Erin Stanczyk | eat.move.rest.

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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

Red, White, & Blueberries Part II: Berry Patriotic Jicama Salsa + A Splash of Style

Eat, Food + Nutrition, Recipes, Fashion + StyleErin Stanczyk2 Comments

Red, White, & Blueberries

Hi friends! I hope your Fourth of July weekend is off to a great start! As promised, I'm back with one more quick and simple, nutritious and delicious Red, White, & Blueberry recipe to show your colors this Independence Day! If you missed my last post, you can check it out here!

Fresh strawberries and blueberries are the perfect patriotic ingredients for a Fourth of July dish, but you can't have red and blue without the white! While sliced bananas or apples might pass, they tend to oxidize rather quickly once chopped, and turn brown and not-so-pretty. If you're looking for the perfect crisp, sweet, and juicy salsa to wow your friends with this holiday weekend, try adding something new to your dish! 

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | RED, WHITE, & BLUEBERRIES PART II: BERRY PATRIOTIC JICAMA SALSA + A SPLASH OF STYLE
Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | RED, WHITE, & BLUEBERRIES PART II: BERRY PATRIOTIC JICAMA SALSA + A SPLASH OF STYLE

Try New Things

Jicama, (pronounced hik-uh-muh), is a vegetable that you may not be familiar with, but you might actually enjoy! I like to try new fruits and veggies whenever I get the chance, and this one is definitely unique and versatile! Jicama is also known as a Mexican yam bean or a Mexican turnip and is indigenous to Mexico, Central, and South America. While mainstream grocery stores sometimes carry them, you'll probably have your best luck finding one at a Mexican or Asian market.

This root veggie has a crispy, crunchy texture with a slightly sweet and slightly savory flavor--I liken it to a cross between an apple and a potato. Jicama is typically used in raw dishes and can be a healthy upgrade when sliced thin into chips for scooping, and sticks for dipping. If you're not convinced yet, it's also high in vitamin C, fiber, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron, and relatively low in calories.


Berry Patriotic Jicama Salsa

raw, vegan, gluten-free, the bomb!

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | RED, WHITE, & BLUEBERRIES PART II: BERRY PATRIOTIC JICAMA SALSA + A SPLASH OF STYLE

ingredients:

  • 2 cups strawberries, chopped
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 2 cups jicama, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons jalapeño pepper, chopped and seeded (optional)
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
  • juice of 2 limes
  • salt to taste
  • blue corn tortilla chips and/or romaine lettuce leaves

method:

  1. Chop all ingredients and place in large bowl.
  2. Top with lime juice and salt to taste.
  3. Enjoy by the spoonful, as a dip with chips, or create lettuce boats with romaine lettuce leaves!
Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | RED, WHITE, & BLUEBERRIES PART II: BERRY PATRIOTIC JICAMA SALSA + A SPLASH OF STYLE
Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | RED, WHITE, & BLUEBERRIES PART II: BERRY PATRIOTIC JICAMA SALSA + A SPLASH OF STYLE
Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | RED, WHITE, & BLUEBERRIES PART II: BERRY PATRIOTIC JICAMA SALSA + A SPLASH OF STYLE
Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | RED, WHITE, & BLUEBERRIES PART II: BERRY PATRIOTIC JICAMA SALSA + A SPLASH OF STYLE

Bonus

Salsa + Style

Nothing goes better with a sweet and spicy salsa than a splash of style!

Whether you're planning to dress up or dress down, here are my picks for the holiday weekend!

  • Dress up: It will most likely be hot out, so if you're planning to dress up, opt for something lightweight with a relaxed fit, like this red cotton dress from J.Crew. It pairs perfectly with these J.Crew heels (another recent pair of #shinyponies that I received from my contest winnings!). The starburst on the toe-strap just screams fireworks, and the color combination makes them slightly patriotic, but not in a cheesy way. If I know I'm going to potentially be walking in grass, the chunky heel is much easier to avoid sinking into the mud, and they make my feet a lot less sore by the end of the night. To top it off, add in some bold costume jewelry, like this flower-burst statement necklace from Anthropologie.
  • Dress down: If you're planning on getting down and dirty with the kids lighting off fireworks, or just want to feel a little more chill, you can't go wrong with a tank and shorts, like this red and white combo from Gap and American Eagle. A pair of slip-ons is my go-to for shoes, like these red Toms--easy to kick off and go barefoot in the grass or dip in the pool (ahhh summertime!). If you're going to be by some water during the day, a cute hat like this super patriotic Patagonia trucker is perfect. If you pull your hair back, throw on a classic paisley bandana, like this one from Lucky.
  • Both ways: If you don't feel like carrying a purse, just bring a small wallet, like this envelope-style card holder from Banana Republic, that goes great with both outfits. And finally, duh, duh , duh, duh! ...my most worn piece of clothing to date--the chambray button-up. This J.Crew staple has gotten me through a lot of cool evenings, chilly restaurants, and downright cold flights. This piece is lightweight, yet it will keep your arms warm, and goes perfect with either outfit! I do not leave home without it!
Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | RED, WHITE, & BLUEBERRIES PART II: BERRY PATRIOTIC JICAMA SALSA + A SPLASH OF STYLE

Have A 'Bomb' Independence Day!

Leave a comment below and let me know if you'd like to see more fashion + style blog posts! Don't forget to sign-up for my In The Raw newsletter for a dose of monthly wisdom and inspiration, and to stay up-to-date on my latest blog posts and announcements!

If you missed the previous blog post, scroll down for more Red, White, & Blueberry goodness!

Until next time, have a fantastic weekend and enjoy the explosions in the sky!

Designed For Your Lifestyle,

Erin 

Erin Stanczyk