Tex Mex Lentil Recipe – 350 Calories and 1.46 Pounds Per Serving

I’ve been working on some new recipes lately. They are optimized to be 400 calories or less and at least 1 pound of food each.

Why do this? Because the average person eats 3-4 pounds of food per day.

Eat that as vegetables and you are talking about 1200 or so calories that will fill you up. 4 pounds of veggies is hard to stomach time and time again.

Thus we take standard yummy recipes and add vegetables until we get to a lovely balance where we can eat it every week.

And this one’s vegan and Trader Joe’s based.

Shopping List:

Go to Trader Joe’s and get
  • 1 package Polenta (near canned tomato stuff)
  • 1 package Dry lentils – any color you like. Recipe stats are for green lentils but smaller ones will have more fiber per gram
  • 1 package Fake Beef (near the tofu and guacamole)
  • 1 package Taco seasoning (near the tomato sauce) – Note: I find the Trader Joe’s taco seasoning wayyy too spicy. I get mine elsewhere and get the mild version. To each their own. You have been warned.
  • 1 can Tomato sauce
  • 8 roma tomatoes
  • 1 sweet onion (or regular onions if you like, they will have more cancer fighting allicin. To optimize for cancer prevention, chop onions, wait 10 minutes for chemical reactions to occur, then briefly cook in the microwave or on the stovetop to help the meal prep last longer without spoilage. Read more about allicin, sleep better –  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4366009/ )


  1. Start the lentils a cooking. Use a good sized pot. You’ll mix everything in it later. Read the instructions on the lentils package. Generally you measure one unit then add 4 units of water (1 cup of lentils, 4 cups of water, bring to a boil, cook for 20-30 minutes). The instructions recommend less water. Instructions lie. Cook only 200 grams of lentils for the exact recipe or 1 cup to make it easy to measure but it won’t match the stats below.
  2. Chop 1 small onion. Set aside for 10 minutes. Don’t wait, do the other stuff below. We’ll get back to this bad boy.
  3. Get ye 4 meal prep containers
  4. Chop up the polenta. I like big chunks. You might like smaller ones. It’s up to you. Just start cutting.
  5. Dice up the tomatoes into 1/2 inch cubes. Don’t be perfect. Just start chopping.
  6. Did you finish all that chopping in less than 10 minutes? If so come work in my restaurant! If not it’s probably been long enough. At minimum cook the onions. I microwave them for 2 minutes because I’m lazy and don’t want to add oil. You can also stir fry them to caramelize them but the extra oil isn’t accounting for in the stats below. Either way, cook ye some chopped onions.
  7. After cooking the chopped onions in your preferred manner do the same for the tomatoes. You can cook them all together if you want in a little veggie broth. Personally I just microwave them all but I wanted to give you options!
  8. Oh yeah, why even cook these? Most times with meal prep if you just chop raw veggies then microwave them later at work they come out perfectly cooked. This is especially true for broccoli. Broccoli loves microwaves! This is not true for onions. They hide, the run, the scream when they can. I find they never cook thoroughly when cooked along other things either on the microwave or on the stove top. Want to fight cancer with allicin? Then don’t cook your onions! Want better tasting meal preps? Cook those onions separate so there’s nowhere to hide!
  9. The lentils should be done by now. Check them. Pull one out. Is it soft? Blow on it a little to cool it then plop it in your mouth and chew. Any crunchie parts? If yes, it’s not done. Add water, bring back to a boil and set a timer for another 5 minutes. Check and repeat till it’s ready.
  10. When the lentils are done drain the water if any is left. Leave just a bit of water. We can use it.
  11. Ideally you used a good sized pot. Let’s say you did. Now add everything to the pot. Stir.
  12. Dispense to the 4 meal prep containers. Seal and refrigerate.
  13. You are done. If you weren’t drinking a beer while doing this it might be time to pop one open and celebrate your good work.

Stats for the nerdy:

350 calories per serving

1.46 pounds per serving

Why does the pounds per serving matter?

Humans eat 3-4 pounds of food no matter what it’s made of per day on average. Adding vegetables increases weight without many calories.
We’re hacking the system with this recipe by adding more tomato sauce, roma tomatoes, and onions – https://www.precisionnutrition.com/what-are-your-4-lbs)
USDA PN 4 lbs Article Nutrition Facts Mioscene 350 1.46 17.15
Recipe Recipe Amount Serving Size Food Serving Size (grams) Serving Size Amount Total Weight (grams) Calories Fat (g) Total Carb (g) Fiber (g) Protein (g) Total Calories Total Weight (lbs) Total Fiber (g) Fat (%) Carbs (%) Protein (%) % Check
Mexican Lentils (350, 1.46) 1.25 1/5 package Trader Joes Polenta 102 1/5 package 1.25 127.5 60 0 14 3.0 1 75 0.28 3.75 0% 117% 8% 125%
Mexican Lentils (350, 1.46) 0.5 100 grams Lentils 100 100 grams 0.5 50 116 0.4 20 8.0 9 58 0.11 4.00 2% 34% 16% 52%
Mexican Lentils (350, 1.46) 1.5 1/3 cup (6 per container) Trader Joes Fake Beef 55 1/3 cup (6 per container) 1.5 82.5 60 1 4 3.0 9 90 0.18 4.50 23% 40% 90% 153%
Mexican Lentils (350, 1.46) 3 1/12 envelope TJ Taco Seasoning 3 1/12 envelope 3 9 10 0 1 0.0 0 30 0.02 0.00 0% 120% 0% 120%
Mexican Lentils (350, 1.46) 106.25 grams (1/4 can) Tomato Sauce 62 grams 1.75 108.5 20 0 5 1.0 1 35 0.24 1.75 0% 175% 35% 210%
Mexican Lentils (350, 1.46) 2 small Roma Tomatoes 100 1 small 2 200 18 0.2 3.9 1.2 0.9 36 0.44 2.40 20% 173% 40% 233%
Mexican Lentils (350, 1.46) 0.25 onion Sweet Onion 331 1 onion 0.25 82.75 105 0.3 25 3.0 2.6 26 0.18 0.75 1% 24% 2% 27%

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