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Heat-Free Lentil and Walnut Tacos from Choosing Raw

Heat-Free Lentil Walnut Tacos

I went raw for a week last year and I had two big takeaways:

1. I like raw food! There are a lot of creative raw recipes out there and while raw Pad Thai never really tastes like Pad Thai, it’s still delicious in its own right. Raw food doesn’t mean you’re subsisting entirely on salads.

2. While I do enjoy raw food, I also enjoy cooked food. I actually worried that after this week of raw eating, I’d feel so fantastic and love it so much that I would want to go 100% raw. That didn’t happen! Even though I enjoyed the raw foods, I found myself craving warm things — I missed the feeling of eating warm food.

So after this week of raw food, I started incorporating more raw food into my diet. The nice thing about this is that because I’m not strict in my definition of raw, it gives me a little more flexibility when I’m eating raw foods — I can add cooked quinoa to my salad and not feel like a failure. I’m a big believer in moderation and I think when you get too dogmatic about the way you eat, it can be a little dangerous. Taking a looser approach and upping the raw foods in your diet while still eating food that’s been cooked is a more realistic approach for most people than all-raw, all-the-time.

Choosing Raw Cookbook
This is why I love Gena Hamshaw’s blog Choosing Raw. It has both raw and cooked recipes because Gena believes in the value of both. Because so many of the raw cookbooks out there tend to be all-or-nothing types of things, I was super excited to hear that Gena was working on a cookbook and even more excited to get my hands on it!

Choosing Raw: Making Raw Foods Part of the Way You Eat is a hefty cookbook — nearly half of it is information about health and the raw diet (and meal plans!), but there are also 125 recipes in the book. Just like with Gena’s blog, while the recipes skew raw, they’re not only raw, so they’re perfect for those of us who like raw foods, but don’t adhere to a strict raw lifestyle.

Lentil and Walnut Taco Filling
These Heat-Free Lentil and Walnut Tacos are made with cooked lentils, but the recipe is served chilled or at room temperature. They are amazingly simple to whip up and perfect for a hot summer night when you don’t want to turn on the oven. I added a few pinches of cayenne to mine to make the taco “meat” spicy and topped them with corn salsa, cashew cream, avocado slices, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

Find  Choosing Raw: Making Raw Foods Part of the Way You Eat online at


Heat-Free Lentil and Walnut Tacos

Heat-Free Lentil Walnut Tacos

No skillet needed! This vegan taco filling from Choosing Raw is made with walnuts, lentils, and sun-dried tomatoes.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


  • 1 1/2 cups raw walnuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
  • 10 sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes and drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 cup cooked brown or green lentils
  • Serving Ingredients:
  • 8 large romaine leaves (cabbage, radicchio, and butter lettuce leaves also work well)
  • 1 cup salsa of choice
  • 1 avocado, pitted and sliced


  1. Place the walnuts and sea salt in a food processor and pulse to break the nuts down until crumbly.
  2. Add the tomatoes, spices, and lentils to the processor. Pulse until the mixture is well incorporated. Check for Seasoning, and add additional salt, cumin, or chili as needed. Add a few tablespoons of water, if needed, to bind the mixture together.
  3. Divide the filling into the romaine leaves. Top each with 2 tablespoons of salsa and a few avocado slices. Serve.

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Disclosure: I received a review copy of Choosing Raw and I decided to write a full post about it because I love it! I wasn’t compensated for this post, but the links to are affiliate links.

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  • Reply
    Jessica @ Jessiker Bakes
    August 7, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    I keep seeing this cookbook and I really need to get it. I didn’t realise that I was eating raw a lot! I do love cooked food too, but it’s great to know the nutrition we get from raw food is in vast amounts. Also, walnut meat is THE BEST THING!!! These tacos look amazing. I made lettuce wraps with walnut meat and my meat eating fiancé (who is eating a lot less meat 😀 ) fell in love with them.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      August 12, 2014 at 3:04 pm

      I know, I love walnut meat! And adding lentils makes it even better. 😀

  • Reply
    August 7, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    These look amazing! I love the fact that I don’t have to turn on the stove. Is the corn salsa recipe also on the blog?

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      August 12, 2014 at 3:02 pm

      It’s our photographer Lindsey’s recipe! Here it is:

      Fresh Corn Salsa

      2 1/2 cups diced fresh (or canned) tomatoes
      1 cup fresh corn kernels (can use frozen or canned)
      1 small onion, diced
      1-2 jalapeños, minced
      1 clove garlic, minced
      1 small bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
      Juice of 1 lime
      Sea salt, to taste

      Combine everything in a bowl. Taste and add more salt or lime juice, if needed.

      • Reply
        August 26, 2014 at 12:28 pm

        thanks! Can’t wait to make this

  • Reply
    Tom @ Raise Your Garden
    August 8, 2014 at 7:48 am

    Wow my doctor would be very happy with me if I started eating these walnut taco’s every time we have taco night. Much healthier and I’m sure just as tasty. 🙂

  • Reply
    August 11, 2014 at 7:18 am

    I’ve definitely been intimidated by raw recipes and cookbooks because they seem so restrictive but I love the idea of something that’s more everything-in-moderation. That lentil walnut filling sounds awesome! Definitely a fun way to change up taco night!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      August 12, 2014 at 2:50 pm

      Yes, some raw cookbooks make you feel a little bit guilty about not adhering to a 100% raw diet. Or a lot guilty. 🙂 That’s why I love Choosing Raw!

  • Reply
    V.A. Saunders
    August 25, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    This looks great, although I have a preference for sunflower seeds with lentils. I would also add silken tofu cilantro cream on top: Recipe: 1 pkg Mori Nu silken tofu, 1/3 cup lime juice, 1 small bunch cilantro, 1/2 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp salt. Blend until smooth. Delicious on just about any cuisine that uses cilantro.

  • Reply
    August 26, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    How can this recipe be classed as raw when you cook the lentils??

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      August 27, 2014 at 5:30 pm

      It’s not raw; I mentioned in the post that the Choosing Raw cookbook, like the Choosing Raw blog, has both raw and non-raw options.

  • Reply
    August 29, 2014 at 12:55 am

    I just made this tonight, and it was delicious!! My husband had no clue he wasn’t eating regular hamburger meat!! And he requested seconds!! I call that a success!! I will definitely be making this again!

  • Reply
    October 15, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    Made this tonight for some friends and everyone seemed to love it! I was slightly let down by bad German salsa though, which turned out to be sweeter than expected but the recipe worked great without it too 🙂 Thanks.

  • Reply
    April 12, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    Thanks for posting this. I had to return this book to the library and didn’t get to make this recipe yet. Dinner tonight!

  • Reply
    April 17, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    Hello! Just made these for lunch 🙂 I’m not a fan of walnuts (I wish I were, based on the rave reviews above) so I substituted red quinoa. I don’t have the original to compare to, but I think they were good! A good alternative if there is a tree nut allergy in the family!

  • Reply
    September 8, 2017 at 7:33 am

    I’m wonder how I can freeze these, is that even possible ? Thanks anyway

    • Reply
      September 8, 2017 at 7:48 am

      You should be fine to freeze the filling. Just seal it up in an airtight container. As for the lettuce leaves, your best bet is to go with fresh. 🙂

  • Reply
    September 19, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    Been a stalker here for awhile now. I would love to have this book in my collection. I’m really interested in raw foods right now and this looks incredible. Thank you for the opportunity to win this. I’m sure it would be a pleasure to thumb through and get fresh, new ideas for meals!

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