Taco Seasoning

As I mentioned in a previous post, I grew up eating tacos on a regular basis. I love tacos; however, I did not love the headaches that I was getting from eating tacos. I narrowed down the cause of my after dinner headaches to MSG. And since most packages of taco seasoning have MSG in them, I had two choices: stop eating tacos or make my own mix. Of course, I opted for making my taco seasoning since I couldn't imagine not eating tacos. In addition to eliminating the MSG, some other advantages of making your own taco seasoning are that you can control how much sodium is in your mix and how spicy you want your mix to be. There are many variations to taco seasoning mix that can be found on the internet. This is the combination of spices that my family likes. The great thing about making your own mix is that you can customize it to suit your taste. So give it a try!

Taco Seasoning

1 tbsp. chili powder

1 tsp. ground cumin

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1/2 tsp. paparika

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. oregano

1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes

Stir all the spices together.

 

To make tacos with this seasoning mix, brown 1 pound of extra-lean ground beef over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the taco seasoning mix and 1/2 cup of water. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Top tortillas or hard taco shells with the meat and top with you favorite toppings, like cheese, fat free sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes and salsa. Guacamole is also delicious on tacos and since it is so creamy, it can replace the cheese and sour cream. Although avocados are high in fat, the fat is unsaturated fat. So it is a great replacement for the saturated fat found in cheeses and sour cream.

To reduce the amount of meat in your taco, try layering your whole wheat tortilla with a base of refried beans first; then add half the amount of taco meat that you would have normally added without the beans. The advantage of doing this is that you can reduce the amount of fat and saturated fat from the red meat  and stretch your dinner. Stretching 1 pound of taco meat into two or more meals, depending on the size of your family, will save you time and money when you can just reheat the leftovers for the next night or two. I like to stir in a little bit of the taco seasoning into the refried beans before I heat them. Then you have the flavorful seasoning all throughout your taco.