Meatless Meals: Lentil Tacos

I promised frugal posts, so here is the first.

Frugal, defined by (adj) 1. economical in use or expenditure; prudently saving or sparing; not wasteful: a frugal manager. 2. entailing little expense; requiring few resources; meager; scanty: a frugal meal.
1. thrifty, chary, provident, careful. See economical.

I love being FRUGAL. Several friends think that I'm cheap, and some even think that I'm weird. That's okay. I don't mind being weird. If weird means I am living well within our means and I do not have the stress of consumer debt, great! I'll be weird! :)

So I'll be including weekly posts encouraging you (my handful of readers) to be more frugal. I hope you see that it really can be fun!

One easy way to stretch a family budget, aka be more frugal, is to have at least one meatLESS meal each week. One of my favorites is Lentil Tacos. You may be asking, "What is a lentil?" Well, a lentil is a legume, kinda like a split pea. Found on your grocer's shelf near the dried beans, a one pound bag in our area is about 97cents. I only use half a bag for tacos for our family of 6! The recipe I use is quick and easy too.  

I cook the lentils according to the instructions on the bag. Half a bag to 3-4 cups boiling water. No soaking required, yay! After about 15 minutes of simmering, I add 2TB homemade taco seasoning mix. I let it simmer another 15 minutes or so until the lentils begin to thicken. I turn the heat off and allow the lentils to sit. They'll thicken more as they sit and will be comparable to refried bean consistency when I put them on our tortillas. We use whole wheat flour tortillas and fill them with lentils, cheese, salsa, sour cream or any other toppings you like on regualar tacos. Add a green salad, and you have a complete meal. A quarter cup of lentils contains 10 grams of protein and 11 grams of fiber, so this is also a very satisfying meal.

1/4 C dried onion flakes
1/4 C chili powder
3TB salt
4tsp cornstarch
1 TB garlic powder
1 TB ground cumin
1 TB crushed red pepper
2 tsp beef bouillon granules
1.5 tsp oregano
Stir all dry ingredients together. Store in an airtight container. 2TB=one commercial taco mix packet


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