Homemade Taco Seasoning

My husband and I love tacos. We have them for dinner almost every week {hello, #tacotuesday}. Tacos are full of flavor and they’re such a quick dinner. What I love the most about tacos is that they’re so versatile. I change them up with different meats, toppings, veggies or shells which prevents this go-to dinner from becoming boring. When I make tacos I almost always use ground chicken or turkey. Sometimes I will give the chicken or turkey filling an extra kick by added frozen corn, diced tomatoes and/or black beans.

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As far as toppings go, romaine or iceberg lettuce and fresh salsa are my must-haves. I love the Nature’s Promise Organic salsa from Stop and Shop. Homemade salsa is definitely on my “to-try” list, but until I cross that recipe off my list, this pre-made mix does the job. It is full of flavor and what I think I love the most is that on of the ingredients is cucumber. It’s not really an ingredient I would assume is in salsa, but I think it’s the cucumber that makes me love this mix so much.

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Guacamole, fresh tomatoes, jalapeños, sour cream and shredded cheese are all great toppings. Word to the wise, ghost pepper cheese is HOT. One night my husband mistakenly picked up ghost pepper cheese. I shredded some up and served it to our friends with tacos. Ghost pepper cheese is no joke. A piece of cheese half the size of a grain of rice is HOT. Needless to say, we skipped the cheese that night and made a mental note to never buy it again.

Easy Tacos

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

1-1.5lbs lean ground chicken or turkey
1/4 c water
1 tbsp chili powder
1.5 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp onion powder

Directions

Brown chicken or turkey in a non-stick pan then drain excess fat. Next, add the dry seasonings and mix well. All of the chicken or turkey should be covered with seasoning. Add water, bring to a boil then simmer for 10 minutes and stir occasionally. Serve with hard or soft shells or over lettuce for a taco salad.

Homemade Taco Seasoing

BBQ Chicken Meatball Tacos

Sometimes it’s hard to be creative in the kitchen. It’s easy (and convenient) to have your go-to meals, but I’ve learned that approach can also get boring. Have you ever had a day when you’re starving, but in the mood for nothing? I had one of those days a few weeks ago. Although I didn’t feel much like cooking, I forced myself into the kitchen and stared at the ingredients we had in the fridge. I must say, I make a mean chicken meatball that I’ve tossed in many sauces. I decided on BBQ chicken meatballs, but wasn’t sure what else I would make with them. What goes well with BBQ? Apples! And just like that, the BBQ Chicken Meatball Taco with Apples was born.

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BBQ Chicken Meatball Tacos

  • Servings: 2-4
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Ingredients

Meatballs:
1lb Chicken Chop Meat
1/4 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
1 Egg
10 Baby Carrots
1 Celery Stalk
1 Small Shallot
2 Clove of Garlic
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/4 Tsp Black Pepper
1/4 Tsp Paprika
1/8 Tsp Chicken Seasoning

Sauce:
1/4 Cup BBQ Sauce*
1/4 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
1/2 Tsp Dijon Honey Mustard
Dash of Worcestershire Sauce
Sprinkle of Salt and Black Pepper
*I only had about 1/4 cup of BBQ sauce left, but I recommend doubling the BBQ sauce and dijon honey mustard

Tacos:
Soft Corn Tortillas
Fresh Baby Spinach
1 Apple

Directions

Meatballs:
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
In a food processor finely chop shallot, garlic, celery and carrots then transfer to medium size bowl.
Add chicken chop meat, egg, panko and seasonings to the bowl and combine well. Be careful to not overwork the meat because it can turn tough.
Carefully form balls with the mixture in the size that you like. I made 9 larger meatballs, but smaller may have been better for this dish.
Bake for 25-30 minutes then broil for 2-5 minutes.

BBQ Sauce:
When there are 5 minutes left on the meatballs, combine all ingredients in a small pot. Simmer on low for 5 minutes, whisking occasionally.

Tacos:
After getting the sauce started, place corn tortillas on a baking sheet. Bake for no more than 5 minutes in the oven. The small corn tortillas can harden pretty quickly and you want to be able to fold them like a taco (side note: these tortillas make awesome chips too).
Using a slicing grater (like this – I used the orange one), very thinly slice the apples.
To assemble to tacos, brush tortillas with BBQ sauce then layer with apple and fresh spinach. Cut your meatballs into 2 or 4 pieces and add to the taco. Finish each one off with a drizzle of BBQ sauce.

Disclaimer: I am participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. All opinions/recommendations are my own.

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Easy Lemon Garlic Shrimp & Spaghetti

Happy Monday! This weekend flew by and I can’t believe it’s time to start another work week. On the bright side, I have recently began practicing yoga more regularly. Starting my day with yoga definitely makes me feel better {physically and mentally!} Until about a year ago, I was very dedicated to my yoga practice, but it got pushed to the side during house renovations and wedding planning.

Another great way to start the week off on the right food is with meal planning. Today, I am sharing a quick and easy recipe that can be incorporated into busy week nights. Easy recipes like this one make weeknight cooking totally do-able! Just remember to thaw and marinate your shrimp ahead of time {and if you don’t put them in a zip-top bag in a bowl of cool water as you’re prepping}.  You can whip up this meal for two in about 35 minutes or cut the time by skipping the spaghetti and adding more veggies.

Ingredients

15 Medium Shrimp, frozen and thawed

1/2 lb. Gluten-Free Spaghetti

1-2 Cups of Chopped Asparagus

1/8 Cup of Pasta Water

1/2 Small Yellow Onion, chopped

2 Cloves of Garlic, zested

1 Lemon, juice and zest

1/8 Tsp Black Pepper

1/2 Tsp Sea Salt

For the crunchy topping used 1/4 cup or less of  gluten-free panko bread crumbs, grated Parm or Pecorino Romano and a sprinkle of oregano.

Directions

Important Note: You must use an oven safe pan to transfer your dish from stove top to oven broiler.

Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil for spaghetti. Cook following instructions on box.

Over medium/low heat, add about 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil to the pan and sauté onions until translucent and fragrant, about 5 minutes.

Turn heat to low and add garlic. Garlic burns easily, so keep an eye on the pan. You can shut the heat off completely if you’re working to prep the other ingredients on the slow side.

Over medium/low heat add asparagus and cook for about 15 minutes until soft then add lemon zest.

Transfer asparagus mixture to a bowl or push it around the perimeter of the pan to make room for the shrimp. Then place shrimp on each side until they turn from translucent to opaque. It only takes a few minutes per side.

Once shrimp is cooked through toss them with the asparagus, onions, garlic, cooked pasta and lemon juice with about 1/8 cup of water from the pasta pot.

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Sprinkle with parmesan and panko bread crumbs then transfer to the broiler for 5 minutes. Finish it off with a sprinkle of oregano.

Easy dinner = DONE!

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