Like a limestone cowgirl (Homemade Taco Seasoning)

Posted on Oct 27, 2010 in Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Great green globs of greasy, grimy gopher guts.

For some reason, my husband and I started singing this tonight. I LOVE things that we can both relate to from our childhood, even though we grew up in two different countries. It is amazing how things like that could spread, even before the interwebs. We DID have a little bit of a discussion over what the second line is. I remember something like “mutilated chicken feet” and the husband says it is “mutilated monkey meat.” The internet says the Husband is right. But I remember nothing about monkeys.

OKAY. Enough of that.

Puppyface and Babyface

Babyface, Puppyface and I all went for a walk in the woods this afternoon. We had a lot of household decisions to talk through and we spent about an hour tromping through the leaves and hashing out some life choices. Good marriages are made of walks in the woods while discussing finances. That and foot massages.

And being a good Puppy Parent means letting your dog chase after squirrels on a frequent basis.

Puppyface

Have I mentioned how much I love fall? And totally random limestone structures that I can stand on?

Me

Once we headed back to the homestead, I was craving a vast amount of veggies and the dinner on our menu that fit the bill was taco salads!

Taco Salads

First things first, needed to mix up a batch of my homemade taco seasoning. Those little packets taste great, but did you know that they have 25% of your daily allowance of sodium per serving? And they are packed full of unpronounceable ingredients like maltodextrin, monosodium glutamate, and silicon dioxide. Yummy? Beyond that, you can control the flavors to meet your family’s tastes (more spice, less spice, saltier, smokier) and it is SO much cheaper if you make it yourself.

Taco Seasonings

It takes quite a few spices to get the right blend, but you could easily make this in bulk and store in an airtight container. Black pepper, salt, chili powder, onion powder, cumin, garlic powder, paprika, red pepper flakes and oreganooooooooooooooo.

Oregano

Here is our standard mix. It is to the mild-side of medium. Actually, I think I might reduce the red pepper flakes by half next time. We’re wimps.

Taco Seasoning

1 T. chili powder
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. onion powder
1/4 t. red pepper flakes*
1/4 t. oregano
1/2 t. paprika
2 t. cumin
1 t. kosher salt*
1 t. black pepper   

Mix all ingredients together. Brown 1 pound of meat of your choice, add seasoning and 1/4 cup of water. Simmer until sauce has thickened, 2-3 minutes.

* Adjust these two to your preferences. You can always add more later.

Taco Seasoning

Taco Seasoning

We sautéed a wee bit of chicken tenderloin with a lot a bit of red peppers (from our garden, still!) and onions.

Taco Salad

Mixed in the seasoning and water. I used all of this batch for this amount of chicken and veggies.

Taco Salads

Let it simmer and you get a nice yummy, seasoned sauce.

Taco Salads

The bowl stacks started with greens.

102710_1648.jpg

And then some tomatoes (from our garden!) and kidney beans.

102710_1652.jpg

Plus some “refried” beans (pulled from the freezer) and salsa.

Taco Salad

Seasoned chicken, peppers and onions on top.

Taco Salad

And finished off with a dusting of cheese, dollops of guacamole and sour cream, and some tortilla chip crumbs.

Taco Salads

Taco Salads

These exactly hit the spot. YUM.


I asked on Twitter if anyone would be interested in seeing what I packed for lunch during the week and the response was huge! I’m going to do a test run tomorrow. My plan is to photograph my lunch before I leave in the morning and then take a quick break at work to post during late morning. I wouldn’t expect a lot of content, but I’ll try to at least get an overview up.

Also, still getting great feedback from my 50/50 post. I have received almost 300 comments over on SparkPeople and have met an amazing number of people who are so inspirational. Everyone has been fantastic. Still feeling very honored. You all rock!

23 Comments

  1. This looks amazing! I don’t really like those taco seasoning packets, I always find them a little too smoky and not spicy enough but I’ve never really been sure of how to make my own. I’ll give this a go!

    • It is great and SO easy to customize!

  2. Great post. I was just thinking the other day about a homemade taco seasoning and you posted yours!

    Thanks for sharing, I will be making this very soon.

    • Let me know how it turns out! :)

  3. I’m still in the early stages (research) of making my own spice mixes but isn’t Chili powder a mixture as well? I thought it was oregano, Chili pepper (cayenne), garlic and maybe salt? not sure, it’s a long time since I really LOOKED at the bottle. LOL

    • You know, it probably is! We just have a GIANT (as you can see) bottle of it and use it at will. Maybe next time I’ll make my own.

  4. Ohh, forgot to add that Taco seasoning packets have corn flour too, to thicken them. I don’t use it due to diabetes, but thought you or some of your readers might like to know.

    I’m going to make some of your recipe and see how it goes. I can’t wait. LOL Kitty

    • I saw cornstarch in the ingredients on the packet, but didn’t really notice a difference without it. I think if you wanted the meat saucier, the cornstarch and a bit more water would definitely help. :)

  5. Hi! I know you from Sparkpeople. OMG this looks amazing!! I love how bright the colors are in your photos too! What kind of camera do you use??

    • Hiya and thanks! I have a Canon EOS Digital Rebel xSi. And I use Lightroom for post-production on the photos to bump up the brightness and make them really sparkle.

  6. Cassie,

    I love making home made spices, so this is really cool. I agree, many store bought spice and seasonings have too much sodium, way more than we need.

    Sound like you had a great hike and hope you talked important things, it reminds me when hub and I talk, we go to our favorite hangout to chat.

    • I used to salt EVERYTHING. It is amazing how our taste buds get desensitized. Now I think so many things taste too salty.

  7. This is great – thanks for sharing the recipe!

    :)
    ButterYum

  8. Thank you so much for this recipe! Can’t wait to try out your recipe.

    • Let me know how it turns out!

  9. Made this for dinner last night. Boyfriend loved it and it gave me the energy to do some glass work, homework and get a workout in at the end of a very long day. Thanks for the recipe! I’m off to pack the leftovers for lunch!

    • So glad you liked it! Did you adjust any of the seasonings at all?

  10. Thanks for sharing. This is my first time to your blog. I just started back up over on SparkPeople…I’m pregnant and overweight, and was just looking for some people to interact with that helped INSPIRE me to EMBRACE certain aspects of life (eating) and help me ENJOY this pregnancy as I long to. I am 38, with what will be 7 years between this new baby and our yourngest…and well, I was pretty shocked when I found out we were expecting.

    I didn’t mean to go on and on, but I can’t bare to remove what I’ve shared already…LOL…I just wanted to say, so far, your blog is fabulous and I will be catching up on the older blogs, and enjoying them, as well. Love love love your photos. :)

    Have a blessed day.
    KarlaMarie

    • Congratulations on the little bambino! Thank you SO much for kind words.

  11. Your food always makes me hungry! Good thing dinner is soon! Turkey sausage chili!!
    I hope you don’t mind, and I gave you SP credit, I shared the recipe with my team!

    • Mmm! That sounds delicious. Especially because I am SO cold. Brrrrr.

  12. A friend shared this link with me and OMG so good. I dont think I will ever be going back to store bought seasoning. To get the level of spiciness I wanted from that stuff it got way too salty. I used smoked paprika and about half the amount of salt so good. I am going to make a huge batch and put it into a container so its always on hand.

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