Friday, June 15, 2012

Crunchy Step 1: Loco Taco Seasoning

Who doesn't love tacos?  My family could eat them every night.  We once had a taco song and dance.  No I'm not kidding.  Everytime I made tacos preschool Christin and I would dance around the kitchen singing:  (to the tune of La Cucracha)  "I love the taaaacos!  I love the taaaaaacos!  I love the taco, taco,taco, taaaaaaaaaaacoos!!!"  And spin around in circles dancing and stomping our feet.  Really tacos are a full cultural experience in our home.  Everytime I bought tacos or a taco kit I spent between $.69 and $1 on seasoning.
Cause you know I love me some MSG.  Seriously, the ingredients on the back of a popular taco mix are: Maltodextrin, salt, chili pepper, onion powder, spice, monosodium glutamate, corn starch, yellow corn flour, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, silicon dioxide (anticaking agent), natural flavor, ethoxyquin (preservative)

Yeah I don't have most of that in my spice cabinet and I certainly don't want it in my body!!!!!  So here's the loco part.  Making your own taco seasoning is so stinking easy.  I looked up a few recipes, they were all pretty much the same. Looking up recipes was the most time consuming part of this (and I'm doing it for you so now you can just make the seasoning!)  Here's the recipe I settled on:

24 tsp chili powder
18 tsp paprika (I ran out at about 15 tsp but I was shooting for 18!)
18 tsp cumin
12 tsp onion powder
9 tsp garlic powder (again I ran out.  I put at least 7 in though)
6 tsp sea salt
4-5 shakes of cayenne
4-5 shakes of black pepper
Store in any container with a lid
yields 36 Tbs taco seasoning (use 3-4 per pound beef, chicken, or beans (bonus cheap tip:  cut cost by cutting the ground meat in half and using half black beans instead. Just pour them in when the meats mostly cooked))  For the mathematically challenged this recipe will last you 9-12 lbs of taco meat and of course if you eat tacos infrequently you can cut it down.  
I started off with a small amount but it was soooooo easy I did it at the above amounts.

This cost me less than $2!!!  Even if had bought more expensive spices I still would save about $8 and it's a TON healthier.  So I guess the most loco part about this is that I didn't do it sooner!  Sing it with me now, "We love the taaaacos!  We love the taaacos!  We love the taco, taco, taco, taaaaacoooos!!!"

Do you make your own taco seasoning?  How is your recipe different?  Do you have your own taco song?  Please share!

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