taco night

The day was dark and gloomy.

Rainy.  Dark.  Gloomy.

Rainy.

Which is exactly why I decided to cook tacos for dinner tonight.  You can’t possibly frown while eating a taco.  I’ve tried.  Impossible!

Besides, tacos are one of the easiest meals to prepare.  They’re literally on the table in 30 minutes or less.  Perfect for a busy, crazy, hectic weeknight.  Also perfect for a rainy evening, when you might need that extra smile.  Tacos are where it’s at.

To start, I diced up one whole onion and one whole pepper, and sauteed them over high heat in just enough water to prevent sticking.

When the veggies were tender, I threw in 1 lb. of 93% lean ground turkey and kept the heat at medium.  Remember to make sure that it’s the lean variety that you’re buying.  Some ground turkey/chicken have ground up meat fat in the final product, and really aren’t lean at all.  This reduces the cost for them and increases the fat content in your meal.  Not good.

(as an aside, you could also use kidney beans for a completely vegetarian meal if you prefer, or double the recipe but use half beans/half meat!)

While the meat and veggies were cooking, I heated the oven to 425 in order to heat these guys up.  They only take 3 minutes or so, so pop them in last minute when everything is done.

I love the 365 blue corn chips from whole foods, both for the ingredieints and for that crunchy flavor.  They’re great!  I’ve seen all natural taco shells at hannafords and stop & shop as well though.

Getting back to the meat and veggies.

Once the turkey meat is no longer pink and cooked throughout, I  add in 1-15 oz. can of diced tomatoes. 

+ a packet of dry taco seasoning mix.

These can be really tricky, my friends.  I searched high and low for a brand that did not carry MSG or maltodextrin or partially hydrogenated oils.  They’re hard to find!  My sister makes a homemade version, which she promised to give me once she has it perfected, with all the measurements just right.  In the meantime, I use the store brand.  Yes, the store brand.  The only one that does not contain funky ingredients just so happens to be the cheapest.

Go figure.

Once all the ingredients are mixed together, I bring it to a boil for a minute or so before reducing it to low.  Add water as needed to help it thicken up. 

Then it’s time to throw the taco shells into the oven…

…while taking out any toppings you might want for your taco.  This is what makes taco night so fun.  Everyone can make his or her taco exactly the way they want it.   Avocado?  Cheddar cheese?  Onions?  Lettuce?  Tomato?

Yes, yes, and yes.

I like mine with everything.

I think tacos are a lot like melty icecream cones.  Messy, yes.  But totally worth it.

As always, I ended on a sweet note…

…date x 2! 3!

Turkey Tacos

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 lb. 93% lean ground turkey OR 2-15 oz. cans kidney beans OR 1 lb. lean hamburg
  • 1-15 oz. can diced tomatoes, partially drained
  • 1 taco seasoning packet mix
  • hard taco shells (figure 2-3 per person) OR whole wheat soft tortilla wraps
  • favorite toppings (i.e., cheddar cheese, lettuce, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, etc)
  1. Saute onion and bell pepper over medium heat in just enough water to prevent sticking.
  2. Once veggies are tender, add ground meat or beans.  Cook until meat is no longer pick and cooked throughout.
  3. Add diced tomatoes and taco seasoning mix, plus enough water to help it thicken (1/2-3/4 c.)
  4. Bring to boil for one minute or so, then reduce to low.
  5. Heat taco shells in 425 degree oven for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add favorite toppings and serve and SMILE. 😀

Question: Is there any food that you like to make on a rainy day?  Aside from baking muffins, I like to make special meals that make everyone smile to erase the dark, gloomy clouds.  Things like tacos, heartwarming soups, or food on the grill tend to top this list. 😀

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