I know, you are probably laughing at me. Like who doesn’t know how to make your own tacos. BUT, if you are looking to make a crowd pleasing meal for non-paleo friends and especially for kids, while not blowing your paleo or gluten-free goals, this is a really good meal option.
Our former babysitter, Kristen, came for dinner last night with her 3 kids. I wanted to make something that everyone would eat and so make your own tacos was a perfect choice. Have you ever looked at the ingredients in a store bought taco seasoning package? It is scary, frightening and made me want to run down the aisle in the market waving my hands and screaming don’t eat this! The recipe that I came up with is so easy that it should make you never want to resort to buying the seasoning package even if you are in a huge rush!
The other nice thing about make your own tacos is that there are no rules. If you want to add something “crazy”, like bacon or sundried tomatoes or mango chutney or goat cheese, there is no one stopping you – it is make your own! I did traditional toppings, but I am just sayin’ …
Make your own Tacos
Prep Time: 30 – 45 minutes (this is for cutting and prepping all of the toppings, the meat prep time is like 1 minute)
Cook Time: 6 – 8 minutes for the meat, 2 – 3 minutes to sauté the veggies, each
Servings: LOTS – 10 easily
Ingredients for the meat – cut in half if you don’t have a crowd
- 3 lbs. ground beef (turkey or chicken would work fine too)
- 2 tbsp. chili powder
- 1 tbsp. cumin
- 1 tbsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. salt and pepper (adjust if needed)
- 6 oz. can tomato paste
- 1 – 2 tbsp. garlic infused olive oil or EVOO and 1 tbsp. minced garlic
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 can diced chilies
Instructions for the meat:
- In a dutch oven or large skillet, warm the olive oil on medium heat.
- Add the ground meat and cook until just a little pink remains. Do not drain the liquid from the pan.
- Add the cilantro and the chilies and mix well.
- Add the tomato paste and spices and mix well.
- You must taste the meat to make sure it is seasoned well. Either add more of whatever is missing or if you find it is too thick, add 1/4 cup of water.
Ingredients (for the make your own part)
- Spiced Rice (this is my spiced quinoa recipe, but with rice)https://contemporarycavegirl.wordpress.com/2014/03/25/salsa-beef-with-spiced-quinoa/
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 red peppers chopped
- 1 can sliced olives
- 1 bag shredded cheddar cheese
- salsa (I had mango and regular)
- guacamole (make your own, I bought since I am allergic to avocados)
- 1 cup shredded lettuce
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 pint sour cream
- refried beans
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- Sriracha sauce
- Soft and/or hard taco shells
- Large lettuce leaves (for your paleo/gluten free guests)
(You could make coconut flour tortillas as there is a fantastic recipe in the Paleo Comfort Foods cookbook http://www.zestbakery.com/blog/paleo-grain-free-and-gluten-free-tortillas, but you need some extra time and patience and I had neither.)
Instructions for the make your own part:
- In a small frying pan, sauté the peppers in onions (separate or together) in a tbsp. of olive oil.
- Chop, slice and dice the rest of your ingredients.
- Warm the taco shells and set up a buffet line.
- Eat and eat and eat – seconds, thirds and fourths are welcomed!!