Taco night makes me happy because I know that no one will be asking for cereal or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. If I make beans, people can choose from tacos, burritos, or quesadillas. Add chips and you can have nachos too and I still only had to make one thing. Here are a few of our favorites.
This is the taco seasoning I grew up on. It's still my favorite. I think cumin is probably one of my all time favorite spices and this has more of a smoky taste than the typical chili powdery taste of the packets you get at the store. It can be made in bulk and stored in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months.
Mom's Taco Seasoning
2 tsp. instant minced onion
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. crushed, dried red pepper (you can leave this out if it's too spicy for you)
1/2 tsp. instant minced garlic
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. cumin
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl (or container if you're making more) until evenly distrubuted.
When you are ready to make the tacos add:
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp. taco seasoning
Brown ground beef; drain off fat. Add water and seasoning mix. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
This is the pictured chicken above. I have made it 2-3 times and it is so easy and really tasty. If you like the sweetness in the pork at Cafe Rio you will probably like this. It also has a hint of spice from the red pepper. You can add as much or as little of this as you like to suit your tastes. If you put the crock pot on high it can cook in 4 hours. It can be used for tacos, quesadillas or even a spicy chicken soup. A nice and easy meal !
Slow Cooker Sweet & Spicy Chicken for Tacos
from Prudence Pennywise
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 14 oz. can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4-1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
Coat inside of crock pot with no stick cooking spray. Place all ingredients in crock pot. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or on low for 8-10 hours, or until chicken shreds very easily with a fork. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Chicken will absorb liquid after it is shredded. Serve as desired.
My last yummy taco idea is from a friend Heidi and Robin Miller on Food Network. The tacos are Heidi's Chicken and Black Bean Tacos and the salsa is Robin Miller's Mango Hot Pepper Salsa. They are so different from a traditional taco and the sweet of the mango with the spice of the jalepeno is delicious. If you want to change things up give this a try.
Black Bean and Chicken Tacos
Simmer about 12 chicken tenders or 3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts in a shallow skillet of water until cooked through. Cut into pieces and throw back into drained pan, adding a bit of fresh water and a packet of Chicken Taco Seasoning. Simmer for at least 10 minutes and then add a can of black beans. Serve with shredded lettuce, cheese, sour cream and mango hot pepper salsa. If you don't like the heat, try the mango pico.
Mango Hot Pepper Salsa
2 cups diced fresh mango
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons minced red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Salt and ground black pepper
In a medium bowl, combine mango, jalapeno, red onion, cilantro, and lime juice. Season, to taste, with salt and black pepper.
1 or 2 avocados (I use 2)
2 stalks green onion
3 or 4 roma tomatoes
1 small handful cilantro, stems removed and finely chopped
juice from one lime
Peel and dice mangos and avocados. Add diced tomatoes and green onion. Stir in cilantro and lime juice.