Tag Archives: tacos

Kids in the Kitchen: Beef Nachos (Homemade Taco Seasoning)

It’s been too long since my last post. I apologize; it’s been a busy few days. Part of that busyness has been positive – I received my new baby last Wednesday (A Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi), so I have been trying to learn my way around it. So far, I’m amazed. Amazed at how easy it is to take a halfway decent photo. My little Olympus Stylus 710 was so limited. I put up with it for a long, long while. It was time, and I finally was able to upgrade, so I did. I couldn’t be happier.

I fully intended on posting this on Saturday or Sunday, but that’s where the not-so-positive part of my busyness comes in. Unfortunately, my laptop took a fierce dive onto the floor, and my hard drive is toast. My loving techie of a husband is working on it, trying to retrieve data off of the hard drive, and replacing it with another one in the meantime. But I was dead in the water this past weekend. Also dead was the recipe for my taco seasoning – it was on that hard drive. I’ve recreated it today, however, to share it with you here. Unfortunately, my not-so-smart self managed to not back up hundreds of photos on that hard drive. I’m learning my lesson – I promise!

Anyway, on to the reason for this post! Brittany wanted to make lunch this time around, and nachos were one of the first things in mind. I was up for nachos – this has to be one of the easiest “Kids in the Kitchen” dishes to date! We were eating within 15-20 minutes of our start time. That’s my idea of a nice, easy lunch!

Brittany liked these – hers were simply topped with taco meat, shredded cheddar, and pickled jalapenos. “Just like I eat at school,” she said. (The school lunches have either improved since I was in school, or her tastes are skewed…I can’t remember a nacho plate, or if there was one, I’m sure it wasn’t appetizing enough to actually eat.) Regardless, these nachos boast real cheddar, lean hormone-free ground beef, and taco seasoning without gluten, preservatives, or sugar. I would consider that a step up from the school lunch.  I topped mine with a mix of cheddar and pepper jack, black beans, tomatoes, and cilantro to add some interest. Nothing fancy, but it was a pretty tasty lunch indeed!

Homemade Taco Seasoning

2 T chile powder (such as ancho or cascabel)

2 T ground cumin

1 T onion powder

1 T garlic powder

1 T paprika

1 T fine sea salt

Mix together, store in an airtight container in a cool place. Use 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning to season 1 pound of ground beef.

To season ground beef: Brown 1 pound ground beef in a skillet at medium-high heat, crumbling with a spatula or wooden spoon. Halfway through the browning process, season with 2 tablespoons taco seasoning and mix throughout. Continue to brown until no longer pink. Drain if necessary.

One last thing:

Since the earthquake in Haiti, Lauren at Celiac Teen has been working hard to gather recipes from contributing food bloggers all over the world in an effort to help. She has diligently put these recipes together in an e-book, available for purchase on her blog. All donations received for the e-book will be sent to the Canadian Red Cross (Lauren is Canadian) for purposes of helping victims of the Haiti earthquake. The e-book has many wonderful recipes, and many of them are gluten-free or easily gluten-free adaptable. Read more about how to obtain this e-book and contribute here.

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Filed under Appetizers, Beef, Budget-Friendly, Gluten-Free, Main Dishes, Quick and Easy

Kids in the Kitchen: Breakfast Tacos (Taquitos)

This morning, my husband and I were awakened at 7 AM. The kids were awake already. For a Saturday, that’s pretty early. You see, Matt was excited about making breakfast this morning. We had agreed on starting at 9 AM, but by the noise eminating from the living room, he was obviously ready to go well before then. Breakfast tacos (Or taquitos, as they’re called in our house – why? I have no idea.) are Matt’s favorite breakfast treat, and I often make them on weekends. These babies trump any other imagined breakfast food, including donuts, coffee cakes, pancakes – I bet they’d even win over ice cream. When we modified Kids in the Kitchen to include breakfast, it was immediately Matt’s dream to make them.

Of course, the version of breakfast tacos enjoyed at our house are not authentic Mexican by any stretch. A straightforward mix of scrambled eggs, cheddar, and spicy pork sausage, wrapped in a tortilla (corn for me, but the kids prefer flour) – there’s nothing pretentious or complicated about this meal. But when you’re feeding hungry teenagers first thing in the morning while still trying to clear the cobwebs from your head, complicated is not what you need.

So after a mandatory cup of coffee (for me, not Matt), we started. In the pan went some slices of bacon, and Matt set to grating cheddar. (The hardest part of preparation – he groaned about the task!)  After the bacon was removed from the pan, things came together fairly quickly. We browned sausage and drained it, and scrambled the eggs along with the cheddar and sausage. Once the eggs were cooked through, we filled tortillas with the egg-cheese-sausage mixture and rolled them up. The kids could opt to slide a piece of bacon inside, or sprinkle it with Tabasco. I opted for a bit of cilantro. And just like always, there were no leftovers.

