Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Taco Night Makeover

Are tacos a favorite at your house? Taco night at our house used to mean a package of ground beef or chicken and a taco kit from the grocery store. Well, don't forget the cheese! They always hurt my tummy and didn't really taste all that good either. Then I started becoming obsessed with eating real food and decided to make over our family taco night.

All of the following changes at once might be overwhelming, so choose which changes work for you, if any, and try them out. Then you can keep building on it until you have a meal you can be happy with. This is the order of the changes our family made.

Change #1: We started buying grassfed beef. It is an easy change and grassfed beef really offers many more health benefits from your typical CAFO beef.

Change #2: Buy organic veggies to put in the taco. We love spinach instead of lettuce as well. This might cost a little more, but then you don't have all the pesticides and nasty things to worry about, some of which you cannot wash off! You can also choose to grow your own, making it even better.

Change #3: Make your own taco seasoning. I have been using a similar version to Kelly the Kitchen Kop's recipe for about a year now. I love it and so does my family. And you can change it up if you feel it is not spicey enough or think it is too spicey. I love that. Plus you can choose which spices to buy and mix, including organic if you like.
I make a big batch of it so that I don't have to make it all the time. I keep it in a mason jar and just pull it out on taco night (or fajitas, or quesadillas, or etc.)

   1/2 cup of onion powder                                            (8 parts)
   1/2 cup of minced onion                                            (8 parts)
   1/2 cup chili powder                                                  (8 parts)
   1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper                                 (1 part)
   2 tablespoons of dry oregano                                    (2 parts)
   1/2 cup of sea salt                                                      (8 parts)
   1/4 cup garlic powder                                                (4 parts)
   1/4 cup of cumin (or more according to Kelly)         (4 parts)

In case you don't want to make your batch quite that big, you can use the "parts" break down. Just replace the parts with whatever measurement you like. It could be teaspoons if you rather. Or you could go bigger and change the parts to cups. Whatever works for you.

Change #4: Make your own salsa (or here) and/or guacamole. Making guacamole is pretty easy to do and there are so many tasty variations.

Change #5: Make your own tortillas. I just tried making my own last week when I realized I had forgotten to pick some up for some fajitas I was making. It was really quick and easy. Plus, you can use Einkorn or gluten free flour. It was as simple as mixing up a couple ingredients, dividing it up in balls, rolling and then a minute or less on each side in my cast iron pan. I could not believe how quickly they came together.

Our tacos are a family affair now, bringing everyone in the kitchen. The kids help chop veggies or prepare small bowls of toppings that everyone can pick and choose just how they want it. And we made changes a step at a time so that it wasn't a huge pain in the butt for everyone, including me. I was able to get used to the extra steps and fit them in our schedule. Healthy eating doesn't have to be all or nothing. You can choose to make steps towards real food each time you are preparing a meal.

Does your family enjoy a taco night? What makes your taco night special?

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