The best way to smuggle… brown lentils

Unless I told you (which of course, now, I have) you’d never know that lentils lurk in this delicious meal. They meld seemlessly in with the vegies, mince and mexican flavourings.

Wraps like tortillas are endlessly awesome at hiding stuff from kids. I always roll a short length of foil around the lower half of them (a great tip from Mel, my book editor). It minimises the mess and turns them into a more exciting space-stick dinner.

Remember that kids always take their cues from YOU. So don’t pull faces and make jokes about hippies. Lentils are incredibly good for you, and these fajitas are REALLY tasty. Let me know how you go!

Beef & lentil fajita recipe

Don't ask, don't tell.

Beef & lentil fajitas

1 tbsp canola oil
1 brown onion, finely diced
4 spring onions, finely sliced
500g beef mince
½ red capsicum, deseeded, finely diced
½ green capsicum, deseeded, finely diced
1 carrot, peeled, grated
400g can brown lentils, rinsed, drained
1 tbsp tomato sauce
1 tbsp BBQ sauce
½ sachet taco seasoning mix
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp dried oregano

To serve
10 ready-made tortillas
Lettuce, shredded
1 cucumber, diced
1 tomato, diced
Avocado, sliced
1 cup grated cheese
Coriander leaves

Heat the canola oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Fry the onion and spring onion until golden and softened, 5 minutes or so. Add the mince and cook until totally brown, breaking up lumps as you go.

Add all the capsicum, carrot, lentils, sauces and taco mix (go easy, taste then add more if needed. The sachets tend to be very salty). Or, if you are making your own flavour mix, add all the ingredients now. Stir well. Simmer for 4-5 minutes.

Prepare tortillas according to packet directions.

Tip mince mixture into a large bowl and serve surrounded by the accompaniments all in their own dishes. It’s a fantastic, colourful spread. Let kids build their own fajitas by wrapping a little of everything in a tortilla and they’ll be devoured in no time.


This can all be made ahead, stored in the fridge and put together at the end of the day.

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4 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    […]  Sadly until now most of my taco dinners have come out of bright yellow boxes, except for these fajitas (which of course I call tacos) that are delicious.  As a rule I don’t use packets, I dislike […]

  2. 2

    Rach said,

    Inspired by this post, I whacked some grated carrot and a can of lentils in with my taco mince last night. Kids gobbled it up (they love tacos, at least there is ONE dinner they don’t complain about LOL). When I asked them afterwards what they thought the secret ingredient was (I like to ask/tell them after they’ve eaten something ‘secret’ so they know they’ve had it and might, just might, just jump in and eat it next time they encounter it) – Miss 7 had no idea the lentils were there at all (even after 3 tacos), Master 5 thought the secret ingredient was ‘poop’, he even showed me a ‘poop’ (lentil) in the tiny bit that was left on his plate. No complaints mind you! Being 5 and in well and truly in that toilet humour phase, he probably thought it was a great addition 🙂

    So, lentils now a staple of my taco dinners, and the best bit is they stretch the mince so much further. Thanks Wendy!

  3. 4

    Pip said,

    Tried these for the first time – whole family enjoyed them, and no complaints about the lentils (named ‘rabbit poop’ by my kids). Another meal to add to the rotations – thanks again Wendy!

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