Enjoying the Last few weeks of Summer!
As a shared in my last post, I have been on a mission to thoroughly enjoy the last weeks of summer and the last bit of time with my daughter before she starts school in September. And, we have been doing just that! Here is a photo of her at a Princess Tea Party – this was just after she got her face painted. I was able to snap the photo right at the moment of the big reveal – the face just says it all!
We even got away for a week to Family Camp. Although daddy couldn’t join us because of work, Caleigh and I had a blast! I did yoga on the dock every morning while she participated in the kids program. Then we spent the rest of the day together playing, exploring, doing crafts, and feeding chipmunks. It was so nice to get away from our daily routine and just focus on spending time together and having fun!
There were 3 things that I noticed while I was gone…
1) Children spend most of their time being present – observing, watching, listening, and being curious. There is a reason that people refer to ‘child-like curiosity’ and wonder.
2) When we spend time in nature something amazing happens. I felt so calm and relaxed while I was away. The sight of the lake and trees, the sound of the waves, birds, leaves, and rain, and the smell of fresh air. These are all things that our body craves and thanks us for when we surround ourselves in it.
3) Unplugging from technology, even for part of the day can do wonders for your mental health, your physical health, and your relationships. Camp had a strict ‘no technology outside of your cabins’ rule. It was incredible how odd it felt at first to walk around without my cell phone and to sit and watch my daughter play without checking my email or being distracted by something. What was also incredible was how I was able to bond more closely with her and how I made friendships with total strangers because I didn’t have technology interfering and distancing me from others.
So, what can you learn from my observations? When did you last experience the awe and wonder of a child? When were you last present in and surrounded by nature? Can you unplug from technology, at least for half a day (just to see what it’s like)?
I plan to do all of that again, and soon! I’m feeling the call for another nature fix and I’ve tentatively made plans to join some friends at a cabin near North Bay in early September. This time we’ll be even further immersed in nature since there isn’t even electricity at this cabin. Woohoo! I think it’ll be awesome 🙂
Ok, now on to the vegan taco recipe…
(This is what I actually intended to focus on in this post!). This taco recipe definitely piqued my curiosity and the fresh, plant-based ingredients bring me one step closer to nature within my kitchen.
This is another one of my Pinterest favs! I absolutely love the blog ‘Oh She Glows’ (healthy, yummy, vegan recipes from an Ontario gal) and was totally intrigued when I found her green lentil walnut taco recipe online (original post here).
I expected it to be good, but I didn’t expect to absolutely love it! This stuff is so darn tasty, my hubby, daughter and I all liked our plates clean. And I made a layered, casserole type dish with the leftovers for lunch the following day. Seriously, yum! Normally I modify recipes that I find online but this one didn’t need anything changed – it was perfect as is (Thank you Angela!)
I also have to mention that this dish is vegan, gluten-free, full of flavour, jam-packed with fibre, and has a ton of protein. Perfect for a week night dinner!
If you have any healthy eating skeptics around, feed them this!
OMG! Vegan Taco Recipe
For the lentil walnut filling:
- 1 cup uncooked French green lentils (you will need 1 3/4 cups cooked lentils)
- 1 cup walnut pieces, toasted
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, or to taste
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons water
For the toppings/wraps:
- 1-2 bell peppers, thinly sliced
- 1/2-1 large onion, thinly sliced
- Cashew Sour Cream (see below for link)
- Diced tomatoes or salsa
- Green onion & fresh lime juice, for garnish
- lettuce wraps (large romaine, Iceburg, or Butter lettuce leaves)
- Other topping options: Sliced avocado, hot sauce, cilantro, etc.
- Cook the lentils: Rinse lentils in a fine mesh sieve. Add to a medium pot along with a few cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 20-25 minutes until tender (cook time will vary depending on the type of lentils you use – see package). Drain off excess water.
- Toast the walnuts: Preheat oven to 300F. Add walnuts onto a rimmed baking sheet and toast for 10-13 minutes, watching closely, until lightly golden and fragrant. Set aside to cool briefly.
- Sauté the pepper + onion filling: Add 1/2-1 tablespoon of oil into a large skillet or wok. Cook the onion and peppers over medium heat for about 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently, until soft.
- Prepare the taco meat: Add 1 3/4 cups cooked lentils (you’ll have some leftover) and all the toasted walnuts into a food processor and pulse until chopped (make sure to leave texture). Stir or pulse in the oregano, cumin, chili powder, and salt. Stir in the oil and the water until combined.
- Prepare the rest of your vegetable toppings and wash + dry the lettuce wraps.
- Assemble: Add a large lettuce leaf onto a plate, top with taco meat, sautéed peppers + onion, and the rest of your desired toppings.
Note: Angela (the goddess behind ‘Oh She Glows’) shares her Cashew Sour Cream recipe here.
Nutrition info (1/4 recipe, lentil walnut filling only):
517 calories, 26g protein, 23g fat, 57g carbs, 24g dietary fibre, 2g sugar, 291mg sodium
Want to print this recipe? Printer-friendly version here: OMG Vegan Tacos
Looking for more awesome recipes and healthy lifestyle support? Email me: Lisa@healthappeal.ca