and can be served warm or cold.


Check out the rest of the movies screening at Hollywood Forever Cemetery this summer.


*(My favorite hot sauce- all flavor and easy on the heat. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE spicy food, but considering the people who were going to be eating these tacos, I wanted to keep the spiciness to a minimum. Feel free to use your favorite brand of hot sauce in it’s place if you’d prefer.)

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