Meatless Monday has become a ritual for us… a ritual that almost never actually takes place on a Monday. In my many adventures in budgeting groceries (including making two week menu plans, shopping lists and epic grocery store trips twice a month) I’ve learned to cut corners by incorporating egg dishes and meatless meals as part of our weekly dinner routine. That being said, the search for new recipe ideas is an endless journey. Thank God for Pinterest.
That’s exactly how I came across this amazing recipe for Slow Cooker Lentil and Brown Rice Tacos from Melanie Makes. Not only was it super tasty, but my six-year-old actually asked if we can always have “bean tacos like these ones” every time we do taco night. Considering he is that one kid in every family that won’t eat anything EVER, that’s a major compliment.
I can’t stress how affordable this recipe is to make too. I picked up two boxes of brand name taco shells, an 8 oz container of whole sour cream, a huge bunch of green onions and a four-pack of tomatoes at the 99 Only store for $1 apiece. The avocados came from a family member’s tree. The cheese, lentils and brown rice were a saving grace from WIC. Everything else (onion, garlic, seasonings) were kitchen staples that we already had on hand. So even though we doubled the recipe so we could use the leftovers for lunch the next couple days and Taco Salad for dinner the following night, we still only spent $5. Let that sink in for a moment… $5… to feed a family of five… dinner for two nights and lunch for two days. That’s $0.25 per person, per meal! You can’t beat that with a stick!
So without further ado, here is our new favorite recipe…
- 1 cup lentils
- 1/2 cup brown rice
- 1 onion, diced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 4-1/2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1-1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Dump everything into the slow cooker. Stir.
- Cover and cook on high for 4 hours. Stir only once, during the last hour of cooking.
- Serve with taco shells and all the fixings. Eat. Yum
It’s not crazy spicy or anything, just full of really good flavor. Still, I mixed a dollop of sour cream to a small bowl of the “meat mixture” to make it more mild for the kids.
Our 2-year-old ate three tacos! She even cleaned the goodies off her plate.
4-year-old JD was warned to slow down a few times. LOL! Happy customers all around the table though… and please disregard his brother’s spooky shadow in the background. Charlie can’t resist a good shadow on a wall.