Lentil-Nut Tacos with Creamy Cashew-Avocado Cream
These meat-free tacos are so tasty, and the lentil-walnut mix could be used as a filling for not only tacos, but also burritos, nachos, taco salads, rice bowls, and more.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 50 min
- Yield: 6
Lentil-Nut Mixture (makes about 2 1/2 cups)
- 1 cup uncooked green lentils
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1/4 cup walnuts
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika (or regular paprika)
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder, optional
- 1/4 teaspoon ground sea salt
- 8 inch corn tortillas (I prefer white corn as they hold together really well)
Cashew Avocado Sauce (makes 1 cup sauce)
- 1/4 cup cashews, soaked in water for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight if possible. *If using a Vitamix or high-powered blender, this step may not be necessary.
- 1/2 ripe avocado, peeled
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup, optional
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- 1/2-3/4 cup water
- shredded red cabbage
- chopped romaine lettuce
- chopped green onions
- salsa or hot sauce (I love to add Green Pepper Tabasco sauce)
- additional walnuts to add crunch
- Soak the cashews in water overnight, or 2 hours minimum. Note: If using a high-powered blender such as a Vitamix with a sharp blade, you can skip this step, if desired.
- Sort and rinse lentils before cooking. To a medium pot, add the lentils and 2 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover. Cook for about 35-40 minutes until lentils are soft and moisture is absorbed. Remove from heat.
- Meanwhile, in a high-powered blender, add the walnuts, cumin, coriander, chili powder, paprika, chipotle powder and sea salt. Blend on low speed for a few seconds, until the walnuts are broken into pieces. You can blend more if you want it to be more powder-like, or less to still have a bit of a crunch. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add cooked lentils to the same bowl when ready and stir. Taste and add more spices if desired.
- To make the cashew cream-
If using dry cashews, add the cashews to the blender (no need to wash the blender before adding, as long as the blender is dry). Blend for 20 seconds until the cashews are broken up into a powder. Add the avocado, lemon juice, maple syrup, salt, garlic powder, cilantro, and water. Blend for 5 minutes or more until creamy. Add a small amount of water if too thick and blend again.
If using soaked cashews, to the blender, add the cashews (drained), avocado, lemon juice, maple syrup, salt, garlic powder, cilantro, and water. Blend for 5 minutes or more until creamy. Add a small amount of water if too thick and blend again.
- Heat the corn tortillas on a dry skillet over medium-high heat until warm, about 1-2 minutes on each side.
- To assemble the tacos, lay each tortilla on a flat surface. For each taco, add roughly 3 tablespoons lentil nut mix, about 1 1/2 tablespoons cashew cream, red cabbage, green onions, romaine lettuce or additional toppings. Add salsa or hot sauce, if desired. This recipe serves 6 (2 tacos each). Store the lentil/nut mix and sauce separately in the fridge, in airtight containers up to 5-6 days.
Fast Prep Tip: If you have Trader Joe’s near you, can use the pre-packaged Steamed Lentils (instead of cooking the lentils) to save time.
Feel free to substitute any of the vegetables in this recipe. I’m a big fan of raw red cabbage, as it adds a great crunch. You could also add red onions, avocado, cilantro, tomatoes, sautéed green or red peppers, etc. There are so many options so feel free to use the lentil-nut mix as a base for many recipes.