Apr 252015

Taco Tray

Since this is a make-ahead mix, you can prepare several packets at once and keep them on the pantry shelf. If you’re not into making homemade mixes, then you just make tacos, and when the preparation instructions call for you to add a packet of mix, simply measure all of the mix ingredients straight into the skillet with your meat.

If you are allergic to corn, then feel free to use rice flour instead. I’ve used cornmeal as the thickener because my step-mother, who is from Nicaragua, always did it that way. It makes the taco mix nice and thick, but you don’t notice it at all in the prepared dish.

Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon dry minced onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes or ground red pepper or ground chipotle pepper (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal OR rice flour

Combine all of the ingredients in a small jar, or a snack-size storage bag, or a small plain white envelope. Label and seal. Store on the pantry shelf until needed.

This saves a ton over buying the prepackaged gluten free version from the store, plus it can be prepared with as much or as little salt as you want to add.

For the entire recipe: 106 Calories; 2g Fat (14.6% calories from fat); 3g Protein; 22g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 1149mg Sodium.

Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 1 Vegetable; 1/2 Fat.

To Prepare:

  • 1 pound ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 packet Taco Seasoning Mix
  • 1 cup water

Cook the ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up into small bits as you go along. When it’s well done, drain off the fat. If desired, pour the ground beef into a colander. Run hot water over the beef in the colander and allow it drain. Rinse the skillet in hot water and return it to the stove. Put the ground beef back into the skillet.

Add the Taco Seasoning Mix and water to the ground beef. Cook and stir until thickened. It should simmer for about 10 minutes for optimum flavor. Serve in taco shells or taco salads or burritos. If desired add a 15-ounce can of refried beans to the meat mixture and use to make beef and bean burritos. Very tasty and cheap too.

This recipe makes enough filling for a dozen hard taco shells. We top ours with shredded cabbage, salsa and Togurt or dairy-free sour cream. Shredded carrot is also a popular topping at my house. When we don’t have salsa, we use canned no-salt-added tomatoes, which have been well drained. Of course, fresh chopped tomatoes are tasty too, but expensive out of season. Canned, no-salt-added tomatoes taste fresher and sweeter than the salt-added version. Shredded cabbage is cheaper than shredded lettuce and my family has actually come to prefer shredded cabbage on their tacos over the years. They complain when they have to use lettuce instead. Shredded carrots are cheap, sweet and look a little like shredded cheese, so they appeal to the eye, making dairy-free tacos look more like conventional tacos.

For the entire recipe as written: 810 Calories; 45g Fat (50.1% calories from fat); 78g Protein; 22g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 208mg Cholesterol; 1352mg Sodium.

Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 11 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 3 Fat.

Divide by the number of servings you  make.

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