Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Homemade Taco Seasoning (Taco Salad)

As you may have noticed, I make taco salad quite often. It's an incredibly simple, filling, and relatively nutritious dish, particularly if you ignore the salt element. Today, I'm going to share my recipe for taco seasoning, as well as my "method" for making a taco salad. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures even though we just had this last evening. However, I'll do my to grab a snap next week. First a little bit on how this dish made its way into my regular menu.

At a Superbowl party in January (? - I have no idea when the Superbowl rolls around), the host served a make-your-own taco salad with melted cheese bubbling in the crock pot, a big bowl of seasoned ground beef, lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, sour cream, and chips. It was so simple, casual, and tasty! I had to try it at home.

Since a blog I regularly follow had been featuring ground beef recipes since last fall when Lynn's Kitchen Adventures, I turned to her blog for inspiration. I modified this recipe to my tastes. (Basically, I just use her seasoning and omit the tomato step which allows her recipe to more closely replicate a packaged variety.)

Here's my version. It works with both ground beef and ground turkey. Moreover, it freezes beautifully--as the ground meat doesn't clump together, you just remove however much you need.

Taco Seasoning
1 TBS chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder

To prepare seasoned ground meat, use 1.5 TBS taco seasoning and 1/2 tsp salt per pound of ground meat (beef or turkey). Sprinkle seasoning over raw meat, then break up into crumbles using a silicon or wooden spoon. Cook until completely browned. Drain, if necessary. Allow to cool completely before freezing.

Taco Salad
seasoned ground meat
cheese (melted or shredded)
other veggies (diced bell peppers, tomatoes, avocados)
sour cream
tortilla chips

To prepare salad, heat meat and melt cheese, if necessary. Crumble chips and layer on bottom of a deep bowl. Sprinkle with (in this order works best for me) meat, cheese, lettuce, and other veggies. Top with a generous dollop of salsa and cream cheese.

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