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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 |

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 |

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

Protein-Packed Vegan Lentil Quinoa Tacos | Erin Stanczyk |
Protein-Packed Vegan Lentil Quinoa Tacos | Erin Stanczyk |
Protein-Packed Vegan Lentil Quinoa Tacos | Erin Stanczyk |

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 |

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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


  • 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


  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


  • 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 |


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 |

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 |

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 Stanczyk EatMoveRest

Fruit Can Be Fun: Rad Raw Blackberry "Cheesecake"

Eat, Recipes, Food + NutritionErin Stanczyk2 Comments



Part of living a healthy and sustainable lifestyle is allowing yourself to indulge. One of my mantras is, everything in moderation. Another way of looking at it is: the 80/20 Rule— be healthy, workout, and eat clean 80% of the time, and allow yourself to "bend the rules" the other 20% of the time. However, my outlook on moderation has gradually evolved over the years. In college, I lived for the weekends; my idea of moderation was to be super strict and healthy during the week and go hard on the weekends. 


you can't out-train a bad diet

The saying goes, you can't out-train a bad diet. It is so true! I would work my butt off (literally) at the gym during the week, and eat horrible foods on the weekends and sleep in. My sweat sessions didn't seem to be getting rid of my gut, and looking back I realize that it was because I was throwing away all of the hard work I'd done during the week! While I thought that I was living by the 80/20 Rule, I was really just stressing my body and mind by riding such a crazy rollercoaster! 


smooth sailing

Now, I don't place as much emphasis on the weekends or trying to make something epic happen. Sometimes Dusty and I will cook big meal at home and just chill out on the couch watching movies, or hang out in the back yard by a bonfire with our dog, Beau. Of course it's fun to look forward to the weekend, whether it be extra free time in the yard at  home or going to a friend's wedding—there's nothing wrong with getting pumped up for things! But, I also think it's important to quit looking at the calendar so much, dreading Mondays and unleashing on Fridays, only to wake up feeling exhausted on Sundays. My advice is to begin looking for things you already love about each and every day of the week, and treat yourself a little bit every day!  


Make Every Day Count

Making a mental list of what I look forward to or enjoy each day of the week allows me to appreciate every day. Whether it's a favorite tv show on Tuesday nights or date night on Thursday nights, try filling out a list for yourself! Another idea is to make a list and fill in what your ideal week would look like, and strive for it! Both practices can help open your eyes to the good in every day—no matter how big or how small! Below is an example list that I filled out. I also provided a free printable version below, for you to fill out and share with family and friends! Pin it up at work or tape it to your bathroom mirror to remind yourself not to ride the weekend rollercoaster. Remember, if you live a little each and every day, you won't feel like binging on the weekends!

make every day count!

Plant Power!

While many of you may have caught on, I am a huge supporter of the plant-based movement, which includes eating less meat, more fresh produce, and buying local and organic as often as possible. I don't label myself as being part of any "club" or on any specific diet, but I do believe in the healing and revitalizing power of unprocessed, raw, whole fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. That is what this recipe is all about (and it's a healthy way to treat yourself)! 

My Rad Raw Blackberry Cheesecake is perfect for special occasions. Father's Day is right around the corner, and many of us probably have fathers that shouldn't be eating actual cheesecake! Find the way to you dad's heart, (and his heart health), by making this amazing dessert that's both delicious and nutritious!



Sometimes it can feel mundane just sitting down to eat a banana, a bowl of berries, or a handful of nuts. The good news is, you can make all kinds of fun smoothies, salads, and yes, even "cheesecake" with these very ingredients! This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free, low-fat, and fully-raw (inspired by FullyRaw Kristina's recipe)! What could be better in this high-maintenance day and age?! This delectable dessert is so much lower in calories and fat than regular cheesecake, and its chalk full of healthy fruit! If you're interested in reading up on the benefits of eating fruit versus refined sugar, check out my last blog post!

* Note: I would recommend planning ahead for this recipe. Buy your bananas a couple of days in advance so they have time to ripen and get good and leopard-y! The link up above to my last blog post also has info at the end about the importance of eating fruit when ripe, and how to tell when your bananas are good to go!

* Another note: You will also want to factor in the 4-6 hours it will take for the "cheesecake" to firm up in the freezer.

Erin's Rad Raw Blackberry "Cheesecake"

What You Will Need:

  • a few simple ingredients (all can be found at your local Whole Foods or health market)
  • food processor
  • high-speed blender such as a Vitamix
  • pie pan

Ingredients (By Layer):


Creamy Cashew Banana Layer:

  • 3-4 ripe, speckled bananas
  • 1/2-1 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup coconut water

Sweet Blackberry Banana Layer:

  • 3-4 ripe, speckled bananas
  • 1/2 cup blackberries
  • A few pitted dates for added sweetness

Blackberry Date Glaze:

  • 1-2 cups blackberries
  • 1 cup dates
  • A splash of coconut water


  • Feel free to top with pistachio nutmeats, fresh blackberries, or anything else to prettify your "cheesecake!"


For the crust, place all ingredients in your food processor and process until you are left with a gooey ball that you can then press into your pie pan to create the crust. 

Blend the ingredients for each of the remaining layers until smooth, and pour into your pie pan in this order: 1) Creamy Cashew Banana Layer, 2) Sweet Blackberry Banana Layer, and 3) Blackberry Date Glaze Layer. Place your "cheesecake" in the freezer for 4-6 hours. Take it out and let it thaw for maybe a half hour before slicing and enjoying!

* Note: Any leftovers should be kept in the freezer. It'll melt in the refrigerator!



I hope you enjoyed this recipe and are inspired to upgrade your indulgences! Be sure to leave a comment and let me know how yours turns out!

Don't forget to enjoy each and every day, live in moderation, and savor the little things in life!








Designed For Your Lifestyle,


Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design |