My desire for vegetables has been fleeting over the course of the first and second trimesters. Some days I don’t want to touch them with a ten foot pole (except in smoothies, maybe), but when I do get a craving for veggies I have to eat all the vegetables, as soon as possible. There’s no middle ground. I either make a salad the size of my head or no salad at all.
These lettuce-wrapped tacos are the result of one of my undeniable, all-consuming veggie cravings last week. All I could think about was something super fresh and crunchy. Before I knew it I was pulling every single vegetable out of my fridge and piling it onto the counter. Eric could see that crazy look in my eyes and he knew I would stop at nothing to get my fix. I whipped up the lentil-walnut taco meat from my cookbook, sautéed some red pepper and onion, blended up some cashew sour cream, and got to chopping. I knew this was going to be the veggie-packed meal of my dreams. I almost shed a tear of joy when I took my first bite. Heck yes. I hit the flavour, texture, freshness jackpot! Somehow I managed to share with Eric and we stuffed ourselves silly. Surprisingly, we even had leftovers for lunch the next day. I’m telling you, these tacos prove that leftovers can be a great thing. It was such a fun treat to open the fridge the next day and have this great lunch waiting to be gobbled up a second time around.
Here’s how I constructed the wraps:
1) Romaine/Iceburg/Butter lettuce “wrap” + Lentil-Walnut Taco Meat (creates an amazing base for a taco!)
2) Sautéed onion and bell pepper:
3) Chopped tomatoes or salsa:
4) Lots of Cashew Sour Cream:
5) Chopped green onion + a squeeze of lime juice
Other topping ideas = sliced avocado, cilantro, hot sauce, _________ ?
6) Stuff into face. Make a HUGE mess. Repeat as necessary (until you can’t fit one more bite).
Veggie craving conquered.
Ultimate Green Taco Wraps
8 large tacos
Get ready to pack a ton of veggies into one irresistible, healthy meal! If you haven't tried my lentil-walnut taco meat, this is a great recipe to do so. It's high in protein, and the taco seasonings and chewy texture create a realistic-tasting taco base. Feel free to use tortilla wraps or corn shells instead of lettuce wraps to change it up, or you can make this recipe into a big salad, too. You can save time by cooking the lentils and prepping the taco meat in advance (or simply use canned lentils). This recipe is inspired by Simple Vegan Blog taco wraps. The lentil-walnut meat is adapted from the from the The Oh She Glows Cookbook (page 186).
For the lentil-walnut taco meat (makes 2 1/2 cups):
- 1 cup uncooked French green lentils (you will use 1 3/4 cups cooked lentils)*
- 1 cup walnut pieces, toasted
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, or to taste
- 1 1/2 tablespoons (22 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) water
For the toppings and wraps:
- 1 to 2 large bell peppers, thinly sliced
- 1/2 to 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- Cashew Sour Cream
- Diced tomatoes or salsa
- Green onion
- Fresh lime juice
- Lettuce wraps (large romaine, iceberg, or butter lettuce leaves)
Other topping options:
- Sliced avocado
- Hot sauce
- Cook the lentils: Rinse lentils in a fine mesh sieve. Add to a medium pot along with a few cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes until tender (cook time will vary depending on the type of lentils you use—see package). Drain off excess water.
- Toast the walnuts: Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C). Add walnuts onto a rimmed baking sheet and toast for 10 to 13 minutes, watching closely, until lightly golden and fragrant. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
- Sauté the pepper and onion filling: Add 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of oil into a large skillet or wok. Cook the onion and peppers over medium heat for about 15 to 20 minutes, reducing heat if necessary and stirring frequently, until translucent.
- Prepare the taco meat: Add 1 3/4 cups cooked lentils (you'll have some leftover) and all the toasted walnuts into a food processor and pulse until chopped (make sure to leave texture). Stir or pulse in the oregano, cumin, chili powder, and salt. Stir in the oil and the water until combined.
- Prepare the rest of your vegetable toppings and wash and dry the lettuce wraps.
- Assemble: Add a large lettuce leaf onto a plate, top with taco meat, sautéed peppers and onion, and the rest of your desired toppings.
- Leftovers can be stored in the fridge in sealed containers to be enjoyed the next couple days. The cashew cream will keep for at least a week in the fridge. Use sour cream leftovers on sandwiches, wraps, stirred into salad dressings, on vegan nachos, or with chili or soup.
