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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

Cauliflower Power Salad

Eat, Food + Nutrition, RecipesErin StanczykComment

CRUCIFEROUS VEGGIES FOR THE WIN

We all know that eating more veggies is always a good idea, but cruciferous veggies are of particular importance to our health, due to a phytochemical known as sulforaphane that is activated when we chop and/or chew them.

Erin Stanczyk | EatMoveRest | CAULIFLOWER POWER SALAD
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Here's a list of the numerous benefits:

  • Cancer-fighting
  • Wards off depression and anxiety
  • Improves cardiovascular function
  • Reduces inflammation & aids in pain management
  • Stabilizes blood sugar & lowers diabetes risk
  • Helps cognitive function & brain health
  • Click here for more studies!
Erin Stanczyk | EatMoveRest | CAULIFLOWER POWER SALAD

Get to know your cruciferous veggies at the grocery store:

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  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Cabbage
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Collard Greens
  • Turnips
  • Radishes
  • Arugula
  • Bok Choi
  • ...and the list goes on!

While each cruciferous vegetable contains its own unique vitamins and minerals, in general, this sub-group is high in Vitamins A, C, K, and fiber!

Erin Stanczyk | EatMoveRest | CAULIFLOWER POWER SALAD
Erin Stanczyk | EatMoveRest | CAULIFLOWER POWER SALAD
Erin Stanczyk | EatMoveRest | CAULIFLOWER POWER SALAD

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Cauliflower Power Salad

This Asian-inspired salad is full of color and life! There is no cooking involved in this dish, and in minutes, you'll have a bowl full of cruciferous goodness to feed a crowd! This recipe goes great on a bed of greens, bundled up in a wrap, or all by itself!

vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, low-fat, protein-packed + rainbow-licious

time: 15 min // serves: a crowd

ingredients:

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 2 mediums carrots
  • 1 cup red cabbage
  • 1 cup shelled edamame, thawed
  • 4 tablespoons liquid aminos

method:

  1. Break cauliflower into individual florets and pulse in food processor until rice-like consistency is achieved. Be care not to over-process or it will become too watery. Pour into large mixing bowl.
  2. Break broccoli into individual florets and pulse in food processor until a consistency similar to the cauliflower is achieved. Pour into mixing bowl along with cauliflower.
  3. Shred carrots using the food processor "shredding" blade attachment. You can also use a carrot peeler, instead. Pour into mixing bowl along with other ingredients.
  4. Thinly slice red cabbage with a sharp knife or a mandolin. Add to mixing bowl.
  5. Allow shelled edamame to thaw, or place in a strainer and run under hot water until thawed. (Note, do not consume raw soy. All frozen soy is blanched, so it is safe to eat as is). Add to mixing bowl.
  6. Measure out liquid aminos, starting with less, and adding more to taste. Pour over veggies in mixing bowl and mix with hands until evenly coated and dispersed. Enjoy!

notes:

  • This salad is best eaten right after prepared, but will keep in the refrigerator for a day or two.
  • To make this salad soy-free, try using thawed lima beans instead of edamame, and coconut aminos instead of liquid aminos!
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AS SEEN ON YOUTUBE

Watch as I chop up this fresh, CauliPower Salad on the EatMoveRest YouTube channel! Be sure to Subscribe, turn Notifications On, give it a Thumbs Up, leave some love in the Comments, & Share with friends & family!


Erin Stanczyk | EatMoveRest | CAULIFLOWER POWER SALAD
Erin Stanczyk | EatMoveRest | CAULIFLOWER POWER SALAD

CauliPower up

Raw foods are full of living and active enzymes, and this salad is no exception! Cruciferous veggies will do your body good, so make sure to get them into your diet on the daily! Be sure to share your version of this recipe on Instagram and use the hashtag #EatMoveRest and tag me @ErinStanczyk so I can check it out! 

Until next time, EatMoveRest Your Best!

DESIGNED FOR YOUR LIFESTYLE,

ERIN

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