Lentil Tacos and A New Blog for Bloggers

Health Blog Helper is Born

Happy Monday!  I’m super excited to announce the launch of my new blog, one that went from conception to execution in a single weekend!  The blog is called Health Blog Helper, and it’s all about stuff that we as health bloggers can do to make our blogs better.

In studying blogs in other niches, I’ve noticed that we have a lot to learn from them.  I’ve been dying to start sharing what I’ve learned, especially about making our blogs more visible to search engines, something I’ve had incredible results with.  But this type of information just doesn’t have a place on No Meat Athlete, since many readers aren’t bloggers.  Solution: Health Blog Helper!

Non-bloggers: I may mention Health Blog Helper a few times here as it’s getting off the ground, but I’ll keep it to a minimum.  Mostly, you’ll get the same old NMA that you’ve grown to love/tolerate.

Lentil Tacos

[lentil soft tacos photo]Erin and I have felt really busy recently.  Kind of funny, since you wouldn’t think a grad student would be too busy during the summer.  But with running, blogging, visitors, and the news of Erin’s pregnancy, things have felt like a whirlwind for the past few weeks.  And unfortunately, this has come at the expense of cooking.  Summers are usually the time when I try out any and all kinds of new recipes, but over the past few weeks we’ve been eating out a lot and cooking some old favorites that we know are quick and reliable.

This weekend, though, we decided we’ve had enough.  It’s time to start cooking again.  With school starting up for me this week, we need to get back to diligently planning meals, because take-out pizza and veggie wraps aren’t going to cut it.

Last night we made something we’ve been meaning to try for a while, the lentil tacos that Sarah from Running to Slow Things Down guest-posted about back in July.  In my comment on Sarah’s guest post, I even wrote that this would be the first lentil recipe I’d try.  (It wasn’t, Snobby Joes was.)  So lentil tacos were a long time coming.

Erin and I used to love taco night before we became vegetarian.  But their slow progression from ground beef to turkey to TVP had really taken a lot of the ole! out of taco night.  I thought the TVP tacos were good when we had them, but since we haven’t made them much since, I must not have liked them as much as I thought.  Plus, the fact that TVP is so processed is kind of a turn-off.  But the lentil tacos have breathed new life into taco night.

[lentil hard tacos photo]

Let me tell you, mis amigos, these things were awesome!  Erin went with the hard tacos, I chose soft corn tortillas.  The lentil mixture had a unique sweetness to it, owing to the chopped raisins that were simmered with the lentils.

Two other great things about this recipe: First, the seasoning is just a combination of chili powder and cumin.  So no more of those store-bought packets with who-knows-what preservatives and artificial flavorings.  Second, lentil beans are a whole food (with lots of protein, if that’s your concern), so these vegetarian tacos don’t feel fake at all.  Hey, people eat bean burritos all the time, right?  So lentil tacos aren’t nearly the stretch that they might seem.  And since Erin and I were told that our baby is roughly the size of a lentil bean, they hold a special place in my heart at the moment!  Though I guess eating them in tacos makes that thought a little weird…

Moving on.  If you try this recipe, you’ll probably need a lot more liquid (either veggie stock or water) than the one cup that the recipe calls for.  We did.

Five Weeks Left

I’m in a strange state of denial about the Wineglass Marathon being scantly more than a month away.  Seeing as it will be my sixth full marathon, there’s really no good reason for any nervousness.  But I suspect that it’s because it will be the first time that I truly feel I have a decent shot at qualifying for Boston, my singular goal for my entire running life.  In the past, I’ve gone to bed the night before marathons thinking “I don’t expect to qualify tomorrow, but I guess there’s always a chance.”  This time it will be different.  Throughout this entire training program, I’ve expected to qualify.  Anything less, much as I hate to say it, will be a disappointment.  And I think it’s that thought that’s hard to face.

The good news is that my training is going really well.  I hit the paces I wanted to on my track and tempo runs this week, and my second-to-last 20-miler is tomorrow.  As far as I can tell, I’m injury free.  I’ve even had some success in dealing with that nasty blister of mine, using Blister Shield, foam pre-wrap, and sports tape.

So things are good, but the great big shadow of the marathon looming on the horizon is just a little bit unnerving.



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  1. Matt, i love the sounds of these lentil tacos, i totally need to try them! 🙂

    I’m also reallllllll excited to check out the new site! thanks in advance! 🙂
    .-= Lizzy´s last blog ..frozen =-.

  2. Hey hey! I think it is COMPLETELY understandable that you guys have been so busy and haven’t had time to cook! These tacos sound great. I am going to bookmark the recipe! I plan on trying your corn cakes with black beans tonight (can’t wait!)Glad the running is going well and I am super excited to check out the new site
    .-= Erica´s last blog ..Busy Weekend, Bad Blogger 😉 =-.

  3. i think as competitive, goal-setting runners there will always be a degree of nervousness before a race. at least, any race where we have a particular time goal in mind! review your training and be confident!
    .-= lindsay´s last blog ..winner winner chicken dinner =-.

  4. Fabulous, I love lentils and am always glad to have another way to use them!
    .-= meatlessmama´s last blog ..Sea Salt vs. Refined Salt =-.

