Taco Night

Tacophoto © 2010 Evan Swigart | more info (via: Wylio)

My kids decided it was time for a taco night. This usually involves a buying a sleeve of shells and a package of spice mix. Budget wise I am trying to avoid prepackaged anything. This also allows us to avoid all the other stuff that gets put into those packages. The sleeve of shells actually had a good list consisting of corn, oil, water and calcium hydroxide. The spice mix at $2 had all sorts of stuff in it:

  • Dehydrated Vegetables (Onion, garlic, Celery, Bell Peppers)
  • Salt
  • Dextrose
  • Cornstarch
  • Spice
  • MSG
  • Flavor
  • Artificial Flavor
  • Citric Acid
  • Hydrogenated Soy and Cottonseed oil
  • Silicon Dioxide
  • Disodium Inosinate
  • Guanylate

So what do I actually need: Veggies, Spice, Cornstarch, and much less salt.

I decided to fry the onion with the meat and I didn’t have peppers or celery so I left them out. Searching online I found a number of different recipes and ended up picking the ideas out to make my own based on what I had and how hot I wanted it to be. I ended up with:

  • 1 TBSP Chili Powder
  • 1 TSP Cornstarch
  • 1 TSP Salt
  • 1 TSP Garlic
  • 1 TSP Cumin

This made enough for 1lb of ground beef.

Brown up 1lb of ground beef with 1 small onion diced small. Drain the fat. Add the spice mix and 1/2 cup of water. Turn down and simmer until most of the water is gone. It will have a nice spicy gravy coating the meat.

Serve with you usual extras.

My Daughter: meat on the side, a shell that she eats like a chip, and carrot sticks.

The rest of us: Sour cream, meat, tomato, cheddar cheese and I can’t forget to buy my wife some lettuce for hers.

End Results. Nobody but me knew that I had made the switch. So it passed the taste test. Price wise it was cheaper but everything was already in the house so I couldn’t do a true comparison. Most importantly I know every ingredient I put in.

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