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Bargain Herbs

June 30, 2011

Holy heat wave.  At 4pm  the heat index was 112 degrees.  Pretty toasty I’d say.

It’s days like this that I actually don’t mind the A/C blasting on me.  Most of the time it’s running at home for Henry’s sake…he’s furry and gets hot in a hurry.  Plus his panting is not exactly quiet and can drive you craaaazy.  He sure need’s a good shavin’ right now, but will have to wait until he’s all healed up.   

On my lunch break, I wandered out into the heat to a grocery store’s garden center.  Ouch those plants looked real sad.  I did my good deed and bought a couple of herbs, spearmint & peppermint.  I paid a whopping 25 cents a piece.  Love a good bargain!

Spearmint and peppermint

Looking very scraggly, I know.  But it’s mint and this stuff is tough.  Anyone who’s planted it in the ground knows what I’m talking about right….very invasive.  I’ll plant in a couple pots that will hang off of my herb post. 

And since it’s soooo friggin hot out and I need to use up a ton of lettuce from the garden, another salad was on the agenda for supper.  Taco salad. 

I LOVE tacos.  Tyler does not.  I think he actually prefers a taco salad over an actual taco.  And I’m sure he prefers meat in his taco salad, but unfortunately for him this one doesn’t have it.  Harsh, I know.  Though I’m pretty sure there will be plenty grilled steaks and roasted chickens in our future to make him happy. 

Plus it’s not all that bad of idea to not eat meat for every meal.  I try to balance out a serving of meat with a minimum of 2 vegetable servings or just skip it altogether if its nothing too tasty.  You will not see me passing up a grilled rib-eye steak though.  No way.

For my taco salad, I thought about taking the easy route and using a can of black beans I have stashed in the pantry.  But I remembered seeing a lentil taco recipe recently and my desire to try something  new won out…it usually does.  Plus I love lentils.  And for such a tiny little legume, they are a fiber champ.  If you like beans (red, black, white, whatever), you’ll like lentils. 

Dried green lentils

Lentil Taco Salad

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

1 garlic clove, minced

Olive oil

1 cup dried green lentils

1 pkg of taco seasoning or I prefer this homemade taco seasoning mix.

2 1/2 C  chicken or vegetable broth

Blue corn tortilla chips

Chopped lettuce

Plain greek yogurt (tastes just like sour cream, without the fat)

Avocado, cubed

Salsa

Homemade taco seasoning

Saute onion in olive oil in medium pan for a few minutes, until transparent.  Add garlic and saute, 1 minute.  Add lentils and seasonings and cook for 1 minute.   Add chicken broth and bring mixture to boil.  Reduce heat and let simmer for 25-30 minutes, until water is absorbed and lentils are tender. If you want you could mash up some of the lentils for a creamier texture.  This makes a lot of lentils and goes way further than 1 lb of ground beef.

Then prepare your salad, layering with lettuce, corn chips, lentils, avocado, yogurt and salsa.  Adding however much of each ingredient you want.

Lentil Taco Salad

Not too shabby.  Actually I liked it a lot.

Side Note: My dad makes the best salsa in the universe.  Not kidding.  Too bad it’s always in limited supply.  Kramer’s Salsa, made in Camanche, Iowa is about the closest I’ve found to Dad’s.  It’s got a great fresh taste.

Kramer's Medium Salsa

Better go water my flowers.  Poor things are starting to wilt in this heat.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 30, 2011 8:18 pm

    Lisa, Your salad looks delicious! Mmmmm!
    Blessings, Beth

  2. July 5, 2011 2:14 pm

    This salad looks perfect for summer! Thanks for sharing!

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