February 17, 2016


A favorite dinner of Willem's these days is tacos. He gets to try different combinations, everybody is happy, it's a super simple meal recipe-wise, and with a couple little touches can really hit the spot. Needed to post this so I don't forget it as a good weeknight option when I am desperate for ideas. These are a few things we like when we have tacos:

1. Homemade Taco Seasoning
I mix these dry spices together (ahead of time is great), then stir it into the 1 lb. of hamburger meat after it is browned in the pan. I feel better about this than using the packets of mix so that we aren't consuming maltodextrin, partially hydrogenated oils, etc.

Taco Seasoning Mix
Adapted from allrecipes.com 

1 T chili powder
1/4 t garlic powder 
1/4 t onion powder  (or dried minced onion, or omit)
1/4 t dried oregano 
1/2 t paprika
1 1/2 t ground cumin 
1 t salt
1 t black pepper 

Stir together spices in a small dish. Cook ~1 lb. meat till browned. Stir in seasoning mix and 2/3 cup water and 2 teaspoons flour until most of the liquid is cooked off. Smells delicious cooking!
2. Pickled Onions! 
They make the meal for the grown-ups. Got them from this black-bean burrito recipe, but they are good on lots of stuff. Also can be made ahead, drained, refrigerated.

3 T red wine vinegar
2 T sugar
2 C water 
1 t salt
1 small onion, thinly sliced 

Bring first four ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan. Add onion and simmer, uncovered, about 3 minutes. Drain. 

3. Shredded Chicken in Mixer
When we aren't using beef but instead leftover cooked chicken, I recently tried out the technique I'd been told about of throwing the boneless cooked chicken in the stand mixer fitted with the beater, and turning it on. Give it a minute and is is perfectly shredded! Probably everyone already knew this trick but me but it makes such a difference I had to share just in case. (We also use this technique now when making quesadillas, enchiladas, or anything with shredded chicken. So easy!) 
4. Grilled Corn
Put a bag of frozen corn in a small rimmed pan. Toss with some oil, salt, and pepper. Broil for a few minutes, stirring once partway through till some pieces are browned.  


soft taco shells
beef or chicken
grated cheese
chopped avocado
roasted corn
chopped lettuce
chopped tomato
pickled onions
sour cream
chopped cilantro
lime wedges for squeezing

Cook meat. 

Prep and set out various accompaniments in separate bowls. Warm taco shells. Enjoy!

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