Jolly and The G Man came over for dinner Tuesday night, and I had to come up with something quick and reasonably easy – what Meema wants to spend all of her time cooking when she can be playing with an adorable little boy? – as well as something we’d all enjoy (Jolly, along with The Young One, is one of my “picky eaters”).
So we had tacos. Jolly and G had theirs on soft flour tortillas, while Beloved and I had ours wrapped in large leaves of romaine lettuce.
I like to make my own taco seasoning, because you never know what will be in the pre-packaged variety – many brands contain added sugars, milk solids, wheat flour or corn starch, and MSG. Homemade is not at all hard, it’s cheaper and it tastes better to boot. And if you’re like me, you have everything on hand so whipping up the seasoning mixture is no problem at all (some day I’m going to have to post photos of my spice cabinet). I like to use ancho or chipotle chili powder in my taco seasoning, but regular old chili powder will work just fine.
This recipe will season two pounds of ground meat. Does it have to be beef? Nope – it’ll work well with ground turkey, ground pork, ground goat; I’m not sure about lamb at this point, but will be soon since we’re going to buy a spring lamb this year. You can halve the mixture for one pound of meat, or you can quadruple it and save it in a plastic container so you won’t have to mix it from scratch the next time you want to use it.
I had about half of the two pounds of meat left over from our taco night – I used a little of it in my scrambled eggs this morning, and topped it with salsa. Yumm-o! (Yes, I’ve decided to channel my inner Anne Burrel.) I still have quite a bit left, so I’m going to have to think of something different to do with it; I’ll let you know what it is.
As for these babies – leave off the cheese and top them with a nice salsa (no sugar added!), chopped tomatoes, sliced ripe olives and a good homemade guacamole, and you’re in Whole30 heaven, Mexican-style.
Note: Your taco meat will be a little drier with a homemade seasoning, because there is no thickener and no need to add water. If you like, you can add a teaspoon of arrowroot powder or tapioca starch to the mix and stir in a 1/3 cup of water while cooking.
- 2 pounds ground meat
- 1/2 cup onion, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 2 tablespoons ancho chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
- Combine the chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper and cayenne in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Brown the ground meat in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high eat with the onion and the garlic. When the onion begins to turn soft, but the meat is not quite cooked through, add the spice mixture, working it into the meat with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula.
- Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the meat is browned and fragrant.
- Nutrition (per serving): 303 calories, 23.2g total fat, 80.5mg cholesterol, 463.2mg sodium, 383.8mg potassium, 2.9g carbohydrates, 1.1g fiber, <1g sugar, 20.1g protein