One Night a Week / by Annemie Tonken

Once upon a time, I could cook. In fact, there was a period in my life where food was something of an obsession - reading about it, preparing it, talking about it, and - of course - eating it. At the time, Matt and I were both working in the schmancy restaurant scene in New York City, and it wasn't uncommon for us to get off of work at 1 or 2am and head to SoHo for a four-hour, six-course tasting menu, or devote an entire day to planning and preparing some off-the-wall dinner... even if it was just for the two of us. It has now been - let's see, how old is Oliver now? - over six years since I've even THOUGHT about spending that kind of energy, time, or money on a meal. In fact, I essentially gave up cooking too, based on both my husband's talent and love for it and what became my crazy, erratic schedule. But after years of doing nearly 100% of the meal planning, preparation, and cleanup, Matt has finally asked for a break, to the tune of one night a week.

And y'all... I'm feeling a bit intimidated.

So I thought: what better way to hold myself to it than to share my trials and tribulations in public on the blog? My goal is to go beyond our usual menu and try a different recipe each week - ideally one that is both relatively healthy and appealing to both the adults and the kids. Also, I don't have time to do a bunch of prep or cleanup, so I'm keeping it simple... and by publishing it here, I'm hoping you'll help me out with recommendations, encouragement, and/or wine pairing suggestions... 'cause I'm thinking I'm going to be needing a lot of wine  :D

This week's attempt: Lentil Tacos

Lentil Tacos

Ingredients:

  • Plenty of olive oil
  • 1 cup diced red onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 cup dried french lentils
  • 2-ish tbsp adobo seasoning (or plain old taco seasoning, if you are too lazy to drive to Asheville for your spices)
  • 2.5 cups water
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 1.5 cups crumbled (good) feta
  • 2 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 3 chopped scallions
  • 1-2 cups diced tomato
  • 1 lime

Lentil TacosHeat 1-2 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook onion until it begins to soften (3 to 4 minutes), then add garlic for another minute. Add lentils and taco seasoning and cook until spices are fragrant and lentils are dry, about 1 minute. Add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until lentils are tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Uncover lentils and cook until mixture thickens, 6 to 8 minutes. In the meantime, lightly fry individual tortillas in a tsp (each) of olive oil over medium heat and put in a warm oven (or toaster oven) to keep warm. Once lentils have thickened, salt and pepper to taste, then spoon 1/4 cup into each taco shell and top with cabbage, scallions, feta, tomato, lime juice, hot sauce, etc., etc.

Booyah!

And from the peanut gallery:

Lentil Tacos

xox,

annemie