I am the shortcut queen when it comes to making dinner. I like to save time and energy just as much as the next gal but at the same time, I don't want to sacrifice taste or quality.
My kids love tacos. Not the gourmet, sliced skirt steak with fresh pico de gallo kind of tacos - I'm talking about the hard shell, ground beef kind of tacos. I can't say that I share their admiration for this kind of tacos but every once in a while I make them, just because they love it.
I shouldn't really complain about their taco love because it's a super simple dinner. I buy a box of taco shells, a pound of ground beef (sometimes I secretly swap it out for turkey) and a packet of taco seasoning. What could be simpler?
A few years ago, while I was frying up my ground beef I happened to turn my seasoning packet over and read the list of ingredients. I was shocked! First of all, it was LOADED with sodium and even worse than that is that it had MONO-SODIUM GLUTAMATE! MSG, really? They can still sell that stuff?
I am not comfortable serving MSG to my family so I had to find another way to season the ground beef tacos for my kids. I started making my own taco seasoning years ago. It's really pretty easy and it tastes even better than the store bought seasoning packets. I attached a recipe for homemade taco seasoning at the end of the this blog post. Thank you to http://mommyimhungry.blogspot.com for the recipe for the tacos AND for the seasoning.
adapted from Blog Chef
2 lbs ground turkey
1 small onion diced
1 small can diced green chilies
1 recipe for Homemade taco seasoning (below)
1 (8 ounce) can low sodium tomato sauce
1 (16 ounce) can fat free refried beans
2 cups shredded reduced fat Colby-jack cheese
18-20 hard taco shells
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
In a large skillet brown ground beef and onion over medium-high heat.
Drain off any excess liquid. Return to pan, add chilies, refried beans, tomato sauce, and taco seasoning.
Spoon the taco meat mixture into the taco shells and place into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish standing up.
Sprinkle cheese over the top of the taco meat in each shell.
Place into the oven and bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the tacos are heated through.
We like pretty simple toppings on our tacos. (lettuce, salsa and on rare occasions - black olives.)
So here is the bonus recipe and possibly the secret ingredient to making these tacos soooo tasty.
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
In a small bowl, mix all together. Store in an airtight container.
I am going to keep this seasoning mix in my spice drawer at all times.
Courtney said that these tacos tasted just like the mini tacos that we get from trader joes. (I'm 99% sure that she meant that as a compliment.) Anyway, I thought they were super tasty.