Note: I first shared this recipe before we started eating paleo. I’ve added some paleo updates to reflect how we eat it now. 6/18/12
Tacos seem to be in high rotation in our family meal plan, so I thought I’d document what our “official” taco recipe is. I’m sure many people have similar variations, but this is what we’ve come to love, so this is how we do it.
The secret to our taco recipe starts with Trader Joe’s Taco Seasoning Mix.
This packet is all natural, gluten free, and only $.79! I have made my own taco seasoning before, but you really can’t beat this price and the combination of ingredients is better than what I keep on hand in my own pantry.
Paleo Note: the packet does contain a small amount of cane sugar.
TJ Taco Seasoning Mix Ingredients: sea salt, cumin, cayenne pepper, cane sugar, paprika, onion, garlic, black pepper, red bell pepper, oregano, chili pepper, smoked paprika
Another benefit of this recipe is that it has enough of a kick that we usually divide into thirds, thus stretching it even farther and make it an even cheaper accent. To make the recipe, we pretty much follow the directions on the package:
Ground Beef Tacos
- ½ packet TJ Taco Seasoning Mix (we use ⅓rd)
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 14oz can tomatoes or tomato sauce
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 Tbsp healthy oil (coconut, or EVOO)
- Heat onion in a heavy sauce pan.
- Add onion and saute for 2 minutes.
- Add ground beef and seasoning mix and saute on high heat for an additional 5 minutes, until beef is browned.
- Reduce heat to medium and add tomatoes/sauce.
- Simmer for 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring often.
After you make the taco meat, you’ll have something delicious that looks like this:
Now you have to figure out how to serve it. Some in my family prefer hard shell tacos, some like soft. Myself, I prefer to make Taco Salad. Here’s how I make mine:
Paleo Note: Nowadays when when we make taco salad, I skip the cheese, beans, chips, and dressing. Instead we load up on avocados or guacamole and salsa. Below is the “pre-paleo” version of Taco Salad I used to make.
Taco Salad (not Paleo!)
- Taco Meat (see above)
- Romaine Lettuce
- Cheddar or Mexican Cheese blend
- 1/2 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- Tortilla Chips
- Catalina Dressing
- Fresh tomatoes, chopped
- black olives, sliced
- Avocado, sliced
The secret to my taco salad is the catalina dressing. I used to buy store brands but was out one day and looked online for a homemade version. This version rocks. You can read the comments and follow the advice to lower the sugar and substitute onion powder — it’s really really good.
Usually, on taco night, I make a small amount of taco salad, and leave the rest self-serve so everyone can fix it their own way.
I don’t usually have olives on hand for taco salad, but they are a favorite of Sam’s, so when I have them, he likes to load up.
I wish I had better pictures to show of my culinary talents, but sometimes, ya get what ya pay for 🙂
That’s how we do tacos in our house — what do you fix your tacos?