If you’re looking for a dinner to counterbalance a cranky day, this is the one. I usually go with ground turkey or chicken, instead of beef. You choose, and if you choose beef, drain it well. And if you choose turkey, don’t go for the extra lean, get the 93 percent lean/7 percent fat or the 85 percent lean/15 percent fat ratio -- they’re juicier. I have certainly been known to reach for a package of store-bought taco seasoning at times, but with an extra few minutes you can make a homemade seasoning blend that tastes amazing, and the sodium level won’t be through the roof. Then throw together a big salad, or some steamed broccoli or cauliflower, and you’ve got dinner.
From The Mom 100 Cookbook by Katie Workman (Workman Publishing; 2012)
|1 tablespoon chili powder||Nonstick cooking spray|
|2 teaspoons ground cumin||2 pounds ground turkey or beef|
|2 teaspoons onion powder||Shredded lettuce|
|1 teaspoon kosher or coarse salt||Salsa or taco sauce|
|1 teaspoon cornstarch||Shredded cheddar, Monterey Jack, or a Mexican cheese blend|
|1 teaspoon garlic powder||Low-fat or regular sour cream|
|1/2 teaspoon dried oregano||Diced tomatoes|
|1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika||Diced avocados|
|1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper||12 taco shells|
|Pinch of cayenne or red pepper flakes (optional)|
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Place the chili powder, cumin, onion powder, salt, cornstarch, garlic powder, oregano, paprika, black pepper, and cayenne or red pepper flakes, if using, in a small bowl or plastic container. Blend well.
Spray a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray and place it over medium-high heat. Add the turkey or beef and cook, stirring and making sure to really break it up into small crumbles, until it is browned throughout, about 5 minutes. Drain off any liquid. Add the spice mixture and cook stirring, until you can smell all of the spices, about 1 minute. Add 3⁄4 cup of water and stir until the water is mostly evaporated, the meat is evenly coated with the spices, and there is still a little bit of liquid in the pan, about 4 minutes.
To serve, place your choice of toppings in small individual bowls. Heat the taco shells on a baking sheet (or right on the oven rack, whichever you prefer) in the oven until warm and toasty, about 5 minutes. Transfer the meat to a serving bowl. Place the taco shells on a plate and cover them with a napkin or clean dish towel to keep them warm, setting them out with the bowls of toppings. Let everyone serve him or herself.
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