Taco night is met with great enthusiam in our house. My little boy loves the ground beef, the cheese and the shells. He throws his hands in the air and exclaims “Cheeese!” Thankfully, this is a meal that doesn’t have to been eaten neatly, because he can’t stuff handfuls of his supper into his mouth fast enough.
Because of his love for taco meat, I decided that I could probably amp up the nutritional value with a few simple changes. First of all, I thought it might be beneficial to try adding carrots to the mix. I shredded up a few carrots and mixed them in with the cheese. It sure was pretty, but both Matt and Liam were skeptical. So I tried again. The next time, I added the carrots to the ground beef when I sauteed the onions. To ensure that there were no complaints, I not only shredded up the carrots, but I went through and minced the shreds. I didn’t want anyone to notice or push away their plates. After a few tries like this when no one noticed, I stopped mincing so finely. Then, I added a pint of my home-canned salsa straight into the meat. This way, I’m getting a full cup of carrots, plus 2 cups of tomatoes and peppers into the meat and it’s wonderful!
Another change I made, was to start making my own taco seasoning. It’s not hard, but you do need a lot of spices, so you may want to make several batches of this to keep on hand.
Homemade Taco Seasoning:
- 1 Tbsp. Chili Powder
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp. oregano
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. kosher or sea salt
Mix all the ingredients together and add to 1 pound of ground beef, turkey, chicken or tofu. Adjust spice level to taste.