When I was in elementary school, we all looked forward to taco day for the school’s hot lunch program. The school tacos were not only edible, they were actually good.
I still haven’t gotten over my love of tacos: they are easy to make, they are fast, just about everyone loves them, and the meat is very versatile. Tacos, salads, burritos, nachos, chimichangas… my stomach is growling as I write this post. Taco meat also freezes very nicely, so you can make a large batch, and freeze the leftovers for a super-quick meal at a later date.
The following recipe for taco meat tastes better than anything you’ll get out of a seasoning packet. The onions and peppers keep the meat moist while adding some vegetable servings to the dish.
You can certainly increase the amounts of peppers and onions, add green bell peppers, as well as add some chilis.
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
2 gloves garlic, minced
1 lb ground round or turkey
1 T chili powder
1/2 tsp paprika
3/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (if desired)
1 T chopped cilantro
1. Drizzle a little olive oil in a large nonstick saute pan and heat the pan over medium heat. Add the diced onion, cook until translucent. Add the yellow and red pepper, cook for another five minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
2. Move the vegetables to the edges of the pan. Add the ground meat to the middle and add half of the seasonings. Allow the meat to brown on one side, then flip it over and allow it to brown on the second side. When browned, break the meat up into smaller pieces, mix in the vegetables, and add the remaining seasonings. Continue cooking until the meat is thoroughly cooked. Add cilantro and stir to combine.
For the taco bar
Torn lettuce (romaine, butter, or leaf)
Shredded cheddar cheese
Sliced Black Olives
This setup works great for a family or party – everyone can just take what they like.