Really Good Recipes: Homemade Taco Seasoning

Over the last year or two, we’ve moved toward trying more “clean eating” in our house.  This can mean many, many different things – Whole 30, Paleo, vegetarian or vegan, avoiding additives, etc etc.  

For us, we simply try to avoid super processed foods or foods with a lot of ingredients we don’t know or can’t pronounce, and then we find alternatives to use in their place.  We also make fresh homemade meals as often as we can.

Not only does it allow is to know exactly what is in our food, but we also can control quantity of certain ingredients like sugars and sodium.

(Before I go further, let me clarify a couple things:

  1. I have no medical, nutritional, or dietitian type background.
  2. How people structure their diets and what they choose to eat are completely personal choices​. You gotta do what is best for YOU. 
  3. In our house, does trying to eat more cleanly mean that we never stop for fast food, make a frozen pizza, enjoy some Girl Scout cookies or make brownies from a box mix? HELL no. It’s called balance, people 😁) 

    But enough with the caveats. 

    One food item we’ve started making ourselves instead of buying is taco seasoning.  Super quick and easy, and you can easily tailor it to your taste buds.  And honestly, it tastes better than buying the packets at the store. 

    Here’s the base recipe we use. This makes a good amount for 1 lb of meat.  If you need more, just double or triple. 

    • 1 tbsp Chili Powder
    • 1/4 tsp Onion Powder
    • 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
    • 1/4 tsp Oregano
    • 1/2 tsp Salt
    • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
    • 1/2 tsp Cumin
    • Pinch or two of Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (depending on how spicy you like it)

      Mix together in a small bowl and use whenever you need some taco seasoning 🙂

      Cheers!

      SMR

      The Perfect Margarita

      I’m of the opinion that one needs a fabulous margarita recipe that’s quick, easy, super delicious, and easy to memorize.  Because…life happens.

      Am I right?! 😀

      Here is my family’s go-to base recipe for the perfect margarita.  Thanks, Mom!

      • 2+ oz good silver tequila…depending on how strong you like your margs
      • 1 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
      • 3/4 oz agave nectar

      Shake or mix, and enjoy!


      Cheers,

      SMR

       

      Comfort Food Meal Plan

      Last weekend was my dad’s birthday, and as we do every year, we cooked him a birthday meal of his choosing.  And it was a GOOD ONE, if I do say so myself 🙂

      The only parameters he gave us were that he wanted meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and green beans.  Comfort food to the max, which would be even more perfect on a cold winter day.  But we sure didn’t mind the 65 degree weather!

      I’m not a huge meatloaf fan, and had never made one before, but this recipe was the bomb dot com.  Thank you Tyler Florence!  Everyone devoured it, and the leftovers were delish, too.

      Try out this menu sometime!

      Meatloafhttp://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/dads-meatloaf-with-tomato-relish-recipe

      Mashed Potatoes – however you like to make them 🙂

      Green Beans  with Bacon and Onions – http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/patrick-and-gina-neely/green-beans-and-bacon-recipe

      Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette – http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/melissa-darabian/cafe-green-salad-recipe

      BrowniesBetty Crocker rocks.  These are my family’s go-to brownies, available in any grocery store.  (Unless Mom’s making her Cheesecake Brownies, which I haven’t yet mastered).

      Make it a great weekend, everyone!

      Cheers,

      SMR

      Really Good Recipes – Chicken Tortilla Soup

      Isn’t soup one of the best things ever on a chilly day?

      Right now, it’s about 15 degrees F where I live.  FREAKING COLD.  Especially when it was 60 degrees F just a couple days ago.  Seriously.

      Luckily, we had some leftover soup in the freezer.  I found a new recipe a few weeks back for Chicken Tortilla Soup, made some changes to fit my tastes, and it came out fabulously.  So simple, so delicious.  And freezes well, too!

      Here’s the recipe.  Enjoy 🙂

      Chicken Tortilla Soup

      1 (46 ounce) can reduced-sodium chicken broth

      1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes

      3 cups cooked chicken, shredded (either leftover or rotisserie)

      2 anaheim chilies, diced

      2 jalapeno peppers, diced

      1-2 red bell peppers, diced

      1⁄2 cup yellow onion (diced or grated…see tip below)

      3-4 garlic cloves, minced

      1 tablespoon chili powder

      2 teaspoons cumin

      2 teaspoons pepper

      1 teaspoon salt

      2 teaspoons hot sauce

      1⁄2 teaspoon chipotle pepper (optional)

      2 tablespoons minced cilantro (optional)

      Garnishes:  shredded cheese, avocado, lime juice, sour cream, cilantro, crushed tortilla chips, more hot sauce – whatever you’d like!

      If using a slow cooker, throw everything in except the garnishes and let it cook on high for 5-6 hours.

      I just used a big chili pot on my stove since I didn’t have time to use the slow cooker.  For this method, just saute the garlic and onions over medium heat in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil for a few minutes before tossing all other ingredients (except the garnishes).  Stir to combine, then let simmer for at least an hour so the flavors can mesh together.

      TIPS:

      • If you want other ingredients in your tortilla soup, go for it.  I myself don’t like corn or beans (some staples in other soup recipes), so I left those out, but I added red bell pepper to the original recipe.  Make it according to your taste buds
      • My stomach has trouble handling onions sometimes, but onions give a dish great flavor.  So what’s the solution?  Shred the onion on a box grater.  It melts into dishes better and doesn’t affect my stomach so badly.  #winning

      Happy eating, folks 😀

      Cheers,

      SMR

      Songs About Tequila!

      Tequila.  Yummm.

      I’m not much of a beer or wine gal.  Give me a delicious, high quality margarita and I’ll be your best friend forever 😉

      Over the weekend, I heard two songs about one of my favorite beverages in a super short amount of time – like 2 hours maybe?  They both made me giggle.  So I got to thinking…what other songs are out there about tequila?

      I give you…Tequila Tunes 😀

      • Tequila Makes Her Close Come Off – Joe Nichols
      • Ten Rounds with Jose Cuervo – Tracy Byrd
      • Tequila Sunrise – The Eagles
      • You and Tequila – Kenny Chesney & Grace Potter
      • Margaritaville – Jimmy Buffett
      • Straight Tequila Night – John Anderson
      • Tequila – The Champs
      • Blame It (On The Alcohol) – Jamie Foxx
      • Tequila Talkin’ – Lonestar

      Go pour yourself  a drink and get to Googling  some of these tequila-riffic songs if you don’t know them 🙂

      (I’m sure there are others, but these are just some of my favorites.)

      CHEERS!

      SMR

      Really Good Recipes – Cowboy Spaghetti

      My husband and I made Rachael Ray’s Cowboy Spaghetti earlier this week.  It’s one of those perfect hot meals on a super cold day.  (Like today…it’s currently 6 degrees.  WTH.)  It’s also a recipe we almost always have just about all ingredients already in the pantry or fridge, which makes it really easy and quick to throw together.

      http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-ray/cowboy-spaghetti-recipe.html

      The only modification we make to this recipe is using a 32oz can of crushed tomatoes instead of the fire roasted tomatoes + 8oz sauce.  I myself don’t particularly care for the taste of fire-roasted tomatoes, so we use regular crushed (which I like also because I enjoy my spaghetti extra saucy) and call it a day.

      NOTE – We’ve tried several types of beer with this recipe.  The best we’ve found is good ol’ Miller Lite.  Heineken Light works fine, too.

      Make this soon and then thank me later.  It’s DELISH 🙂

      Cheers!

      SMR