As registered dietitians and personal trainers if there’s one thing that we’ve learned from our clients, it’s that there’s nothing more valuable than having a few healthy, satisfying, weeknight meals that you can turn to that can be tossed together in less than 30 minutes. Who’s got time to slave over the stove after a long day? Not us–and not you! So we’ve got your watch, your healthy heart and little waist-line with this meal! 😉 We’ve been loving this simple to make, weight loss meal with its satisfying combo of fiber and protein from lentils– and our clients fell tongue over lentil for it! 🙂 Give these tacos a whirl, you may just call these dinner –a few nights a week.
What makes these vegan tacos good for weight loss?
Other than the fact that on any given night, you can whip together a delicious, healthy Mexican meal and be eating in practically less time than it takes to have calorie-and- fat-loaded take-out delivered, this meal is low-fat and vegan, which research has shown that eating this way increases weight loss and body composition even compared to a Mediterranean diet. Plus, lentils are particularly helpful for weight loss—you can really sink your teeth into them, and they’re packed with protein and fiber, low in fat and are an amazing source of slow-digesting carbohydrates that keep you feeling full and satisfied longer than other foods. Research has shown that lentils help to suppress appetite when eaten as part of a meal, like in these lentil tacos, and that they may keep you feeling fuller for longer, even reducing calorie intake at your next meal. What’s more, lentils are pulses (beans, chickpeas, split peas) which have been shown to help with weight control, even when calories aren’t restricted.
Can this vegan food fight cravings?
You bet! Lentils, avocado and the corn tortilla—and the veggies all play a part. Much of this has to do with the protein, fiber and blood-sugar stabilizing components in these tacos. Lentils are a high-fiber, low-glycemic food that helps to stabilize blood sugar levels—preventing energy crashes that lead to cravings. Heart-healthy avocado provides satisfaction that keeps you fuller longer, preventing energy dips that cause cravings that can spoil your weigh loss efforts. Whole-grain corn tortillas provide carb satisfaction without blood sugar spikes—all helping to avert cravings. And those veggies in these tacos—keep you feeling full from their fiber, that you get with very few calories!
Can eating these tacos prevent overeating?
YES! With 20 grams of plant-based protein, 14 grams of fiber in 400 calories, blood sugar remains stable, preventing spikes and crashes, keeping energy on an even keep, helping to avert cravings—and the overeating that comes with it. Much of the blood sugar, stabilizing effects come from Lentils—just ½ cup has 8 grams of fiber, about one third (women) and one-quarter (men) of your daily needs and most people fall short of the requirements and get just about this much fiber in a full day.
What do vegans eat when they crave meat?
These tacos!- That’s because vegans go for lentils often when they crave meat. Lentils have that meaty mouthfeel and are packed with protein for satisfaction. Add their fiber (8 grams in a half cup!) and you really have something to sink your teeth into and to feel satisfied!
Easy—ready to eat in less than 30 minutes!
Hello Meatless Monday that’s so delish even meat lovers won’t miss the beef!
Pssst… if you’re serving these and looking for some sides or other dishes, you may enjoy these:
Do the avocados help you to absorb nutrients?
The avocados act as a nutrient booster and their healthy fat aids in absorbing some of the nutrients in the tomato—the avocado helps you to absorb the lycopene in the tomato which acts like a natural sunscreen! Adios sombrero, the tomato’s lycopene will help to protect your skin now! 🤣
Avocado & Lentil Vegan Tacos
Get ready to dive into these yumsters–you’ll never look back–and you’ll never feel better! 😉
Make 4 servings
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne powder
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
2½ cups pre-cooked lentils (we used Trader Joe’s Ready-to-Eat Steamed Lentils}
¼ cup water
8 whole grain corn tortillas, ideally organic or Non-GMO
1 large tomato
1. Heat oil a large pan over medium-low heat. Once oil is warm, add cumin, chili powder and cayenne and stir until fragrant.
2. Add lentils and water and stir. Season with cracked pepper. Allow mixture to heat over low heat to simmer for several minutes until heated through.
3. Meanwhile slice avocado and tomato and place 2 tortillas on 4 plates.
4. Add salt to the lentil mixture if using, and stir in. Adding it last will help you to need less salt.
5. Add about ¼ cup of lentils in a row down the middle of each tortilla. Top with tomato and avocado. Flip the tortalla in half and serve, enjoy!
Nutrition Facts Per 2 Tacos: 405 Calories, 9 g fat, 61 g carbohydrate, 20 g protein, 500 mg sodium, 14 g fiber
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne powder
- Fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 2½ cups pre-cooked lentils (we used Trader Joe's Ready-to-Eat Steamed Lentils}
- ¼ cup water
- 8 whole grain corn tortillas, ideally organic or Non-GMO
- 1 avocado
- 1 large tomato
- Heat oil a large pan over medium-low heat. Once oil is warm, add cumin, chili powder and cayenne and stir until fragrant.
- Add lentils and water and stir. Season with cracked pepper. Allow mixture to heat over low heat to simmer for several minutes until heated through.
- Meanwhile slice avocado and tomato and place 2 tortillas on 4 plates.
- Add salt to the lentil mixture if using, and stir in. Adding it last will help you to need less salt.
- Add about ¼ cup of lentils in a row down the middle of each tortilla. Top with tomato and avocado. Flip the tortalla in half and serve, enjoy!