- * To save time, you can use one (15-ounce) can of lentils (drained and rinsed) instead of cooking the lentils from scratch. When I have time, I love to cook French green lentils due to their chewy texture, but regular green and brown lentils will work too. Do not use red lentils as they are much too mushy and don't have the required chewy texture for this recipe.
- Make it nut-free: I haven't tried this yet, but you could try subbing the walnuts for 1/2-3/4 cup toasted pepita seeds (shelled pumpkin seeds) and swapping the Cashew Sour Cream with vegan mayo (such as Vegenaise).
I made this recipe for a potluck lunch and everybody liked it. This is a keeper. Will make it again. Thank you for sharing this recipe.
I substituted the 1 cup walnuts with 1/4 cup walnut plus 3/4 cup chopped mushrooms, took out the cumin since my family does not like the taste of cumin. It was still good. Will make this again.
What a deliciously vibrant and rich recipe! We loved them and will certainly make them again. Next time I’ll make them for my parents, in order to convince them that vegan does not mean tasteless ;-) – although I think your expresso torte from the cookbook already did the trick… Thanks Angela!
This was fantastic. I was surprised bc I don’t really like lentils but it just tastes like tacos.
I just finished making these for the third time in about a month. They are delicious! To give you some perspective, my husband, mom, and I took the Engine 2 Diet challenge (book by Rip Esselstyn). We basically went vegan for 28 days! I’m in for the long haul, while my husband and mom will probably stick to it 75+% of the time. That’s a win in my book. (I was vegetarian before the challenge.). Sooooooo this recipe is my “meat and potatoes” husbsnd’s favorite vegan dish. He requests it. He asks that I use the lentil/walnut “meat” alternative in other things as well.
Oh, I used pecans for this last round, since I was out of walnuts. Equally delicious.
Just made these for lunch. I have to say they were not as good as I thought they would be. The walnut “meat” was bland and while I was eating them I was like “please turn into a real taco.”
I really loved these. As someone who still eats meat sometimes, this was a nice substitute. I did mine in lettuce wraps just like the recipe and I loved them. Hardly missed the meat. My boyfriend’s son had one in a taco shell and liked his as well. Nicely done. We will be making these again for sure.
Just prepped the filling and veggies, can’t wait to eat these later! I’m out of cashews though and didn’t realize, so sad – I will top with avocado and salsa and dream about the cashew “mayo” for next time! Love your pretty drizzles. Quick question, did you warm the filling and or/veggies when you ate them as leftovers? If so, how – microwave, stove top? Thanks and congrats on the little one!!!!
I could eat this for days and I wouldn’t get bored. :) Thanks for the great recipe!
Amazing recipe! Walnuts! Who knew?!
Made this for dinner last night…YUM! I used a packed of taco seasoning I already had in the cupboard instead of the spices in the recipe because that’s all I had. Was so good – I ate three and I still have HEAPS left over for lunch at work today…and dinner tonight. Maybe even lunch again tomorrow if I’m lucky ;) I also used green and brown lentils because that’s all I could find in the supermarket. Love this recipe – it’s so fresh and filling, but in the good, satisfying way. THANK YOU :)
I’ve been a on again off again vegetarian for a few years, so when I saw this recipe I knew I had to try it as Mexican food is a staple for me. OH. MY. GOD. SUCCESS! I served it to my entire (very much meat meat eating) family and they liked it so much we’re gonna try and get my marine brother to eat it without telling him it’s vegan. SO GOOD! This is defiantly going to be a go to recipe for me from now on. THANK YOU!
I enjoyed this so much last night! My husband gave it the stink eye, but he enjoyed a few bites too. :) Very authentic tasting. I have been wanting to make a recipe like this for years and never did. I am glad I finally tried yours!
first off, I absolutely love your blog and you have been guiding me from on my journey from a vegetarian to a vegan. Thanks for all the inspiration and great and yummy recipes! With your help in making yummy meals I was even able to make my boyfriend try a vegan month. Yay!
I am writing to ask if there is any way I could use your food pictures when posting links to your blog on our Tumblr. My friend and I creating a online vegan travel agency (www.elskamor), and I would love to be able to promote your delicious recipes.
Thanks so much and greetings from Berlin!
PS: I hope it is ok to get in touch with you here.
Made these for friends over a month ago and they still talk about them!
