Taco Mince Ingredients
− 2 Cups Dried Lentils***, soaked overnight
− 1 Lg. Eggplant
− 1-2 Zucchini
− 2 med. Onion, brown, yellow or red
− 5-7 med. Mushrooms (optional)
− 2 Tbsp Olive oil
− 3 Cloves Garlic
− 8 Tbsp Cajun Spice mix
− 1-2 tsp Salt, go by taste
− 1 tin Refried beans (or mashed black beans)
− 4 Tbsp Tomato paste
− as needed Water or oil to reach consistency
*** Choose red lentils for the smoothest texture, French lentils for most people’s preference, and green lentils for the chunkiest texture.
Cajun Spice Blend (makes 16 Tbsp)
− 5 Tbsp Paprika
− 2 1⁄2 Tbsp Oregano
− 1 1⁄2 Tbsp Thyme
− 1 1⁄2 Tbsp Garlic
− 1 1⁄2 Tbsp Onion
− 1 1⁄2 Tbsp Smoked Paprika
− 1 Tbsp Cumin
− 1 Tbsp Salt
− 1 tsp Chili powder or 1⁄2 tsp cayenne
− 1⁄2 tsp Ground Pepper
− 1 head Cos/Romaine Lettuce
− 2 Lg. Tomatoes
− 1 Cup Black olives
− 1⁄4 Cup Jalepenos (pickled in jar)
− 1-2 Lg. Avocado
− 1 med. Cucumber
− side Organic, plain corn chips
− side Salsa or Cashew ‘sour cream’
- If possible, soak the dry lentils for 8-16hrs before cooking. Drain them and add fresh water to more-than cover them. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for approx. 25min. Drain off excess liquid once cooked.
- Cut the eggplant into 1cm rounds. Lay flat. Salt generously. Let stand for 10min until the moisture has beaded out. Dab off with a paper towel.
- Chop up the eggplant, zucchini, onion, and garlic fine – or use a food processor to blitz each ingredient separately.
- In a large frying pan or big pot, heat the oil and add the onion and garlic to cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add in the eggplant and zucchini and continue to cook on medium heat until the eggplant is soft and fully cooked (~20min).
- While it is cooking, prepare a batch of Cajun spice mix if you don’t already have some on hand from last time. Store extras in a jar in your spice collection for another day. Combine all ingredients and mix well.
- Once the eggplant mixture is cooked, add in the drained lentils and all remaining ingredients for the mince. Stir well and adjust the consistency if needed by adding small amounts of water at a time.
- Allow to simmer for another few minutes until all flavours have blended. Taste and adjust to your liking. This will taste better the following day.
- Cut up all ingredients for the taco salad as you prefer and pile the salad high. Add your taco mince on top, a few corn chips on the side, and a generous dollop of salsa and/or ‘sour cream’. Enjoy!
- Freeze left-over mince that will not get eaten in the next 2-3 days.
- Use extra taco mince in lasagne, on nachos, as a party dip, over mashed potatoes, in burritos, in enchiladas, or however you wish. You can blend some or all to create a different effect, as in a dip. Keeping some in the freezer gives you possibilities.
- Use the extra Cajun spice blend wherever you need some kick and pizzazz. Sprinkle it into pizza sauce; through scrambled eggs; in breakfast hash browns; in veggie burgers; to season soups; in pasta sauce; or even as a simple marinade with oil for veggies or meat skewers.
- Having a meat-free option gives more food-safety peace-of-mind for sending it in school lunches. Send simply with corn chips, and cucumber slices, or other favourite veg.