Chipotle Lentil Fajita Bowls

I let one of my blogging besties take over the blog today.  You guys are in good hands because not only is Jane a domestic goddess but she’s a force to be reckoned with in the kitchen as well!  She also makes a mean cocktail =)  Hello triple threat!

She made us Chipotle Lentil Fajita Bowls!  YUM!

Chipotle Lentil Fajita Bowls:

You know those meatless meal recipes that call for imitation meat, or just using tofu in place of meat? They don’t really rock my world because that imitation meat is chock-full of sodium, gluten, and heaven knows what else . . . and my husband won’t touch them with a ten foot pole.

So when I decided to make more meatless-yet-high-protein dinners, we had one too many bean-based meals, and let’s not even talk about my tofu attempts. My husband will eat that, but I know he doesn’t enjoy it.
Then I discovered lentils. Oh my gosh, they are freakin’ awesome! Tasty and filling and . . dare I say “meaty?” There’s just something about them that rocks my world so much more than any black or pinto beans do.
Enter my Chipotle Lentil Fajita Bowls. Over the past few months these guys have become my go-to quick dinner of choice. I make a huge batch of the lentils ahead of time, and then freeze them in smaller portions that I defrost whenever I need a quick meal.
Once I perfected the recipe I was hooked, and now my husband and I eat them several nights a week. They’re super tasty, filling, inexpensive and the best part? They don’t taste like a meal that’s trying to be healthy or meatless – they’re just plain good.


Why This Recipe Is Awesome:

  • Dried lentils are an inexpensive and easy-to-store protein
  • Unlike dried beans, dried lentils cook up quickly
  • Gluten free, vegan, low-carb, high-protein
  • Totally easy to make-ahead and freeze
  • Did I mention it’s tasty??

Chipotle Lentil Fajita Bowls

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1.5 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp dried chipotle pepper powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • 2 1/2 cups low sodium veggie broth (water works in a pinch)
  • 1 cup salsa (or can of diced tomatoes)
  • Fresh spinach
  • Peppers & onions, sliced
  • Zucchini, chopped
  • Avocado, sliced
  • Fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • Hot sauce (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, saute the diced onions, garlic, and a sprinkle of chipotle powder in a teaspoon of grape seed oil.
  2. When the onions are translucent, add the lentils and veggie broth and 1/2 the salsa.
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the lentils are mushy. (If the liquid runs low as it simmers, throw in some more broth or water.)
  4. Mix in the rest of the salsa.
  5. Remove from heat and let sit for a few. The mixture will thicken as it cools.
  6. Fire up a saute pan and saute those peppers, onions, and zucchini.
  7. Place some fresh spinach in a bowl.
  8. Top it with the lentils, followed by the pepper/onion/zucchini mix.
  9. Top it off with some fresh avocado and cilantro (I love a huge handful of the stuff) and a drizzle of hot sauce if you're feeling spicy.
  10. Chow down. Try not to eat all the leftovers at once. They freeze well.

Is there anything prettier than fresh veggies? I don’t think so!
Now, as Jenn would say…

Let’s Get Cooking!

  1. In a large pot, saute the diced onions, garlic, and a sprinkle of chipotle powder in a teaspoon of grape seed oil.
  2. When the onions are translucent, add the lentils and veggie broth and 1/2 the salsa.
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the lentils are mushy. (If the liquid runs low as it simmers, throw in some more broth or water.)
  4. Mix in the rest of the salsa.
  5. Remove from heat and let sit for a few. The mixture will thicken as it cools.
  6. Fire up a saute pan and saute those peppers, onions, and zucchini.
  7. Place some fresh spinach in a bowl.
  8. Top it with the lentils, followed by the pepper/onion/zucchini mix.
  9. Top it off with some fresh avocado and cilantro (I love a huge handful of the stuff) and a drizzle of hot sauce if you’re feeling spicy.
  10. Chow down. Try not to eat all the leftovers at once. They freeze well.

That may look like a long list, but trust me – it’s pretty simple. Especially if you follow steps 1-5 ahead of time. Then it’s just a matter of sauteing some fresh veggies and popping them all in the bowl.

  A few tips & modifications:

  • We eat this in a bowl over fresh spinach because it lowers the carbs and gives us an extra dose of veggies, but it can totally be used in a fajita or taco shell instead.
  • If you don’t like chipotle, just leave that seasoning out.
  • If you don’t have the right veggies on hand, don’t worry. I’ve served the lentils over pretty much every veggie I have left over in the fridge. It always works. 🙂
  • Love the taste of sauteed red peppers but hate the price? Snag a bag of frozen ones. They’re cheaper and almost as good.
  • Love garlic but hate to chop it? I keep a jar of chopped garlic in my fridge for those days when I just don’t feel like prepping the fresh raw stuff.
  • Cooking with oil: I use grape seed oil instead of olive oil. Has a higher heat tolerance and is supposed to be healthier. Use whatever floats your boat!

 

 

Thanks so much, Jenn, for letting me stop by and share my favorite weeknight dinner recipe! I hope you’re getting some sleep and still finding time to eat your veggies 🙂 If your tummy is full and you’re in the mood to read, I can be found blogging about rental-friendly decorating (and random bits of life) over at The Borrowed Abode.
 
Sleep?  Bahahaha!  Gotta love her sense of humor. I am getting some quality baby nomming in though so I can’t complain!  The chickpea’s toes are quite edible!  Biggest thanks ever to Jane for coming to my rescue and helping me keep Peas and Crayons veggie-riffic during my current state of chaos.  And seriously — go visit her blog.  She’s amazing!  The Borrowed Abode was one of the first blogs I started reading back in the day [5 years ago? something crazy like that!] and I still stalk Janey-poo on the regular.  Thanks again schnookums!  Now come make me this bowl of deliciousness before I try to eat my laptop!
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Comments

  • Britton

    I had this for dinner tonight, so delicious!

  • Anne

    Thanks!

  • Hi Anne! So sorry to leave you hanging. I throw the spices in to the pot at the same time that I add the lentils to cook, so right after I saute the onions, etc.

    With the chipotle pepper powder, I use a whole Tbsp when I make this batch, but I meant to change it to a sprinkle just for people who don’t like that much heat. Honestly that part is just a matter of personal preference. I’d say just do a 1/2 tsp to start and then adjust it from there the second time you make it. Hope this all makes sense!

  • Anne

    When does the cumin and oregano go in? Also, in the ingredients list, it calls for 1 Tbsp of chipotle pepper powder, but in the directions it only says to put a “sprinkle.” Am I missing something?

  • Loni

    I just made this last night for my friends, it was a huge hit! Thanks for the great recipe!!! 🙂

  • Deirdre

    Yes Please!!!

  • Jan @ Sprouts n Squats

    This looks so yummy!! Now I’m craving Mexican food 🙂

  • Meghan@CleanEasFastFeets

    I agree. Lentils are yummy and this veggie filled bowl sounds delicious. This recipe is a keeper for sure. Thanks for sharing.

  • Amy @ The Little Honey Bee

    Yum! I haven’t cooked much with dry lentils but what a great recipe

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