  5. I’ve got some lentils that I’m not sure what to do with…I’ll have to give these tacos a try!

    I was okay with not qualifying for Boston during my first two marathons…I thought that there was a chance that I would, but other circumstances definitely made it MUCH harder to qualify. (On my feet all day before my first, then heat wave 2007 for my second…excuses? Who knows. Anyway.) I was going to be extremely disappointed if I didn’t qualify during my third. Luckily I did! Confidence is half the battle.
    .-= Susan´s last blog ..Wastin’ away again in Margarita(cupcake!)ville… =-.

  6. i am really so excited for your new site! thanks so much for the help – i will definitely e-mail you tonight about the wordpress stuff!

    mmmm lentil tacos…i need to make those and get more creative in the kitch!

    how scary is the marathon countdown? mine is 33 days! eek…20 miles on tap in two weeks. i know you are going to rock it!
    .-= Holly (The Healthy Everythingtarian)´s last blog ..So long, fair well… =-.

  7. I know that same feeling about the looming marathon. 5 weeks from yesterday and the last 18 weeks will be put to the test. I am so afraid to just barely not qualify and many other circumstances that I don’t know how I am going to make it through the next month. I did 18 with 14 at marathon pace yesterday and it was EASY. That worries me even more. I am even too superstitious to blog about it anymore. I am too worried to jinx myself. AHHHH!

  8. Fall marathon season is so quickly approaching! Can’t believe you’ll be so close to me too, Corning is about an hour and a half from here.

    LOVE lentil tacos, they are a fav here!

    Off to check out the new site, love reading blogs about blogs. 😉
    .-= Alison´s last blog ..To Do Lists =-.

  9. Those tacos look wonderful and filling! Tried your corny cakes with black beans, yummy! I love the idea of the new site, I definitely need help in this department and have been wanting to get a new site going for awhile, but time and budget has gotten in the way. Thanks! Keep your eye on the prize and just go for it with positive thoughts!
    .-= EatingRD´s last blog ..eating healthy on a budget =-.

  10. You’re my running hero. “Oh, it’s just my sixth marathon…” hehe.

    Lentil tacos sound yummy! It’s fantastic how easy it is to make up your own spice blends at home. No pre-packaged stuff necessary.
    .-= Sagan´s last blog ..Vegan Challenge kick-off =-.

  11. Sarah may hate me when I confess that I haven’t tried lentils before? 😛 I’ll read that guest post and maybe try it this fall.

    Glad your training is going well. Make the best of the last five weeks and come race day, you’ll meet all expectations. Keep it up; you’re an inspiration!
    .-= Mia {runs and rests}´s last blog ..Bus + TV = Running Inspiration =-.

  12. I love both of these ideas! (the new blog and the lentil tacos, that is)

    It’s pretty exciting to know you have a shot at qualifying for Boston! Definitely nerve-wracking, but awesome.
    .-= Daria (Summer of the CSAs)´s last blog ..Just Call Me Mother Hubbard =-.

  13. YAY! So glad you enjoyed the lentil taco recipe. It’s one of my faves, and I’m actually making it by the end of this week again. 😀

    Best of luck with the marathon training!! You’re doing great, keep it up! 😀
    .-= Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down)´s last blog ..If at first you don’t succeed… =-.

  14. cool veg idea for tacos!

    i love to mush balck beans, avocado, and a good quality salsa together for a veg taco meat, i will have to try your version too!
    .-= dee (the apple hill adventurer)´s last blog ..Case of the Mondays cured =-.

  15. Just tried these last week – I really liked them! We had been using the TVP and taco mix. This wasn’t any harder (maybe a little longer) and sooooo much nicer to know all the ingredients.

  16. I have to try this! Another good use for tacos are chick peas. Cook them in your favorite salsa, cut up zucchini, and some spinach all in a skillet on the stove and fill those taco shells up with yummy awesomeness. I def don’t miss beef tacos after this concoction!

  17. So in honor of National Taco Day today and at my husband’s request, this is what’s cooking at our house tonight! We’re still fairly new to running and I have yet to do my 1st marathon, but it’s on tap for January, My husband ran his 1st in May. (Injury and surgery took me out of that one.) I don’t think Boston will ever be in the plan for us, but that would be very cool! Congratulations to you! My husband just moved to the vegetarian side about a month ago. I think you had a lot to do with that, by the way. I’m not quite there yet, but you’re recipes are helping me get there. Keep them coming!

  18. I would really love the taco lentil recipe!!! I keep clicking on links and the pages aren’t found:( Anyone? Doesn’t have to be exact, I have just never cooked lentils and really unsure what I am doing.

  19. I am trying to find this recipe. I made them once and LOVED them. Can anyone help me out on getting this recipe? I have tried that links with no success.

  20. The link in the article no longer works. Here’s a link to the recipe that should work: http://www.runnersworld.com/recipes/lentil-tacos

    Bon appetit, everyone!

  21. Oh no!!!! The recipe link doesn’t work and I haven’t had a chance to write it down 🙁 Anyway have this written down???

  22. The links don’t work anymore. Can someone please post the actual recipe?

  23. Obviously Matt moved on here or he’d reply. Too bad, made these a few times and were very happy with the turnout.

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