Each week, I try to include a couple of nights where we eat vegetarian meals. It’s good for your health not to eat meat every day (unlike the Standard American Diet!), and especially after watching Food, Inc. again recently with the kids (we felt like they needed a refresher on why we make certain choices), I was craving some meatless meals myself. Not to mention, meat is a big ticket item, so it’s great for your budget to skip out on occasion as well!
So, when I was at a loss for what yummy meatless dinner options to add to our upcoming dinner plan, I decided that might mean it’s time to come up with a tasty new recipe to enjoy (and share!). Plus who doesn’t like tacos?! :) Hopefully, this vegetarian version is filling and flavorful enough that even your biggest carnivores won’t notice anything’s missing.
I went with Queso Fresco (crumbly Mexican cheese) in the picture, but this dish is tasty with Parmesan as well. If you have trouble finding Queso Fresco you can ask to buy a little container from a local Mexican restaurant (this has worked for us!). For the longest time we thought our local grocery chain here in NC (Harris Teeter) didn’t carry it, but come to find out, it’s for some reason located in the deli meat section—not the cheese section. Anyway, just some tips if you need help figuring out what cheese to use for this dinner.
Sponsor Shoutout: Grassland Dairy
I’m a big fan of butter and used some in this recipe to add flavor; it did not disappoint! I’ve been partnering with Grassland Butter this year because they’re now offering a better choice for butter with their new Non-GMO Project-Verified certification. Here’s what that means:
- The absence of GMOs from seed to feed to table, for verified products
- Made from milk from cows not treated with rBST hormones
Grassland Butter is made by The Wuethrich (pronounced “wee-trick”) Family and has been a family-owned company for 115 years! Their new Non-GMO line includes Grassland quarters and spreadables (unsalted and salted), in addition to Wuthrich European Style Butter (83% butterfat), which is great baking butter, and South Isle Grass Fed Butter, both of which are coming soon. Grassland Butter is just being introduced now in parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland, but plans to make it available nationally are coming next. Find Grassland Butter at a store near you and check out this chocolate cupcake recipe that I also put together in partnership with them.
Lentil and Mushroom Tacos
- 3 tablespoons butter I used Grassland
- 1/2 onion minced
- 1/2 jalapeno seeded and minced
- 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms stems removed/discarded and sliced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 3/4 cup green lentils rinsed and picked over
- 3 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth if you are not strictly vegetarian
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- salt & pepper to taste
- Melt the butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and jalapeno, and cook until the onion begins to turn translucent, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms and garlic to the pan and cook while stirring for another few minutes until the mushrooms shrink down and begin to brown.
- Add the lentils to the pan and stir until they start to brown, a minute or two. Add in the broth, along with the oregano and salt, and bring to a boil.
- Turn down to a low simmer and cook uncovered until the lentils are tender, 30 to 40 minutes, adding 1/2 cup water or more broth if necessary.
- Drain (and discard) liquid, and season lentil mixture with additional salt and pepper, to taste. Serve with recommended accompaniments.