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Protein-Packed Vegan Lentil Quinoa Tacos

Eat, Food + Nutrition, RecipesErin Stanczyk4 Comments

Let’s Taco-bout Plant Protein

Protein-Packed Vegan Lentil Quinoa Tacos | Erin Stanczyk | EatMoveRest.com

But where do you get your protein?!

There’s a common misconception that even Dusty and I fell victim to when we were embarking on our plant-curious journey—that if you aren’t eating meat, you aren’t getting enough protein. By educating ourselves and putting it to the test, we soon came to find out that it’s simply not the case!

All foods contain protein, including plants, and 97% of American are getting enough. In fact, plants contain all essential amino acids. Studies also show that less than 3% of Americans are getting enough fiber. Plant foods are rich in fiber, which meat contains none of, and plants contain zero cholesterol, which meat contains a lot of.

Simply put, increasing your plant protein and eliminating or drastically reducing the amount of animal protein in your diet will equate to better digestion and a happier heart, amongst a plethora of other plant-powered perks! *sources + additional info linked below

Protein-Packed Vegan Lentil Quinoa Tacos | Erin Stanczyk | EatMoveRest.com

Gram-for-gram, lentils contain more protein than beef!

Protein-Packed Vegan Lentil Quinoa Tacos | Erin Stanczyk | EatMoveRest.com
Protein-Packed Vegan Lentil Quinoa Tacos | Erin Stanczyk | EatMoveRest.com
Protein-Packed Vegan Lentil Quinoa Tacos | Erin Stanczyk | EatMoveRest.com

The Complete Protein Myth

A complete protein is a food that contains all 9 essential amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, which helps our bodies to build and repair tissues. The group called essential amino acids are ones that our bodies cannot create, and therefore, we must obtain from our diet.

For a long time, people argued that plants were inferior protein sources because many of them are not “complete” proteins, and the body would not be getting what it needed. Food combining became popularized, where it was believed that you needed to eat complementary proteins, i.e. rice and beans, at one meal, in order to get the full spectrum of essential amino acids. However, research now clearly shows that our bodies have an amino acid “pool,” in which they store the amino acids we need, and expel the ones we don’t need.

All of that being said, quinoa is actually a complete protein, and while lentils are not, they do contain nearly 18g of protein per cup, cooked!

Protein-Packed Vegan Lentil Quinoa Tacos | Erin Stanczyk | EatMoveRest.com

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Lentil Quinoa Tacos

If you’re craving something meaty, high protein, and extra indulgent, these delicious and nutritious Lentil Quinoa Tacos will do the trick! And don’t forget about the fixin’s—add in some vegan nacho cheeze, fresh salsa, guacamole, mango salsa, gluten-free tortillas, and chopped veggies and you’ve got yourself a fiesta!

vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, protein-packed!

time: 30min // serves: 4-6

ingredients:

  • 1 cup dry quinoa

  • 1 cup dry lentils

  • 1/2 red onion, diced

  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 3-4 tbsp nutritional yeast

  • 1 tbsp oregano

  • 1 tbsp cumin

  • 1 tbsp chili powder

  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  • salt + pepper to taste

steps:

  1. Rinse and drain quinoa and lentils and cook each separately with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium/low until water is absorbed and grains are cooked.

  2. Meanwhile, sauté onion and garlic with a bit of salt and pepper in a splash of water in a non-stick pan until soft, fragrant and slightly translucent.

  3. When green lentils are cooked, place in strainer and rinse under COLD water and then place in food processor and pulse to achieve more of a “meaty” texture. *The cold rinse will help ensure that the lentils do not become over-processed.

  4. Combine pulsed lentils, quinoa, sautéed onion and garlic, and seasoning mix, and stir until thoroughly combined.

optional fixins:

  • shredded romaine and/or romaine leaves

  • gluten-free tortillas

  • bell peppers

  • red onion

  • sweet corn

  • cherry tomatoes

  • mango

  • cilantro

  • lime wedges

  • avocado slices or guacamole

  • vegan cashew “cheeze” sauce

  • brown rice and/or black beans

notes:

  • To make your taco meat look even more “meaty,” try using red quinoa instead of white!

