School has started up again after my one-week break, and it’s going to be an unusually busy quarter. I’m taking a very heavy load, so I won’t be writing as often for this blog over the next 10 weeks. I don’t want to give it up entirely, though, because it’s a good outlet for me. Therefore, I’m making a goal of one recipe post every Thursday and one “real” post every Sunday (both will most likely appear in the evenings). Today I’m bringing you a quick recipe post.
Although I have always been an avid label-reader, a few labels slipped underneath my radar until I got diagnosed with a gluten allergy. Taco seasoning was one of those products I had never checked. If you’ve never taken a peek yourself, you might be surprised! Many taco seasoning blends feature wheat, various kinds of modified food starch, MSG in disguise, and/or high fructose corn syrup (which is often from genetically modified corn). Who knew?
My husband and I love taco salads, so we weren’t about to give them up without a fight. We like to make them with fresh lettuce, chopped bell peppers, cucumbers, cilantro, and salsa. Justice adds cheese and chips to his. But what to do about taco seasoning for the meat?
I poked around on the internet for a while and found a great recipe for making it at home. Fortunately, it’s not only true to taste, it’s ridiculously easy to make, and it happens to be cheaper than buying it prepackaged (especially if you get your spices from the bulk department at your grocery store).
So, if you have an allergy, are concerned about dubious food additives, are watching your budget, or just want a tastier and healthier alternative to store-bought taco seasoning, give this recipe a try. I think you’ll like it.
Gluten-Free Taco Seasoning
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano (I like to double this sometimes)
2 teaspoons paprika
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 to 4 teaspoons sea salt
4 teaspoons black pepper
Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container (ideally, something other than plastic). This is enough mix for 3 pounds of highly-seasoned meat. If you’re wimpy or have wimpy kids, you can spread it out a little more.
Use it exactly as you would use a store-bought mix. Brown your meat and rinse and drain it. Put the meat back in the pan with a little water and the seasoning. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer until thickened. That’s it!
P.S. I should mention that this is a very slightly modified version of Bill Echol’s Taco Seasoning I recipe on www.allrecipes.com.