It’s time for another round of Takeout Thursday! (Don’t know what that is? Click Here)
Tacos are one of my favorite meals. Something about them reminds me of warm summer days. So, I wanted to get out of my snowy, wintertime rut, and made a batch. I know that its one of the simpler meals out there, especially if you buy a “taco kit”, but there’s many reasons why making your own (which is also super easy) is better. And, as much as I love some good Mexican take out food, it always seems awfully greasy, and I get so sluggish and sleepy feeling (probably from all the extra bad but oh -so-good fats and salt).
I do also like to make tortillas, which I’ll do in a later post. You may ask, well, what do you do “from scratch” differently than a taco kit?
Spices. Spices. Spices. If you buy the taco kits, or pre made taco spices, a lot of times they are stale and have lost much of their strong flavor by the time they get to you. This also goes for really cheap spice brands. They work for sure, but there’s just nothing like some aromatic, fresher spices. (I’ll do a post in the future on my favorite spice brand). In the end you consume more salt to make up for the missing flavors. Plus, have you ever looked at how much sodium is in a packet of taco seasoning? Ay Caramba! Do yourself and your blood pressure a favor and make your own spice blend! You can even mix a batch and pop it in a mason jar for later use.
On top of all that, you can customize it to the way YOU like it. Like extra cumin? Like more spice? Add more in! Simple. I also like making my own tacos because I can use lean ground turkey or chicken in place of the beef when I want to. You can also add bell peppers, onions, jalapenos into the meat mixture for a little added flare. The options are endless!
What You’ll Need:
+ 1 pound ground chicken (or beef)
+ tortillas (about 6 medium sized)
+ 1 small onion (optional)
+ 1 red bell pepper (optional)
+ 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped (optional)
+ 3 teaspoons chili powder
+ 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
+ 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
+ 1/2 teaspoon paprika
+ 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
+ 1/4 teaspoon oregano
+ 2 teaspoons cumin
+ about 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
+ Toppings for tacos: Salsa, cheese, lettuce, avocado, for example
First, combine the spices in a small bowl or jar. (chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, crushed red pepper, oregano, cumin, and salt and pepper). You will probably not need ALL of the spice at once, so it’s good to have it separate.
Heat up a deep skillet over medium heat. Drizzle a little olive oil in the pan. Cook the ground meat thoroughly. Remove and drain, if desired. Cook onion and peppers in the pan until soft. Add back the meat. Add about 3 Tablespoons of the spices and 1/4 cup water. Stir until combined. Cook down until the spices and water make a nice sauce over the meat mixture. Taste- add more of the spice mix, or add more of one particular spice. This is all about YOUR taste preferences. Some like it hot, some do not!
I like to serve mine with a dollop of mashed avocado, lettuce, cheese, and my homemade salsa. Serve it with some tasty sweet potato chips, and you’ve got yourself a well balanced, healthy, delicious take out meal, made right in your own kitchen!
Have any take out food recipes you’d like to see made at home? Leave a comment below!
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