Homemade Taco Seasoning and Meat
I love the smell and flavor of homemade taco seasoning. But there is more than the aroma to a homemade taco mix. Mixing your own seasoning is both healthier (check the ingredients on the mix packet) and economical. I usually buy my individual seasonings in bulk, which helps to keep the prices down in the long run. The great thing about having spices on hand, is it gives you the flexibility to create new blends. I prefer knowing what’s in my food, and there is no different with my seasonings. Here is a quick mix and taco meat recipe. And steps to freezing some meat for a quick taco salad lunch.
Fun and Creative
Mixing eight ingredients is real simple. It’s so easy that you can have your grand-kids or kids help you out. Why not mix a batch when the little people are around and then have a taco dinner party. Our family loves taco. Each one of them have their favorite topping and it’s one of those flexible meals, where even those with restricted diet can make it work. Get your bowls and measuring cups out and let’s have fun!!!
Yield: Almost 4 Cups (290 Grams) Prep Time: 5 Min.
1/2 Cup Chili
2 Tablespoon Garlic Powder (I like the granular kind)
1 Tablespoon Onion
1 Tablespoon Oregano
1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1 1/2 Tablespoon Sweet Paprika
4 Tablespoon Cumin
4 tsp Salt
Mix all the ingredients and store the mix in a clean jar.
Now that your seasoning is ready, it’s time to use it. My experience has been that 80-85% fat beef makes the best taco meat. But you can easily use ground turkey as well. If you use leaner meat, you may have to add a little extra water while cooking the meat. Any excess water or fat can be drained before you serve. This recipe is real easy for a quick dinner or lunch.
Yield: 3.5 Cups Cook Time: 10 min
1.5 lbs Ground Meat (24 oz.)
1/4 Cup Homemade Taco Mix
4 Tablespoon Water
Cook your meat on medium hot non-stick pan. Crumble the meat to small pieces. Brown well without burning it. If you need to, add a little water in the pan to prevent the meat from sticking or if the meat is greasy, drain the excess juice. Make sure the meat is completely cooked before you add the seasoning and the water. Mix it all well and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes.
Your meat is now ready to be served with your favorite shell and toppings. I like to make a taco salad with lettuce, tomato, cucumbers, onions, black beans and top it with the cooked meat. A tablespoon of homemade guacamole and salsa and dinner is served.
Freeze Taco Meat
Freezing taco meat works great! I have done it for years. I usually like to double the recipe and portion it out to one serving per bag. Great for if I need a quick lunch for me or to pack a lunch. Just like any other freezer meal I take it out the night before and let it thaw in the fridge. If I am in a hurry, I will microwave it for a minute or two. The great thing is that this meat works for a quick snack as well, especially for the kids, for instance if they want to make nachos or small tacos after school. If you freeze in larger amounts, the meat makes a fabulous taco soup. Who wouldn’t want a a quick warm taco soup on a cold Winter evening after work?
Make sure to cool down your meat properly. FDA’s has a two-step guidelines on how to do this. Once the meat is cool, divide the meat into portions that you would like. You can either use freezer bags or containers. Always make sure you press all the air out of your bags and avoid trapping air bubbles in your containers. Remember to write the date and what’s in the bags (I always think I’ll remember, but I usually don’t). Stick them in the freezer and this will freeze well for 3-4 months.
“To Be Prepared Is Half The Victory”
-Miguel De Cervantes