So I was busy whipping up something for dinner tonight, just doing my usual thing, when the thought crossed my mind that I really should start documenting what I’m doing in the kitchen. I keep thinking I need to start working on my content. But when. I went about making the nights meal without giving it much more thought. I keep thinking that I don’t have a good enough camera to take nice pictures, I don’t have nice backgrounds to use, I don’t…you get the picture!
Anyway, when I finished making the evening meal, I thought why not now. So I don’t have a super fancy DSLR or really awesome backgrounds to use and I’m not making the most fancy of meals. So what. I have to start somewhere, right 🙂 And down the road, it’s probably going to be really funny to look back and be able to see where I started and how far I’ve come since then. Well, that’s the plan anyway!
This is an easy go-to recipe for me, it changes based on what I have on hand. This time I went with ground beef, but I can just as easily use chicken, beef or shrimp. I just adapt some of the ingredients based on what protein I’m using. I like to experiment. a lot. Pretty much all the ingredients that went into this meal were on special at the store or discounted to sell fast. Being someone who has to stretch that food dollar as far as it will go, I have an eagle eye for spotting the pink stickers that mark items for 50% discount for immediate sale.
This week, the ground beef was on special at my grocery store, so it’s easy soft beef tacos night tonight! And it’s kid approved. Well, I’m pretty sure it is, I usually let the empty plate do the talking!
The ready-to-eat area had prepared vegetable pizza toppings on discount, a mix of chopped onion, mushrooms and orange bell pepper. Why not take advantage of a great deal(50% off) that also means I have less prep to do. Win Win! They also had some avocados and grape tomatoes reduced, so I grabbed those to use as toppings. The grape tomatoes are used to whip up a fast and easy fresh tomato salsa and the avocado just sliced up and added directly as a topping.
I made the fresh homemade flour tortillas from scratch, I can never get them as thin as the commercial ones you can buy at the store, but these are so much better. Hands down, I always make these, they don’t take much effort really and the taste is worth it.
- 1 lb ground beef, I used Medium
- 1 chopped onion
- ½ cup sliced button mushrooms
- ½ cup chopped bell pepper
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ small can of tomato paste 5.5 fl oz
- large handful of chopped fresh cilantro
- ½ fresh lime
- 2 tsp chili powder or to taste
- 1-2 tsp ground cumin or to taste
- 1 tsp ground coriander or to taste
- ¼ tsp crush red chili pepper or to taste
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- coconut oil or any oil you prefer
- Flour tortillas
- Sour cream
- Fresh tomato salsa
- Finely grated old cheddar cheese
- Heat a cast iron skillet on med-high heat and add oil.
- Add onion, mushrooms, bell pepper and fry until they begin to soften.
- Add minced garlic, give a quick stir.
- Add the ground beef and fry until the meat browns and there is no pink left.
- Add all your dry spices, play with the amounts, omit the stuff you don't like and add things you do, season to taste, the quantity of spice used is up to you, I adjust as I go until i get the balance that I like. the amounts listed in this recipe for the spice are approximate amounts. I generally tend to add more chili powder and change the amounts of others as needed.
- Add ½ a can of tomato paste and mix well so that its all well blended together. Let cook for a minute or two to give the tomato paste time to caramelize a bit, I find it adds great flavour.
- Add enough water to give the beef mixture a bit of a sauce to simmer in to help develop the flavour, it will thicken up a bit as you simmer. This is an eyeball measurement for me. Not to little, not to much.
- Simmer on low for roughly 15 minutes. depending on the amount of liquid used, it might take less time or more. I generally aim for 15 min. to end up with a nicely thickened mixture that will hold up well in a tortilla. You want it to be on the drier side so its not too messy to eat.
- When done simmering, add the juice of ½ a fresh lime and a handful of chopped fresh cilantro and give it a quick stir.
- Taste to check for seasonings and adjust as needed.
- Serve on your choice of flour tortilla, add toppings, roll and enjoy!
This beef taco filling reheats nicely, as do the fresh homemade flour tortillas I make. I always make enough for leftovers, the taco filling gets an extra boost of flavour that way.
If you’re wondering what button mushrooms have to do in taco filling, well…why not 🙂 For me, they help stretch out the protein, which is always the most expensive ingredient in most of my dishes. They don’t have to go in, but I like the chew you get from them, not that different from meat and I think it works well and since they were included as part of the discounted pizza veggies I bought…in they went 🙂