Summer is approaching down u der I will definitely put this on my to cook list as it looks amazingly delicious……thanks for sharing
Lots of steps! But completely worth it! It is so much more satisfying making everything from scratch. The cashew cream is RIDICULOUS.. Way better than sour cream! I added some garlic powder to.
This has become one of my family’s favorite recipes. I’ve used the idea of the lentil walnut combination from “meatloaf” to “burgers” this is fantastic! My husband was shocked when I told him the sour cream was vegan and made from cashews. Thank you for this idea. It’s so delicious!
YUUMMMMM – just made some tacos for my lunch….I put some chives, mint and Vietnamese mint on top. These are fantastic – thank you! It’s so nice to find vegan recipes that are imaginative and not just the usual curry sort of thing or pizzas etc that you tend to find on websites. I am going to buy the book for myself for Christmas if nobody gives it to me!!
I am so happy. If I’m not eating this, I’m thinking about it.
It’s amazing how much that walnut and lentil mix looks like meat. I’ve been a vegan for so long, that I can honestly say I never really ate meat as a teenager, and I’ve never had the need to eat something that looked like meat like some vegans that convert from meat eaters and miss that texture in their dish. In fact, the texture of meat is what I never liked when I was a kid, which is why I went vegetarian in the first place. So, the fact that you say the texture is pretty realistic makes me wonder if I will like it – but I definitely want to try it! I will let you know.
I love these tacos!! I feel so much better after the lentil/walnut deliciousness than after beef or venison tacos.
Ok so I’ve made these twice now for lunch in the past three days. They are filling, satisfying, tasty, low calorie, easy to make and best of all- guilt free (meatless). Well done!
I am trying to go vegan and a friend recommend your website. This was the first dish I made from it and it was SOOOO good!! I couldn’t eat it fast enough because it was that good! Thank you so much for the wonderful recipe and I look forward to trying other dishes :D
Made these yesterday and rolled the meat in raw collard greens. Oh my god! The meat was sooooo good I, quite honestly, could have eaten the whole batch straight out of the bowl. I have a good quantity left and tonight am going to use the meat to stuff a red pepper and then bake just to soften up the pepper and heat the meat. Will also be stirring some onions and mushrooms into the meat first. My mouth is already watering at the thought of this wonderful supper. Call me shallow, but…. now my life is complete !!! LOL. Thanks sooo much for this most wonderful recipe. This has a Mexican type flavor to it (the cumin) and next time I make this I’ll give it a curry type flavor. This recipe can be used as a wonderful springboard for so much more. Thanks again.
Wow, I loved how you just “blended up” some cashew sour cream and “whipped up” some lentil-walnut taco meat. On a whim, no less!
“Prep time: 30 minutes”? You just always have nuts sitting around, soaking in jars?
I made this recipe, and it was delicious, but it took nearly 4 hours counting the time I had to sufficiently soak the cashews. This definitely was not something I could whip up at a moment’s notice – unless I had cashew cream sitting in my fridge; I didn’t, because it doesn’t keep long – and I’m not an inexperienced cook.
Ah! but the recipe is for Green Taco Wraps – not Green Taco Wraps With Vegan Sour Cream. The sour cream has it’s own recipe with appropriate prep time. Without the sour cream it would take 30 mins if not less.
I was very hesitant to make these after having previously tried another walnut taco meat that was awful, but these blew me away! They were so delicious and I will definitely be making them again. I shouldn’t have doubted, though–I love all of the OSG recipes I’ve tried. Thanks, Angela!
I clicked over here from your 2014 roundup. I love the idea of walnuts and lentils for a filling. What a delicious combination!
This was delicious! Thank you so much :-)
These look great!
PS…I love your work. I have yet to pick up your book but it is on my list now. :)
Just read about this recipe on your best of 2014 post! I literally cannot stop eating. This is such an amazing recipe. Thank you!
I was a little nervous to make these at first. But I’m glad I did. They are amazing and my husband likes them. I will be making them often. Not to mention, the ease of making them.
Wondering what I might use instead of lentils for this??… One of my favourite recipes but turns out we are sensitive to lentils.. :( !!!
Delicious! Supermarket didn’t have Romaine lettuce so I did mini versions on Little Gem lettuce. On little ones they would make a great healthy canapé for parties. Thank you – Yum!
(I used leftover sour cream from Chilli recipe)
I’m wondering if anyone has tried to freeze the lentil-walnut “meat”. I’d like to make a bunch to stock my freezer! :D
I did this recipie to the “T”. Sweet mother of Jesus! It is sooooo good! Thanks a lot for sharing!
