Red Lentil and Brown Rice Tacos

Monday, August 26, 2013


I told Heidi a few weeks ago that getting married is overrated.  I said that people who go around wishing they had a spouse were those that were looking for happiness in all the wrong places.  The only person who can make you happy is yourself.  I prefaced this thought by saying I may be completely ignorant because I've always had someone.  And maybe I just have no idea what I'm talking about.  Heidi agreed with my thoughts, but part of me wondered if she was just agreeing because she loves me.

From a young age I was taught to never depend on a man for happiness or money or comfort.  That I don't need anyone.  I brought this belief system into my marriage and so often find myself escaping into my own little world of taking care of myself, my house, and my husband, choosing to do everything on my own rather than asking him for help.  It's a control issue, I know, but it's also the way I prove to myself that I'm a strong woman.  That I'm independent.  I'm married to the man I love, but I don't need him.  I don't need anyone.


But just a few days after having that conversation with Heidi, I found myself in the arms of my husband.  He cradled me as I sunk deep into his arms, tears streaming down my face.  "I'm not a very strong person..." I whispered.  "You're the strongest person in the world," he responded.  I smiled slightly, as I breathed in his skin, the scent that I fell in love with nearly 10 years ago.  He comforted me as I shared all my fears and insecurities.  He reciprocated, and we met each other with warmth and understanding.  We pointed out all the parts of our lives that we are grateful for, and all the dreams we have for the future.  He made me laugh, like only he can.  I thought about how grateful I am to have found this man, and to be able to share my life with him.  To share my messy, snotty insides, my most vulnerable state, and know that he will not judge me.  That he will, on some level, bring me happiness.  An inner contentment.  And I instantly felt foolish for what I had said to Heidi earlier in the week.

I was wrong, Heidi.  It's ok to need someone.  Marriage is a beautiful thing, full of hard work and unconditional love.  And I hope one day you have it.

Notes:  These tacos were born out of my love of lentils and my desire to sneak more of them into Dayv's diet. The addition of red lentils to the brown rice creates an almost "sticky" texture and makes it easier to stuff the tacos.  Dayv was enthusiastic about how much he enjoyed this dinner, and never questioned the filling.

Red Lentil and Brown Rice Tacos
makes six tacos
1/2 c brown rice, dry
1/4 c red lentils, rinsed and picked over
1 1/2 c water
1/3-1/2 c mozzarella-style cheese shreds
6 hard tacos
vegan sour cream 
1/2-3/4 c salsa (depending on your preference)
1 c shredded lettuce

Combine rice, lentils, and water in a medium pot.  Bring to boil, cover, and reduce heat to low.  Allow to cook until all water has been absorbed (about 30-40 minutes).

Preheat oven to 400.  On an unlined baking sheet, place taco shells.  Sprinkle cheese on the inside, bottom half of shell.  Bake for 3 minutes.

After shells have cooled, take one and, using a butter knife, spread sour cream on the inner half without the melted cheese.  Fill the shell 3/4 of the way with the rice/lentil mixture.  Top with approximately two tablespoons of salsa, and complete with lettuce.  Repeat with remaining taco shells and ingredients.  Enjoy!

18 comments:

  1. Don't you just love when they don't question every aspect of the meal :) Having a partner is pretty amazing, I always considered myself to be very independent but also grateful to have someone that compliments me so well and keeps me balanced, Justin is my balance- if it were not for him sometimes I would be a raging high strung lunatic :)

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    1. yes, i do! especially since he's such a questioner ;) thank you for your thoughtful comment <3

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  2. Mmmmm love tacos! Especially the crunchy shells! I can't wait to try the filling - I like the sound of it being kinda sticky! Makes it more hearty!

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  3. ooh these tacos would be perfect to change up the usual lentils in a dal!
    I hear you. I think I wanted to be super independent and self sufficient mainly because I did not want to fall into the cultural stereotype. But then things got shook up just 1.5 years after the wedding. and hubbs is the best thing that could have ever happened to me at the right time. And i am so happy that I let go a bit and connected with him then.:)

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    1. you have such a unique situation, richa, and i love your story so much. i appreciate you not wanting to fall into a stereotype. i feel that way, too, sometimes.

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  4. This is such a lovely post, Caitlin :)

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  5. Another gorgeous post Caitlin. Feeling secure and independent and not having to rely on anyone else for your own happiness is a wonderful state to be in. Having someone to share your life with is a bonus :)

    Not sure I want to share those delicious tacos with anyone though!

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    1. thank you so much for your comment, lisa <3 i completely agree!

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  6. Just for the record Caitlin, you are one of the strongest, toughest, most loving woman I know!!!! I am so glad that you have such an amazing husband by your side. Together you both are stronger!

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    1. and YOU are the strongest, toughest woman i know! i love you!

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  7. I too have always believed that I shouldn't have to rely on a man for anything and am fiercely independent. But, like you said, sometimes it feels good to know that you are not alone and have someone to lean on and comfort you when in need. I don't think that makes you weak, just human.

    These tacos look awesome, love that they use red lentils, what a great idea.

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  8. I grew up being fiercely independent too and I still am, but I think what I found in my husband is someone who I can be fiercely independent with together. If that makes any sense? He gets me and lets me be me and that is an awesome thing. It sounds like you have that too and you're right, it's okay to need someone else.

    ...and now you have me craving tacos!

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    1. i completely agree with you! dayv and i are both really independent, which is one of the great things about our relationship. we both support each other's decisions and passions, and i think we are incredibly close because of it ;) thanks for the comment, lady!

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