  • We also have a Lentil Walnut Taco Meat recipe on our Vegan Nachos YouTube video, so be sure to check it out for another delicious and nutritious variation!

Protein-Packed Vegan Lentil Quinoa Tacos | Erin Stanczyk | EatMoveRest.com
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Guac-n-roll

It’s always important to include healthy fats in your diet for optimal absorption of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients! …But I think it’s safe to say that nobody’s going to have to twist your arm to slop a dollop of fresh-whipped guacamole onto your tacos! ;)

Protein-Packed Vegan Lentil Quinoa Tacos | Erin Stanczyk | EatMoveRest.com

As Seen On Youtube

Be sure to join us in the kitchen as we taco-bout this delicious recipe in more detail on the EatMoveRest YouTube channel! Be sure to Subscribe, click that bell to turn on Notifications, give it a Thumbs Up, leave us some love in the Comments, and Share with family and friends!


Protein-Packed Vegan Lentil Quinoa Tacos | Erin Stanczyk | EatMoveRest.com

Lettuce Eat Plants

We get a lot of questions about how to maintain your plant-based perspective around family and friends, and while dining out and traveling. My simplest answer is, JUST ROCK IT—you do you—but I know that can take time!

My second answer is always to share the wealth! If you really want to wow your friends and fam, make them a delicious, plant-powered meal that they can’t resist!

Host a Taco Tuesday party at your house, complete with all the fixin’s, and let the plants work their magic! My favorite secret ingredient is our vegan cashew cheeze sauce! If you want us to share the full recipe, be sure to let me know in the comments!

Designed For Your Lifestyle,

Erin

Erin Stanczyk EatMoveRest

Rainbow Root Veggie Stew: A Plant-Powered Fall Favorite

Eat, Food + Nutrition, RecipesErin StanczykComment

Fall In Love With Whole Foods

Fall is here and farmers’ markets are ripe with an abundance of root veggies! Although I will miss my healthy supply of watermelon and fresh-picked strawberries, there are so many new and delicious fruits and veggies that come into season at this time of year!

This was one of the very first recipes that Dusty and I created when we were just beginning to transition to a plant-based lifestyle about 6 years ago, and it’s been a tried and true fall-favorite ever since! We’ve always loved this stew because it incorporates such an abundant variety of colorful, vitamin and mineral-rich veggies, and the natural flavors are so incredibly satisfying!

Erin Stanczyk | EatMoveRest | Rainbow Root Veggie Stew: A Plant-powered Fall Favorite

Orange You Glad?

The transition from summer to fall can be a difficult one, but this bold, bright stew will help lift your spirits, boost your mood, and nourish your body! This rainbow root veggie stew is high in Vitamin A, C, K, iron, folate calcium, and zinc, to name a few. On top of that, it contains all essential amino acids, making it a filling and fantastic protein source. If you’re feeling blue, serve up some of this bright and nutritious stew for an instant pick-me-up!


Get Grounded

When you think about picking fruit from up high in a tree, it only makes sense that it provides an elevating boost to mind, body, and soul. In the same way, vegetables growing low to the earth, or in the dirt in this case, are very calming, warming, and grounding. It’s no wonder that we eat root veggies in the fall, when the weather gets cool, the leaves begin to fall, and our bodies innately want to slow down.

Erin Stanczyk | EatMoveRest | Rainbow Root Veggie Stew: A Plant-powered Fall Favorite

Pressure Cooker: A Plant-Eater’s Best Friend

Cosori was kind enough to send us their pressure cooker to try out, so we put it to the test against our Instant Pot! Here’s the verdict: The look is slightly more sleek, it has extra features & buttons, comes with a steamer rack, a clear lid, and even cooks faster! We’re SOLD!

