It's too hot today...no oven will be used today...Thank goodness for green tacos.
I love tacos -- especially "green tacos". Basically it consists of taco inspired fillings wrapped inside collard greens...I've experimented with many different fillings for wraps like these, from raw to cooked, and I always enjoy them.
Green tacos are a perfect summer meal because of their minimal cooking time. If your home is anything like mine, your thermostat will skyrocket when you use the oven in August. This is why you may have noticed very few desserts on my blog this summer. It's just too damn hot to bake right now.
I promise when the leaves start to change I'll be back at it again though, I don't last long without dessert...
I call these tacos Indian fusion because they merge elements of Mexican and Indian cooking. Mexican and Indian cuisine have some major similarities when it comes to key ingredients and spices. Cumin, lime, chili, mango, garlic, tomato and beans feature prominently in both. So I used these ingredients plus a few distinctly Mexican and Indian ingredients to create these wraps. Oregano and avocado are two heavily used ingredients in Mexican food so I threw them into the mix. I countered my Mexican ingredients with some Indian staples -- turmeric, mango chutney and coconut milk.
The "meat" in these tacos is basically a lentil dahl spiced with Mexican and Indian spices, and thickened with coconut cream. Its really flavourful, creamy and delicious. The meat is topped with mango chutney for a sweet flavour contrast and a smooth vegan "sour cream" made from avocado and coconut.
Try these tacos on a hot summer day.
- 1.5 cans lentils, drained and rinsed
- 1 tbsp evoo
- 1/2 small white onion
- My Spice Blend (see below for My Spice Blend recipe) or SUBSTITUTE 2 tsps of a store-bought Indian spice blend
- 2 carrots, very finely grated
- 2 tsp tomato paste
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1/4-1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
- Squeeze of lemon
Grab a pot. Heat oil over medium heat. Saute onions in the oil until translucent. Add grated carrot, chopped tomato, and spice blend and saute a minute. I like lots of spices but the measurements above are more modest... Add tomato paste and lentils and coconut milk and lemon and mix well. Simmer for a few minutes. Taste, adjust seasonings and salt to your taste. Serve as 'meat'.
*MY SPICE BLEND*
1 tsp or more Garlic powder (lots), 1 tsp or more Cumin, a couple cranks of pepper, a pinch of oregano, a dash of cayenne or hot sauce, a few dashes turmeric, a pinch of pink salt
Avo-Coco "Sour Cream":
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 large avocado
- SPICES: Garlic powder (to taste), Salt (to taste)
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- Squeeze of lime or lemon
- Avo-coco sour cream (easy recipe above) OR substitute store-bought vegan sour cream
- Store-bought mango chutney
- Washed and dried collard green leaves
- Hot sauce or sriracha
Puree or mash by hand all 'sour cream' ingredients until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.
ASSEMBLY: Fill the center of each collard leaf with a bit of the lentil meat, sour cream, mango chutney and hot sauce. Fold or wrap and eat like a soft taco.