Taco Crumbles

By Rip Esselstyn

At our house, we love having tacos or nachos for dinner. Skipping the beef is easy; so is skipping the processed veggie crumbles that are highly processed and sometimes contain oil. You can opt for using beans in your recipes, as so many varieties exist to give you just the right texture or flavor you seek. You can also make your own lentil “crumbles » or no-meat filling.



1/2 cup bulgar wheat

1/2 cup brown lentils

1/2 cup black lentils or french green lentils

3 cups water

2 teaspoons cumin

2 teaspoons chili powder

1/2 teaspoon cayenne (optional)



  1. Combine all ingredients in a deep frying pan, bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until lentils are cooked through.
  2. Serve over brown rice or corn tortillas and top with mixed greens, salsa, cilantro, and green onions to garnish.


Makes 4 servings.


Rip Esselstyn is a mission-driven man. As a swimmer at the University of Texas at Austin, he was a three time All-American. As a professional athlete, he was one of the premier triathletes in the world for more than a decade. As a firefighter for the Austin (TX) Fire Department, he helped people and saved lives. As a friend to other firefighters, he transformed the way Austin’s Engine 2 ate to save firefighters’ health. Now, as the author of The Engine 2 Diet, he is teaching people the irrefutable connection between what they put in their mouths and their ability to reach their ideal weight and their ideal health. Recently, he has teamed up with Whole Foods Market as a Healthy Eating Partner to raise awareness for Whole Foods Market team members, customers, and all of America about the benefits of eating a PlantStrongÔ diet composed of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.



Rip comes from a family steeped in medicine. His great-grandfather, George Crile, co-founded the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic, where his father, Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., was chief of the breast cancer task force and completed one of the most extensive studies ever conducted on the relationship between the heart and diet–proving that a plant-based diet can stop, prevent, and even reverse heart disease. 

Rip serves on the Board of Directors for The Wellness Foundation, EarthSave’s Meals For Health Program, and the AllergyKids Foundation.

No posts to display