I don’t know about you, but when I was growing up we had tacos at least once a week. Even though they were the farthest thing from proper Mexican food (especially since ours were made with ground moose) I have always loved a good old, American taco.
As soon as I left Alaska, I was free to buy beef, but truthfully, the numero uno misbegotten component were those handy, little seasoning packets from Old El Paso or Lawry’s, which could always be found in our cupboards. Well… that was until I started this overhaul of my pantry many years back and MSG was the first ingredient to be nixed. It was an easy target.
Yes, homemade Taco Seasoning was the first Minimalist Pantry recipe I started making and yet it has been the hardest for me to share. I suppose it’s because it seems rather lame, like a cop out or a cheat for someone that claims they LOVE! TO! COOK! But truth be told, I am not giving up my tacos and neither should you. However non-traditional they are, at least they are not harboring any unhealthy preservatives.
My sister (who was also on board with banishing MSG) actually gave me this recipe, so I’m unsure of it’s whereabouts. But it has always served its purpose and I’ve never felt the need to find a better one. It’s also very adaptable (I’ve added 10x as much heat) and equally foolproof (I just wing it in the pan and somehow it always manages to be enough). I like to quadruple the recipe and store it in a glass Weck jar so that it’s always on hand. It’s truly the easiest thing to make and much better for you than those MSG and sodium-laden packets from the supermarket.
- 1 T Flour
- 1 tsp Chili Pepper (add more for heat - I've added 1 T and it was great, a little too spicy for the kids, though!)
- 1 tsp Paprika
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 3/4 tsp Sea Salt
- 3/4 tsp Minced Onions
- 1/4 tsp Cayenne (add more for heat)
- 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/4 tsp Sugar
- 1/8 tsp Ground Oregano (I use Mexican Oregano from Rancho Gordo)
- Combine the above ingredients in a sealable jar and mix thoroughly.
- (I quadruple this recipe to have more on hand.)
- Add seasoning to 1lb of browned, ground meat along with +/- 1/2 cup of water. Cook on medium low until water has absorbed.