Per Serving: $1.00
Anyway, I have a few regrets about my time in Peru.
1) Not learning enough Spanish. I had a crazy teaching schedule that didn't work with Spanish classes, but I wish I'd been more proactive about learning.
2) Not taking cooking classes. I mean, I learned a lot about the food by reading, asking questions, and spending way too much time at the market, but I wish I'd been able to take more authentic Peruvian cooking classes. We took a touristy cooking class in Cusco, and I loved it, but I already knew how to make everything in that class...I wanted to learn about the crazy stuff. You know, like chicken feet. HAH.
We didn't eat chicken feet. I didn't really want to eat them. You know what we did eat? Lentils. Lots and lots of lentils. LENTEJAS.
So cheap and tasty. I'm actually not sure if I'd ever made lentils before we lived in Peru, but Zac and I both fell in love with them while we were there and found ways to use them in place of ground beef. Cause one time at the beginning we had rotten ground beef. So we didn't wanna buy it again.
Enough babbling, already. This is one such situation in which you can use lentils. They're super awesome in spaghetti sauce (I know, weird, right?), but also in place of ground beef in TACOS. And since tortillas in Peru are a) expensive and b) gross, we would wrap them up in lettuce...which we had to wash and soak in some sort of antibacterial chlorine solution to avoid 24 hours on the toilet. TMI.
These lentil lettuce wraps are a little spicy, with a hint of sweetness from the tomatoes and the quick vinegar deglaze. Then top them with lime (100% required) and avocado in either chunked or mashed form. You won't hate them, I promise.
- 1 Tbsp oil (I used coconut)
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red jalapeño or other spicy pepper (we use the whole thing, ribs and seeds included), minced
- 1 carrot, shredded (or diced 1/4 inch)
- 1 tomato, diced
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp black pepper (or to taste)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp vinegar (white, dark, apple cider, etc.)
- 1 cup lentils, dry (or ~2.5 cups cooked)
- 3 cups water
- 2-4 Tbsp more water, if necessary
- 6-10 lettuce leaves (butter lettuce, romaine, bib lettuce, or cabbage)
- 1 avocado
- 1 lime
- In large pot with a lid, saute onion in oil until soft, add garlic and jalapeño and saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Add carrots, diced tomato and seasonings (except salt). Saute 5-8 minutes until tomatoes start to break down. Deglaze the pot a bit with vinegar. (WIthout removing anything!)
- Add lentils and 3 cups water. Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer until water evaporates and lentils are soft (20-25 minutes). Add a little more water if necessary to keep it from sticking and then add salt.
- Let cool briefly (otherwise it will wilt your lettuce wraps right away!) Serve on sturdy lettuce or cabbage leaves with avocado and fresh lime. (Or mash the avo to make quick guacamole.)
- *One serving is 2 lettuce wraps, which is the perfect size for lunch. If you want a little more food, you can use up to 1.5 cups dry lentils and ~3/4 cup more water without increasing the other ingredients.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 35 mins
- Category: Entree