Soya Mince & Lentil Chili Tacos with Pico de Gallo and Avocado Sour Cream

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The other day while browsing through a supermarket, I found a package of frozen soya mince. I have always been very curious about it and this is the first time I saw it at a store here. When I was in University, I remember there was a healthy food shop next to it that would sell lasagna with soya mince and it was so good. If you didn’t go early, you would miss it since it would always sell out. That was pretty much my whole experience with soya mince. So now that I saw it here, I had to test it out. And I am quite happy with the results. So for this taco Tuesday, I made a chili with the soya mince and lentils; and served them on tortillas along with some pico de gallo and avocado sour cream.

This recipe makes 12 small tacos.

Ingredients:

For the chili:

2 tablespoons of olive oil

½ a red onion, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

200grs of frozen soya mince, thawed

1/3 cup of black lentils

1 sweet paprika, finely chopped

Pinch of cumin powder

1 teaspoon of paprika powder

Cayenne to taste

1 tablespoon of honey

1 teaspoon of onion powder

Pinch of celery salt

250grs of tomato puree

1 litter of vegetable stock

Salt to taste

For the pico de gallo:

1 ½ red onions, finely chopped

4 tomatoes, cored and finely chopped (no seeds)

1 bunch of coriander, chopped

Chopped chili to taste

Juice of 1 ½ limes

1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil

Salt to taste

For the avocado sour cream:

1 avocado

125grs of sour cream

Juice of ½ a lime

Salt to taste

Extras:

12 small tortillas

 

To make the chili, place the olive oil and onion in a large pan over medium heat. Cook until the onions become translucent. Then add the garlic, soya mince, lentils and spices. Cook for about 1 minute while stirring. Then add the honey, tomato puree and vegetable stock. Stir so everything is mixed. Let it cook for about 20 minutes till most of the liquid has been absorbed and the lentils are cooked through. Taste for salt.

To make the pico de gallo just mix all of the ingredients in a bowl.

For the avocado sour cream, blend all of the ingredients until smooth.

Warm up the tortillas in a pan. Serve with the chili, pico de gallo and avocado sour cream.

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Golden Beet & Yellow Carrot Soup with Feta & Pistachios

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As far as the weather forecast goes, it seems like temperatures are finally going to rise. And I couldn’t be happier. I’m so tired of feeling cold every time I go outside. So I am very much looking forward to warmer weather and picnics in the park. But till then, a creamy golden soup for this meatless Monday.

This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

For the soup:

800grs of golden beet, peeled and chopped into chunks

700grs of yellow carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 leek, finely chopped (white part only)

2 medium shallots, chopped

1 1/2 litters of vegetable stock

100ml of cream

Salt to taste

Toppings:

150grs, crumbled feta or goat cheese

40gr of chopped pistachios, pan roasted

Garden cress

 

Place the olive oil, leek and shallots in a large saucepan over medium low heat. Cook for 5 minutes while stirring from time to time. Don’t let it get brown.

Then add the carrots, beets and garlic. Stir for 1 minute and then add the vegetable stock.

Let it cook for 25 minutes until the beets and carrots are cooked through.

Then blend it until smooth. Add the cream and salt to taste.

Divide the soup into 3 bowls and top with some crumbled feta (or goat cheese), pistachios and garden cress. I also added some nasturtium leaves as decoration.

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Sweet Potato & Lentil Sliders on Homemade Mini Pretzel Buns

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I have been craving a veggie burger lately. I am a sucker for small food so I made sliders. Since my husband doesn’t love lentils, I made these with red lentils which don’t hold their shape. This makes it easier to mix them with other ingredients, therefore hiding them a bit. I cooked the lentils in vegetable stock to add more flavor. A panko coating makes this sliders super crunchy. The result was a delicious treat. My husband loved them. I only told him about the lentils afterwards.

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It’s hard to find good sliders buns here, so most of the times I just make my own. I used my Soft Pretzel Twists to make these mini pretzel buns. The ingredients are the same; there are just a few different steps.  Once the dough has risen, divide it into 16 equal pieces.  Then form each piece into a ball. Place the balls in the baking soda/water bath for 30 seconds. Then place them on a prepared baking tray (lined with parchment paper and lightly greased with vegetable oil).  Cut a cross in the middle of each bun, brush the tops with an egg wash and sprinkle with some sea salt. Bake for 8 minutes at 230C/450F. For the recipe of the pretzels just click here.

This recipe makes 14 sliders.

Ingredients:

For the sliders:

600gs of sweet potatoes

½ cup of red lentils

2 cups of vegetable stock

40grs of grated Parmesan

Pinch of onion powder

Pinch of garlic powder

Pinch of lemon pepper

Pinch of celery salt

Pinch of cayenne

Pinch of pepper

1/3 cup of breadcrumbs

2 sprigs of fresh thyme

For the breading:

1 ½ cups of panko

½ cup of breadcrumbs

¼ teaspoon of Salt

¼ teaspoon of Celery salt

¼ teaspoon of Paprika

For the lime mayo:

7 tablespoons of mayonnaise

Juice of ½ a lime

Celery salt to taste

Extras:

2 avocados, sliced

A handful of frisse

Garden cress

Olive oil for pan-frying the sliders

 

Roast the sweet potatoes for 1 hour at 180C/350F.

While the sweet potatoes are in the oven, start cooking the lentils. Place the lentils and vegetable stock in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook until soft, stirring from time to time. This will take about 15 minutes. Once they are cooked, turn off the heat and let them dry out in the saucepan for 30 minutes.  Once the 30 minutes are up, mash them with the back of a wooden spoon.

To make the lime mayo, mix the mayo with the lime juice and celery salt. Set aside.

Once the sweet potatoes are done, peel them and place them in a large bowl. Mash them with a fork. Add the lentils and the rest of the ingredients for the sliders. Mix well.

Mix all of the ingredients for the breading in a bowl.

Grab about 2 tablespoons of the sweet potato mixture and form it into a ball. Coat the ball in the breading. Apply some pressure so it sticks. Repeat for all of the mixture.

Pour about 6 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, place 7 balls in the pan. With the help of a spatula, press each ball a bit to create a hamburger shape. Cook until they are evenly brown on each side.  Repeat for the rest of the sliders.

Serve on the mini pretzel buns, with some frisee on the bottom and top them with avocado, lime mayo and garden cress.

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