You can always change up the ingredients in breakfast tacos to your liking. I would love a vegetarian version – black beans, chopped tomato, and jalapenos, or another favorite – nopalitos con huevos. The beauty of a recipe like this is that there really is not a recipe – it’s so versatile and forgiving that you can throw in any combination of ingredients. My favorite kind of recipe!

Breakfast Tacos/Taquitos

8 oz pork sausage

12 eggs

1/4 c milk

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 c grated cheddar cheese

12 tortillas, warmed (I lightly toasted corn tortillas in a cast iron skillet)

Pan-fried bacon, for serving

Tabasco hot sauce, for serving

Cilantro leaves, for serving

Heat a large skillet to medium heat. If making bacon, go ahead and fry it now and set aside to drain on paper towels. Add the sausage into the pan and crumble with spatula. Brown sausage crumbles until no longer pink, about 5-7 minutes. Remove and set on paper towels to drain. Scramble the eggs along with the milk; season with salt and pepper to taste. Turn the heat to medium-low and pour in the eggs. Cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Add in the cheddar and sausage crumbles, and continue to cook, stirring fairly often, for about 6-8 minutes or until eggs are cooked through.

Fill tortillas with about 3-4 tablespoons of the egg mixture and fold over or roll up. Serve with bacon, Tabasco, and cilantro.

Serves 5-6.

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Also, check out Chocolate Covered Katie, she’s giving away a Vita-Mix!

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Filed under breakfast, Budget-Friendly, Eggs, Gluten-Free, Quick and Easy

Chipotle Pork Tinga Tacos

tinga tacos 013

I heart Rick Bayless. He has been considered by many to be the greatest contribution to Mexican cuisine. Frankly, I agree. If you study his approach to Mexican food, the ingredients, the preparation, its origin – you can understand his deep respect and desire to honor the integrity of the cuisine. Watching him most recently on Top Chef Masters, he is a man that considers every minute detail in a dish. Every ingredient and technique is meticulously planned and executed. In his books, his explanations on how to prepare each dish are excellent and detailed. It’s a shame that I have not attempted more of his amazing recipes, because the bottom line is: each one is great.

And these tacos are no exception. They’re not just great – they’re awesome. The potatoes soften and create a creamy texture, and the pork shreds into tender, flavorful bites. The chipotles and tomatoes have merged into a smoky, spicy, flavorful sauce that coats everything. Wrapped in a tortilla and topped with the cool guacamole and cheese, it’s an explosion of flavors in your mouth.

What’s even better, with a little prep before placing into the slow cooker, they take virtually no time to throw together once you get home from work. Great for a busy weeknight; even a night when the whole family can’t sit down together to eat due to soccer practices, band rehearsals, etc. The slow cooker can simply keep the taco filling warm for everyone to eat when they have time.

So stop considering swinging by the “Golden Arches” or that “Terrible-Excuse-for-Mexican” fast-food place (you know, the one with the bell) to feed the family, and throw together some homemade, delicious tinga tacos. You’ll be glad you did.

Chipotle Pork Tinga Tacos, adapted from Rick Bayless’ Mexican Everyday

1 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

2 lbs boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch pieces

One 28-oz can of crushed tomatoes

4 canned chipotle chiles en adobo, seeded and chopped

1 T chipotle canning sauce (the sauce from the can of chipotle chiles in adobo)

1 T Worcestershire sauce

1 t dried Mexican oregano

3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

1 t salt

4 oz fresh Mexican chorizo sausage (bulk, or if in casings, casings removed)

Warmed corn tortillas

1 c crumbled Mexican queso fresco or feta

Guacamole

Spread the potatoes over the bottom of a slow cooker and top with the pork. In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes with the chipotles, canning sauce, Worcestershire, oregano, garlic, and salt. Pour the mixture evenly over the meat and potatoes. Cover and turn the slow cooker on high for 6 hours (I turned it on low for about 11).

When you are ready to eat, fry the chorizo in a medium skillet until thoroughly done, about 4-5 minutes. Uncover the pork tinga and spoon off any fat that has accumulated on top. Sprinkle on the chorizo, and stir everything together, breaking the pork into smaller pieces. Taste and season with additional salt if it needs it. Serve with the tortillas, crumbled fresh cheese and guacamole. Serves 8.

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Filed under Budget-Friendly, Gluten-Free, Main Dishes, Pork, Quick and Easy