Nothing cures a…well, ANYTHING…better than a taco night! If you’re looking for an easy, quick and fun meal, tacos are a great idea. Meat (or meat alternative), shells, toppings, DONE! They’re quick to make and probably even quicker to eat, if you get as hungry and excited as I do.
Taco nights have always been a guilty pleasure of mine…until I started realizing there was no reason for me to feel guilty. I had the idea, for years, that tacos were unhealthy. Totally not the case! What is a concern is the trans-fats that some store-bought taco shells contain. Many are made using hydrogenated soybean oil. There are ways around this! Some brands are better than others, check out the labels at your grocery store or try visiting your local health food store or organic grocery aisle for healthier options. You can even use soft tortillas or wraps.
I’ve also found some great ways to make your own hard taco shells. These methods look pretty quick and simple. I’m going to try making my own taco shells next time around. Click here for some shell making ideas: Easy Healthy Taco Shells and Make Your Own Baked Taco Shells.
This is also a very kid-friendly dinner idea. You can lay all the pieces to the taco puzzle on the table and everyone makes their own. Fun, fun, fun!
Recipe For A Taco Fiesta At Home
Things You’ll Need:
- Taco filling: I usually use ground beef. Ground chicken, turkey, or anything really, could work too. If you don’t eat meat, use tofu or a meat substitute.
- Veggies to add to filling: I usually add garlic, onions, bell peppers, jalapenos, sometimes mushrooms to my taco filling…makes it a little tastier.
- Taco seasoning: You can buy packets of taco seasoning or make your own. (See below for a taco seasoning recipe)
- Taco shells: Hard or soft…or both. See the above links to making your own healthier hard taco shells
- TOPPINGS! You can get creative with the toppings. Use whatever you like!
Some toppings I use are:
- Tomatoes, chopped
- Lettuce, chopped
- Red onions, chopped
- Guacamole: for my fave recipe click here.
- Cheese: I usually go with Cheddar, you could also try a more authentic cheese and use crumbled Cotija.
- Jalapeno peppers, sliced. (I like ’em hot hot hot!) Sometimes I use the pickled jalapenos.
- Pickled red onions
- Hot sauce
- Lime juice/lime wedges to squeeze
Taco Seasoning Recipe
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon dry oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Use as much or as little as you like. Add more or less red pepper flakes depending on how spicy you like your food.
Here are some photos and a few steps to guide you on your journey to a taco-happy night. (If you need guidance, of course. It’s pretty straightforward.)
I always start by throwing some chopped garlic, onions, bell peppers, and jalapenos (or whatever else floats your boat) into my pan with a touch of oil. I know a lot of people just do: MEAT + TACO SEASONING +EAT. I like to add a bit of extra flavour to the meat, so just saute for a few minutes until the onions and garlic soften up a bit. Then add your meat or whatever meat alternative you choose.
Remember to always fully cook your ground beef! I posted an entry on the importance of cooking and handling ground beef properly.
When your beef is browned, drain out the excess oil and add about 1/2 to 2/3 cups of water and taco seasoning. Let it simmer for about 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl.
Warm up or prep your tacos by whichever method you’ve chosen. Store bought tacos usually warm up in a few minutes in the oven.
Get all your goodies on the table and start making your tacos! Stuff tacos, stuff face, repeat! Try to be polite about it. 🙂