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Lentil Taco Filling (from a rice cooker)

Indio, California: Is everyone still sticking to their resolutions? Eating better? Exercising more? Yeah, sure. I've skipped a few workouts, but have been eating really well, developing two new vegan recipes since the new year. You all know I love me some tacos, so here is a super-easy recipe for a lentil taco filling that will please even the meat eaters in your house.

We have an ancient teeny Zojirushi 3-Cup Rice Cooker in our motorhome. Completely bare-bones, it has one button: on/off. It dings when the cooking is finished, and then the entire thing turns off and does not keep the rice warm. It's all we need. But even this simple beauty can't take up nine inches of premium cabinet space if she only cooks rice. No. Only the coffee maker gets the one-purpose privilege. But lentils from a rice cooker? Why not. Nothing could be easier. The spiced lentils cook while you relax with a margarita, and the "taco filling" can be used in tacos or burritos, added to a rice bowl, in a taco salad or eaten as-is. Super packed with folate and fiber - and extremely low in calories and cost - this taco filling will become a weeknight favorite. Cook the lentils in vegetable broth to punch-up the flavor.

NOTE: Use conventional measuring cups, not the cup provided with your rice cooker.

1 cup lentils
2 cups vegetable broth or water
½ cup yellow onion, finely minced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground paprika
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon Kosher salt, optional if using a salty broth

Place all ingredients in bowl of rice cooker. Stir well. Cover and cook (using the regular white rice setting), stirring once after the mixture boils. Let rest five minutes after the cycles finishes and serve. Fills 8-10 tacos.

Suggested toppings: avocado, cilantro, chopped tomatoes, shredded cabbage and plenty of spicy salsa.

The lentils were enjoyed in tacos for dinner and the next day were heated and served in a bowl - garnished with the usual taco toppings for lunch. Try this cooking method and let me know what you think.

lentil tacos          print recipe

Until my next update, I remain, your high-fiber correspondent.