we haven’t been to the market
grabbing toilet paper
that one time
last week doesn’t count.
dw & i discussed a pantry purge,
cooking with what we had
left on the shelves
in the fridge
in the freezer.
in part to save money,
but mainly to see if we can.
in many ways it’s limiting —
dried beans, rice, and spices
can get you so far.
but there’s a challenge in there —
making dried beans, rice and spices
taste good can stretch one’s creativity.
while planning for market day
to replenish the pantry,
to focus on a proper meal plan
we face yet another dynamic to our situation:
the challenge AND excitement
it’s a nice problem to have, yes?
edit to add: maria of some infinite thing made these
for lunch, perfect!
makes a week’s worth of dinner aka serves two for 5 nights
*note: this is something that we’ve made for a number of years, especially during the height of summer csa vegs. toppings and add ins are interchangeable. we’ve had it with soft and hard tacos, we’ve had it with and without cheese, it’s whatever is available that season, or in our case, in our pantry!
**note: the taco seasoning is based off of alton brown’s #19 taco potion that we quadruple and keep in a jar.
homemade taco seasoning:
1 TBL ground chipotle peppers
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp corn starch
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup dried lentils, soaked overnight
half onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 carrots, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced (this is hit or miss, depending if in season)
2 TBL olive oil
2-3 TBL of taco seasoning, recipe above
add ins etc:
tortilla wraps or taco shells
arugula or shredded cabbage
shredded cheese (sometimes we use daiya vegan cheese if we’re feeling fancy)
avocado, diced or sliced
pickled vegs (once we added pickled turnips and it was DIVINE)
to make the taco seasoning, just add all the ingredients in a jar and shake. will keep for about a month, though truth be told, longer.
when ready to prepare meal, discard the water the lentils were soaked in and rinse.
in a big pan or pot, heat up some olive oil. when sufficiently warmed, add in the onions and garlic. allow the onions to get translucent. add in the carrots and red bell peppers and stir to evenly mix and coat. last add in the lentils and again, mix it around to coat everything in oil.
per your taste buds and preference, add in the taco seasoning. sometimes i do more, sometimes i do less (it’s less when we’re finishing the jar). mix through. add in enough water to just barely cover the lentils.
keep heat at medium low and allow to gently simmer until most of the liquid has been absorbed, stirring occasionally. check on the softness of the lentils, if it’s still got bite, add more water and cook for longer. my cook time varies anywhere from 30 minutes – 45 minutes, i just check every 5 minutes. also check taste, there is salt in the taco seasoning but you may want to add more to your preference.
it’s done when the liquid has been absorbed and the lentils and carrots are soft.
serve on tortilla wraps or in taco shells and top to your heart’s content.