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Kansas' Winning Recipe: Lentil Tacos with Cilantro-Avocado Drizzle

“This recipe includes a number of colorful ingredients such as corn, lentils, peaches, cabbage, cilantro, and garlic, all of which are grown in Kansas. My recipe has many healthy ingredients from each food group on MyPlate, such as whole grains in the tortillas; vegetables like purple cabbage and garlic; fruits like pineapple tidbits and avocado; lentils, for protein; and dairy from the Greek yogurt. I also made a Mango-Peach Smoothie to add more fruit and dairy. My family enjoyed eating this meal, so I hope you enjoy it, too."

Joey Heidari, Age 12, the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from Kansas

Makes 4 Servings


For the Lentil Tacos:

  • 1 ¼ cup water
  • ½ cup green lentils
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground ancho chili pepper
  • 4 whole-grain tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded purple cabbage
  • ½ cup canned pineapple, drained
  • ½ fresh lime, quartered

For the Cilantro-Avocado Drizzle

  • 1 small ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and thinly sliced
  • ½ cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

For the Mango-Peach Smoothie (not pictured):

  • ½ cup sliced peaches
  • ½ cup frozen mango chunks
  • ½ cup low-fat milk\
  • ½ cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt  


  1. To make the Lentil Tacos: In a large stockpot, bring 1 cup of water to a boil over medium heat. Add lentils, return to boiling, reduce heat, partially cover, and simmer for 25 minutes, or until al dente. Remove from heat and drain. In a small nonstick skillet, warm the olive oil on medium heat and add the garlic. Cook for 1 minute then add the lentils, salt, oregano, cumin, chili pepper, and remaining ¼ cup water. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes or until most of the water evaporates.
  2. To make Cilantro-Avocado Drizzle: In a food processor, combine all ingredients and pulse until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl for serving.
  3. To Assemble: Divide lentil mixture amongst the tortillas and top with cabbage, pineapple, fresh lime, and Cilantro-Avocado Drizzle.
  4. To make Mango-Peach Smoothie: Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  

347 calories 11g fat 48g carbohydrates 19g protein