Made these for dinner, but substituted sprouted tortillas for lettuce wraps and did not cook the peppers or onions and it made a great taco dinner. My 6 year old daughter ate 2 tacos and my 4 year old almost finished her entire taco. My husband said you could pass the lentil and walnut blend off as meat. I also made Dexoinista’s queso dip and a guacamole to go with it, so it was a fabulous dinner and satisfied everyone’s taco cravings. Thank you.
These were so delicious! My husband and I just finished eating and we LOVED them. I love the simplicity of it. It was a quick weeknight dinner. ADDED BONUS – we had so much fun eating them out of the lettuce, because it was a bit messy and they kept falling apart. We laughed so hard at each other.
Loved this recipe and have made it 4 times in two weeks. I did half sunflower seeds and half walnuts and loved the result. The taco mix was nutty and just right in texture. To add just a little extra heat to the tacos I added siracha and the flavor of garlic and spice was just right. We hosted some friends who are not vegan and they were way impressed. We also had the Caesar salad and the group raved!
Made these last night and wow, very good!
I’m doing a vegan diet for January and so far it’s been going extremely well! Your recipes are such a great inspiration!! THANK YOU.
I tried this walnut meat recipe but it came out extremely dry that I just smothered it in sriracha and hoped for the best. Any suggestions??
These are sooo good! The cashew sour cream is absolutely divine. I made it the day before I made the tacos, and hubby and I each took a spoonful to taste. We looked over at each other, made that “holy moly this is awesome” eye contact, with smiles spreading slowly across our faces. I had a bit of the parmesan topping left over from your Crowd Pleasing Caesar salad, so that went on top of the first couple of tacos to use it up and was a nice cheezy touch. We used sliced avocado and hot sauce as additional toppings. Will definitely make again, had no problems and the taste is amazing!
Just started on the vegan wagon with husband. We’ve been skeptical of some substitutions for our usual meat, but THIS was amazing! Toddler kept grabbing for my taco ignoring the chicken on his plate!! My boys are Latino carnivores and they loved this! I’m trying your chilli next…
I made these on Thursday and loved them. It was bursting with flavor. I topped it with salsa, the cashew ‘sour cream” (leftover from the yummy chili recipe I made from here on Wednesday), cilantro, tomatoes & thought they were the perfect tacos. My mum & fiance on the other hand thought the flavor was too much. Next time I make them, I will cut the spices in half (cumin, chilli powder, etc) and see how it goes. I took it in to my vegetarian co worker and like me, she thought the flavor was perfect and was going to make them immediately, as is. Served these with the smashed potatoes with avocado aoli (also from here)-those were out of this world.
Let’s start by saying I’m a meat eater. I’ve tried Veggie Crumbles in an attempt to cut down on meat intake- I HATED it. I’ve been turned off by anything replacing actual meat.
This is opposite. I didn’t think the ingredients would “fool” my tastebuds… I’ve never eaten lentils before, but I knew I wouldn’t find them delicious… I made it anyways and I will have no trouble swapping this recipe for my hamburger taco meat. Very good!
This looks great and I will try tonight. I must say the pics are great but one or two would be enough, it takes awhile to scroll down to the actual recipe. LOL
I love this recipe! It has become a comfort food for me. The textures go wonderfully together as well as the blend of flavors. The spice in the “taco meat” is cooly complimented by the cashew cream. My only complaint is my own fault, I always forget that I have cashews soaking to make the cashew cream and get sidetracked…
Just made this tonight, and it was amazing!! I was running low on nuts, so I used a combo of pecans and sunflower seeds and it turned out great. The cashew sour cream really seals the deal. I made this for my die-hard dairy sour cream-loving husband, and he loved it! We both stuffed our faces. Mmmmmmm…….
I loved this! I made it exactly as written. I found the taco “meat” just a little bit bland alone, but with all of the toppings, it was a perfect combination. I had plenty to eat for days – I used a whole onion and 2 red peppers. I will definitely make this again. The vegan sour cream recipe also makes a generous portion and I used it with a vegan chili as well!
I loved these! Really, I’ve loved everything I’ve tried from you so far. I made them with sunflower seeds(1/2 cup) instead of walnuts and upped the spices a little. Next time I’m going to try mixing in sundried tomatoes and mushrooms…I’ll let u know how it goes ;)