The benefits of using a pressure cooker instead of boiling, frying, or baking your food, is that it retains nearly 90-95% of nutrients, according to the Journal of Food Science—which is far more than the other methods listed!

The Cosori cost is comparable to the Instant Pot, but we’ve got a deal for you! These guys were kind of enough to offer our friends, family, & followers a discount code for a limited time only!

Use 10COSORIV3 for 10% off thru Oct. 20 (US residents only) at this link: Cosori Pressure Cooker

Erin Stanczyk | EatMoveRest | Rainbow Root Veggie Stew: A Plant-powered Fall Favorite
Erin Stanczyk | EatMoveRest | Rainbow Root Veggie Stew: A Plant-powered Fall Favorite

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Rainbow Root Veggie Stew

Fall is here and farmers’ markets are ripe with an abundance of root veggies! This warming and hearty vegan stew is low in fat and packed full of vitamins, minerals, protein, healthy carbs, and tastes rainbow-licious!

High in Vitamin A, C, K, iron, folate, calcium, zinc, & contains all essential amino acids.

gluten-free, oil-free, low-fat, nutrient-dense

serves: 4-6 // time: 40min

ingredients:

  • 1 large, yellow or sweet onion, diced

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 3-4 sweet potatoes (about 6 cups, cubed)

  • 3 cups beets, cubed

  • 4 carrots, sliced thinly

  • 4 celery stalks, sliced thinly

  • 1 cup red lentils, rinsed

  • green curly kale, torn

  • 4 cups liquid (water, veggie broth, and/or light coconut milk)

  • salt + pepper to taste

method:

  1. Chop all veggies and rinse lentils.

  2. Place all ingredients into pressure cooker, slow cooker, or stovetop pot and pour in liquid. Add salt and pepper to taste.

  3. Give a quick stir and make sure lentils are entirely submerged.

  4. Cooking times:

    • Pressure cooker (Cosori): Place lid on and turn vent to sealed position. Click “Stew” button (25 minutes), and slick Start. Press stop, turn valve to vent position, and remove lid.

    • Stovetop pot: Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, stirring often, until all ingredients are soft and cooked through.

    • Slow cooker: Cook on low for 4-6 hours.

  5. Top with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast, extra salt + pepper to taste, cozy up, and enjoy!

notes

  • There’s something about second-day stew that’s even better—refrigerate or freeze and enjoy a second helping when you’re in a pinch!

  • Also tastes great with curry powder mixed in!

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Erin Stanczyk | EatMoveRest | Rainbow Root Veggie Stew: A Plant-powered Fall Favorite
Erin Stanczyk | EatMoveRest | Rainbow Root Veggie Stew: A Plant-powered Fall Favorite
Erin Stanczyk | EatMoveRest | Rainbow Root Veggie Stew: A Plant-powered Fall Favorite

AS SEEN ON YOUTUBE

Be sure to watch us cook up this delicious fall favorite on the EatMoveRest YouTube channel, and be sure to Subscribe, turn on Notifications, give it a Thumbs Up, leave us some love in the Comments, and Share with family and friends!


Erin Stanczyk | EatMoveRest | Rainbow Root Veggie Stew: A Plant-powered Fall Favorite
Erin Stanczyk | EatMoveRest | Rainbow Root Veggie Stew: A Plant-powered Fall Favorite

Embrace The Seasons Of Life

With Baby S on the way, Dusty and I are a ball full of mixed emotions—excited, anxious, nervous, you name it, we’ve felt it! I’ve come to realize that the fear of the unknown is what’s been eating me, and future tripping helped no one ever. So if you’re feeling anxious or on-edge about something in your own life, remember to take the time to slow down, get present, be mindful, and focus on TODAY!

The bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak that resists. —Japanese Proverb

You’ll soon notice a pattern—that each and every moment of each and every day isn’t so bad, despite our big-picture fears! We all go through different seasons in life, just like the weather, and the more flexible we can be, the better able to adapt we will become!

DESIGNED FOR YOUR LIFESTYLE,

ERIN

Erin Stanczyk | EatMoveRest